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Title: Buddhism and Buddhists in China
Author: Hodous, Lewis
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: EX LIBRIS:
Western Reserve University

From the Library of
Charles Franklin Thwing
Acquired in 1938]


This volume is the third to be published of a series on "The World's
Living Religions," projected in 1920 by the Board of Missionary
Preparation of the Foreign Missions Conference of North America. The
series seeks to introduce Western readers to the real religious life of
each great national area of the non-Christian world.

Buddhism is a religion which must be viewed from many angles. Its
original form, as preached by Gautama in India and developed in the
early years succeeding, and as embodied in the sacred literature of
early Buddhism, is not representative of the actual Buddhism of any land
today. The faithful student of Buddhist literature would be as far
removed from understanding the working activities of a busy center of
Buddhism in Burmah, Tibet or China today as a student of patristic
literature would be from appreciating the Christian life of London or
New York City.

Moreover Buddhism, like Christianity, has been affected by national
conditions. It has developed at least three markedly different types,
requiring, therefore, as many distinct volumes of this series for its
fair interpretation and presentation. The volume on the Buddhism of
Southern Asia by Professor Kenneth J. Saunders was published in May,
1923; this volume on the Buddhism of China by Professor Hodous will be
the second to appear; a third on the Buddhism of Japan, to be written by
Dr. R. C. Armstrong, will be published in 1924. Each of these is needed
in order that the would be student of Buddhism as practiced in those
countries should be given a true, impressive and friendly picture of
what he will meet.

A missionary no less than a professional student of Buddhism needs to
approach that religion with a real appreciation of what it aims to do
for its people and does do. No one can come into contact with the best
that Buddhism offers without being impressed by its serenity, assurance
and power.

Professor Hodous has written this volume on Buddhism in China out of the
ripe experience and continuing studies of sixteen years of missionary
service in Foochow, the chief city of Fukien Province, China, one of the
important centers of Buddhism. His local studies were supplemented by
the results of broader research and study in northern China. No other
available writer on the subject has gone so far as he in reproducing the
actual thinking of a trained Buddhist mind in regard to the fundamentals
of religion. At the same time he has taken pains to exhibit and to
interpret the religious life of the peasant as affected by Buddhism. He
has sought to be absolutely fair to Buddhism, but still to express his
own conviction that the best that is in Buddhism is given far more
adequate expression in Christianity.

The purpose of each volume in this series is impressionistic rather than
definitely educational. They are not textbooks for the formal study of
Buddhism, but introductions to its study. They aim to kindle interest
and to direct the activity of the awakened student along sound lines.
For further study each volume amply provides through directions and
literature in the appendices. It seeks to help the student to
discriminate, to think in terms of a devotee of Buddhism when he
compares that religion with Christianity. It assumes, however, that
Christianity is the broader and deeper revelation of God and the world
of today.

Buddhism in China undoubtedly includes among its adherents many
high-minded, devout, and earnest souls who live an idealistic life.
Christianity ought to make a strong appeal to such minds, taking from
them none of the joy or assurance or devotion which they possess, but
promoting a deeper, better balanced interpretation of the active world,
a nobler conception of God, a stronger sense of sinfulness and need, and
a truer idea of the full meaning of incarnation and revelation.

It is our hope that this fresh contribution to the understanding of
Buddhism as it is today may be found helpful to readers everywhere.

The Editors.

_New York city,
December, 1923._

The Committee of Reference and Counsel of the Foreign Missions
Conference of North America has authorized the publication of this
series. The author of each volume is alone responsible for the opinions
expressed, unless otherwise stated.





  1. The World of Invisible Spirits
  2. The Universal Sense of Ancestor Control
  3. Degenerate Taoism
  4. The Organizing Value of Confucianism
  5. Buddhism an Inclusive Religion

  1. The Monastery of Kushan
  2. Monasteries Control Fêng-shui
  3. Prayer for Rain
    (a) The altar
    (b) The prayer service
    (c) Its Meaning
  4. Monasteries are Supported because They
     Control Fêng-shui

  1. Kuan Yin, the Giver of Children and Protector of Women
  2. Kuan Yin, the Model of Local Mother-Goddesses
  3. Exhortations on Family Virtues
  4. Services for the Dead

  1. How the Laity is Trained in Buddhist Ideas
  2. Effect of Ideals of Mercy and Universal Love
  3. Relation to Confucian Ideal
  4. The Embodiment of Buddhist Ideals in the Vegetarian Sects
  5. Pilgrimages

  1. The Buddhist Purgatory
  2. Its Social Value
  3. The Buddhist Heaven
  4. The Harmonization of These Ideas with Ancestor Worship

  1. The Threefold Classification of Men under Buddhism
  2. Salvation for the Common Man
  3. The Place of Faith
  4. Salvation of the Second Class
  5. Salvation for the Highest Class
  6. Heaven and Purgatory
  7. Sin
  8. Nirvana
  9. The Philosophical Background
  10. What Buddhism Has to Give

  1. Periods of Buddhist History
  2. The Progress of the Last Twenty-five Years
  3. Present Activities
    (a) The reconstruction of monasteries
    (b) Accessions
    (c) Publications
    (d) Lectures
    (e) Buddhist societies
    (f) Signs of social ambition
  4. The Attitude of Tibetan Lamas
  5. The Buddhist World Versus the Christian World

  1. Questions which Buddhists Ask
  2. Knowledge and Sympathy
  3. Emphasis on the Æsthetic in Christianity
  4. Emphasis on the Mystical in Christianity
  5. Emphasis on the Social Elements in Christianity
  6. Emphasis on the Person of Jesus Christ
    (a) As a Historical Character
    (b) As the Revealer
    (c) As the Saviour
    (d) As the Eternal Son of God
  7. How Christianity Expresses Itself in Buddhist Minds
  8. Christianity's Constructive Values

APPENDIX ONE, Hints for the Preliminary Study of Buddhism in China

APPENDIX TWO, A Brief Bibliography




A well known missionary of Peking, China, was invited one day by a
Buddhist acquaintance to attend the ceremony of initiation for a class
of one hundred and eighty priests and some twenty laity who had been
undergoing preparatory instruction at the stately and important Buddhist
monastery. The beautiful courts of the temple were filled by a throng of
invited guests and spectators, waiting to watch the impressive
procession of candidates, acolytes, attendants and high officials, all
in their appropriate vestments. No outsider was privileged to witness
the solemn taking by each candidate for the priesthood of the vow to
"keep the Ten Laws," followed by the indelible branding of his scalp,
truly a "baptism of fire." Less private was the initiation of the lay
brethren and _sisters,_ more lightly branded on the right wrist,
while all about intoned "Na Mah Pen Shih Shih Chia Mou Ni Fo." (I put my
trust in my original Teacher, Säkyamuni, Buddha.)

The missionary was deeply impressed by the serenity and devotion of the
worshipers and by the dignity and solemnity of the service. The last
candidate to rise and receive the baptism of branding was a young
married woman of refined appearance, attended by an elderly lady,
evidently her mother, who watched with an expression of mingled
devotion, insight and pride her daughter's initiation and welcomed her
at the end of the process with radiant face, as a daughter, now, in a
spiritual as well as a physical sense. At that moment an attendant,
noting the keen interest of the missionary, said to him rather
flippantly, "Would you not like to have your arm branded, too?" "I
might," he replied, "just out of curiosity, but I could not receive the
branding as a believer in the Buddha. I am a Christian believer. To be
branded without inward faith would be an insult to your religion as well
as treachery to my own, would it not? Is not real religion a matter of
the heart?"

The old lady, who had overheard with evident disapproval the remark of
the attendant, turned to the missionary at once and said, "Is that the
way you Westerners, you Christians, speak of your faith? Is the reality
of religion for you also an inward experience of the heart?" And with
that began an interesting interchange of conversation, each party
discovering that in the heart of the other was a genuine longing for God
that overwhelmed all the artificial, material distinctions and the human
devices through which men have limited to particular and exclusive paths
their way of search, and drew these two pilgrims on the way toward God
into a common and very real fellowship of the spirit.

A Buddhist monk was passing by a mission building in another city' of
China when his attention was suddenly drawn to the Svastika and other
Buddhist symbols which the architect had skilfully used in decorating
the building. His face brightened as he said to his companion: "I did
not know that Christians had any appreciation of beauty in their

These incidents reveal aspects of the alchemy of the soul by which the
real devotee of one religion perceives values which are dear to him in
another religion. The good which he has attained in his old religion
enables him to appropriate the better in the new religion. A converted
monk, explaining his acceptance of Christianity, said: "I found in Jesus
Christ the great Bodhisattva, my Saviour, who brings to fruition the
aspirations awakened in me by Buddhism."

Just as it has been said that they do not know England who know England
only, so it may be said with equal truth that they do not know
Christianity who know it and no other faith. There are many in China
like the old lady at the temple, who have found in Buddhism something of
that spiritual satisfaction and stimulus which true Christianity
affords, in fuller measure. The recognition of such religious values by
the student or the missionary furnishes a sound foundation for the
building of a truer spirituality among such devotees.

As will be seen in what follows, religion in China is at first sight a
mixed affair. From the standpoint of cruder household superstitions an
average Chinese family may be regarded as Taoists; the principles by
which its members seek to guide their lives individually and socially
may be called Confucian; their attitude of worship and their hopes for
the future make them Buddhists. The student would not be far afield when
he credits the religious aspirations of the Chinese today to Buddhism,
regarding Confucianism as furnishing the ethical system to which they
submit and Taoism as responsible for many superstitious practices. But
the Buddhism found in China differs radically from that of Southern
Asia, as will be made clear by the following sketch of its introduction
into the Flowery Kingdom and its subsequent history.



Buddhism was not an indigenous religion of China. Its founder was
Gautama of India in the sixth century B.C. Some centuries later it found
its way into China by way of central Asia. There is a tradition that as
early as 142 B.C. Chang Ch'ien, an ambassador of the Chinese emperor, Wu
Ti, visited the countries of central Asia, where he first learned about
the new religion which was making such headway and reported concerning
it to his master. A few years later the generals of Wu Ti captured a
gold image of the Buddha which the emperor set up in his palace and
worshiped, but he took no further steps.

According to Chinese historians Buddhism was officially recognized in
China about 67 A.D. A few years before that date, the emperor, Ming-Ti,
saw in a dream a large golden image with a halo hovering above his
palace. His advisers, some of whom were no doubt already favorable to
the new religion, interpreted the image of the dream to be that of
Buddha, the great sage of India, who was inviting his adhesion.
Following their advice the emperor sent an embassy to study into
Buddhism. It brought back two Indian monks and a quantity of Buddhist
classics. These were carried on a white horse and so the monastery which
the emperor built for the monks and those who came after them was called
the White Horse Monastery. Its tablet is said to have survived to this

This dream story is worth repeating because it goes to show that
Buddhism was not only known at an early date, but was favored at the
court of China. In fact, the same history which relates the dream
contains the biography of an official who became an adherent of Buddhism
a few years before the dream took place. This is not at all surprising,
because an acquaintance with Buddhism was the inevitable concomitant of
the military campaigning, the many embassies and the wide-ranging trade
of those centuries. But the introduction of Buddhism into China was
especially promoted by reason of the current policy of the Chinese
government of moving conquered populations in countries west of China
into China proper, The vanquished peoples brought their own religion
along with them. At one time what is now the province of Shansi was
populated in this way by the Hsiung-nu, many of whom were Buddhists.

The introduction and spread of Buddhism were hastened by the decline of
Confucianism and Taoism. The Han dynasty (206 B. C.-221 A. D.)
established a government founded on Confucianism. It reproduced the
classics destroyed in the previous dynasty and encouraged their study;
it established the state worship of Confucius; it based its laws and
regulations upon the ideals and principles advocated by Confucius. The
great increase of wealth and power under this dynasty led to a gradual
deterioration in the character of the rulers and officials. The rigid
Confucian regulations became burdensome to the people who ceased to
respect their leaders. Confucianism lost its hold as the complete
solution of the problems of life. At the same time Taoism had become a
veritable jumble of meaningless and superstitious rites which served to
support a horde of ignorant, selfish priests. The high religious ideals
of the earlier Taoist mystics were abandoned for a search after the
elixir of life during fruitless journeys to the isles of the Immortals
which were supposed to be in the Eastern Sea.

At this juncture there arose in North China a sect of men called the
Purists who advocated a return from the vagaries of Taoism and the
irritating rules of Confucianism to the simple life practised by the
Taoist mystics. When these thoughtful and earnest minded men came into
contact with Buddhism they were captivated by it. It had all they were
claiming for Taoist mysticism and more. They devoted their literary
ability and religious fervor to the spreading of the new religion and
its success was in no small measure due to their efforts. As a result of
this early association the tenets of the two religions seemed so much
alike that various emperors called assemblies of Buddhists and Taoists
with the intention of effecting a union of the two religions into one.
If the emperor was under the influence of Buddhism he tried to force all
Taoists to become Buddhists. If he was favorable to Taoism he tried to
make all Buddhists become Taoists.

But such mandates were as unsuccessful as other similar schemes have
been. In the third century A. D. after the Han dynasty had ended, China
was broken up into several small kingdoms which contended for supremacy,
so that for about four hundred years the whole country was in a state of
disunion. One of the strong dynasties of this period, the Northern Wei
(386-535 A. D.), was distinctly loyal to Buddhism. During its
continuance Buddhism prospered greatly. Although Chinese were not
permitted to become monks until 335 A. D., still Buddhism made rapid
advances and in the fourth century, when that restriction was removed,
about nine-tenths of the people of northwestern China had become
Buddhists. Since then Buddhism has been an established factor in Chinese



Even the historical influences noted above do not account entirely for
the spread of Buddhism in China. In order to understand this and the
place which Buddhism occupies, we need to review briefly the different
forms which religion takes in China and to note how Buddhism has related
itself to them.

_1. The World of Invisible Spirits_

The Chinese believe _in_ a surrounding-world of spirits, whose
origin is exceedingly various. They touch life at every point. There are
spirits which are guardians of the soil, tree spirits, mountain demons,
fire gods, the spirits of animals, of mountains, of rivers, seas and
stars, of the heavenly bodies and of many forms of active life. These
spirits to the Chinese mind, of today are a projection, a sort of
spiritual counterpart, of the many sided interests, practical or
otherwise, of the groups and communities by whom they are worshipped.
There are other spirits which mirror the ideals of the groups by which
they are worshipped. Some of them may have been incarnated in the lives
of great leaders. There are spirits which are mere animations,
occasional spirits, associated with objects crossing the interests of
men, but not constant enough to attain a definite, independent life as
spiritual beings. Thus surrounding the average Chinese peasant there is
a densely populated spirit world affecting in all kinds of ways his,
daily existence. This other world is the background which must be kept
in mind by one who would understand or attempt to guide Chinese
religious experience. It is the basis on which all organized forms of
religious activity are built. The nearest of these to his heart is the
proper regard for his ancestors.

_2. The Universal Sense_ of _Ancestor Control_

The ancestral control of family life occupies so large and important a
place in Chinese thought and practice that ancestor worship has been
called the original religion of the Chinese. It is certain that the
earliest Confucian records recognize ancestor worship; but doubtless it
antedated them, growing up out of the general religious consciousness of
the people. The discussion of that origin in detail cannot be taken up
here. It may be followed in the literature noted in the appendix or in
the volume of this series entitled "Present-Day Confucianism." Ancestor
worship is active today, however, because the Chinese as a people
believe that these ancestors control in a very real way the good or evil
fortunes of their descendants, because this recognition of ancestors
furnishes a potent means of promoting family unity and social ethics,
and, most of all, because a happy future life is supposed to be
dependent upon descendants who will faithfully minister to the dead.
Since each one desires such a future he is faithful in promoting the
observance of the obligation. Consequently, ancestor worship, like the
previously mentioned belief in the invisible spiritual world, underlies
all other religious developments. No family is so obscure or poor that
it does not submit to the ritual or discipline which is supposed to
ensure the favor of the spirits belonging to the community. Likewise,
every such family is loyal to the supposed needs of its deceased
ancestors. In a very intimate way these beliefs are interwoven with the
private and social morality of every family or group in Chinese society,
and must be taken into account by any one who seeks to bring a religious
message to the Chinese people.

