Buddhism traveled from India through Central Asia and along the Silk Routes to China sometimes in the 1st century and began to flourish after a crisis of confidence in Confucianism caused by the fall of the later Han dynasty(A.D 250220),But it would never achieve the same dominance as Confucianism,in large part because of the Buddhists’s insistence that they exist beyond the power of the state,the monks’s rejection of traditinoal family relationships,and the populaces’s xenophobic wariness of a foreign philosophy.
The Sui and Tang dynasties are the important periods for the localization of Buddhism in China. In this period,with the unity of country,the development of the economy and the more and more frequent exchange of culture,the study of Buddhism reached an unprecedented height. In the Tang Dynasty,the state put forwad the policy that Confucianism,Taoism and Buddhism would conexist. In the process of amalgamation of Buddhism and Chinese traditonal cutlure,Buddhism had absorbed the thought of Confucianism and Taoism and therefore some Chinese schools emerged,amongst which Zen is considered to be full of vitality. The speculative philsosphy of Buddhism mae up the shortage of directness and simplicity of the traditional ideology,and enriched Chiense culture.
Buddhis temples in Beijing often contain large images of Milefo(Maitreya,the Future Buddha) depicted in both Chinese (fat and jolly) and Tibetan(thiner and more somber)guises,and of Guanyin(Avalokitesvara,the Bodhisattva of Compassion,a lithe woman in the Chiense style and a multi-armed,multi-headed man in the Tibetan panthon.
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