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Religions in China

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Buddhism (Fojiao 佛教)

The Historic Buddha - Teachings of the Buddha -Small and Great Vehicle -Buddhism in China -Eminent Monks -Buddhist Literature: Chinese Tripitaka -Excursion: Pali Canon -Important Schools -Lamaism in Tibet

The Historic Buddha

Buddhism was founded by Siddharta Gautama, a prince of the Shakya familiy that reigned over a small kingdom in modern Nepal. His epithet Shakyamuni (chin.: Shijiamouni 釋迦牟尼) means "Wise of the Shakya", other epitets are arhata "Thoroughly saint" and tathagata "Thus Come One" (chin.: Rulai 如來). He was born in the Lumbini grove during the 6th century BC and was kept free knowledge of daily suffering in the palace. During a ride he first became aware of human suffering in shape of an sick person, an old man and a funeral. Very upset by these visions of true life, Siddharta left his family and for seven years lived as an ascetic, only to find out that the extreme ascetic life was not able to solve suffering. He further relied upon meditation (dhyana, chin.: chan 禪) to arrive at the conclusions that made him a Buddha ("Enlightened Man", chin.: fo 佛 or Zhengjue 正覺), after being tempted by the evils of the world sent by the hell spirit Mara or Yama (chin.: mo 魔, yemo 夜摩), under a fig tree ("Bodhi tree", chin.: putishu 菩提樹). In Isipattna/Benares, the Enlightened began to teach his sermons, the "Wheel of Teaching" (dharmacakra, chin.: falun 法輪; a wheel is the symbol of Buddhism, sometimes stylized as svastika 卍, chin.: wan), in Kusinara Buddha died and entered the nirvana ("extinction", chin.: ji 寂), free the misery of karma (intended deeds and their accumulated results, the eternal rebirth; chin.: yinguo 因果) and the rotation of the world (samsara, chin.: zhuanlun 轉輪). The stories of his life and enlightenment (chin.: wu 悟, jap.: satori) are accounted in the ja