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Alex Romero

on 22 October 2013

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Transcript of Buddhism

How the Suppression of 845 Affected Chinese Buddhism and Why the Emperor Did It
The suppression of 845 affected Buddhism by drastically reducing the amount of people who practiced Buddhism. The emperor who ordered the suppression was Taoist and it was not until two reigns after that an emperor encouraged, or even allowed Buddhism. This emperor that encouraged Buddhism was politically weak and did not do much to restore Buddhistic ways. Before the suppression, 40% of the country's land fell under what was nontaxable monasteries. After the suppression, there was only to be one Buddhistic monastery per each town. Nearly 150,000 slaves of the Buddhist temples were also released and announced taxpaying freemen. The suppression was also partially an economic move as the government was collecting much more tax money. The population of China was forced to become Taoist, thus changing many of Siddartha Gautama's (founder of Buddhism's) practices entirely. Some changes included removing the primary practices of the threefold training (wisdom, concentration, morality).

The decline in Buddhist practice came at the same time as the decline in the Gupta Empire. The rulers began to choose Hinduism over Buddhism and alliances with priests rather than monks. Although people in the lower-caste system greatly appreciated the Buddhistic principles of there being no caste system and everybody being thought of as equal, they also began to shift back to Hinduism. Chinese Buddhism lasted longer than Indian Buddhism. The Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Faxian noticed that Indian Buddhism was weak, which is a major role in why Chinese Buddhism lasted longer. The decline of the Gupta Empire was a major factor in the reduction of Buddhist practice. Mahayana Buddhism had many god-like Buddhas and bodhisattvas living in a large number of heavens that it seemed so closely related to Hinduism that the population of India saw little reason to keep two separate religions. Another reason many Buddhists converted to Hinduism was that Hindu priests had to run their life cycle ceremonies of birth, marriage and death. Therefore, Hindu priests could say that they always had a superiority to Indian Buddhism. Indian Buddhism also gave women less of a role in the religion than Hinduism, which also impeded the spread.

Ten Cardinal Precepts
1.No killing
2.No stealing
3.No sexual intercourse
4.No lying
5.No taking of intoxicants
6.No eating at the wrong time (after the midday meal)
7.No dancing or music
8.No wearing of jewelry or cosmetics
9.No sleeping on raised beds
10.No acceptance of money

Middle Path
The Middle Way meant not leading a life of luxury and indulgence but also not one of too much fasting and hardship. There are eight guides for following the Middle path.

The Eightfold Path

Right understanding and viewpoint (based on the Four Noble Truths).
Right values and attitude (compassion rather than selfishness).
Right speech (don't tell lies, avoid harsh, abusive speech, avoid gossip).
Right action (help others, live honestly, don't harm living things, take care of the environment).
Right work (do something useful, avoid jobs which harm others).
Right effort (encourage good, helpful thoughts, discourage unwholesome destructive thoughts).
Right mindfulness (be aware of what you feel, think and do).
Right meditation (calm mind, practice meditation which leads to nirvana).

Key Beliefs in Buddhism

Turning Point in Buddhism
Different Groups
He was born of the name Siddhartha Gautama and lived in the confinements of his father's( a warrior chief) palace. He became curious in his twenties and left the castle. For the first time he encountered old age, death, birth, and more. He was confused by all these things and an old man he met said it was an inevitable part of life. According to text, he became determined to find a cure for these sorrows. After a long time it became a search "to achieve enlightenment. He became meditative and on his 49th day of meditation he reached enlightenment. That is when he became Buddha (he who has awakened).

The Modern Day Practice
Many people convert to Buddhism to improve their quality of life. They look to make their lives " better, simpler and more productive. Today Buddhists use a more modern interpretation of the "Dharma." The Dharma is of the Sanskrit language and literally means: the teachings of Buddha. If Buddha were to see the religion today, it would be far different due to the modern interpretations and modern temptations to go against the religion.
Key Changes
As interest in Buddhism grew, there was a great demand for Buddhist texts to be translated from Indian languages into Chinese. This led to the arrival of translators from Central Asia and India. The first notable one was Anshigao from Central Asia who came to China in the middle of the second century. With a growing collection of Chinese translations of Buddhist texts, Buddhism became more widely known and a Chinese monastic order was also formed. The first known Chinese monk was said to be Anshigao's disciple.

