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Buddhism’s Influences on Chinese Culture佛教对中国文化的影响  

2014-03-15 04:53:22|  分类: 英语学习材料 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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      Buddhism’s influences on Chinese culture are not like what general people

      thought that it’s just within the religion. Actually, it has gone far

      beyond the religion and has influenced many aspects such as literature,

      philosophy, art and etc. I’d like to focus on the two aspects: literature

      & philosophy, since I think they have some relations with each other.

      1 the influences on literature:

      The golden time of Buddhist scriptures’ translation was from late Han to

      the “Brilliant Emperor”, which crossed about 600 years. Among the

      translators Xuanzhang was the most outstanding one. He was a monk who

      journeyed to India and returned with Buddhist texts and devoted his rest

      life to the translation project. Due to his contribution, Chinese

      literature changed in 3 aspects:

           Chinese vocabulary was enlarged

      In the early period of translation, translators just translated the

      scriptures word by word. And those words, which were not existed in

      Chinese, were translated according to their sounds. With the development

      of study, people found that “old words” & “new meanings” couldn’t go with

      each other very well and would cause misunderstanding or misleading. So,

      translators began to invite new words to express the meanings. Although

      they are originally invited for the translation, they are not only used in

      Buddhist works. Some new words, which are easy to understand and

      meaningful, can be found in the Chinese daily writing and speaking, such

      as “前生”, which means previous and the 2nd life Buddhist words relating

      to karma(因果报应) and reincarnation(再生). When something happened in daily

      life, Chinese people would use these words to interpret it. And many

      phrases have taken root in a Buddhist origin for example “to hold the foot

      of Buddha at the moment”. The action unconsciously enlarged Chinese

      vocabulary.

           Played an important role on Chinese poetries development

      Due to the wonderful translation of the scriptures, the articles are so

      beautiful that Chinese ancient literators always used them to increase

      their imagination and improve their writing styles. This directly effected

      the development of Chinese literature. In the Tang Dynasty, poets had

      already used Buddhist idea or their understanding of Buddhism in their

      poetries to express their feeling. Take Wang Wei for example, he and Bai

      Juyi were Buddhists, one of his poetries said “人生几许伤心事,不向空门何处消”, the word

      “空门” is a Buddhist expression. And form it we can know how deep Buddhism

      effected Wang. For him, being a monk was the only way in which he could

      relieve from the worldly sufferings. Later, in Song Dynasty, Shu Dongpo,

      Zhu Xi and other masters were all influenced by Buddhism. 

           Changed Chinese grammar and structures

      Buddhist scriptures are different from other books. In the scriptures the

      prominent feature is that there has not Zhi, Hu, Zhe, Ye. It also created

      a variety of writing structures and writing skills. In that time, it was a

      novel form of writing. Since the Tang Dynasty, Buddhism has an

      ever-lasting influence on literary form.

      2 the influences on philosophy

      With the popularizing of Buddhism, it had an exchange whit Daoism &

      Confucianism. In the Tang Dynasty some scholars had already used Buddhist

      idea to explain Daoism and vice versa. And later, in the Song & Ming

      dynasties, the combination of Buddhism and Confucianism led to the

      formation of Li Xue, the Neo-Confucian school of idealist philosophy. And

      the Neo-Confucianism was divided into branches like “the school of

      principle”, of which the thinker was Zhu Xi and “the school of mind”, of

      which the thinker was Wang Yang-ming. Both schools agreed that the world

      consisted of two realms: the realm of principle (li), and the realm of

      material force (qi). Principle governs material force and material force

      makes manifest principle; the ultimate origin of principle is in a single

      principle called the Great Ultimate (taiji), which emanates from Heaven.

      This period in the history was called the Confucian Revival. And the

      extension of the examination system for choosing government officials was

      one of its results.

      In a word, Buddhism has profound influences on Chinese culture and has a

      deep root in Chinese people. It enriched our culture. Such kind of culture

      exchanges is important to the development of our history. Even now we can

      still strongly feel them.   

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