Mrs. Liz Campbell
AP World History
November 19, 2014
Passionate Endorsement and Refusal
Scholars, Commoners and Ruling Elites all sought to follow the Buddha’s eightfold path to Nirvana by recognizing The Four Noble Truths described in Buddha’s first sermon, “The Four Noble Truths” (doc 1). Those who accepted the Buddhist religion had a single objective in life-to achieve Nirvana in death (doc 2). The spread of Buddhism was due to an overall endorsement of the religion in all classes, though some refused to accept the “newfangled” religion.
The positive replies of the scholars were an important part of Buddhism’s expansion. They showed the people that worldly pleasures were not to be valued above following The Way (doc 3) as faithful monks did, who forsook wives and children to accumulate “goodness and wisdom” (doc 3). Scholars such as Zhi Dun (doc 2) wholeheartedly accepted Buddhism. He defined perfect Buddhist actions for people to follow, showing how sensual pleasures were to be avoided (doc 2). These passionately positive responses were an intricate part of Buddhism’s appeal to the Chinese.
Some Scholars and Emperors refused it as a threat to the Chinese heritage while others said it was simply “another” good religion. One such Emperor (doc 6) said, “In destroying law and injuring humankind indeed nothing surpasses this doctrine!” This Emperor Wu passionately wished to eradicate this religion. But, no matter how many rules she made, the people still sought follow this appealing and adaptable religion. Zong Mi was one of these scholars who did not escalate Buddhism above Laozi or Confucionism, but at the same time did not lower it below(doc 4). It was simply another good religion and that should be respected. These varying responses show how Buddhism was often hindered by those who did not see the personal profit in practicing it.
Some of Emperor Wu’s (doc 6) points as well as an Anonymous Chinese Scholar (doc 3) raise crucial...
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