Buddhism grew among the Chinese people in ancient China because religion was not exclusively for the elites. Buddhist concepts were also enjoyed and related to by lay people. As well, Buddhism provided answers to questions about life that had been posed by the thinkers of its time.
Buddhism has long been popular among the Chinese people. It is said that nearly all rulers of ancient China were also monks or scholars who practiced Buddhism. Also, many common people followed it too. In fact, it is estimated that there were around 10 million Buddhists in China in 1st century AD. That makes Buddhism one of the most popular religions in ancient China.
Over time, many Chinese people came to believe that Buddha was the divine ruler from heaven who lived as a human being. They believed that he found ultimate peace and happiness and stopped suffering forever. Thus, Buddhism became attractive to the Chinese people because it offered an alternative way to reach nirvana (or enlightenment).
Furthermore, Buddhism provided an answer to the question of why we are born into this world. It explained that everyone dies and there is no escape from death. But we can avoid future suffering by following the teachings of the Buddha. So, Buddhism gave a purpose to people's lives which existed beyond the grave.
What was it about Buddhism that made the Chinese detest it? Some considered Buddhism as a threat to Confucian values, while others saw its monasteries and temples as extravagantly opulent. Many Chinese leaders felt compelled to eradicate all signs of Buddhism from their country. The movement began in the 6th century with the Buddhist monk Xuanzang, who traveled across China seeking scriptures and medicine for his monastery.
Buddhism had been growing in China since its introduction in the 3rd century. But when Emperor Wu of Liang decided to ban it, almost the entire Buddhist community was uprooted. Even after Buddhism was allowed to re-enter China's capital city, Beijing, in 538, it wasn't enough to make any real difference for the survival of the faith. By 640, when another major prohibition came into effect, most Buddhist temples had been destroyed. There were occasional reports of miraculous discoveries of ancient texts hidden under floors or inside walls, but for the most part, Buddhism in China remained dormant until well into the 11th century.
The reason given by Chinese authorities for banning Buddhism was that it encouraged people to be lazy and live off the land. They believed that if everyone was following the Buddha's teaching and living simply, then there would be no need for government assistance.
Buddhism is generally recognized in China. Buddhism gradually became China's national religion, and several leaders, both local and foreign, exploited Buddhism to unite the people. They also utilized it to keep the population under control.
During the Northern and Southern Dynasties (386-581 AD), Buddhism spread across northern China from its origin in India. It reached China along the trade routes that connected the two countries. Chinese scholars invented a new language, called "Mahayana", which enabled them to translate some Buddhist texts. The presence of many temples with monks who could read and write led the government to believe that Buddhism was growing in popularity.
During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Buddhism spread even more widely. Many merchants traveled between China and Asia, bringing back religious books for auction in Beijing. As time went by, many Chinese began to believe that this new religion would help them achieve eternal life after death. This belief caused many problems because they would kill others to have better luck in the next life. The government tried to prevent people from believing in such things since it was dangerous for society as a whole.
In 938 AD, a monk named Kao Hsien-chang started a movement called "Pure Land Buddhism" in which people would save themselves by donating money to build churches in the Himalayan region.
Because of their prior methods of thinking, which were largely influenced by Confucianism, those were notions that were not a major part of how many Chinese thought. Buddhism taught the Chinese how to be more open to new viewpoints and ideas in life, as well as how to treat one another with kindness.
Buddhism had a large impact on China because it offered something that society at the time lacked: a better way forward. It encouraged people to change their behavior and think differently than before. This was not easy to do when China was going through its own transformation from an agricultural nation into an industrial one. The need for guidance beyond the old traditions was especially important since the government had become corrupt and there was no real system in place to prevent this kind of activity from happening again.
Buddhism also helped China overcome its isolation by bringing people together from different walks of life. There are many stories about monks traveling across the country to teach others about Buddhism, which meant it was not just for the elite. As well, Buddhist temples served as social centers where people could come together to eat food donated by local farmers or listen to musicians play for them free of charge. This is unlike other religions in China at the time that allowed people to feel spiritually connected but only if they were rich enough to afford priests and sacrifices.
In short, Buddhism was appealing to the Chinese because it offered something that society at the time lacked: a better way forward.
Buddhism, through introducing new concepts and thoughts to China, aided in the development of Chinese philosophy, ethics, language, literature, arts, religions, popular belief, and so on. However, because Buddhism is not a culturally confined religion, it makes use of and adapts to local culture and philosophy. Thus, Buddhism has had an impact on Chinese culture.
In recent years, Buddhism has been flourishing in China, where it is becoming more and more popular among the people. This is due to the fact that Buddhism can help people overcome their anxiety, stress, and worries, which are common in today's society. At the same time, it can give them hope and keep them motivated.
Buddhism has also had an influence on Chinese cuisine. The concept of karma arose from India but was later adopted by China too. This idea of getting what you deserve based on your actions has played a role in determining how people eat. For example, if someone believes that he or she has brought about some bad luck, then they will avoid eating certain foods for fear that it might bring about more bad luck!
Buddhism has also influenced Chinese poetry. It is believed that there are three ways to cultivate love: through words, through action, and through thoughts. So, Buddhist poets have used their skills to write poems about 3 ways to cultivate love.