_3. Degenerate Taoism_

Taoism is that system of Chinese religious thought and practice,
beginning about the fifth century B. C., which was originally based on
the teachings of Lao Tzu and developed in the writings of Lieh Tzu and
Chuang Tzu and found in the Tao Tê Ching. It is really in this original
form a philosophy of some merit. According to its teaching the Tao is
the great impersonal background of the world from which all things
proceed as beams from the sun, and to which all beings return. In
contrast to the present, transient, changing world the Tao is
unchangeable and quiet. Originally the Taoists emphasized quiescence, a
life in accordance with nature, as a means of assimilating themselves to
the Tao, believing that in this way they would obtain length of days,
eternal life and especially the power to become superior to natural

There is a movement today among Chinese scholars in favor of a return to
this original highest form of Taoism. It appeals to them as a philosophy
of life; an answer to its riddles. Among the masses of the people,
however, Taoism manifests itself in a ritual of extreme superstition. It
recommends magic tricks and curious superstitions as a means of
prolonging life. It expresses itself very largely in these degrading
practices which few Chinese will defend, but which are yet very commonly

_4. The Organizing Value of Confucianism_

Confucianism brought organization into these hazy conceptions of life
and duty. It took for granted this spiritual-unspiritual background of
animism, ancestor-worship and Taoism, but reshaped and adapted it as a
whole so that it might fit into that proper organization of the state
and nation which was one of its great objectives. Just as Confucianism
related the family to the village, the village to the district, and the
district to the state, so it organized the spiritual world into a
hierarchy with Shang Ti as its head. This hierarchy was developed along
the lines of the organization mentioned above. Under Shang Ti were the
five cosmic emperors, one for each of the four quarters and one for
heaven above, under whom were the gods of the soil, the mountains,
rivers, seas, stars, the sun and moon, the ancestors and the gods of
special groups. Each of the deities in the various ranks had duties to
those above and rights with reference to those below. These duties and
rights, as they affected the individual, were not only expressed in law
but were embodied in ceremony and music, in daily religious life and
practice in such a way that each individual had reason to feel that he
was a functioning agent in this grand Confucian universe. If any one
failed to do his part, the whole universe would suffer. So thoroughly
has this idea been adopted by the Chinese people that every one joins in
forcing an individual, however reluctant or careless, to perform his
part of each ceremony as it has been ordered from high antiquity.

The emperor alone worshipped the supreme deity, Shang Ti; the great
officers of state, according to the dignity of their office, were
related to subordinate gods and required to show them adequate respect
and reverence. Confucius and a long line of noted men following him were
semi-deified [Footnote: Confucius was by imperial decree deified in
1908.] and highly reverenced by the literati, the class from which the
officers of state were as a rule obtained, in connection with their
duties, and as an expression of their ideals. To the common people were
left the ordinary local deities, while all classes, of course, each in
its own fashion reverenced, cherished and obeyed their ancestors. It
should be remarked at this point that Confucianism of this official
character has broken down, not only under the impact of modern ideas,
but under the longing of the Chinese for a universal deity. The people
turn to Heaven and to the Pearly Emperor, the popular counterpart of
Shang Ti.

Viewed from another angle, Confucianism is an elaborate system of
ethics. In writings which are virtually the scriptures of the Chinese
people Confucius and his successors have set forth the principles which
should govern the life of a people who recognize this spiritual universe
and system. These ethics have grown out of a long and, in some respects,
a sound experience. Much can be said in their favor. The essential
weaknesses of the Confucian system of ethics lie in its sectional and
personal loyalties and its monarchical basis. The spirit of democracy is
a deadly foe to Confucianism. Another element of weakness is its
excessive dependence upon the past. Confucius reached ultimate wisdom by
the study of the best that had been attained before his day. He looked
backward rather than forward. Consequently a modern, broadly educated
Confucianist finds himself in an anomalous position. He does not need
absolutely to reject the wisdom which Confucianism embodies, but he can
no longer accept it as a sound, reliable and indisputable scheme of
thought and action. Yet its simple ethical principles and its social
relationships are basal in the lives of the vast masses of the Chinese.

_5. Buddhism an Inclusive Religion._

Upon this, confused jumble of spiritism, superstition, loyalty to
ancestors and submission to a divine hierarchy Buddhism was
superimposed. It quickly dominated all because of its superior
excellence. The form of Buddhism which became established in China was
not, to be sure, like the Buddhism preached by Gautama and his
disciples, or like that form of Buddhism which had taken root in Burma
or Ceylon. Except in name, the Buddhism of Southern Asia and the
Buddhism which developed in China were virtually two distinct types of
religion. The Buddhism of Burma and Ceylon was of the conservative
Hînayâna ("Little Vehicle" of salvation) school, while that of China was
of the progressive Mahâyâna ("Great Vehicle" of salvation) school. Their
differences are so marked as to be worthy of a careful statement.

The Hinayana, which is today the type of Buddhism in Ceylon, Burma and
Siam, has always clung closely to tradition as expressed in the original
Buddhist scriptures. Its basic ideas were that life is on the whole a
time of suffering, that the cause of this sorrow is desire or ignorance,
and that there is a possible deliverance from it. This deliverance or
salvation is to be attained by following the eightfold path, namely,
right knowledge, aspiration, speech, conduct, means of livelihood,
endeavor, mindfulness and meditation. To the beatific state to be
ultimately attained Gautama gave the name Nirvana, explained by his
followers variously either as an utter extinction of personality or as a
passionless peace, a general state of well-being free from all evil
desire or clinging to life and released from the chain of
transmigration. Hinayana Buddhism appeals to the individual as affording
a way of escape from evil desire and its consequences by acquiring
knowledge, by constant discipline, and by a devotedness of the life to
religious ends through membership in the monastic order which Buddha
established. It encourages, however, a personal salvation worked out by
the individual alone.

The Mahâyâna school of Buddhists accept the general ideas of the
Hinayana regarding life and salvation, but so change the spirit and
objectives as to make Buddhism into what is virtually another religion.
It does not confine salvation to the few who can retire from the world
and give themselves wholly to good works, but opens Buddhahood to all.
The "saint" of Hinayana Buddhism is the _arhat_ who is intent on
saving himself. The saint of Mahâyâna Buddhism is the candidate for
Buddhahood (Bodhisattva) who defers his entrance into the bliss of
deliverance in order to save others. Mahâyâna Buddhism is progressive.
It encourages missionary enterprise and was a secret of the remarkable
spread of Buddhism over Asia. Moreover, while the Hînayâna school
recognizes no god or being to whom worship is given, the Mahâyanâ came
to regard Gautama himself as a god and salvation as life in a heavenly
world of pure souls. Thus the Mahâyâna type of thinking constitutes a
bridge between Hînayâna Buddhism and Christianity. In fact, a recent
writer has declared that Hînayâna Buddhists are verging toward these
more spiritual conceptions. [Footnote: See Saunders, _Buddhism and
Buddhists in Southern Asia,_ pp. 10, 20.]

After the death of Sâkyamuni [Footnote: Sâkyamuni is the name by which
Gautama, the Buddha, is familiarly known in China.] Buddhism broke up
into a number of sects usually said to be eighteen in number. When
Buddhism came to China some of these sects were introduced, but they
assumed new forms in their Chinese environment. Besides the sects
brought, from India the Chinese developed several strong sects of their
own. Usually they speak of ten sects although the number is far larger,
if the various subdivisions are included.

To indicate the manifold differences between these groups in Buddhism
would take us far afield and would not be profitable. It will be of
interest, however, to consider some of the chief sects. One of the sects
introduced from India is the Pure Land or the Ching T'u which holds
before the believer the "Western Paradise" gained through faith in
Amitâbha. Any one, no matter what his life may have been, may enter the
Western Paradise by repeating the name of Amitâbha. This sect is
widespread in China. In Japan there are two branches of it known as the
Nishi-Hongwanji and the Higashi-Hongwanji with their head monasteries in
Kyoto. They are the most progressive sects in Japan and are carrying on
missionary work in China, the Hawaiian Islands and in the United States.

Another strong sect is the Meditative sect or the Ch'an Men (Zen in
Japan). This was introduced by Bodhidharma, or Tamo, who arrived in the
capital of China in the year 520 A.D. On his arrival the emperor Wu Ti
tried to impress the sage with his greatness saying: "We have built
temples, multiplied the Scriptures, encouraged many to join the Order:
is not there much merit in all this?" "None," was the blunt reply. "But
what say the holy books? Do they not promise rewards for such deeds?"
"There is nothing holy." "But you, yourself, are you not one of the holy
ones?" "I don't know." "Who are you?" "I don't know." Thus introduced,
the great man proceeded to open his missionary-labors by sitting down
opposite a wall arid gazing at it for the next nine years. From this he
has been called the "wall-gazer." He and his successors promulgated the
doctrine that neither the scriptures, the ritual nor the organization,
in fact nothing outward had any value in the attainment of
enlightenment. They held that the heart of the universe is Buddha and
that apart from the heart or the thought all is unreal. They thought
themselves back into the universal Buddha and then found the Buddha
heart in all nature. Thus they awakened the spirit which permeated
nature, art and literature and made the whole world kin with the spirit
of the Buddha.

  "The golden light upon the sunkist peaks,
  The water murmuring in the pebbly creeks,
  Are Buddha. In the stillness, hark, he speaks!"

[Footnote: K. J. Saunders in _Epochs of Buddhist History._]

Such pantheism and quietism often lead to a confusion in moral
relations, but these mystics were quite correct in their morals because
they checked up their mysticism with the moral system of the Buddha.

Still another important sect originated in the sixth century A. D. on
Chinese soil, namely, the T'ien T'ai (Japanese Tendai), so called
because it started in a monastery situated on the beautiful T'ien T'ai
mountains south of Ningpo. Chih K'ai, the founder, realized that
Buddhism contained a great mass of contradictory teachings and practice,
all attributed to the Buddha. He sought for a harmonizing principle and
found it in the arbitrary theory that these teachings were given to
different people on five different occasions and hence the
discrepancies. The practical message of this sect has been that all
beings have the Buddha heart and that the Buddha loves all beings, so
that all beings may attain salvation, which consists in the full
realization of the Buddha heart latent in them.

There was a time when these sects were very active and flourishing in
China. At the present time the various tendencies for which they stood
have been adopted by Buddhism as a whole and the various sectaries,
though still keeping the name of the sect, live peacefully in the same
monastery. All the monasteries practice meditation, believe in the
paradise of Amitâbha, and are enjoying the ironic calm advocated by the
T'ien T'ai. While the struggle among the sects of China has been
followed by a calm which resembles stagnation, those in Japan are very
active and the reader is referred to the volume of this series on
Japanese Buddhism for further treatment of the subject.

When Buddhism entered China it brought with it a new world. It was new
_practical_ and new spiritually. It brought a knowledge unknown
before regarding the heavenly bodies, regarding nature and regarding
medicine, and a practice vastly above the realm of magical arts. In
addition to these practical benefits, Buddhism proclaimed a new
spiritual universe far more real and extensive than any of which the
Chinese had dreamed, and peopled with spiritual beings having
characteristics entirely novel. In comparison with this new universe or
series of universes which Indian imagination had created, the Chinese
universe was wooden and geometric. Since it was an organized system and
a greater rather than a different one, the Chinese people readily
accepted it and made it their own.

Buddhism not only enlarged the universe and gave the individual a range
of opportunity hitherto unsuspected, but it introduced a scheme of
religious practice, or rather several of them, enabling the individual
devotee to attain a place in this spiritual universe through his own
efforts. These "ways" of salvation were quite in harmony with Chinese
ideas. They resembled what had already been a part of the national
practice and so were readily adopted and adapted by the Chinese.

Buddhism rendered a great service to the Chinese through its new
estimate of the individual. Ancient China scarcely recognized the
individual. He was merged in the family and the clan. Taoists, to be
sure, talked of "immortals" and Confucianism exhibited its typical
personality, or "princely man," but these were thought of as supermen,
as ideals. The classics of China had very little to say about the common
people. The great common crowd was submerged. Buddhism, on the other
hand, gave every individual a distinct place in the great wheel
_dharma,_ the law, and made it possible for him to reach the very
highest goal of salvation. This introduced a genuinely new element into
the social and family life of the Chinese people.

Buddhism was so markedly superior to any one of the four other methods
of expressing the religious life, that it quickly won practical
recognition as the real religion of China. Confucianism may be called
the doctrine of the learned classes. It formulates their principles of
life, but it is in no strict sense a popular religion. It is rather a
state ritual, or a scheme of personal and social ethics. Taoism
recognizes the immediate influence of the spirit world, but it ministers
only to local ideals and needs. In the usages of family and community
life, ancestor worship has a definite place, but an occasional one.
Buddhism was able to leave untouched each of these expressions of
Chinese personal and social life, and yet it went far beyond them in
ministering to religious development. Its ideas of being, of moral
responsibility and of religious relationships furnished a new psychology
which with all its imperfections far surpassed that of the Chinese.
Buddhism's organization was so satisfying and adaptable that not only
was it taken over readily by the Chinese, but it has also persisted in
China without marked changes since its introduction. Most of all it
stressed personal salvation and promised an escape from the impersonal
world of distress and hunger which surrounds the average Chinese into a
heaven ruled by Amitâbha [Footnote: Amitâbha, meaning "infinite light,"
is the Sanskrit name of one of the Buddhas moat highly revered in China.
The usual Chinese equivalent is Omi-To-Fo.] the Merciful. The
obligations of Buddhism are very definite and universally recognized. It
enforces high standards of living, but has added significance because it
draws each devotee into a sort of fellowship with the divine, and mates
not this life alone, but this life plus a future life, the end of human
activity. Buddhism, therefore, really expresses the deepest religious
life of the people of China.

It will be worth while to note some illustrations of the conviction of
the Chinese people that there are three religions to which they owe
allegiance and yet that these are essentially one. They often say, "The
three teachings are the whole teaching." An old scholar is reported to
have remarked, "The three roads are different, but they lead to the same
source." A common story reports that Confucius was asked in the other
world about drinking wine, which Buddhists forbid but Taoists permit.
Confucius replied: "If I do not drink I become a Buddha. If I drink I
become an Immortal. Well, if there is wine, I shall drink; if there is
none, I shall abstain." This expresses characteristically the Chinese
habit of adaptation. Such a decision sounds quite up to date.

The Ethical Culture Society of Peking, recently organized, has upon its
walls pictures of Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius and Christ. Its members
claim to worship Shang Ti as the god of all religions. An offshoot of
this society, the T'ung Shan She, associates the three founders very
closely with Christ. It claims to have a deeper revelation of Christ
than the Christians themselves. A new organization, the Tao Yuan, plans
to harmonize the three old religions with Mohammedanism and

Buddhism has consistently and continually striven to bring about a unity
of religion in China by interpenetrating Confucianism and Taoism. Quite
early the Buddhists invented the story that the Bodhisattva Ju T'ung was
really Confucius incarnate. There was at one time a Buddhist temple to
Confucius in the province of Shantung. The Buddhists also gave out the
story that Bodhisattva Kas'yapa was the incarnation of Lao Tzu, the
founder of Taoism. An artist painted Lao Tzu transformed into a Buddha,
seated in a lotus bud with a halo about his head. In front of the Buddha
was Confucius doing reverence. A Chinese scholar, asked for his opinion
about the picture, said: "Buddha should be seated; Lao Tzu should be
standing at the side looking askance at Buddha; and Confucius should be
grovelling on the floor."

A monument dating from 543 A. D., illustrates this tendency of Buddhism
to represent its own superiority in Chinese religious life. At the top
of the monument is Brahma, lower down is Sâkyamuni with his disciples,
Ananda and Kas'yapa on one face, and on the other Sâkyamuni again,
conversing with Buddha Prabhutaratna and worshipped by monks and
Bodhisattvas. On the pedestal are Confucian and Taoist deities, ten in
number. Thus Buddhism sought to rank itself clearly above the other two
religions. From the early days Buddhism regarded itself as their
superior and began the processes of interpenetration and absorption. In
consequence the values originally inherent in Buddhism have come to be
regarded as the natural possession of the Chinese. It does express their
religious life, especially in South China, where outward manifestations
of religion are perhaps more marked than in the north.



In order that, one may realize the place that Buddhism holds in the
religious life of the Chinese people as a whole, he must turn to the
organizations through which it functions. It is sometimes difficult to
estimate the place of Buddhism in China, because it so interpenetrates
the whole cultural and social life of the people. It becomes their
"way." To see how it touches the life of the average man or woman in
various ways will, therefore, be illuminating. The most outstanding
evidence of devotion are the many monasteries which dot the land in all
Buddhist countries. China is less dominated by them than other lands,
yet they form a very important reason for the persistence and strength
of Buddhism there. One of the famous old shrines will represent them as
a class and give evidence of their importance.