Sources cited page
"The Dharma - The Teachings." The Dharma - The Teachings. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
"Dharmacore." Dharmacore. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
"The Buddha." The Buddha. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
There is no almighty God in Buddhism, he believed that everyone should be responsible for their own lives and actions.
Consequences Continued...
Closely related to this belief is the doctrine of karma. Karma consists of a person's acts and their ethical consequences. Human actions lead to rebirth, wherein good deeds are inevitably rewarded and evil deeds punished. Thus, neither undeserved pleasure nor unwarranted suffering exists in the world, but rather a universal justice. The karmic process operates through a kind of natural moral law rather than through a system of divine judgment. One's karma determines such matters as one's species, beauty, intelligence, longevity, wealth, and social status. According to the Buddha, karma of varying types can lead to rebirth as a human, an animal, a hungry ghost, a denizen of hell, or even one of the Hindu gods.


"URI Kids :: World Religions." URI Kids :: World Religions. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
"Buddhism & Hinduism,Comparitive Study of Buddhism & Hinduism,Compare Contrast Buddhism & Hinduism." Buddhism & Hinduism,Comparitive Study of Buddhism & Hinduism,Compare Contrast Buddhism & Hinduism. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
The origins of Buddhism started in India. Buddhism spread through Asia in parts like Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Buddhism was gaining acceptance in those regions, but India was losing to Hinduism and Buddhism started to vanish.
Three Universal Truths

Everything in life is impermanent and always changing.
Because nothing is permanent, a life based on possessing things or persons doesn't make you happy.
There is no eternal, unchanging soul and "self" is just a collection of changing characteristics or attributes.

Four Noble Truths

Human life has a lot of suffering.
The cause of suffering is greed.
There is an end to suffering.
The way to end suffering is to follow the Middle Path

These truths were created to help find Nirvana. Nirvana is where there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the cycle of death and rebirth; final goal of Buddhism.
The Sangha:
A major change in the amount of people who practiced Buddhism came in 845 when the Tang government announced a massive suppression of Buddhism. The emperor withdrew the status of over 200,000 monks and nuns, closed over 4,000 monasteries and nunneries, took millions of acres of temple lands. The emperor also registered 150,000 slaves attached to the temples, who had been under the protection of Buddhists, as taxpaying freemen. This was the most dramatic attack on Buddhism. The suppression came close to wiping out Buddhism in China. The forces of the religion were so powerful that the government policy was relaxed the following year, upon the death of the emperor (who was Taoist). The temples were soon replenished with returning monks and new postulates (candidates for religious power). But significant damage had been done to the practicing of Buddhism, and although it remained an important force in China, it never recaptured the dominance that it possessed during the early and mid-Tang dynasty. The century before the great suppression of 845 remained the high water mark of Buddhism's influence on China, and all significant philosophical and religious innovations that China contributed to world Buddhism occurred before that time.



Buddhism Changes in India during Gupta Empire
Caste System
Unlike Hinduism, Buddists had a hereditary caste system. it also involved Brahmin Priests as the supreme class.
Open to anyone regardless of caste. It is like a monk-ish group. At one point women were allowed to have their own convents but the had strict rules about it(now only in Tibet).
Divisions and different beliefs in Buddhism
Over time people developed different beliefs and different groups butted heads. For example, Mahayana Buddhism emerged and began to threaten the practice of Thervada( "doctrine of elders"). Mahayana taught to practice good deeds and numerous heavens. They came up with Amitabha Buddha(lived on earth and now a father in heaven) and Maitreya Buddha(a servant who redeemed humanity).
Wider Consequences
Although never actually denying the existence of the gods, Buddhism denies them any special role. Their lives in heaven are long and pleasurable, but they are in the same predicament as other creatures, being subject eventually to death and further rebirth in lower states of existence. They are not creators of the universe or in control of human destiny, and Buddhism denies the value of prayer and sacrifice to them. Of the possible modes of rebirth, human existence is preferable, because the deities are so engrossed in their own pleasures that they lose sight of the need for salvation. Enlightenment is possible only for humans.
"Buddhism." Buddhism. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
Four Noble Truths
Three Universal Truths
Eightfold Path
Meditation is an essential and most original practice to most Buddhists. Buddhists look within themselves for the truth and understanding of Buddha's teachings. They seek enlightenment, or nirvana, this way.
Meditation means focusing the mind to achieve an inner stillness that leads to a state of enlightenment.
Some Forms of Meditation
It can be practicing a martial art such as karate since they require mental and physical control.
It can mean focusing on a riddle such as "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"
It can be contemplating a haiku or short poem that captures a moment in time.
It can involve quietly noticing one's breath as it goes in and out

More Key Changes
Buddhism was first introduced into Tibet through the influence of foreign wives of the king, beginning in the 7th century AD. By the middle of the next century, it had become a significant force in Tibetan culture. A key figure in the development of Tibetan Buddhism was the Indian monk Padmasambhava, who arrived in Tibet in 747. His main interest was the spread of Tantric Buddhism, which became the primary form of Buddhism in Tibet. Indian and Chinese Buddhists vied for influence, and the Chinese were finally defeated and expelled from Tibet near the end of the 8th century.

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