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Unformatted text preview: Emily Leung Chinese 155 Fall 2009 Essay #2 Chao T’ai and Buddhism The tale, “Chao T’ai and His Experiences in Hell”, in the Classical Chinese Tales of the Supernatural and the Fantastic: Selections from the Third to the Tenth Century edited by Karl S. Y. Kao is a tale that incorporates “indigenous Chinese concepts” and “ideas that entered China with Buddhism”. “Chao T’ai and His Experiences in Hell” is a tale of a native who was the grandson of the governor of the capital of Ch’ing-ho (Kao 166). He declines an offer to be in a government position, and around the age of thirty-five, he passes away. However, Chao T’ai does not die, “his heart remained warm, and body flexible… shortly after, he came back to life” (Kao 167). After being reborn, Chao T’ai explains to the people his experiences in Hell. During his experiences in Hell, he was appointed as an Inspector of Waterworks. Because Chao T’ai was appointed the Inspector of Waterworks, it allowed him to witness all sorts of things in Hell. In this description lie the “indigenous Chinese concepts” and the “ideas that entered China with Buddhism”. “Popular Buddhism”, Buddhism combined with Chinese indigenous concepts, is incorporated into this tale of Chao T’ai through the terms of Karma, Samsara, and Retribution/Recompense. On the other hand, the “ideas that entered China with Buddhism” mainly focuses on the concept of salvation. Karma is demonstrated throughout Chao T’ai’s experience in Hell because it is the ethical totality of all acts. During his inspection, Chao T’ai witnessed three people leaving hell and entering “The Great Mansion of the Shining Forth of the Light”. These people were released from the gates of hell because their families had hung pennants and burned incense in stupas and monasteries for their benefit to save them from their sins” (Kao 168). Also when leaving and monasteries for their benefit to save them from their sins” (Kao 168)....
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This document was uploaded on 10/26/2011 for the course CHINESE 155 at UMass (Amherst).
- Fall '08