_1. The Monastery of Kushan_

Kushan Monastery, located about four hours' ride by sedan-chair from
Foochow, is a famous shrine of South China. It occupies a large
amphitheater about fifteen hundred feet above the plain, part way up
Kushan, the "Drum Mountain," some three thousand feet high. From the top
of the mountain on clear days with the help of a glass the blue shores
of Formosa may be seen on the eastern horizon. The spacious monastery
buildings are surrounded by a grove of noble trees, in which squirrels,
pheasants, chipmunks and snakes enjoy an undisturbed life.

The ascent to the monastery begins on the bank of the Min River. At the
foot of the mountain in a large temple the traveler may obtain mountain
chairs carried by two or more coolies. The road, paved with granite
slabs cut from the mountain side, consists of a series of stone stairs,
which zig-zag up the mountain under the shadow of ancient pine trees.
Every turn brings to view a bit of landscape carpeted with rice, or a
distant view where mountains and sky meet. A brook rushes by the side of
the road. Here it breaks into a beautiful waterfall. There it gurgles'
in a deep ravine. The sides of the road are covered with large granite
blocks which, loosened from the mountain side by earthquakes, have
disposed themselves promiscuously. Their blackened, weather-beaten sides
are incised with Chinese characters. One of them bears the words: "We
put our trust in Amitâbha." Another immortalizes the sentiments of some
great official who has made the pilgrimage to the mountain. Near the
monastery stand the sombre dagobas where repose the ashes of former
abbots and monastery officials. Not far away on the other side of the
road, hidden by trees, is the crematory where the last remains of the
brethren are consumed by the flames.

As one approaches the monastery he hears the regular sounds of a bell
tolled by a water-wheel, reminding the faithful of Buddha's law. He sees
monks strolling leisurely about and lay brethren carrying wood,
cultivating the gardens, or tending the animals released by pious
devotees to heap up merit for themselves in the next world. Just inside
the main gate is a large fish pond, where goldfish of great size
struggle with one another, and with the lazy turtles, for the round hard
cakes purchased from the monks by the merit-seeking devotee.

The monastery itself consists of a large group of buildings erected
about stone-paved courts, rising in terraces on the mountain side. The
large court at the entrance leads to the "Hall of the Four Kings." As
one enters the spacious door, he _is_ faced by a jolly, almost
naked image of the "Laughing Buddha." This is Maitrêya, the Mea siah of
the Buddhists, who will return to the world five thousand years after
the departure of Sâkyamuni. In the northern monasteries Maitrêya is
often represented as reaching a height when standing of seventy feet or
more, which indicates the stature to which man will attain when he
returns to earth. On each side of the visitor are two immense images of
the Deva kings. In Brahman cosmogony they were the guardians of the
world. In this entrance hall of the Buddhist monastery they stand as
guardians of the Buddhist faith. In the same hall looking toward the
open court beyond is Wei To, another guardian deity of Buddhism.
Somewhere near by is Kuan Ti, the god worshipped by the soldiers and
merchants. Although a Confucian god, he was early adopted by Buddhist
monks into their pantheon and made the guardian of their Order.

Beyond this entrance hall is a large stone-paved court. On the right
side is a bell-tower whose bell is tolled by a monk who has kept the vow
of silence for fourteen years. On the left is a drum-tower. On the right
one finds a series of small shrines. A passage way leads to the library
where numerous Buddhist writings repose in lacquered cases, some of them
written in their own blood by devout monks. On the same side are guest
halls, the dining room for three hundred monks, and the spacious, well
equipped kitchen with running water piped from a reservoir in the hills
above. A store where books, images and the simple requirements of the
monks can be obtained is just above the dining room. On the left side of
the court are large buildings used as dormitories far the monks,
storerooms, and for housing the great printing establishment with its
thousands of wooden blocks on which are carved passages from the
Buddhist scriptures. Here also are kept the coffins in which the monks
are to be burned.

On a terrace above the north side of the court rises the main hall,
called the "Hall of the Triratna," the Buddhist Trinity, where three
gilded images are seated on a lotus flower with halos covering their
backs and heads. The center image is that of Sâkyamuni, the Buddha. On
his right is Yao Shih, the Buddha of medicine, and on the left,
Amitâbha. Quite often these images are said to represent the Buddha, the
Law and the Community of Monks. On the altar are candlesticks and a fine
incense burner from which curls of smoke arise. An immense lamp hangs
from the ceiling. In the rear are banners with praises to Buddha given
by pious devotees. The floor is tiled and covered with round mats made
of palm fiber on which the monks kneel during worship. Before the mats
are low stands for books. On each side of this main hall are the images
of nine Buddhist saints (_arhats_), eighteen in all. Behind this
large temple opens another court and on a terrace above it stands the
hall of the Law with the images of Kuan Yin, the goddess of Mercy, and
the twenty-four devas. Here also are small images of viceroys and
patrons of the monastery.

The hillsides are dotted with numerous temples and shrines. There is one
to Chu-Hsi, the great philosopher of the Sung dynasty, who was born in
Fukien. In it are preserved a few characters indited by his hand. On the
west side of the monastery are large buildings for the housing of
animals released by merit-seeking devotees. Here cows, hogs, goats,
chickens, geese and ducks spend their old age without fear of beginning
their transmigration by forming the main portion of a Chinese feast.

The monastery is governed by an abbot, usually a man of good business
ability, elected by the monks. Under him are the officers of the two
wings or groups of attendants. One set looks after the spiritual
interests, of the monks; the-other takes care of their material needs:
The monks have worship about two o'clock in the morning and again at
about four in the afternoon. The rest of the long day they spend in
meditation, or study, in strolling about the mountain side or in sleep.
Their life is separated from all stirring contact with the life of the

_2. Monasteries Control Fêng-shui_

This monastery with its appointments is a good type of the monasteries
all over China. It was founded at the request of the inhabitants of the
neighborhood, because the dragons of the region used to cause much
damage to the crops in the surrounding country. A holy monk came,
founded the monastery, and by his good influence so curbed the dragons
that the country-side has enjoyed peace ever since and the monastery has
prospered. Since the fourth century of our era records show that by the
building of monasteries in strategic place's holy monks brought rains
and prosperity to various regions, or prevented floods and calamities
from damaging the villages. In other words the monasteries are regarded
as the controllers of _fêng-shui_ (wind and water). According to
the Chinese philosophy winds and water are spiritual forces and may be
so controlled by other spiritual forces that instead of bringing harm
they will confer benefit upon the people. Floods and dry seasons are so
frequent in China that any institution holding out the promise of
regulating them would become firmly established in the affection of the
people. The monasteries have taken this place.

One of the picturesque features of a Chinese landscape is the pagoda.
These structures were introduced in the early stages of Buddhism to
enshrine the relics of Buddha. It was said that Buddha's body consisted
of eighty thousand parts, hence numerous pagodas were erected to shelter
these relics. Inasmuch as a pagoda contained the relics of Buddha, it
possessed magic power and so came to play a great part in the control of
the winds and the rains. The pagoda in China has an odd number of
stories varying from three to thirteen. The odd numbers belong to the
positive principle in nature which is superior to the negative
principle. The pagoda plays quite a part in the festivals of the people.
On certain occasions the stories are hung with lanterns and the pagodas
are visited by numerous throngs.

_3. Prayer for Rain_

Prayers for rain afford such a common illustration of the relation of
Buddhism to the life of the peasant that a detailed presentation of such
a service may be of seal value.

During a prolonged drought in some district of China, when the heat
opens gaping cracks in the fields and the grain is drying up, the
populace may visit their highest official and apprise him of the dire
situation. He often forbids the slaughter of all animals for three days
and, in case rain has not thereby come, he goes in person or sends a
deputy to the nearest monastery to direct the monks to pray for rain.

_(a) The Altar._--On such an occasion the great hall of the Law may
be used for the ceremony. Quite often a special altar is erected in an
enclosure near the monastery on a platform one foot high and twenty-five
feet on each side, overspread by a tent of green cloth. In the center
seats are arranged for the presiding monk and his assistants. On each of
the four sides of the altar is placed an image of the Dragon King who is
supposed to control the rain. If an image is not obtainable a piece of
paper inscribed with the name of the dragon may be used. Flowers, fruits
and incense are spread before the images. On the doors of the tent are
painted dragons with clouds. The tent and altar are green and the monks
wear green garments, because green belongs to the spring and suggests
rain. For this ceremony the monks prepare themselves by abstinence and
cleansing. The presiding monk is one of high moral character and
religious fervor. While some monks recite appropriate sutras, two others
look after the offerings, the incense, and the sprinkling of water
during the ceremony to suggest the coming of rain. The services continue
day and night, being conducted by groups of monks in succession.

_(b) The Prayer Service._--The ceremonial is opened by a chant as

"Pearly dew of the jade heavens, golden waves of Buddha's ocean, scatter
the lotus flowers on a thousand thousand worlds of suffering, that the
heart of mercy may wash away great calamity, that a drop may become a
flood, that a drop may purify mountains and rivers.

"We put our trust in the Bodhisattvas and Mahâsattvas that purify the

The chant ended, a monk takes a bowl of water and repeats thrice: "We
put our trust in the great merciful Kuan Yin Bodhisattva." Then follows
the chant:

"The Bodhisattva's sweet dew of the willow is able to make one drop
spread over the ten directions. It washes away the rank odors and dirt.
It keeps the altars clean and pure. The mysterious words of the doctrine
will be reverently repeated."

This chant ended, the monks intone incantations of Kuan Yin, quite
unintelligible even to them, but of magical value. While these are being
uttered, the presiding monk and his attendants walk around the altar,
while one of them with a branch sprinkles water on the floor. This
symbolizes the cleansing of the altar and of the monks from all
impurities which might render the ritual ineffective. When the
perambulating monks have returned to their place, while the sprinkler
continues his duties, the monks repeat the words: "We put our trust in
the sweet dew kings, Bodhisattvas and Mahâsattvas."

The Bodhisattvas have now come to the purified altar and while the abbot
offers incense to them, the monks repeat the words:

"The fields are destroyed so that they resemble the back of a tortoise.
The demons of drought produce calamity. The dark people [Footnote: A
term denoting the Chinese.] pray earnestly while crops are being
destroyed. We pray that abundant, limpid liquid may descend to purify
and refresh the whole world. The clouds of incense rise."

This plaint is repeated thrice and is followed by an invocation:

"Wholeheartedly we cast ourselves to the earth, O Triratna, who dost
exist eternally in the realm of _dharma_ of the ten directions."

The leader remains quiet a long time with his eyes closed, visualizing
the Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas, the dragon kings, and the saints, all
with their heavenly eyes and ears knowing that this region is afflicted
with drought, that an altar has been constructed and that all have come
to make petition. This meditation is regarded as of chief importance. It
is followed by an announcement to the effect that the sutra praying for
rain was given by the Buddha, that a drought is afflicting the land,
that the altar has been erected in accordance with the regulations and
that prayer is being made for rain. But fearing that something may have
been overlooked, the magic formula of "the king of light who turns the
wheel" is read seven times so as to remedy such oversight.

The altar having thus been cleansed of all impurities, the rain sutra is
opened and the one hundred and eighty-eight dragon kings are urged by
name in groups of ten to take action. The formula is as follows:

"We with our whole heart invite such and such dragon kings to come. We
desire that the heart and wisdom which knows others intuitively will
move the spirits above to obey the Buddha, to take pity on the people
below and to come to our province and send down sweet rain."

When the dragons have all been duly invited, the monks chant suitable
magical formulas, while the leader sits in meditation visualizing these
dragon kings and their tender solicitude for the people in distress. The
monastery bell is sounded and the wooden fish is beaten, while drums and
cymbals add their effect. The whole is intended to draw the attention of
the dragon kings to the drought. Then the fifty-four Buddhas are invited
in a similar manner in groups of ten, the sixth group consisting of
four. A similar form of address is used and similar magical formulas are
recited with the noisy accompaniment. The ceremony concludes by the
expression of the hope that the three jewels (Buddha, the Law and the
Community of Monks) and the dragon kings will grant the rain.

Upon the altar are four copies of an announcement to the dragon kings
and Buddhas. On the first day three copies are sent to them through the
flames, one to the Buddhas, one to the dragon kings and one to the
devas. One copy is read daily and then sent up at the thanksgiving
ceremony. The announcement is as follows:

"We put our trust in the limitless, reverent ocean clouds, the dragons
of august virtue and all their host, all dragon kings and holy saints.
Their august virtue is difficult to measure. In accord with the command
of Buddha they send liquid rain. May their quiet mercy descend to the
altar; may they send down purity and freshness, spreading over the ten
directions. We put our trust in the company of dragon kings of the
clouds, the saints and the Bodhisattvas."

The offerings are made only in the morning inasmuch as the Buddhas,
following ancient custom, are not supposed to eat after the noonday
meal. Great care is taken that the altar shall not be desecrated by any
one who eats meat or drinks wine. The magic formulas of great mercy are
uttered or the name of Kuan Yin is repeated a thousand times. The monks,
take turn in these services which continue day and night until rain

_(c) Its Meaning._--In the religious consciousness of the people is
the idea that the drought is a punishment for sin. The altar is made
pure and acceptable and sin is removed in various symbolic ways. This
fits in with the idea that man is an intimate part of the world order.
His sin disturbs the order of nature. Heaven manifests displeasures by
sending down calamities upon men. Men should cease their wrongdoing
which disturbs the natural order and should also wash away the effects
of their sins. The services for rain with their magic formulas help to
clear away the consequences of sin and to predispose Heaven to grant its
blessings again.

_4. Monasteries Are Supported Because They Control Fêng-shui_

The prayers for rain are an important part of the Chinese peasant's
world order. Drought is the manifestation of Heaven's displeasure at the
infraction of Heaven's laws. It calls for self-examination and
repentance. Thus the monastery opens up the windows of the universal
order as this touches the humble tiller of the soil.

The Buddhist monasteries not only hold services in time of drought, but
also in time of flood and at times when plagues of grasshoppers afflict
the land, or when diseases afflict human beings. Their adoption of
Chinese customs led them to have special ceremonies at the eclipse of
the sun and moon, although they knew the cause of the eclipse. Peasants
and officials support the monastery because of these services regulating
the wind and water influences and through them bringing the people into
harmonious relation with the great world of spirits.


One of the criticisms of the Chinese against Buddhism is that it is
opposed to filial piety. According to Mencius the greatest unfilial act
is to leave no progeny. In spite of this charge Buddhism has done much
for the family. It has taken over the ethics of the family, filial
piety, obedience and respect for elders, and has made them a part of its
system. Transgression of these fundamental duties is visited by dire
punishments in the next world. The faithful observance is followed not
only by the rewards of the Confucian system, but results in the greatest
rewards in the future life.

_1. Kuan Yin, the Giver of Children and Protector of Women_

Buddhism has done more. Out of its atmosphere of love and mercy toward
all beings has developed Kuan Yin, the ideal of Chinese womanhood, the
goddess of Mercy, who embodies the Chinese ideal of beauty, filial piety
and compassion toward the weak and suffering. She is especially the
goddess of women, being interested in all their affairs. Her image is
found in almost every household and her temples have a place in every
part of China.

A brief history of this deity will enable us to understand the
significance of the cult. Kuan Yin started as a male god in India,
called Avalôkitêsvara, who was worshipped from the third to the seventh
century of our era. He was the protector of sailors and people in
danger. In the course of time, either in China or in India, the god
became a goddess. Some think that this was due to the influence of
Christianity. In China both forms survive, though the goddess is better
known. A Buddhist once said that a Bodhisattva is neither male nor
female and appears in whatever form is convenient.

Kuan Yin is a very popular goddess. Her experiences in Hades are
dramatically presented by traveling theatrical companies. Her deeds of
mercy are portrayed in art. Her well known story runs as follows:

Kuan Yin was the daughter of the ruler of a prosperous kingdom located
somewhere near the island of Sumatra. Her birth was announced to the
queen by a dream. The little girl ate no meat nor milk. Her disposition
was very good. Her intelligence was most extraordinary. Once she read
anything she never forgot it.

At the age of sixteen her father tried to betroth her to a young prince.
She refused and decided to give herself to a life of fasting and
abstinence. Angered b-v her obstinacy the father ordered her to take off
her court dress and jewels, to put on the garb of a servant and to carry
water for the garden. The garden never looked so beautiful. The daughter
also looked well and showed no signs of weariness, because the gods
assisted her in her work.

