The Role Chinese Culture Plays in Emergence and Survival of Chinese Buddhism

发布日期:2017-08-10   字体大小:   

A reliably factual representation of the history of Buddhism in China is apt to bring to light the fact that it was “the traditional etiquette-oriented culture” which originated in regions inhabited by the Han-nationality in China under the Qin Dynasty and the later dynasties that took the initiative in eagerly imbibing and assimilating Indian Buddhism and Indian Buddhist culture. It is precisely due to the traditional Chinese etiquette-oriented culture's active assimilation of Indian Buddhist culture that Chinese Buddhism which is a hybrid of traditional Chinese culture and Indian Buddhist culture was created. Therefore the emergence and survival of Chinese Buddhism is an amplification and extension of traditional Chinese culture. Therefore it is only proper to aver that although embellished with quaint features of Indian Buddhist culture, the essence of Chinese Buddhism remains an enriched legitimate derivative from traditional Chinese etiquette-oriented culture which did flourish in China's very ancient days.

In most of the large monasteries and temples of Chinese Buddhism or Taoism in China proper is kept almost intact the quintessence of traditional Chinese etiquette-oriented culture. Votaries living in such monasteries or temples are inheritors of the quintessence. The everyday routine observed in and the way of life going on in such a monastery or temple embodies the quintessence. And the quintessence governs all sorts of interpersonal relationship in such a monastery or temple. Even the diet, cuisine, and apparel in any of such monasteries or temples are all under the jurisdiction of the quintessence, not to say the martial-arts training, everyday worshipping rites, etc. Thus the quintessence not only normalizes the behavior of any of such votaries but conditions their outlook. Such votaries are not only practitioners of self-cultivation but also inheritors of traditional Chinese etiquette-oriented culture. This differentiates Chinese Buddhism and Taoism from Islam and Christianity.

As Chinese Buddhism is capable of functioning as an inheritor of traditional Chinese etiquette-oriented culture and also as a mollifier of civil unrest in China, it is not only possible but obligatory for Chinese Buddhism to play an important role in helping the Central Government with molding China into a socialist country thriving on its nationwide harmony. (From My Heart My Buddha