CRT 83-89 Reading Notes

CRT 83-89 Reading Notes - Assignment 4 Chinese Religious...

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Assignment 4 Chinese Religious Traditions 83-89 New Buddhist Schools in China - Mahayana Buddhism spread into China starting in the first century, but took several centuries to become fully digested - Early texts were written in Sanskrit, which had to be translated o Teams of translators assumed the task - Buddhist pilgrims traveled to India to bring back new scriptures to be translated (such as the Faxian and Xuanzang) - Until the fourth century, Buddhism was viewed as the practice of foreign monks residing in China o Viewed Buddhism as similar to Daoism for two reasons: Had professional priesthood Was geared toward individual spiritual transformation rather than the transformation of society New Schools of Chinese Buddhism: - Pure Land, Tiantai, Huayan, and Chan o All had roots in Indian tradition, but they were sufficiently new to warrant consideration as Chinese creations o All of them reflected Chinese religious sensibilities and needs Chinese Schools of Buddhism: Pure Land School of Buddhism - Based on three sutras originally written in Sanskrit which focus on the Buddha Amitabha (Amituo in Chinese) and the vows he made while still a bodhisattva o Central vow: If he were to achieve the complete enlightenment of a Buddha, he would preside over a heavenly paradise, called Sukhavati ( Pure or Happy Land ) He would cause anyone who faithfully called on his name to be reborn in this place It was not nirvana, but it was a lifetime without suffering Afterwards, a person was reborn as human but upon rebirth would instantly achieve Buddhahood Sukhavati was a reward for faith in the compassion and salvific power of Amitabha and was the last step before nirvana Theory of Cosmic Cycles : - Present Age (period of disunity between the Han and Sui-Tang) was in decline - Sakyamuni is the Buddha of the present cycle, but this cosmos will come to an end and a new one will appear, presided over by a new Budhha o Maitreya “The Buddha of the Future” - Each Cycle will go through three (3) periods:
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o Zhengfa The period of correct Dharma , during which people can hear and understand the Buddha’s teachings directly o Xiangfa The period of the Pseudo Dharma , during which a semblance of the true teachings will be taught, and only the most capable will understand it o Mofa The period of the End of the Dharma , when people will no longer be capable of achieving enlightenment at all. -
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course REL 135g taught by Professor Robertfordcampany during the Spring '08 term at USC.

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CRT 83-89 Reading Notes - Assignment 4 Chinese Religious...

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