Relenting a little the king sent an older sister to urge Kuan Yin to
accept the husband he had found for her. When she refused, he sent her
to a monastery and charged the abbess to treat her harshly, so that she
might be forced to return home. Expecting to win the king's favor, the
abbess put the most unpleasant tasks on the girl. But again the gods
assisted her and made her work light, so that her tasks were always well
done and the young woman was cheerful.

One day the report came to the king that his daughter was associating
with a young monk discussing heterodox doctrines and that she had given
birth to a child. This news so enraged the king that he burned the
monastery, killing many monks. The princess was captured and brought
before him. Inasmuch as she was obdurate, the king ordered her to be
executed. The executioner's sword, however, broke into a thousand pieces
without doing her any injury. The king then ordered her to be strangled.
A golden image sixteen feet high appeared on the spot. The princess
laughed and cried: "Where there was no image, an image appeared. I see
the real form. When body flesh is strangled, then appear the lights of
ten thousand roads." She went to purgatory and purgatory at once changed
into paradise. Yama, in order to save his purgatory, sent her back to
the world. She appeared at Puto, an island off the coast of Chekiang
near Ningpo. Here she rescued sailors and performed many miracles for
people in distress.

In the meantime the father, who had committed many sins, became sick.
His allotted time of life had been shortened by twenty years. Moreover,
an ulcer grew on his body for every one of the five hundred monks he had
killed when he burned the monastery. A miserable, loathsome old man, he
came to an old monk, who was really the princess in disguise, and asked
for help. The monk told him that an eye and an arm of a blood relative
made into medicine was the only cure for his trouble. The two living
daughters were willing to make such an offering, but their husbands
would not permit them to do so. The old monk urged the monarch to take
up a life of abstinence, to rebuild the monastery he had burned, and to
provide money for services to take the five hundred monks whom he had
killed through purgatory. He also said that a nun in the convent would
offer an arm and an eye. When the monarch entered the monastery, he
found hanging before the incense burner an arm and an eye. These were
boiled, mixed with medicine and rubbed on the king's body. He soon
became well. Further inquiry revealed that these members belonged to his

This is the story of the most popular goddess in China. She is
worshipped by her devotees on the first and fifteenth of every month, on
the nineteenth of the sixth month, when she became a Bodhisattva, and on
the nineteenth of the ninth month, when she put on the necklace. A month
after marriage every young bride is presented with an image of the
Goddess of Mercy, an incense-burner and candlesticks.

This goddess is worshipped whenever trouble comes to man or woman. Her
names signify her willingness to listen to all prayers. She is the "one
who regards the voice," i.e., prayer; "one who hears the prayers of the
world;" "one who regards and exists by himself as sovereign;" "the
ancestor of Buddha who regards prayer;" "one who frees from fear;"
"Buddha the august king;" "the great white robed scholar;" "great
compassion and mercy."

_2. Kuan Yin, the Model of Local Mother-Goddesses_

This conception is the creation of the social and religious
consciousness of the women in China. It reveals their aspirations for
mercy, compassion, filial piety and for the beauty that crowns a well
developed character. Such an ideal does not mean that these have been
realized in all the numerous homes of the Chinese, but it manifests
their sense of such an ideal to be realized in life and their ardent
longing for its realization.

Mother-goddesses are found all over China and they have all of them been
influenced by Kuan Yin. Some of them have originated with actual women
who were deified after death. Here is the story of one of these
goddesses who presides over the censer in a small temple in Formosa. She
was born in the province of Kuangtung. At the age of seven she was
adopted by a family as the future wife of their eighteen-year-old son.
One day while crossing a river he was drowned. This was a great blow to
her. When she was fourteen years old the father of the family died. The
two women, thus left alone, wept bitterly day and night. The comfort of
relatives was of little avail. The mother was becoming emaciated with
grief. The daughter, unable to bear the strain any longer, washed
herself, burned incense before the ancestral tablet of her betrothed,
and then took this vow:

"I am willing to remain a virgin, to apply myself to carrying water and
working at the mortar and to serve my mother-in-law. If I cherish any
other purpose and change my chastity and obedience, may Heaven slay me
and earth annihilate me."

When the mother heard this vow she stopped her weeping. Inasmuch as they
had no uncle to look after them, they worked day and night. A relative
of her future husband gave her one of his sons as an adopted son. The
child died after a few months. This was a great grief. Then the mother
died. The daughter sold her possessions to obtain money for a proper
burial. She had only a coarse mourning cloth for her dress. After a
while she adopted a child as her son. When he grew up she found him a
wife who served her as faithfully as she had served her mother-in-law.
When she was eighty years old, she dreamed that the golden maid and jade
messenger of Kuan Yin stood beside her saying: "The court of Heaven has
ordered you to become a god (shên)." She died soon after this. She said
of herself:

"Shang Ti took compassion upon me during my life, because with a firm
heart I kept my chastity and served my mother-in-law with complete
obedience. Therefore he gave me the office of Kuan Pin. I have performed
my duties in several places. Now I am transferred to Formosa."

This story and many others like it mirror the moral ideals of the women
of China in the midst of their struggles for help and light and

_3. Exhortations on Family Virtues_

The Buddhists issue a large number of tracts. These are very commonly
paid for by devotees who make a vow that, if their parent becomes well,
they will pay for the printing of several hundred or thousand of these
tracts for free distribution. In these tracts are usually many stories
illustrating the rewards of filial piety. The story is told in one of
them about a Mrs. Chin whose father-in-law being ill was unable to
sleep for sixty days. His condition grew worse. Mrs. Chin knelt before
Kuan Yin's altar, cut out a piece of flesh from her arm and cooked it
with the father's food. His health at once improved and he lived to the
age of seventy-seven. Another story is told in the same tract of a woman
who cut out a piece of her liver and gave it as medicine to her

These Buddhist tracts take up all the moral habits which make the family
and clan strong and stable and surround them by the highest sanctions. A
tract picked up in a Buddhist temple at Hangchow purports to be the
revelation of the will of Buddha. It urges sixteen virtues. The first is
filial piety. The tract says:

"Filial piety is the chief of all virtues. Heaven and Earth honor filial
piety. There is no greater sin than to cherish unfilial thoughts. The
spirits know the beginning of such thoughts. Heaven openly rewards a
heart that is filial."

The second one mentioned is another important family virtue, namely,

"The saints, sages, immortals and Buddhas are the outgrowth of
reverence. The greatest sin is to lack reverence for father and mother.
When brothers lack reverence for one another, they harm the hands and
feet. When husband and wife lack reverence, the harmony of the household
is ruined. When friends do not have reverence, they bring about

Then follow similar exhortations on sincerity, justice, self-restraint,
forbearance, benevolence, generosity, absence of pride, covetousness,
lying, adultery, mutual love, self-denial, hope for the consolations of
religion and for an undivided heart ruled by peace. These are virtues
quite essential to the integrity of the family. They are taught, not in
the abstract but by the exhibition of shining examples, by vivid
representations of the rewards both here and hereafter, and by pictures
of awful punishments. So by precept and example, by threat of punishment
here and hereafter and by declaration of reward in the future Buddhism
has tried to maintain the family virtues of the Confucian system and has
attempted to permeate them by the spirit of sacrifice. Still it has
always been the sacrifice of the weak for the strong, of the young for
the aged, of the low for the high, of women for men.

_4. Services for the Dead_

Buddhism very early took over the relatively simple services for the
dead and developed them into an elaborate ritual which made very vivid
the spiritual universe which Buddhism introduced. In the sixth century a
service was held in behalf of the father-in-law of Emperor Ning Ti
(516-528 A. D.) for seven times every seven days. He feasted a thousand
monks every day, and caused seven persons to become monks. On the
hundredth day after the death he feasted ten thousand monks and caused
twenty-seven persons to become monks.

Since that time services on every seventh day after the decease until
the forty-ninth day, when a grand finale ends the ceremonies, have been
very popular.

The object of such services is to conduct the soul of the dead through
purgatory, in order that it may return to life or enter the Western
Paradise. This is done by making a pleasing offering to the guardians
and officers of purgatory, and to the gods and Bodhisattvas whose mercy
saves people. Numerous missives are consigned to the flames, informing
the rulers of the nether world about the soul of the dead; offerings of
gold and silver, of various articles of apparel, of trunks, houses, and
servants are made, all, however, made out of bamboo frames covered with
paper. Various powerful incantations are recited which force open the
gates of purgatory and let the soul out.

The services may be crowded into one day or they may be held on every
seventh day until the forty-ninth day, i.e., seven sevens. Various
explanations are given' for these services.

During the first week the soul of the dead arrives at the "Demon Gate
Barrier." Here money is demanded by the demons on the ground that in his
last transmigration the deceased borrowed money. Accordingly large
quantities of silver shoes [Footnote: The silver used for this purpose
is molded, in accordance with ancient usage, in the shape of shoes and
carried about in that form by merchants.] must be sent to the dead so
that he may settle all claims and avoid beating and inconvenience.
During the second week the soul arrives at a place where he is weighed.
If the evil outweighs the good, the soul is sawn asunder and ground to
powder. In the third week he comes to the "Bad Dog" village. Here good
people pass unharmed, but the evil are torn by the fierce beasts until
the blood flows. In the fourth week the soul is confronted with a large
mirror in which he sees his evil deeds and their consequences, seeing
himself degraded in the next transmigration to a beast. In the fifth
week the soul views the scenes in his own village.

In the sixth week he reaches the bridge which spans the "Inevitable
River." This bridge is 100,000 feet high and one and three-tenths of an
inch wide. It is crossed by riding astride as on a horse. Beneath rushes
the whirl-pool filled with serpents darting their heads to and fro. At
the foot of the bridge lictors force unwilling travelers to ascend. The
good do not cross this bridge, but are led by "golden youth" to gold and
silver bridges which cross the stream on either side of this "Bridge of

In the seventh week the soul is taken first to Mrs. Wang who dispenses a
drink which blots out all memories of the earthly life. Then the
individual enters the great wheel of transmigration. This is divided
into eighty-one sections from which one hundred and eight thousand small
and tortuous paths radiate out into the four continents of the world.
The soul is directed along one of these paths and is duly reborn in the
world as an animal or as a human being or passes on into the Western

In imitation of this bridge a bridge is built of tables in front of the
home of the dead. At the end the tables are placed upside down and a
lantern placed on each table-leg. At night this bridge is illuminated. A
company of monks repeat their prayers and incantations, while others
mount upon the bridge to impersonate devils. The pious son with the
tablet of his deceased parent comes to take his father over the bridge.
When his way is disputed by the demons, he falls on his knees and begs
and gives them money, negotiating the passage at last with the aid of a
large quantity of silver.

Another ceremony is the breaking through purgatory. Five supplications
duly signed are addressed to the proper authorities, four being
suspended at each of the four sides of the table and one at the center.
Tiles are then placed over the table or on the ground. After
incantations have been repeated to the accompaniment of the sounding of
the bell and the wooden fish, the supplications are burned and the tiles
are broken as a symbol of breaking through purgatory and of releasing
the soul.

Thus Buddhism has taken over the most important function of ancestor
worship, has extended it and made it more significant to each individual
as well as to the family.



_1. How the Laity is Trained in Buddhist Ideas_

A common way of emphasizing moral ideas among the people by Buddhist
teachers is the use of tracts purporting to have a divine origin. The
following gives the substance of such a tract:

Not long ago in the province of Shantung, there was a sharp and sudden
clap of thunder. After the frightened people had collected their wits,
they discovered a small book written in red in front of the house of a
certain Mr. Li. Mr. Li picked up the book, copied it and read it
reverently. He gave a copy to Mr. Ma, the prefect, but Mr. Ma did not
believe in the book. Thereupon Maitrêya, the Messiah of the Buddhists,
spoke from the sky as follows:

  "These are the years of the final age. The people under
  heaven do not reverence Heaven and Earth, they are not
  filial to father and mother, they do not respect their
  superiors. They cheat the fatherless, impose upon the
  widow, oppress the weak; they use large weights for
  themselves and small measures for others. They injure the good.
  They covet for their own profit. They cheat men of money,
  use the five grains carelessly, kill the cow that draws the
  plow. This volume is sent for their special benefit. If
  they recite it they will avoid trouble. If they disbelieve,
  the years with the cyclical character _Ping_ and _Ting_ will
  have fields without men to plant them and houses without
  men to live in them. In the fifth month of these years
  evil serpents will infest the whole country. In the eighth
  and ninth months the bodies of evil men will fill the land.

  "Those who believe this book and propagate its teachings
  will not encounter the ten sorrows of the age: war,
  fire, no peace day and night, separation of man and wife,
  the scattering of the sons and daughters, evil men spread
  over the country, dead bones unburied, clothing with no
  one to wear it, rice with no one to eat it, and the difficulty
  of ever seeing a peaceful year. Sâkyamuni foreseeing this
  final age sent down this volume in Shantung. The Goddess
  of Mercy saw the sorrows of all living beings.
  Maitrêya commanded the two runners of T'ai Shan, the
  god of the Eastern Mountain, to investigate the conduct
  of men and as a first punishment to increase the price of
  rice, and then besides the ten sorrows already mentioned
  above, to inflict the punishments of flood, fire, wind,
  thunder, tigers, snakes, sword, disease, famine and cold.
  The rule of Sâkyamuni which has lasted twelve thousand
  years is now fulfilled, and Maitrêya succeeds to his place."

These sorrows may be escaped by reciting this sutra whose substance we
find above. If it is repeated three times the person will escape the
calamity of fire and water. If one man passes it on to ten men and ten
men pass it on to a hundred, they will escape the calamities of sword,
disease and imprisonment, and receive blessings which cannot be
measured. He who in addition to repeating the sutra practices abstinence
will insure peace for himself. He who presents one hundred copies to
others will insure his personal peace. He who presents a thousand copies
will insure the peace of his family. He who is attacked by disease, may
escape it by taking five cash of the reign of Shun Chih (1644-1661 A.
D.), the first emperor of the Ch'ing dynasty, one mace of the seed of
cypress, one mace of the bark of mulberry, boil in one bowl of water
until only eight-tenths of the water remain, drink and he will become

In this way the five Buddhist commandments for the laity not to kill any
living creature, not to steal, not to commit adultery, not to lie, and
not to use intoxicating liquor are propagated and made real to the
common man. The method is quite efficient. Whole provinces have been put
into a panic by such prophecies.

_2. Effect of Ideals of Mercy and Universal Love_

The command not to kill any living being has had considerable influence
in China. There are volumes of stories telling of the punishments which
will be visited upon those who disobey and of the rewards of those who
release living animals. Every monastery has a special place for animals
thus released by pious devotees.

There is a popular story about a fishmonger of the T'ang dynasty who was
taken sick and during his illness dreamed that he was taken to
purgatory. His body was aflame with fire and pained him as though he
were being roasted. Flying fiery chariots with darting flames swept
around him and burned his body. Ten thousand fish strove with one
another to get a bite of his flesh. The ruler of the lower regions
accused him of killing many fish and hence his punishment. For a number
of days he was hanging between life and death. His relatives were urged
to perform some works of penance. They had his fishing implements
burned. With reverent hearts they made two images of Kuan Yin, presented
offerings and repented. The whole family performed abstinence, stopped
killing living things, printed and gave away over a hundred copies of
the Diamond Sutra, and ferried over a large number of souls through
purgatory. As a result of their efforts the sick man became well.

The following comment was made on the above story by a scholar. If its
premises are granted, the conclusion is inevitable:

"If the fiery chariots are seal, why does not man see them? If they are
false, how is it that man feels the pain? But where do the fiery
chariots come from? They come from the heart and head of the one who
kills fish. The fire in the heart (heart belongs to the element fire)
causes destruction. The chariot fire also causes destruction."

This attitude of mercy has been extended to human beings. There are
numerous tracts against the drowning of little girls in those regions
where this custom is prevalent. One tells the following story:

In the province of Kwangtung there lived a Mrs. Chang who daily burned
incense and repeated Buddha's name. One day she and her husband died.
Much to their surprise and consternation Yama (the potentate of hell)
decided that Mr. Chang must become a pig and Mrs. Chang a dog. Mrs.
Chang accordingly went to Yama and said, "During life we honored Buddha
and so why should we become animals after death?" Yama said, "What use
is it to honor Buddha? During life you drowned three girls whom I sent
into life. People with the face of a man and the heart of a beast,
should they not be punished?" The husband accordingly took on a pig's
skin and the wife a dog's. Then by a dream they revealed to their
brother Chang number two that, although they repeated Buddha's name,
they were not permitted to be reborn as men, because they had drowned
little girls.

