21 Facts About Chinese Buddhism

1. Chinese Buddhism is the largest institutionalized religion in Mainland China.

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2. Chinese Buddhism was first introduced to China during the Han Dynasty.

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3. Chinese Buddhism developed various unique traditions of Buddhist thought and practice, including Tiantai, Huayan, Chan Buddhism and Pure Land Buddhism.

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4. The maritime route hypothesis, favored by Liang Qichao and Paul Pelliot, proposed that Chinese Buddhism was originally practiced in southern China, the Yangtze River and Huai River region.

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5. French sinologist Henri Maspero says it is a "very curious fact" that, throughout the entire Han dynasty, Daoism and Chinese Buddhism were "constantly confused and appeared as single religion".

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6. Early Chinese Buddhism was conflated and mixed with Daoism, and it was within Daoist circles that it found its first adepts.

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7. Chinese Buddhism worked to establish Buddhist temples in Luoyang and organized the translation of Buddhist scriptures into Chinese, testifying to the beginning of a wave of Central Asian Buddhist proselytism that was to last several centuries.

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8. Gentry Chinese Buddhism was a medium of introduction for the beginning of Chinese Buddhism in China, it gained imperial and courtly support.

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9. Chinese Buddhism translated central Yogacara texts such as the Samdhinirmocana Sutra and the Yogacarabhumi Sastra, as well as important texts such as the Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra and the Bhaisajyaguruvaiduryaprabharaja Sutra.

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10. Master Huiguo, a disciple of Amoghavajra, imparted some esoteric Buddhist teachings to Kukai, one of the many Japanese monks who came to Tang China to study Chinese Buddhism, including the Mandala of the Two Realms, the Womb Realm and the Diamond Realm.

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11. Opposition to Chinese Buddhism accumulated over time during the Tang dynasty, culminating in the Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution under Emperor Tang Wuzong.

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12. Chinese Buddhism understood neither the duties that bind sovereign and subject, nor the affections of father and son.

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13. Chinese Buddhism directed practitioners in the use of mantras as well as scripture reading.

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14. One of the most prominent bodhisattvas in Chinese Buddhism is Guanyin, known as Goddess of Compassion, Mercy, and Love, and a protector and savior for those who worship and needs her aid.

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15. Chinese Buddhism founded Fo Guang Shan monastery in 1967, and the Buddha's Light International Association in 1992.

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16. Chinese Buddhism's was a direct student of Master Ying Shun, a major figure in the early development of Humanistic Buddhism in Taiwan.

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17. Chinese Buddhism's founded the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, ordinarily referred to as Tzu Chi in 1966.

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18. Chinese Buddhism suffered extensive repression, persecution and destruction during the Cultural Revolution.

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19. Since the implementation of Boluan Fanzheng by Deng Xiaoping, a new revival of Chinese Buddhism began to take place in 1982.

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20. Currently, there are about 1.3 billion Chinese Buddhism living in the People's Republic.

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21. The monk Yixing, a dharma heir of Dixian who was the forty-seventh generation lineage holder of Tiantai Chinese Buddhism, was appointed as the acting abbot of Guoqing Temple and helped to restore Guanzong Temple, both of which remain major centres of Tiantai Chinese Buddhism in China.

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