What Role has Buddhism Played in Chinese Literature?

发布日期:2017-12-28   字体大小:   


Thousands of volumes of Buddhist scriptures translated from Sanskrit are themselves magnificent literary works. Among them, such works as Vimalakirti-nirdesa, Saddharma pundarika-sutra and Suramgarma-maha-sutra, have been particularly attractive to literature lovers through the dynasties. They read and study them specifically out of literary interest. Lu Xun, the great writer of modern China, donated funds to the Jinling Scripture Publishing House for carving and publishing Sata-upama-sutta, the admonitory stories which are still often translated into modern Chinese, published and enjoyed as literary works today. Buddhism has brought to Chinese literature numerous entirely new things unknown before—new spheres of meaning, new writing styles and new rhetorical methods. Asvaghosa’s Buddha carita set a model for long narrative poetry. The Saddharmapundrika-sutra, the Vimalakirti-nirdesa and the Sata-upama-sutra inspired the writing of novels in the Jin and Tang Dynasties. The thought of the Prajna-paramita-sutra and of the Chan School influenced the poetry writing of Tao Yuanming, Wang Wei, Bai Juyi and  Su Shi. (From Essentials of Buddhism: Questions and Answers)






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