Perhaps the extent of this spirit, of mercy and its possibilities may be
illustrated by the reverence for the ox. While there is a great deal of
cruelty in China to animals and men, it is rarely that one sees an ox
abused. Up to the advent of the foreigner an ox was not killed for meat.
In many places in China today the slaughter of an ox would bring the
punishments of the law upon the butcher. No doubt this reverence is due
to the great Indian reverence for the cow. The law of kindness has been
extended to other animals, taking the rather spectacular form of
releasing a few decrepit animals and allowing them to spend their last
days in a monastery compound. There are many kindly things done in
China. The dead are buried, the sick are provided with medicine. Every
year numerous wadded garments are given away to poor people. Various
groups carrying on a humble ministry of helpfulness have found a real
inspiration in the ideals held before them in Buddhism, the rewards
promised and punishments threatened.

_3. Relation to Confucian Ideals_

Why have not these ideals exercised a larger influence in China? The
answer is quite simple. The activities of the monks have been
strenuously opposed by the Confucian state system. The philosopher,
Chang Nan-hsiian, a contemporary of Chu-Hsi, states concisely for us the
differences betwen Confucianism and Buddhism in his comment on a passage
in the _Book of Records._

"Strong drink is a thing intended to be-used in offering sacrifices and
entertaining guests,--such employment of it is what Heaven has
prescribed. But men by their abuse of such drink come to lose their
virtue and destroy their persons--such employment of it is what Heaven
has annexed its terrors to. The Buddhists, hating the use of things
where Heaven sends down its terrors, put away as well the use of them
which Heaven has prescribed.

"For instance, in the use of meats and drinks, there is such a thing as
wildly abusing and destroying the creatures of Heaven. The Buddhists,
disliking this, confine themselves to a vegetable diet, while we only
abjure wild abuse and destruction. In the use of clothes, again, there
is such a thing as wasteful extravagance. The Buddhists, disliking this,
will have no clothes but those of a dark and sad color, while we only
condemn extravagance. They, further, through dislike of criminal
connection between the sexes, would abolish the relation between husband
and wife, while we denounce only the criminal connection.

"The Buddhists, disliking the excesses to which the evil desires of men
lead, would put away, along with them, the actions which are in
accordance with the justice of heavenly principles, while we, the
orthodox, put away the evil desires of men, whereupon what are called
heavenly principles are the more brightly seen. Suppose the case of a
stream of water. The Buddhists, through dislike of its being foul with
mud, proceed to dam it up with earth. They do not consider that when the
earth has dammed up the stream, the supply of water will be cut off. It
is not so with us, the orthodox. We seek only to cleanse away the mud
and sand, so that the pure water may be available for use. This is the
difference between the Buddhists and the Learned School." [Footnote:
_Shu King,_ Pt. V, Bk. X, p. 122.]

This statement reveals at once the opposition of the sect of the Learned
and the influence which Buddhism exerted upon its members.

Buddhism while enjoying occasional favor from the state was often
zealously persecuted. In 819 Han Yii issued his celebrated act of
accusation. In 845 the emperor Wu Tsung issued his decree of
secularization. At that time 4600 monasteries and 40,000 smaller
establishments were pulled down and 265,000 monks and nuns were sent
back to lay life. Their rich lands were confiscated. Under the Ming
dynasty, as well as under the Ch'ing dynasty, Buddhism enjoyed a
precarious existence. Whether Buddhism would have improved the moral
conditions of the Chinese; if it had been given a free hand, is
difficult to affirm. Still its failure is at least partly due to the
opposition of Confucian orthodoxy.

_4. The Embodiment of Buddhist Ideals in the Vegetarian sects_

The state persecutions of Buddhism forced it to leave temporarily its
institutional life and trust itself to the people. These persecutions
were usually followed by a revival of piety and religion among the
people. The Buddhist teachers gathered about themselves a large number
of lay devotees who formed societies which practice religious rites in
secret. These sects have preserved the genuine Buddhist piety, not only
in times of persecution, but at times when the Buddhist organization
under imperial favor was departing from its simplicity.

A number of these sects have continued under different names for several
centuries. For example, the Tsai Li, a society now enjoying a quiet
existence in North China, is successor to the White Lotus society. The
latter started in the fifth century. Its members sought salvation in the
Pure Land of Amitabha. In the eleventh century it enjoyed imperial
favor. During the Mongol dynasty it fought against the throne with
rebels and placed one of its leaders, Chu Yüan-chang, a monk, on the
throne, who became the founder of the Ming dynasty. The sect was soon
proscribed and its members persecuted by the government. During the
Ch'ing dynasty it took part in a rebellion and was ruthlessly
exterminated. At present it goes under the name of _Tsai Li,_ i.e.,
within the Li or principles of the three religions. It is a mediator
among the three religions.

There are thirty-one organizations of this sect in Peking and branches
throughout North China. The society forbids the use of wine and opium,
though it does not forbid the use of meat. It usually has a Buddhist
image, Kuan Yin or some other. It uses Buddhist prayers and
incantations. The outstanding doctrines held during its long history
have been the hope of salvation in the Western Heaven of Amitâbha, the
early coming of Maitrêya, the Buddhist Messiah, and the large use of
magic formulas and incantations.

Another sect which embodies Buddhist ideals is the Chin Tan, the sect of
the philosopher's stone or pill of immortality. Its founder was the
writer of the Nestorian tablet and so the sect is related to
Christianity. It exalts the teaching of universal love. This is one of
several examples of a supposed contact between Buddhism and

These sects of which the two above are examples are present in all parts
of China. They obey the five Buddhist commandments for laymen. The
members spend much time in fasting and prayer, and in the repetition of
Buddhist books. Their lives as a rule are simple and sincere. They are
preparing for rebirth in the land of Amitâbha, or are expecting the
early coming of the Buddhist Messiah to set this world right. In the
meantime, by means of incantations, personal regimen and cooperative
action they are doing all they can to usher in a better state.

_5. Pilgrimages_

Pilgrimages are very popular in China. The famous Buddhist shrines are
Wu T'ai Shan in Shansi, Puto on the coast of Chekiang, Chiu Hua Shan in
Anhwei, and Omei Shan in Szechuan. These, one on each side of China,
represent the four elements of Buddhist science, wind, water, fire and
earth. They are also the centers of the worship of the four great
Bodhisattvas, Wenshu, Kuan Yin, Titsang and Puhsien. Besides these large
centers there are many others to which pilgrims direct their footsteps.

In the spring of the year, when the god of spring covers the earth with
a green mantle, when the sky and winds call, many start on their
pilgrimage. Many go singly and laboriously, kneeling and bowing every
few steps. Others go in happy companies, chaperoned by a pious, village
dame, who has organized the group. Some go because their turn has come.
They are members of a guild which has a fund devoted to pilgrimages by
its members. Some go for the performance of a vow made to Kuan Yin, when
the father was sick unto death and the goddess prolonged his life. To
others it is the culmination of a pious life. All go for the joy which
travel in the spring gives.

Puto, an island off the coast of Chekiang, is the goal of many pilgrims
from all parts of China. In, the monasteries on the island are about two
thousand monks. In the pilgrim season this number is increased to ten
thousand monks and thousands of lay pilgrims.

A group of pilgrims was going along merrily. The sun was bright,
lighting up the white caps on the deep blue sea. Spring was rioting all
about. One member was an abbot from Hangchow. A small, humble-looking
man with a few straggling long hairs where the mustache usually grows,
was a lay Buddhist from Wuchang. One was a bright young monk from
Tientsin. Last, but almost omnipresent and always bubbling over, was a
servant of the abbot from Hangchow. He was in the presence of divinity
and his whole life was heightened for the time being. "Why did you
come!" they were asked. "We came to worship the holy mother, Kuan Yin."
When they entered a shrine each purchased three sticks, of incense and
two candles and reverently placed them before the image of the goddess,
kneeling and bowing. Then they sat and partook of the tea offered by the
attendant. After paying a small gratuity, they went on to the next

On the way a large black snake as thick as an arm lazily crossed over
the road. They stood, reverent and awestruck, until he disappeared in
the grass, remarking that this was a good omen. When crossing a sand
dune piled up by the winds the abbot from Hangchow remarked that this
was called the flying sand, wafted there by the goddess who took pity on
some travelers who had been compelled to cross a narrow strait in order
to come to a cave. This cave, called Fan Yin Tung, is one of the rifts
made by an earthquake and washed out by wind and waves. Below it rushes
the tide; from above the sun sends down a few rays. Each pilgrim after
offering incense looks into the darkness to see whether he can behold in
the dark cavern an image of some Buddha. One sees Kuan Yin and is
acclaimed as having had a good vision. Another sees the Laughing Buddha.
All exclaim that he has been the most fortunate of all, for this Buddha
is the Messiah to come and he who beholds him will be blessed. So from
place to place they wander, chatting and seeing the sights of the
island. Thus thousands are doing in various parts of China, and in this
way strengthening the hold of Buddhism upon themselves and their



Before the advent of Buddhism the Chinese had only a vague idea
regarding life after death. The Land and Water Classic mentions the Tu
Shuo mountain in the Eastern Sea, under which spirits of the dead live,
the entrance guarded by two spirits, Shên Tu and Yü Lei, who are in
general control of the demons. In some parts of China the names or
pictures, of these spirits are placed on the doors of a house to guard
it. The Taoists early developed the idea of a western paradise presided
over by the Queen of the West, located at first in the K'un Lun
mountains and later in the islands of the Eastern Sea. This heaven,
however, was limited to Taoist hermits and mystics. Buddhism made a
complete purgatory and heaven known to every one in China.

_1. The Buddhist Purgatory_

This is really Buddhism's most noteworthy addition to China's religious
equipment; Buddhism lays much stress upon the experiences of a soul
immediately after death. Its punishments are well known to every
individual. The temple of the City Guardian found in every walled city
has a replica of the court in purgatory over which he presides. In the
temples of T'ai Shan there is an elaborate exhibit of the tortures
inflicted on culprits in purgatory. Every funeral service conducted by
Buddhists or Taoists is intended to conduct the soul of the dead through
purgatory and pictures vividly the progressive experiences from the
first seventh day to the seventh seventh day. On the the seventh month,
on the fifteenth day [about August] a special service is held for the
souls of the dead in purgatory. Furthermore, every community has a
general service [about October] for the souls of those who died a
violent death or who have no one to look after them. During the war many
services were thus held for those who died on the battlefields of
Europe. At such services the scenes in purgatory are vividly portrayed
by pictures and figures. The temples distribute tracts with pictures of
purgatory so that women may see them and understand. On the stage are
often acted powerful plays whose scenes are laid in Hades. This
propaganda is perhaps the most efficient of its kind.

Purgatory is depicted as consisting of ten courts each surrounded by
small hells, where the soul undergoes punishment and cleansing. The
fifth court, which may be taken as an example of the other courts, is in
charge of Yen Lo or Yama. Yama was once in charge of the first court,
but his tender heart pitied the souls who came before him and sent them
back to earth. Because of this leniency he was placed in charge of the
fifth court.

When a soul has passed through the first four courts and it has been
discovered that there is no good conduct to its credit, it is led to the
fifth court and examined every seven days regarding past conduct. In
order to get back to the world of men, it eagerly promises to complete
various unfinished vows, such as to repair monasteries, schools,
bridges, or roads, to clean wells, to deepen rivers, to distribute good
books, to release animals, to take care of aged parents, or to bury them
suitably. But it is plainly told that the gods know its artifices, and
that now these unfinished tasks can never be completed. The gods have
reached the unanimous opinion that no injustice is being done.
Accordingly there is no appeal, but each soul is led by attendants with
bulls' heads and horses' faces to a tower whence they may see their
native village. Its front is in the shape of a bow with a perimeter of
twenty-seven miles; its height is four hundred and ninety feet. It is
guarded by walls of sword trees.

Good men, whose deeds of omission are balanced by the good they have
done, return to life. Only souls judged to be evil see their village
from this tower. These can see their own families moving about, and can
hear their conversation. They realize how they disobeyed the teachings
of their elders. They see that the earthly goods for which they have
struggled are of no value. Their plottings rise up with lurid reality.
They see how they planned a new marriage although already married, how
they appropriated fields, state property, and falsified accounts,
putting the blame on persons who were dead. While they observe their
village they behold their erstwhile friends touch their coffin and
inwardly rejoice. They hear themselves called selfish and insincere. But
their punishment does not stop here. They behold their children punished
by magistrates, their women afflicted with strange diseases, their
daughters ravished, their sons led astray, their property taken away,
the ancestral house burned and their business ruined. From this tower
all passes before them as a lurid dream and they are stricken in heart.

About the fifth court are sixteen small hells where the soul is
punished. In each one are stakes buried in the ground and fierce
animals. The hands and feet of the guilty one are bound to a stake, his
body is opened with small knives, and his heart and intestines quickly

In each of these sixteen hells is a certain type of sinner: (1) Those
who do not reverence the gods and demons and who doubt the existence of
rewards and punishments; (2) those who hurt and kill living beings; (3)
those who break their vows to do good; (4) those who resort to heterodox
practices and vainly hope to attain eternal life; (5) those who upbraid
good men, fear the wicked and hate men because they do not die speedily;
(6) those who strive with other people and then put the blame upon them;
(7) men who force women; and women who seduce young men, and all who
have libidinous desires; (8) those who gain profit for themselves by
injuring others; (9) the stingy and those who absolutely disregard
others, whether alive or dead, giving them no help in dire need, when
they can do so without injury to themselves; (10) those who steal and
put the crime upon others; (11) those who requite favors with hate; (12)
those whose hearts are perverse and poisonous, who instigate others to
do wrong even if they may not have carried out their suggestion; (13)
those who tempt others by deceit; (14) those who involve others in their
squabbles and in gambling and then themselves win out; (15) those who
stubbornly persist in their false ideas, do not repent, and slander
others; (16) those who hate good and virtuous men.

Besides these sixteen sorts of sinners the fifth court deals with other
types of wicked people; those who do not believe in rewards and
punishments after death, who hinder good causes, who burn incense
without a sincere heart, speak of the sins of others, who burn books
that urge men to be good and worship the Great Dipper, but persist in
eating meat; those who hate men; who repeat sutras and incantations, and
take part in religious ceremonies, but do not fast beforehand; who
slander the Buddhist and Taoist religions; who know how to read, but
refuse to read the ancient and modern exhortations regarding rewards and
punishments; who dig into graves and destroy their marks, who purposely
set fire to trees and underbrush, or are careless with fire in their own
houses; who shoot arrows at animals with the intent, to kill; who urge
and tempt the sick and weak to enter into contests of any kind with
themselves; who throw tiles and stones over neighboring walls, poison
fish in the river, fire guns, or make nets or traps for birds; who sow
salt on the ground, who do not bury dead eats and snakes very deep and
thus cause death to those who dig; who cause men to dig the frozen
ground in winter or spring (the vapors of earth chill such diggers to
death); who tear down adjoining walls and compel their neighbors to move
the kitchen stove; who appropriate public highways, lands, close wells
and stop gutters.

Those who have committed any of the above sins are taken, to the tower
whence they can see their own village and then are consigned to the
great crying hell, Râurava, that is, the fourth of the Buddhist hot
hells. [Footnote: Buddhism distinguishes hot and cold hells. In a
country like India severe cold is a serious torture.] Thence they go to
their respective small hells. When their time has expired, they are
examined in order to see whether they have any other sins which need

Those who have committed any of the above sins may not only escape
punishment, but may have their punishment in the sixth court lessened,
if they fast regularly on the eighth day of the first month and take a
vow not to commit these sins. Some sins, however, cannot be arranged for
in such a way, such as the killing of living beings and hurting them;
the associating with heretics; committing fornication with women and
then poisoning them; committing adultery, violence, envy, or injuring
the good name of others; stealing, requiting favors with hatred, and
hearing exhortation but not repenting. These are major sins.

_2. Its Social Value_

The social value of purgatory is quite plain from the description of the
fifth court and of the sinners who are punished therein. Purgatory is
the social mirror of China, wherein the consequences of all unsocial
acts are pictured in such a vivid way as to deter the individual from
committing them. It is effective in China, not only because of the
realistic presentation, but because the opinion of the community is
against such acts and in favor of repressing them on every occasion.

