great need for it. In the document written by Han Yu, we see a very different opinion than that of earlier Chinese leaders, as he refers to Buddhism as “no more than a cult of the barbarian peoples spread to china”. He believed that it did not belong anywhere in their culture or country and that “this evil is rooted out, and later generations be spared this delusion”. Also, Tang Emperor Wu presents a similar argument, saying that “Buddhism wears out people’s strength, pilfers their wealth, and causes people to abandon their lords”. In fact, he was so adamant in his opinion that he even said,”There no longer remains the slightest doubt in our mind that this evil should be eradicated.” Only seeing the “evil” in it, he clearly wanted Buddhism out of china. In final analysis, Buddhism was met with different responses at different times. When China was lost and without structure, the people needed hope and a sense of unity; Buddhism provided that. Once China regained its economic, political, and spiritual stability, the people started to question it and its teachings. In writing this essay, I noticed that all of the documents were written by people of high class. It would have been helpful to have a person of lower class’ voice in drawing my conclusions.
- Spring '14
- Buddhism, Han Chinese, Gautama Buddha