A TALK ABOUT RELIGIONS IN CHINA AND CHINESE CULTURE
how many different kinds of religions are there in china?
basically ,there are five, buddhism, taoism, islam, catholicism and protestantism.
i heard that there is also a religion called lamaism. why didn't you include it in your list?
lamaism is in fact a form of buddhism. buddhism was first introduced into tibet by indian monks in 2 B.C. . and in tibet it eventually developed into lamaism. so it's really a branch of buddism.
which are the most influential religions in china?
first buddhism, i think, and then taoism or daoism. buddhism is an integral part of chinese culture even though it did not originate in china. uou can see the influence of buddhism in almost all aspects of chinese life, in our philosophy and literature, in our architecture, and art and in life in general. buddhists believe in detachment of the individual from worldly cares and the eventual attainment of a state of enlighenment, that is being free from prejudice, ignorance, or superstition, and so on, to reacha a state orf spiritual perfection and demonstrate this spirit in their daily life. basically they hope to reach a state in which they feel love and compassion for all living things.
what about taoism?
taoism is a very ancient chinese philosophy. taoism once had a great influence on china's politics,economy and culture. taoists worship supernatural beings and believe that their particular set of rules for food , exercise, and so on can better their mental health and physical well-being and even think it may help them to live for ever.
how about confucianism?
confucius is , of course, very famous in china. confucianism is a kind of ancient philosophy that originated in china many years before buddhism was introduced. one of the most famous maxims of confucius is" do not do to others what you would not want done to yourself." that is , one should treat others as on would wish to be treated oneself.
confucius laid stress on "benevolence". "benevolence" is the core of confucian thinking, and it became the ideal mode of conduct in ancient chinese society. a good example about this is that in ancient times, before the two belligerent generals started to fight, they often shouted to each other as a rule,"who's that coming general? please let me know your name. a general like me will kill nobody, not even a devil if he doesn't have a name." confucians were taught to love, that is , to love their parents, respect their elders and betters, be kind to their brothers, and generous and understanding to every one.some other important confucian ideas are "gain new insights through restudying old material", "man is born good", and those who rely on virtue will thrive and those who rely on force will perish." of course, some of his ideas are wrong, for example,"the common people should be directed to do things but not be required to comprehend them." we just select and cherish what is right in confucian thought.
The Noble Eight-Fold Path includes the following eight tenets:
First, the "Right Knowledge is to believe that all life is suffering, that suffering is caused by desire for personal gratification, that suffering can be overcome, and that the way to overcome it is to follow the Eight-Fold Path.
Second, the "Right Aspiration" is to become passionately involved with the knowledge of what life's problems basically are.
Third, the 'Right Speech" is to aviod lies, idle talk, abuse, slander, and deceit because these things remove a person from the prospect of attaining happiness.
Fourth, the "Right Behaviour" is to show kindness and to aviod self-seeking and personal fulfilment in all actions. It also includes five rules:'Do not like" "do not steal;" "do not lie;" "do not be unchaste;" and "do not drink intoxicants."
Fifth, the "Right Livelihood" is to engage in a suitable activity to earn a living. Buddha considered spiritual progress impossible if one's occipation, such as slave-dealing or prostitution, pulled in the opposite direction.
Sixth, the "Right Effort" is the will to develop virtues and to curb passions.
Seventh, the "Right Mindfulness" is to practice self-examination and to cultivate knowledge of oneself, to overcome the state of semialtertness, and to become aware of what is happening to oneself.
Eighth, the "Right Absorption" is the way to god through psychological exercises, the mental exercises to penetrate deep into the psyche where the real problems and answers lie, and to achieve a personal experience of what lies hidden within.
By following the Noble Eight-Fold Path, the Buddhist aims to attain "nirvana", a condition beyond the limits of the mind, thoughts, feelings, desire, the will, and a state of bliss and ecstasy.