_3. The Buddhist Heaven._

Buddhism brought into China not only a fully developed purgatory but
also a heaven which all may enter. The sovereign of the western heaven
is Amitâbha (or in Chinese O-mi-to-fo), with whom Kuan Yin, the goddess
of Mercy, is usually associated. Amitâbha is explained as meaning
"boundless age." The original meaning is "boundless light," which
suggests a Persian origin with Mannichean influences. The translations
of the Amitâbha sutras were wholly made by natives of central Asia.

Amitâbha is one of the thousand Buddhas; he is regarded as the reflex of
Sakyamuni and is connected also in his earthly incarnation with a monk
called Dharmâkara. This monk desired to become a Buddha. This wish he
presented to Lôkês'vararâja asking him to teach him as to what a Buddha
and a Buddha country ought to be. Lôkês'vararâja imparted this
knowledge. Then the monk after meditation returned having made
forty-eight vows that he would not become a Buddha, until all living
beings should attain salvation in his heaven.

The eighteenth vow expresses his ideal:

"O Bhagavat, if those beings who have directed their thought towards the
highest perfect knowledge in other worlds, and who, after having heard
my name, when I have obtained Bodhi (knowledge), have meditated on me
with serene thoughts; if at the moment of their death, after having
approached them surrounded by an assembly of monks, I should not stand
before them worshipped by them, that is, so that their thoughts should
not be troubled, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge."

A few extracts from the _Amitâbha Vyûha Sûtra_ will illustrate the
Buddhist idea of life in this Pure Land:

"In the western region beyond one hundred thousand myriads of Buddhist
lands there is a world. Great Happiness by name. This land has a Buddha
called Amitâbha. The living beings there do not suffer any pain, but
enjoy all happiness. Therefore, it is called the land of Pure Delight
... the land of Pure Delight has seven precious fountains full of water
containing the eight virtues. The bottom of these fountains is covered
with golden sand. On four sides there are steps made of gold, silver,
crystal and glass, precious stones, red pearls, and highly polished
agates. In the pools are variously colored, light emitting lotus flowers
as large as cart wheels, delicate, admirable, odorous and pure..."

"The Buddha of this land makes heavenly music. It is covered with gold.
Morning and evening during six hours it rains the wonderful celestial
flowers (Erythrina Indica). All the inhabitants of this land on clear
mornings after dressing offer these celestial flowers to the hundred
thousand myriads of Buddhas of the regions who return to their country
at meal time. When they have eaten they go away again."

"This country possesses every kind of wonderful varicolored birds, the
white egret, the peacock, the parrot, the s'rarika (a long legged bird),
the Kalavingka (a sweet voiced bird) ... All these birds, morning and
evening during the six hours, utter forth a beautiful harmonious sound.
Their song produces the five _indrya_ (roots of faith, energy,
memory, ecstatic meditation, wisdom), the five _bala_ (the powers
of faith, energy, memory, meditation and wisdom), the seven
_bodhyanga_ (the seven degrees of intelligence, memory,
discrimination, energy, tranquillity, ecstatic contemplation,
indifference), and the eight portions of the correct path _marga,_
(the possession of correct views, decision and purity of thought and
will, the ability of reproducing any sound uttered in the universe, vow
of poverty, asceticism, attainment of meditative abstraction of
self-control, religious recollectedness, honesty and virtue), and such
doctrines. When all beings of this land have heard the music, they
declare their faithfulness to the Buddha, Dharma and the Sangha (the
Buddha, the Law and the community of monks)."

As to those who enter this land it says:

"All living beings who hear this should make a vow to be born in that
land. How can they reach the Pure Land? All very good men will gather in
that place ... He whose blessedness and virtue are great can be born
into that country. If there is a good man or woman who, on hearing of
Amitâbha, takes this name and holds it in his mind one, two, three,
four, five, six, or seven days, and his whole heart is not distracted,
to that man at death Amitâbha will appear. His heart will not be
disturbed. He will at once enter into life in the land of Pure Delight
of Amitâbha. I see this blessing and hence utter these words. Those
living beings who hear these words should make a vow to be born in that

_4. The Harmonization of These Ideas with Ancestor Worship_

The extension of life beyond the grave in purgatory, or in the Pure Land
and through transmigration was readily accepted in China. Both the new
ideas and the disciplines through which to realize them were eagerly
adopted, and have held their place to this day. In other lands the
creation of a heaven and a hades has weakened the grip of ancestor
worship and ultimately displaced it. In China the opposite result has
obtained, due, no doubt, to the fact that the family system and along
with it the supreme duty of filial piety were fostered by the state and
Buddhism and its teachings were permitted only in so far as they
bolstered it up. Another reason lies in the agricultural basis of
China's civilization, reenforced by the great difficulty of
communication, which tended to make the family system dominant in China.
Today, the improvement of communication and the introduction of the
industrial system of the West with the individual emphasis of modern
education are factors which are weakening the family system and with it
ancestral worship.



Near the House of Parliament in Peking is located a small monastery
dedicated to the goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin. Before her image the
incense burners send forth curling clouds of smoke. The walls are
decorated with old paintings of gods and goddesses. The temple with its
courtyard has the appearance of prosperity. Its neat reception room,
with its tables, chairs and clock, shows the influence of the modern

Here a monk in the prime of life spent a few months recently lecturing
on Buddhism to members of parliament and to scholars from various parts
of China. Frequently the writer used to drop in of an afternoon to
discuss Buddhism and its outlook. Usually a simple repast concluded
these conversations, the substance of which forms the greater part of
this section.

_1. The Threefold Classification of Men Under Buddhism_

"What does Buddhism do for men?"

"There are in the world at least three classes of men. The lowest class
live among material things, they are occupied with possessions. Their
life is entangled in the crude and coarse materials which they regard as
real. A second, higher class, regard ideas as realities. They are not
entangled in the maze of things, but are confused by ideas, ascribing
reality to them. The third and highest class are those who by meditation
have freed themselves from the thraldom of ideas and can enter the
sixteen heavens."

_2. Salvation for the Common Man_

"What can Buddhism do for the lowest class?"

"For this class Buddhism has the ten prohibitions. Every man has in him
ten evils, which must be driven out. Three have to do with evil in the
body, namely, not to steal, not to kill, not to commit adultery; four
belong to the mouth, lying, exaggeration, abuse, and ambiguous talk;
three belong to the mind, covetousness, malice, and unbelief."

"Is not this entirely negative?"

"Yes, but it is necessary, for during the process of eliminating these
evil deeds, man acquires patience and equanimity. Buddhism does not stop
with the prohibitions. The believer must practice the ten charitable
deeds. Not only must he remove the desire to kill living beings, but he
must cultivate the desire to save all beings. Not only must he not
steal, but he must assist men with his money. Not only must he not give
himself to lasciviousness, but he must treat all men with propriety. So
each prohibition involves a positive impulse to virtue, which is quite
as essential as the refraining from evil."

"What energizing power does Buddhism provide?"

"First, is purgatory with its terrors. The evil man, seeing the
consequences of his acts upon himself, becomes afraid to do them and
does that which is good. Then there is transmigration with the danger of
transmigration into beasts and insects. Again, there are the rewards in
the paradise of Amitâbha. Moreover, there is even the possibility not
only of saving one's self, but by accumulated merit of saving one's
parents and relatives and shortening their stay in purgatory."

_3. The Place of Faith_

"Can any man enter the western paradise of Amitâbha?"

"Yes, it is open to all men. The sutra says: 'If there be any one who
commits evil deeds, and even completes the ten evil actions, the five
deadly sins and the like; that man, being himself stupid and guilty of
many crimes, deserves to fall into a miserable path of existence and
suffer endless pains during many long ages. On the eve of death he may
meet a good and learned teacher who, soothing and encouraging him in
various ways, will preach to him the excellent Law and teach him the
remembrance of Buddha, but being harassed by pains', he will have no
time to think of Buddha.'"

"What hope has such a man?"

"Even such a man has hope. The sutra says: 'Some good friend will say to
him: Even if thou canst not exercise the remembrance of Buddha, utter
the name of Buddha Amitabha.' Let him do so serenely with his voice
uninterrupted; let him be (continually) thinking of Buddha, until he has
completed ten times the thought, repeating 'Namah O-mi-to-fo,' I put my
trust in Buddha! On the strength of (his merit of) uttering Buddha's
name he will, during every repetition expiate the sins which involve him
in births and deaths during eighty millions of long ages. He will, while
dying, see a golden lotus-flower, like the disk of the sun, appearing
before his eyes; in a moment he will be born in the world of highest
happiness. After twelve greater ages the lotus-flower will unfold;
thereupon the Bodhisattvas, Avalôkitësvaras and Mahasattva's, raising
their voices in great compassion, will preach to him in detail the real
state of all the elements of nature and the law of the expiation of

"Does faith save such a man?"

"Yes, not his own faith, but the faith which prompted the vow of
Amitabha. Amitâbha's faith in the possibility of his salvation gives him
supreme confidence that he will attain salvation. All he needs is to
have the desire to be born in that paradise and to repeat the name of

_4. Salvation of the Second Class_

"How do those of the second class attain salvation?"

"The men of the second class regard ideas as realities. They are not
entangled in the maze of things, but are confused by ideas, regarding
them as real. These men do not need images and outward sanctions, but
they need heaven and purgatory though regarding them as ideas. By
performing the ten good deeds they will obtain a quiet heart, having no
fear, and become saints and sages. Among men, saints and sages occupy a
high rank, but not so among Buddhists. By merit of good works merely
they enter the planes of sensuous desire, the six celestial worlds
located immediately above the earth."

_5. Salvation for the Highest Class_

"And the third class?"

"This class has many ranks. There are those who by the practice of
meditation (four _dkyanas_) [Footnote: Dhyana means contemplation.
In later times under the influence of the idea of transmigration heavens
were imagined which corresponded to the degrees of contemplation.] can
enter the sixteen heavens conditioned by form. By the practice of the
four _arûpa-dhyânas_ [Footnote: That degree of abstract
contemplation from which all sensations are absent.] they enter the four
highest heavens free from all sensuous desires and not conditioned by
form. These heavens are the anteroom of Nirvana."

"What is the driving power in all this?"

"It is _vîrya_ or energy."

_6. Heaven and Purgatory_

"Do heaven and purgatory exist?"

"Heaven and purgatory are in the minds and hearts of men. Really heaven
is in the mind of Amitâbha and purgatory exists in the illusioned brains
of men."

"Does anything exist?"

"Nâgârjuna says: 'There is no production, no destruction, no
annihilation, no persistence, no unity, no plurality, no coming in and
no going forth.'"

_7. Sin_

"Does sin exist?"

"In the mind of the real Buddhist sin and virtue are different aspects
of the all. Sin is illusion; virtue is illusion, There is a higher unity
in which they are reconciled."

_8. Nirvâna_

_"Do you know of any one who attained Nirvâna?"_

"Yes, I have experienced it. It is not a state beyond the grave. It is a
state into which one can enter here."

"Can you express this experience in words?"

"Impossible. I can only indicate the shore of this great ocean. At first
I was in great distress and agony, as though carrying the illusions of
the world. Then came a great peace and calm, ineffable, serene, and
surpassing the power of language to express."

_9. The Philosophical Background_

"What is behind this universe!"

"Underlying this universe of phenomena and change there is a unity. It
is the basis of all being. It is within all being and all being rests in
it. It is because of this common background that men are able to
apprehend it. This universal basis we call _dharma,_ or law. Its
characteristics are that everything born grows old, is subject to
disease and death; that the teachings of Buddha purify the mind and
enable it to obtain supreme enlightenment; that all Buddhas by treading
the same way of perfection will attain the highest freedom."

"You speak of the Buddhist Trinity."

"Yes, we have the Dharmakâya. This is the essence-body, the ground of
all being, taking many forms, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, spirits, angels,
men and even demons. It is impersonal, all-pervasive. It may be called
the first person. The second person is the Sambhogakâya, the body of
bliss. This is the heavenly manifestation of Buddha. The third person is
the Nirmânakâya. This is the projection of the body of bliss on earth."

Some identify this trinity with that of the Christian faith. While there
is a resemblance, we should note that the first person of the Buddhist
trinity would correspond to God as the absolute or the impersonal
background of universal Being. The second corresponds to the glorified
Christ and the third to the historic Jesus. There is no counterpart
either to God the Father or to the Holy Spirit.

"Do you believe in the salvation of all beings?"

"Yes, all have the Buddha heart. All living beings will finally become

Then turning to a friend of mine the speaker said: "What have you done
in Buddhism?" The friend answered: "I have written and translated many
books." "I do not mean that," he answered. "What _work_ have you
done?" The friend confessed that he had not done much else. Then he
said: "Every morning when you awake, reflect deeply and profoundly upon
your state before you were born. Think back to that state where your
soul was merged with Buddha. Find yourself in that state and you will
find ineffable enlightenment and joy."

The sun was setting behind the Western hills. The blare of trumpets
sounded on the city wall. Outside of the door was the whirling sound of
Peking returning home from its mundane tasks and joys. We joined the
rushing, restless crowd and still we felt the calm of another world. Has
not Christianity a message of balm and peace for these sons of the East
who are so sensitive to the touch of the eternal and sublime?

_10. What Buddhism Has to Give_

An important government official obliged to deal with many vexatious
requests and demands declared: "I could not get through my day's work,
if I did not spend an hour every day in meditation, just as Buddha did
when he became enlightened." He was asked what he did when he meditated
or prayed. "Nothing at all." "Well, about what do you think?" "Of
nothing at all. I stop thinking when I engage in religious meditation.
Life makes me think too much. I should lose my sanity, if I did not stop
thinking and enter into the 'void', whence we all came and into which we
all are going to drop back."

His Christian inquirer still was unsatisfied by the Buddhist's
description of his prayer life, and pressed further for details. "What
happens when you meditate or pray?"

"Nothing happens, I tell you, except, that I experience a peace which
the passing world cannot give and which the passing world cannot
altogether take away. The secret of religion is simply to realize that
everything is passing away. When you accept that fact, then you become
really free. The Christian world seemed to have been tremendously
impressed by the slogan of the French soldiers at Verdun, 'They shall
not pass!' Perhaps the German soldiers did not pass just then or there.
But the French soldiers themselves are all passing away. And everything
in the world is passing away. What our Buddhist religion teaches us is:
'Let it pass!' You cannot keep anything for very long. And prayer or
meditation is simply to practice yourself in that thought deliberately.
Oh, it is a wonderful peace when you fully believe that gospel, and
enter into it every day. Vanity of vanities, everything is vanity! Why
worry? We do altogether too much worrying. To pray means simply to quit
worrying, to quit thinking, to enter into the indescribably passionless
peace of Nirvana."

Here seemed to be an ardent Buddhist. When asked what he thought as the
difference between a Buddhist and a Christian, he answered promptly:

"Yes, there is my wife. She is a very good woman. All the neighbors come
to her, when there is any one sick or in trouble. So I say to her:
'Wife, I should think you would make a first-class Christian.' But I
think she lets herself be worried by altogether too many troubles. She
is all the time thinking and fussing and planning. To be sure, it is
mostly about other people, But then she does have the children and the
house and the relatives and friends and neighbors to look after. Perhaps
she really cannot be a Buddhist. Perhaps it is all a matter of
temperament. Oh, but I tell you it is great to be a Buddhist, because it
gives you such a wonderful peace."



_1. Periods of Buddhist History_

The history of Buddhism in China may be divided into four periods.
Buddhism entered China, as we have seen, in the second century B.C. The
first period, that of the translation and propagation of the faith,
ended in 420 A.D. The second period, that of interpenetration, lasted to
the beginning of the T'ang dynasty, 618 A.D. The third, the period of
establishment, ended with the close of the five dynasties, in 960 A.D.
The fourth period, that of decay, has extended to the present day.

_2. The Progress of the Last Twenty-five Years_

There are signs of a revival of Buddhism in China. Whether this is a
tide, or a wave, only the future can reveal. In 1893 Dharmapala, an
Indian monk, stopped in Shanghai on his way back from the Congress of
Religions in Chicago. It was his purpose to make a tour of China, to
arouse the Chinese Buddhists to send missionaries to India to restore
Buddhism there, and then to start a propaganda throughout the whole
world. He addressed the monks of Shanghai. Dr. Edkins, the veteran
missionary, acted as his interpreter. Dharmapala was surrounded by a
horde of curious monks who were more interested in his strange
appearance and in the cost of his garments than they were in his great
ideals. They were also feeling the iron heel of the Confucian government
and at once inquired about the attitude of the government toward such an
innovation. Dharmapala did not go beyond Shanghai.

