Major Events in Chinese Buddhism
|1st century CE ||• Historical record has it that two Buddhist monks, Kasyapa and Dharmaraksha, from India in 68 AD, arrived at the court of Emperor Ming (58-75) of the Han Dynasty (25-220 AD). They enjoyed imperial favour and stayed on to translate various Buddhist Texts, one of which, The 'Sutra of Forty-two Sections' continues to be popular even today. |
|2nd century CE ||• First translations of Indian Buddhist texts into Chinese by An Shih-Kao in 148.
• A Mahayana monk, Lokaksema translates Small Perfections of Wisdom Sutra and A Land of Bliss Sutra (168).
• First Buddhist monastery constructed.
• This early work of translating texts continues into 3rd century.
• Dhamaraksa (born 230) translates a large number of sutras, including the Lotus Sutra and Large Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, and founded monasteries, ordained Sangha, and expounded the Dharma
|4th century CE ||• Fo-T'u-Teng founds Buddhist order of nuns (317).
• Translation of Buddhist texts into Chinese by Kumarajiva (344-413) and Hui-yüan (344-416).
|5th century CE ||• Chinese pilgrim scholar Fa-hsien visits India (399-414).
• Amitabha (Amida) the Pure Land School (Ching t'u) emerges in China (402). • First Patriarch of Pure Land was T'an-Luan (476-542)
• Persecution of Buddhism under Emperor Wu or Shih-tusu (424-451).
• Restoration under the new Emperor, Wen-ch'eng-ti (454).
• T'ien Tai school founded by Hui-Wen (470-?) in South China.
|6th century CE ||• Bodhidharma, first Patriarch of the Ch'an School arrives in China from India in 520 (variant 526).
• The T'ang dynasty (618-907) was the Golden Age of Chinese Buddhism.
• The T'ien-tai School was established by Chih-i (538-597) • Hua-yen School establish by Fa-shun (557-640) • Dhyana School (Ch'an; Jap.Zen) Schools of Chinese Buddhism.
|7th century CE ||• The Southern School of Ch'an or new Ch'an begins in earnest with Hui-neng (638-713) the Sixth Patriarch. |
• The Persecution in 845, during the reign of Emperor Wu-tsung (841-7) an order came to the effect that all Buddhist establishments should be destroyed, initiating a decline in Chinese Buddhism.
• The invention of block printing by Chinese Buddhists. The oldest extant book printed is the Tun-hung book of 868 it contained excerpts from the Diamond Sutra .
|10th century CE ||• In 972, the first emperor of the Sung Dynasty ordered the complete printing of the Chinese Tripitaka. This was achieved in 983, known as the Shu-pen (Szechuan edition). • Two classic collections appeared, the 'Blue Cliff Record', (Pi-yen-lu; Jap. Hekiganroku) compiled by Hsueh Tou Ch'ung Hsien (980-1152) and the 'Gateless Gate' (Wu-men-kuan; Jap. Mumonkan) compiled by Wu-men Hui kai (1184-1260). |
|12th to 15th century CE ||• China during the Yuan Dynasty was under Mongolian rule and the influences of Tibetan Lamaism. It was during the Mogol Dynasty that the Buddhist-Taoist controversy was brought before Mangu Khan in 1255. The acrimonious debate, which had started over a 1000 years before was finally concluded in the Buddhist's favour by an edict of Kublai Khan in 1281. |
• Movement toward unity among the schools developed under the Ming Dynasty (1368-1643)
• Master Chu-hung, (born 1535) united in his person the two leading trends in Ming Buddhism: harmonization of the different schools (specifically Cha'n and Pureland) and the inauguration of a lay Buddhist movement.
|The Modern Era ||• The revolution of 1911 that toppled the Manchu Dynasty and established the Republic of China brought problems for the Buddhist Sangha. To combat these trends arose a remarkable monk, T'ai-hsu (1898-1947) who was able to rally his fellow religionists and to initiate a program of reform. On the national scale he organised a Chinese Buddhist Society in 1929. |
• A revival of the Idealistic School was initiated by the publication in 1901of the Ch'eng-wei-shih-lun (Notes on the Completion of the Idealistic Doctrine) of K'uei-chi, long lost in China but brought back from Japan. The leader of this revival was the layman Ou-yang Chien, and the Institute of Inner Learning, which he organised in Naking (Nanjing) in 1922.
• Hsu Yun, Ch'an Master (1840-1959) 'Universally regarded as the most outstanding Buddhist of the Chinese Sangha in the modern era' (Richard Hunn). Dharma successor of all five Ch'an schools; main reformer in Chinese Buddhism revival (1900-50).
• Wong Mou-Lam translated the The Platform Sutra into English and founded the journalChinese Buddhism (1930).
• (1898-1978) Upasaka Lu K'uan Yu (Charles Luk) Translator and Writer on Ch'an. Born in Canton. Lived in exile in Hong Kong.
• The official formation of the Chinese Buddhist Association by the government of the People's Republic of China on May 30th, 1953.
• The Cultural Revolution (1965-75) Buddhist temples and monasteries were sacked and the already weakened Sangha was further depleted. The excesses of this time have since been regretted, however, and a more liberal policy introduced.
• Ven. Cheng Yen founds Tzu Chi Compassion Relief Association (1966) and Tzu Chi Compassion Foundation (1980).
Nguyện đem công đức này, trang nghiêm Phật Tịnh Độ, trên đền bốn ơn nặng, dưới cứu khổ ba đường,
nếu có người thấy nghe, đều phát lòng Bồ Đề, hết một báo thân này, sinh qua cõi Cực Lạc.
May the Merit and virtue,accrued from this work, adorn the Buddhas pureland,
Repay the four great kindnesses above, andrelieve the suffering of those on the three paths below,
may those who see or hear of these efforts generates Bodhi Mind, spend their lives devoted to the Buddha Dharma,
the Land of Ultimate Bliss.