Download e-book for kindle: Buddhism in China, A historical survey by Kenneth Ch'en

By Kenneth Ch'en

CONTENTS: Preface. desk of chinese language Dynasties. Maps of Dynasties. advent, progress and Domestication. adulthood and reputation. Decline. end. word list. chinese language Names and Titles. Bibliography. Index.

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First, the body has to be nourished in order to suppress the causes of decrepitude and to create an embryo endowed with immortality. Second, the spirit has to be nourished, and this in­ volves meditation and concentration. Even during the centuries before the Christian era the Taoists were already practicing these activities. In Chuang-tzu there is an allusion to practices con­ ducive to everlasting life, such as abstention from the five cereals, respiratory exercises, and meditation. Wang Chuug also left behind glimpses of such Taoist practices during his time.

Taoist traditions say that during the reign of Emperor Shun (126-144) the Taoist Kung Chung revealed this work of his master Yii Chi. This work originated and was popular in the east China region, where Buddhism was already established, and it is clear that the compiler knew about the new religion, for he attacked it on four counts. First, Buddhism is unfilial, as it en­ courages abandonment of parents. Second, it results in the neglect of wives and children; it encourages celibacy and no offspring.

The religious tenets of the Buddhist aimed at purity of thought and action, the suppression of passions, and the avoidance of luxury. Though some Han Taoists practiced the “arts of the inner cham­ bers/* others followed the Buddhist in favoring control of the passions. The Buddhist taught the indestructibility of the soul and rebirth in the Brahma heavens; the Taoists believed in the land of the immortals in the Eastern Seas, or sought immortality in the Heaven of Grand Purity. Because of these numerous ele­ ments of apparent similarity between the two, the Buddhists and the Taoists joined forces.

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Buddhism in China, A historical survey by Kenneth Ch'en


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