Japanese Buddhists, especially the members of the Hongwanji sect, have
taken a deep interest in Chinese Buddhists. Count Otani once visited the
chief monasteries of China. Numerous Japanese Buddhists have made such
visits. In 1902, the Empress Dowager, fired by a reforming zeal, decided
to confiscate Buddhist property and to use the proceeds for the spread
of modern education. The Buddhist monasteries put themselves under the
protection of Japanese monks in order to hold their property. When by
1906 the Empress Dowager saw the consequences of her edict, she at once
issued a new edict, reversing the former one, and the Japanese monks
took their departure.

The Japanese Buddhists have been fired by missionary zeal for China. In
many of the large cities of China are the temples of the Hongwanji sect.
Established primarily for the Japanese, these temples are intended to
serve as points of departure for a nation-wide missionary work. The
twenty-one demands made upon China included two significant items in the
last group which the Chinese refused to sign: "Art. 2: Japanese
hospitals, churches and schools in the interior of China shall be
granted the right of owning land." "Art. 7: China agrees that Japanese
subjects shall have the right of missionary propaganda in China."

Under Japanese influence there was established in 1907 at Nanking, under
the leadership of Yang, a lay Buddhist devotee, a school for the
training of Buddhist missionaries. The students were to go to Japan for
further training, and the more promising ones were to study in India.
This project was discontinued after the death of Yang on account of the
lack of funds.

When the republic was established Buddhism felt a wave of reform. The
monasteries established schools for monks and children. A magazine was
published which appeared irregularly for several numbers and then
stopped. A national organization was formed with headquarters at Peking.
A survey of monasteries was begun. The activities in lecturing and
propaganda were increased, but Yuan Shih-kai issued twenty-seven
regulations for the control of Buddhist monasteries, which markedly
dampened the ardor of the reformers.

The world war which accentuated the spirit of nationalism had the added
effect of stirring up Buddhist enthusiasm. There are at present signs of
new activity among them in China.

_3. Present Activities_

While Buddhism may be standing still or even dying in certain parts of
China, it is showing signs of new life in the provinces of Kiangsu and
Chekiang and in the large cities. Such revival in centers subject to the
influence of the modern world shows that Buddhism in China as in Japan
has sufficient vitality to adjust itself to modern conditions. Let us
consider some of these activities.

_(a) The Reconstruction of Monasteries._--During the T'ai Ping
rebellion, which devastated China in 1850-1865, the monasteries suffered
with the towns. Not only were the monasteries burned to the ground, but
their means of support were taken away and the monks were scattered.
There are still many of these ruined monasteries in the Yangtze valley
and in southern and western China. Quite a number of them have been
rebuilt. Perhaps the most notable example is that at Changchow which was
destroyed during the rebellion. Today it is the largest monastery in
China, having about two thousand monks. In Fukien several new
monasteries have been built in the last few decades. In the provinces of
Chekiang and Kiangsu, in the large cities and about Peking there are
building activities, showing that the monasteries are feeling a new wave
of prosperity.

T'ai Hsu, one of the leaders' of modern Buddhism, is holding up an ideal
program for Buddhism in this time of reconstruction. He proposes that
there should be 576 central monasteries, 4608 preaching places, 72
Buddhist hospitals and 72 orphanages.

_(b) Accessions._--Regarding the number of monks it is almost
impossible to obtain any reliable figures. A conservative estimate,
based upon partial returns, makes the number of monks about 400,000 and
that of nuns about 10,000. The impression among the Buddhists is that
the number of monks is increasing. That is quite probable in view of the
rebuilding and repairing which is now in progress.

More significant is the number of accessions from the learned class.
Many officials, disheartened by the present confused political
situation, have sought refuge in the monasteries. Some of them are now
abbots of monasteries and are using their influence to build them up.
All over China there are Confucian scholars who are giving themselves to
the study of Buddhism and to meditation. Some of the Chinese students
who have studied in Buddhist universities in Japan are propagating
Buddhism by lecture and pen.

_(c) Publications._--Quite as significant is the increase in the
publication of Buddhist literature of all kinds. Many of the monasteries
have printing departments where they publish the sutras needed for their
own use. In addition, there are eight or more publishing centers where
Buddhist literature is printed. The most famous are Yang's establishment
at Nanking, the Buddhist Press in Yangchow and that in Peking. In these
establishments about nine hundred different works are being published.
The most noteworthy recent publication has been that of the Chinese
Buddhist Tripitaka in Shanghai.

Among these publications are a few modern issues. The Chung Hua Book
Company has published several works on Buddhism. Other books have been
issued for the sake of harmonizing Buddhism with western science and
philosophy. In this enterprise Japanese influence is visible. In 1921 a
Shanghai press published a dictionary of Buddhist terms containing 3302
pages, based on the Japanese Dictionary of Buddhism. Other works also
show the influence of Japanese scholarship.

Among the publications have appeared two magazines. One published at
Ningpo, is called "New Buddhism." This is struggling and may have to
succumb. The other is known as the "Sound of the Sea Tide," now
published in Hankow. Moreover, in all the large cities there are
Buddhist bookshops where only Buddhist works are sold. These all report
a good business. This literary activity reveals an interest among the
reading classes of China. Few such books are purchased by the monks. The
Chinese scholars read them for their style and for their deep
philosophy, but also for light and for help in the present distracting
political situation of their country.

_(d) Lectures._--Along with publication goes the spread of Buddhism
by lectures in the monasteries and the cities of China. A few years ago
Buddhist sermons, however serious, were only listened to by monks and by
a few pious devotees. Today such addresses are advertised and are
usually well attended by the intellectuals. Often many women are found
listening. Monks like T'ai Hsü and Yuan Ying have a national reputation.
Not only monks, but laymen trained in Japan are delivering lectures on
the Buddhist sutras. The favorites are the Awakening of Faith and the
Suddharma Pundarika sutra.

_(e) Buddhist Societies._--With the lectures goes the organization
of Buddhist societies for all sorts of purposes. There is a central
society in Peking which has branches in every province. The connection
is rather loose. Buddhism has never been in favor of centralization. Nor
for that matter would the government have allowed it. The chief ends
aimed at by these societies are fellowship, devotion, study,
propagation, and service. Such societies, often short lived, are
springing up in many quarters. They meet for lectures on Buddhism or to
conduct a study class in some of the sutras. Occasionally the more
ambitious conduct an institute for several months. Some spend part of
the time in meditation together. Several schools for children are
supported by these societies. They also encourage work of a religious
nature among prisoners, distributing tracts and holding services. Such
activities are especially appreciated by those who are to suffer the
death penalty. The societies are also doing publishing work. The two
magazines are supported by the members of the larger societies.

_(f) Signs of Social Ambition._--Social work is a prominent feature
of some of these Buddhist societies. They have raised money for famine
stricken regions, have opened orphanages, and assist in Red Cross work.
One of the largest Chinese institutions for ministering to people who
are sick and in trouble is located at Hankow. Around a central Buddhist
temple is a modern-built hospital, an orphanage and several schools for
poor children. It may not maintain western standards of efficiency, but
it certainly represents the outreach of modern Buddhism.

Perhaps their most far-reaching advance has been made because of the
realization that leaders are needed and that they must be trained.
Several schools for this purpose have sprung into existence. Such
schools are necessarily very primitive and are struggling with the
difficulties of finding an adequate staff and equipment and of obtaining
the best type of students.

Another sign of new life has been the making of programs for the future
development of Buddhism. One of the most comprehensive appeared a short
time ago. For the individual it proposes the cultivation of love, mercy,
equality, freedom, progressiveness, an established faith, patience and
endurance. For all men it proposes (1) an education according to
capacity; (2) a trade suited to ability; (3) an opportunity to develop
one's powers; (4) a chance for enlightenment for all. For society it
urges the cultivation of cooperation, social service, sacrifice for the
social weal, and the social consciousness in the individual. On behalf
of the country it urges patriotism, participation in the government, and
cooperation in international movements. For the world it advocates
universal progress. As to the universe it specifies as a goal the
bringing of men into harmony with spiritual realities, the enlightenment
of all and the realization of the spiritual universe.

A Buddhist writer sums up the aims of new Buddhism as follows:

"Formerly Buddhism desired to escape the sinful world. Today Buddhism
not only desires to escape this world of sin, but longs to transform
this world of sin into a new world dominated by the ideals of Buddhism.
Formerly Buddhism was occupied with erecting and perfecting its
doctrines and polity as an organization. Today it not only hopes to
perfect the doctrines and polity, but desires to spread the doctrines
and ideals abroad so as to help mankind to become truly cultured."

_4. The Attitude of Tibetan Lamas_

Not only the Chinese Buddhists, but the Lamas of Mongolia and Tibet are
feeling the impulses of the new age. Quite recently an exhibition was
held in the Lama temple at Peking which attracted thousands of visitors.
Its object was to obtain money to repair the temple, and thus to give
its work a fresh impulse. That these impulses are not necessarily
hostile to Christianity is shown by a letter written by the Kurung
Tsering Lama of Kokonor district to the Rev. T. Sörensen of Szechuan:

"I, your humble servant, have seen several copies of the Scriptures and,
having read them carefully, they certainly made me believe in Christ. I
understand a little of the outstanding principles and the doctrinal
teaching of the One Son, but as to the Holy Spirit's nature and essence,
and as to the origin of this religion, I am not at all clear, and it is
therefore important that the doctrinal principles of this religion
should be fully explained, so as to enlighten the unintelligent and
people of small mental ability.

"The teaching of the science of medicine and astrology is also very
important. It is therefore evident if we want this blessing openly
manifested, we must believe in the religion of the only Son of God.
Being in earnest, I therefore pray you from my heart not to consider
this letter lightly. With a hundred salutations."

Enclosed with this letter was a poem written in most elegant language.

"O thou Supreme God and most precious Father, The truth above all
religions, The Ruler of all animate and inanimate worlds! Greater than
wisdom, separated from birth and death, Is his son Christ the Lord
shining in glory among endless beings. Incomprehensible wonder,
miraculously made! In this teaching I myself also believe--As your
spirit is with heaven united, My soul undivided is seeking the truth
Jesus the Savior's desire fulfilling, For the coming of the Kingdom of
Heaven I am praying. Happiness to all."

_5. The Buddhist World Versus the Christian World_

Looking back over the last twenty-five years we see rising quite
distinctly a Buddhist world growing conscious of itself, of its past
history and of its mission to the world. This Buddhist, world has much
more of a program than it had twenty-five years ago. Its object is to
unite the Mahayâna and the Hînayâna branches of Buddhism and to spread
Buddhist propaganda over the world. At present the leadership of this
movement is in Japan. It is in part a political movement. There is no
question that Christianity is not at all pleasing to the Japanese
militarists. It is regarded by them as the advance post of western
industrialism and political ambition. Quite naturally such leaders
desire to make the Buddhist world a unit. It is also a social movement.
The spirit of the Japanese Buddhist has been brought to consciousness by
the new position of Japan. Japan is seeking to take its place in the
world as a first rate power. By this not only will Japan's industry and
commerce profit, but its spiritual values must also be adapted to the
world. The movement then has its spiritual side. Japanese travelers and
people are going to all parts of the world. They carry with them the
religious ideals which have been shaped by Buddhism. Buddhism in the
past was one of the great religions of salvation with an inspiring
missionary message. It is again awakening to this task of
evangelization. Under the leadership of Japanese scholars and religious
statesmen the Japanese are seeking to unite the Buddhist world so that
it shall become a force in the new world. Japan is thus trying to give
back what it has received in the past.

At present in Buddhist countries there is a strong force working against
this movement. Nationalism is a new force to be reckoned with. Still
even with the spirit of nationalism permeating every group, the Buddhist
world is getting together and will strive to make its contribution to
the life of the whole world.



_1. Questions Which Buddhists Ask_

Buddhists are approaching Christianity. In many places a spirit of
inquiry and interest in the Christian religion is met. It is not
necessary that there should be a Buddhist world permanently over against
a Christian world. The questions which Buddhists ask a missionary
indicate an interest in vital themes. Some of them are as follows:

We put our trust in the three Precious Ones. In what do you trust? Is
not your Shang Ti (name for God used in China) a being lower than Buddha
and just a little higher than a Bodhisattva? Is not Shang Ti the tribal
god of the Jews? Do you believe in the existence of _purgatory?_
What sufferings will those endure who do not live a virtuous life? Do
you believe in the reality of the Western Paradise? How can one enter
it? There being three kinds of merit, by what method is the great merit
accumulated? How is the middle and the small merit accumulated? What are
the fruits of these proportions of merit and what are they like? Tell me
how to believe Christ. What work of meditation do you perform? Is not
Buddhism more democratic than Christianity, because it holds out the
possibility of Buddhahood to all beings? Is not Buddhism more inclusive,
because it provides for the salvation of all beings?

_2. Knowledge and Sympathy_

These questions make it plain that the worker who is to deal with
Buddhists should have a broad background of general culture. He must be
thoroughly humanized. He should have a good knowledge of the history of
philosophy and religion, including the work of the modern philosophers.
A knowledge of the life of Buddha and of the doctrines of the Hînayâna
or Southern Buddhism, as well as the tenets of the Mahayâna should be in
his possession. The psychology of religion should interpenetrate his
historical learning; the best methods of pedagogy should guide his
approach to men. Of course he must speak the language of the Buddhist,
not only the spiritual language, but his everyday patois. He will find
it an advantage to know some Sanskrit. While this requirement is not
very urgent at present, it will rapidly become a necessity for doing the
best work.

This knowledge should be interpenetrated by a genuine sympathy, that is,
imagination tinged with emotion. The worker should be able to view
doctrines, values and actions from the point of view of the Buddhist and
his past history. He must have a genuine interest in and a great
capacity for friendship. The Buddhists are very human, responding to
friendship very quickly. Such friendship forms a link between the man
and the larger friendship of Christ.

_3. Emphasis on the Aesthetic in Christianity_

A Chinese Christian leader described his idea of a church as a place
removed from the din of the street, approached by a walk flanked with
trees and flowers and adorned within by symbols speaking to the heart of
the Chinese. He longed for the mystic silence and the beauty of holiness
which would open the windows of the world of spiritual reality and throw
its light upon the problems of life. He was asked, "Would you adapt some
of the symbols of the Chinese religions?" He said, "Many of those
symbols are neutral. They suggest religious emotion. Their character
depends upon the content which the occasion puts into them. If the
content is Christian then the symbols and emotions will become

Christianity is a religion of beauty. The beautiful in architecture,
symbol and ritual, expressing the spiritual universe of the past,
present and future, makes a strong appeal to the Chinese heart. It may
well be emphasized in the future as never before.

_4. Emphasis on the Mystical in Christianity_

Not long ago a Buddhist in one of the large cities of China was
converted. He found great joy in the experience which revived him and
gathered into unity the broken fragments of his life. He attended church
regularly and participated in the prayer meetings. Gradually he
discovered that he was not being nourished. He felt his joy slipping
away from him and his divided life reinstating itself. He went to
Buddhism for consolation. He is not hostile to the church. He
appreciates the help he received, but he said that he came for
consolation and peace and found the same--hard orthodoxy and morality so
familiar to him in Confucianism.

While the case of this man may have individual peculiarities, it may be
made the starting point for a discussion of the situation in many
churches in China. The early message to the Chinese was doctrinal. The
false notion of many gods had to be displaced by the idea of the one
true God. With this idea of the true God a few other tenets of the
Christian religion are often held as dogmatic propositions to be
repeated when questions are asked. The great sin preached is the worship
of idols.

The second part of the Christian message is salvation by faith in Jesus
Christ. This salvation is other-worldly to a large extent. The extreme
emphasis upon it has made of the church an insurance society, membership
in which insures bliss in the world beyond.

The third part of the message has been concerned with moral acts,
abstinence from opium (liquor and tobacco in some churches), polygamy,
and the gross sins. Attendance upon church services, contribution for
the support of the church, and the refusal to contribute to idolatry
have also been required.

The emphasis to a large extent was doctrinal, moral and individual. The
result has been a body of people free from the gross sins, but also
innocent of the great virtues and individualistic in their outlook upon
this world and the next. This emphasis is needed, but in addition there
should be the cultivation of the presence of God in the soul by
appropriate means. The Christian Church of China should develop a
technique of the spiritual life suited to the East. The formation of
habits of devotion should be emphasized. Intercessory prayer should be
given a larger place. Contemplation and meditation should be regarded
not merely as an escape from the turmoil and strife of the world, but as
a preparation for the highest life of service and sacrifice. Buddhist
mysticism united the whole universe and was the great foundation of
Chinese art, literature and morality. The spiritual world of
Christianity must likewise seep through into the very thought of Asia
and inspire the new art, literature and morality which will be the world
expression of a Christian universe.

