A defense of Buddhism written to refute some of the charges against the new religion from India by Confucian and other Chinese. While the author and date of composition are uncertain, this kind of tract was common in China under the Southern Dynasties (420-589 CE).
An account of the (394-414CE)journey by Fa-hsien and his companions. They visited as many of the Buddhist sacred shrines as they could, especially those associated with the presence of the Buddha. The selections presented here show the reasons for the estblishment of these shrines, the legends that surrounded them, and the ways in which they were maintained.
In the fifth and sixth centuries CE, Chinese Buddhists employed p'an-chiao as a hermeneutical strategy to reconcile the discrepancies among the different teachings believed to have been taught by the Buddha. By resorting to the doctrine of expedient means, they were able to create a hierarchical framework within which the entire range of Buddhist teachings could be systematically organized into a coherent doctrinal whole.
The worlds largest Buddha, in Leshan, China.
One of the leaders in the Confucian counterattack on Buddhism was the classical prose stylist and poet Han Yu (768-824 CE), who in 819 CE composed this vitriolic polemic attacking Buddhism. A champion of rationalism, Han Yu wished to suppress Daoism as well as Buddhism.
In China, Kuan-yin (Avalokitesvara) came to be most frequently worshipped in female form as the Goddess of Mercy. This transformation from an originally male deity into a female one seems to have occurred sometime during the Northern Sung dynasty (960-1126 CE) and is reflected in Kuan-yin's miracluous appearance in human form in the legend of Miao-shan.
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