_5. Emphasis on the Social Elements in Christianity_

To the aesthetic and mystical emphasis must be attached a social
emphasis. Buddhism is often criticized as not being social. It is a
highly socialized religion. It has had a large influence upon social
life in the East. This social life is different from ours. We see its
wrongs and weaknesses. Likewise do the Buddhists see the materialism and
injustice of our social life. Christianity must relate itself to the
modern world as it is rising in China and seek not merely to remedy a
few wrongs or heal a few diseases, but must release the healing stream
into the social life of the East. This will be done and is being done
through the Church community which has become conscious of itself,
realizing its needs and wants, seeking in an intelligent and systematic
way to rehabilitate itself. It is not so much the external unrelated
efforts that accomplish the thing needed, but it is rather the community
life stirred by ideals and fired by a new dynamic which begins the work
of reformation.

_6. Emphasis on the Person of Jesus Christ_

_(a) As a Historical Character._--The great asset of the missionary
among Buddhists is the historical person of Christ. In contrast to many
of the Bodhisattvas, the saviours of the Buddhists, Jesus is a
historical character. His life among men was the life of God among men.

_(b) As the Revealer._--God is like Christ. Christ reveals God as
the complete, the perfect person. He possessed the pure spiritual
personality. The chief characteristic of this personality is love. This
love conscious of itself finds its highest joy in the well-being of
others. This love of God produced human life which, springing from the
lowest form, broke through the material elements and is capable of
attaining the highest development.

Christ reveals to man his heavenly relationship. Man created in the
likeness of God stands in the highest relation of one person to another
through love. He likens this relation to that of father and son. He
lifts man to the fellowship with the divine. Yet such a fellowship that
man preserves his personality.

Christ reveals man in his relation to men as a brother and the form of
love which shall control the relation of man to God as well as man to

Christ revealed and founded the Kingdom, a society of the saved,
dominated by the spirit of the founder and making this spirit of love
and service the organizing power in the world.

_(c) As the Saviour._--Mahayâna Buddhism emphasized saviourhood.
Christ is the saviour of men. In Buddhism the stress is placed upon the
merit of the saviour and the saved. There is no question that merit has
some value. Yet Christ does not save us by merit, nor do we help to save
one another by merit. Salvation is a moral and spiritual process. It is
concerned with the biology of the soul. The salvation that we preach is
not the salvation by knowledge, or meditation, or merit, but by the
interpenetration of Christ's spirit in ours, by the mystic and moral
union of our life with his. As Paul says: "That I may know Him and the
power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering." Yet He
is not the saviour of the individual alone. He saves the community, the
church. Only as His spirit permeates and dominates the community does he
find his true self and the real salvation.

_(d) As the Eternal Son, of God._--The Mahayâna system does not
emphasize the historicity of Amitabha or of the Bodhisattvas. Spiritual
truth is the development of the soul. It is not limited by time and
place. Likewise Christianity must emphasize the eternal character of
Jesus Christ. "The Logos existed in the very beginning, the Logos was
with God, the Logos was God." To the Mahâyânist this spiritual history
is more real than any fact conditioned by time and place.

The Christian worker must learn to understand the import of the Gospel
of John. He must see in Jesus Christ "The real Light, which enlightens
every man." He must be able to convince himself that the Christ is the
fulfillment of the highest aspirations of the Mahâyâna system.

_7. How Christianity Expresses Itself in Buddhist Minds_

In 1920 a number of Buddhist monks, under the leadership of Rev. K. L.
Reichelt formed a Christian brotherhood. The members of this small
brotherhood decided that they must subscribe to vows and they took the
four following:

"I promise before the Almighty and Omniscient God, that I with my whole
heart will surrender myself to the true Trinity, God the Father, the Son
and the Holy Spirit. I will with my whole heart have faith in Jesus
Christ as the Saviour of the world who gives completion to the
profoundest and best objects of the higher Buddhism. I will live in this
faith now and ever after.

"I promise solemnly before God with my whole heart to devote myself to
the study of the true doctrine and break wholly with the evil manners of
the world and show forth in my public and private life that I am truly
united with Christ.

"I promise that I in every respect will try so to educate myself that I
can be of use in the work of God on earth. I will with undivided heart
devote myself to the great work; to lead my brethren in the Buddhist
Association forward to the understanding of Christ as the only One, who
gives completion to the highest and profoundest ideas of Higher

"I promise that until my last hour I will work so that out of our
Christian Brotherhood there may grow forth a strong church of Christ
among Buddhists. I will not permit any evil thing to grow in my heart,
which could divide the brotherhood, but will always try to promote the
progress of every member in the knowledge of the holy obligations laid
down in these vows and our constitution."

Such men ought, to make choice Christians.

_8. Christianity's Constructive Values_

Buddhism in the course of its long history developed certain religious
ideas and values which we find in Christianity. It faced the fact of sin
and placed it in the heart. It diagnosed the fundamental instincts of
men, sex-appetite, will-to-achieve, and pugnacity. These must be
overcome. It regards them as delusions which must be eliminated.
Christianity also deals with these instincts. It is under no delusion as
to their strength. There are certain tendencies in Christianity which
have tried to annihilate them. The central tendency of Christianity,
however, recognizing their power for good, seeks to sublimate them and
make them serve the individual and society. This attitude of the two
religions toward these instincts is fundamentally different. The
attitude of Christianity has been justified even in Buddhist lands where
the religious life of the people has followed the same line that
Christianity advocates.

Early Buddhism tried to dissolve man's personality. Later Buddhism
corrected this and perhaps has appealed too much to the desire on the
part of the individual to enter a heaven which is merely a replica of
the earth. Christianity starts with a personal God and holds up before
the believer the goal of perfection for his own personality. It finds
man without a self and confers a real selfhood upon him.

Early Buddhism taught that salvation is accomplished by the individual
alone. It denies the possibility and the necessity of help from a divine
source. Subsequent history has proved this to have been wrong. In India,
Buddhism has been displaced by Hinduism, and in China, and Japan, the
Mahâyâna has developed the idea of salvation through another. The great
stream of Buddhism has recognized that man by himself is helpless. He
must have the help of a divine power in order to obtain salvation.
Christianity asserts that salvation is possible only through the
intervention of God. The incarnation, the life, death and resurrection
of Jesus and his work in the world through the Holy Spirit on the one
hand are the expression of God's solicitude for man, and, on the other
hand, correspond to the deep need which men of all ages have felt, for a
power above themselves. From the early stages of magic to the highest
reaches of religion we find this constant factor recognized by human
groups all over the world. They bear witness to a power above themselves
to whom they continually appeal. In Christianity we find this main
tendency enunciated most clearly. The individual cannot save himself.
Mankind cannot save itself. Both must rely upon the assistance of the
divine power which started this universe on its way and which is the
ever present creative force.

Christianity, moreover, has established the community of believers
including all classes and conditions of men. Herein each one may realize
himself. Herein also he may realize the kind of community which is
friendly to his highest aspirations for himself. Herein he has the
opportunity to transmute the instincts above mentioned into forces which
make for the larger development of his own person and the well-being of
the community.

Accordingly, as Christians face Buddhists, they can do so with the
consciousness that this great religion has been reaching out after the
light which shines brightly in our Christian religion. They have the
assurance not only that they have a message which brings fulfilment to
the ideas of the Mahâyâna, but also that it has prepared the way for the
hearts of the Chinese to receive the highest message of Christianity.



The student should read and inwardly digest the booklet of K. J.

He should follow the directions given in Appendix One of that book, This
procedure is important because the Hînayâna Buddhism and the life of
Buddha are the background of Buddhism in China.

Then he may take Hackmann's _Buddhism as a Religion_
(No. 15). This will give a general orientation. This may be followed
with R. F. Johnston's _Buddhist China_ (No.
_20_). Along with this he may read Suzuki's
_Awakening of Faith_ (No. 32), and also his
_Outlines of Mahâyanâ Buddhism (No._ 33). McGovern's
_Introduction to Mahâyanâ Buddhism (No._ 23) will
illuminate the philosophical background of Buddhism, and Eliot's
_Hinduism and Buddhism_ (No. 13) will add historical

The translation of _Mahdydna Sutras_ by Beal and in the
Sacred Books of the East will give him some of the sources for the
doctrines held in China. He may begin as the Buddhist missionaries did
with the sutra of the Forty-two sections and then take up the Diamond
Sutra, and then completing the sutras in Vol. 59 and the Catena of
Buddhist Scriptures.

For the study of the ethical side he will find De Groot's _Le Code
du Mahâyâna en Chine_ very helpful. For the study of the sects
Eliot, Vol. III, pp. 303-320 _Northern Buddhism_ (No. 14) will
be helpful.

In all his study he will find Eitel's _Handbook of Chinese
Buddhism_ (No. 12) indispensable. He must, however, make a
Chinese index in order to be able to use the book.

Contact with monks will be helpful and is quite necessary in order to
appreciate the human problems of the work.



1. BEAL, S. _Abstract of Four Lectures_ upon _Buddhist
Literature_ in _China._ London, Triibner, 1882.

Lecture II, on "Method of Buddha's Teaching in the Vinaya Pitaka," and
Lecture IV, on "Coincidences Between Buddhism and Other Religions,"
especially desirable.

2. ---- _Buddhism in China,_ London, S. P. C. K, 1884.

The best comprehensive account of Chinese Buddhism, written by an

3. ---- _Catena of Buddhist Scriptures,_ from the Chinese. London,
Triibner, 1871.

A good introduction to Chinese Buddhism from the sources.

4. ---- _The Romantic Legend of Sâkya Buddha._ London,
Triibner, 1875.

Recounts Buddha's history from the beginning to the
conversion of the Kâsyapas and others.

5. ---- _Texts from the Buddhist Canon Commonly Known_ as _D_
hammapada. London, Triibner, 1878. Pocket edition, 1902.

These "Scriptural Texts," translated from the Chinese and abridged, are
usually connected with some event in Buddha's history. This translation
has Indian anecdotes, illustrating the verses.

6. COULING, S., editor. _The Encyclopaedia Sinica._ Shanghai, Kelly
& Walsh, 1917.

Contains, on pages 67-75, a number of brief articles upon Buddhism in

7. DE QROOT, J. J. M. _Religion of the Chinese._ New York,
Macmillan, 1900.

Pages 164-223 contain a summary of the main facts about Chinese Buddhism
by an authority.

8. ---- _Sectarianism and Religious Persecution in China._ 2 vols.
J. Müller, Amsterdam, 1903-1904.

Treats from sources Confucianism's persecution of Buddhism and other
sects. See Vol. II. Index, under Buddhism, p. 572.

9. DORE, HENEI. _Researches into Chinese Superstitions._ 6 vols.
Tusewei Press, 1914-1920.

A well illustrated miscellany of superstitions of all Chinese religions
showing indistinctly their interpenetration by Buddhism.
For Buddhism proper, see Vol. VI, pp. 89-233.

10. EDKINS, J. _Chinese Buddhism._ 2d edition. London, Trübner,

A very full account of Buddhism as seen by a Sinologue of the last

11. EITEL, E. J. _Buddhism: Its Historical, Theoretical and Popular
Aspects._ Hongkong, Lane, Crawford and Co., 1884.

Written by an observant scholar and descriptive of Buddhism of South
China especially.

12. ---- _Handbook of Chinese Buddhism._ Presbyterian Mission Press,

This is a Sanskrit-Chinese dictionary, a reprint of the second edition
of 1888 without the Chinese index necessary for identifying Chinese
Buddhist terms.

13. ELIOT, SIR CHARLES. _Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical
Sketch._ 3 vols. Edward Arnold and Co., 1921.

This is a valuable contribution to our knowledge of Buddhism by an
experienced student. The parts especially related to Chinese Buddhism
are Vol. II, pp. 3-106; Vol. Ill, 223-335.

14. JETTY, A. _Gods of Northern Buddhism._ Oxford, Clarendon Press,

This work is helpful in identifying images in the temples, though
unfortunately few of those given are Chinese.

15. HACKMANN, H. _Buddhism as a Religion._ London, Probsthain,

Gives a general view of Buddhism from first-hand investigation. For
Chinese Buddhism see pp. 200-257.

16. HASTINGS, JAMES. _The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics._ New
York, Scribners, 1908.

Articles Asvaghosa, Bodhisattva, China (Buddhism in), Mahâyâna Missions

17. HUME, R. E. _The Living Religions of the World._ New York,
Scribners, 1924.

A clear comparative study of these religions in the light of Christian

18. INGLIS, J. W. "Christian Element in Chinese Buddhism."
_International Review of Missions,_ Vol. V, 1916, pp. 587-602. An
excellent article by a veteran missionary and scholar of Manchuria.

19. JOHNSON, S. _Oriental Religions ... China._ Boston, Houghton,
Osgood Co., 1878.

Pages 800-833 give a comprehensive summary by a student of comparative

20. JOHNSTON, R. F. _Buddhist_ China. New York, Dutton, 1913.

A well-written, interesting book. The author knows his subject, and is
held in high esteem by Buddhists in China.

21. KEITH, A. BERRIEDALE. _Buddhist Philosophy in India and
Ceylon._ Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1923.

A study of the historic development of the Buddhistic philosophy in
India and Ceylon which throws much light on the Mahâyâna.

22. LODGE, J. E. _Chinese Buddhist Art._ Asia, Vol. XIX, June,

Some of the choicest half-tones illustrating its character accompanied
by interesting descriptions.

23. McGOVERN, W. M. _An Introduction of Mahâyâna Buddhism._ Dutton,

Though written from the point of view of Japanese Buddhism it gives a
good treatment of metaphysical and psychological aspects of the Mahâyâna

24. MÜLLER, F. MAX. _Sacred Books of the East._ Vol. XLIX,
Buddhist, Mahâyâna Texts. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1894.

A book of sources necessary for understanding Northern Buddhism.

25. PARKER, E. H. _China and Religion._ New York, Dutton, 1905.

A sketch of Buddhism by a scholar long resident in China is found in
Chapter IV.

26. PAUL, C. T. _The Presentation of Christianity to Buddhists._
New York, Board of Missionary Preparation, 1924.

A carefully prepared study of Buddhism from the viewpoint of
missionaries working in Buddhist lands.

27. REICHELT, K. L. "Special Work Among Chinese Buddhists." _Chinese
Recorder,_ Vol. LI, 1920, July issue, pp. 491-497.

An article by a pioneer in work among Buddhists, of rare insight and

28. RICHARD, T. _The Awakening of Faith in the Mahâyâna Doctrine._
2d edition. Shanghai, 1918.

A loose translation by a very large-hearted and sympathetic student with
an irenic spirit. See 32 below.

29. RICHARD, T. _Guide to Buddhahood; Being a Standard Manual of
Chinese Buddhism._ Shanghai., 1907.

30. SAUNDERS, K. J. _Epochs of Buddhist History_ (Haskell
Lectures), Chicago University Press, 1922.

A good summary of the main developments in Buddhism.

31. STAUFFER, M. T. _The Christian Occupation of China._ Shanghai
Continuation Committee, 1922.

The introductory section contains articles upon China's religions.

32. SUZUKI, T. A'svaghosa's _Awakening of Faith in the Mahâyâna._
Chicago, Open Court Publishing Co., 1900.

A far more accurate translation of this work than No. 28 above.

33. ---- Outlines of _Mahâyâna Buddhism._ Chicago, Open Court
Publishing Co., 1908.

While written from the Japanese point of view it is necessary to the
understanding of Chinese Buddhism.

34. WATTERS, T. "Buddhism in China." _Chinese Recorder,_ Vol. II,
1870, pp. 1-7, 38-43, 64-68, 81-88, 117-122, 145-150, Shanghai.

A valuable series of articles by an excellent Chinese scholar,
discussing the history, persecutions, and various Buddhas of China.

35. WEI, F. C. M. "Salvation by Faith as Taught by the Pure Land Sect."
_Chinese Recorder,_ Vol. LI, 1920, pp. 395-401, 485-491.

A good article on the sect whose ideas have spread over China and Japan.

36. WIEGER, L. _Bouddhisme Chinois,_ 2 vols. Ho-Kien-Fou, Roman
Catholic Press, 1910-1913.

This contains the Chinese text and French translation of the life of
Buddha as known to China; also the ritual observed in ordination. A
useful source book.

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+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.