Talk:Silk Road transmission of Buddhism

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This article has good content. Unfortunately, no one will read this article unless they are lucky enough to stumble upon a wikilink to this page. FWBOarticle


Doesn't Chiao-chih mean Vietnam? Badagnani 20:10, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Dubious Qin era hypothesis[edit]

Both this article and Chinese Buddhism accept a long-discredited hypothesis that Qin Shihuang banned Buddhism, citing a dead link and a China Daily article about Han Wei 韩伟's research. According to the zh WP 汉传佛教, this supposition originated with Fujita Toyohachi 藤田豐八 (1869-1929) but was refuted by scholars like Suzuki Kantaro 鈴木券太郎 (1863-1939), noting this review. Fujita and Han suppose that the Shiji, which used the common auxiliary verb bude 不得 "must not; may not; not allowed; cannot" over 400 times, used it once to phonetically transcribe "Buddha". They construe the context (秦始皇本紀, 213 BCE) 禁不得祠 "It was forbidden to offer sacrifices to the Morning Star" (tr. Watson p. 53) as "forbid Buddhist sacrifices". Can anyone find English sources about this fringe construal? Is it NPOV?

That link went dead, apparently. The basic text is in Xinhua as well. Han Wei notes that another scholar in the early 20th century (presumably Fujita Toyohachi) had a similar theory, but lacked evidence. Therefore it appears that Han Wei's research is not the same as that of Fujita Toyohachi's earlier work. (Xinhua article) Tengu800 (talk) 06:45, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but Xinhua quotes Han Wei that, "China's first and most influential history book, The Historical Records, stated clearly that Emperor Qin Shihuang (259-210 BC) strictly banned Buddhism and Buddhist temples." Han presumably means this Shiji 禁不得祠 context (also with Han's "invading Huns"). "Outposts were constructed in order to drive out the Rong people, and convicts were transported to the region to populate the new districts. It was forbidden to offer sacrifices to the Morning Star. A comet appeared in the western sky." I haven't been able to find Han's original Chinese article, but perhaps someone can locate and evaluate it. Keahapana (talk) 00:36, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
This is the problem. (1) We are assuming all kinds of things about what part of the Shiji Han Wei is using, and how this plays into this theory. (2) The focus is on the Shiji, when the article states that there is a range of evidence including archaeological evidence. (3) Han Wei himself notes that earlier theories lacked a sufficient basis, so his research is presumably not the same as this. (4) In the article itself, the section is completely qualified with "According to Han Wei", and so on. It never states anything as fact, so even if someone disagrees strongly with it, it is still just presented as one scholarly view. Tengu800 (talk) 13:09, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

"Scholarly"? Thanks to a friend, here is the bibliographical reference:

  • Han Wei 韓偉 (2009). 《秦始皇时代佛教已传入中国考》《文博》陜西省考古研究院.

According to the abstract, Han accepts Fujita's discredited Shiji readings of bùdé 不得 "not allowed" as fótuó 佛陀 "Buddha" and ci 祠 "spring sacrifice; ancestral temple" as "Buddhist temple". <史記•秦始皇本紀>有"禁不得祠"的記載, "不得"當為佛陀之音譯, 佛祠者即佛寺. Keahapana (talk) 23:01, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks to User:Keahapana for the chasing this matter up so thoroughly. It is clear that Han's claim is very tenuous indeed and, therefore, has no place in this WP article. Sincerely, John Hill (talk) 00:12, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
You have done some impressive leg-work on this matter, and I have to admit you were right about this all along. I'm a little surprised that a native speaker would accept the interpretation of 不得 as proof. Really, this subject needs more Wikipedians like you. Sadly, few contribute to articles related to Chinese Buddhism. Tengu800 00:42, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Thank you very much, Tengu800, and yes, I intend to work on more Buddhism articles. Here are some more reasons this "academic publication" is not a RS. Schuessler reconstructs the LHC and OC as puətək < *pətək 不得 (or for fǒudé, putək < *pəˀtək) and butdɑi < *bətlâi 佛陀. The Digital Dictionary of Buddhism gives 不得 "impossible; cannot; does not; unobtainable" used for alābha; and 祠 "spring ancestral sacrifice" used for yajña. Note this blog discussion. I'll delete this wishful thinking about Qin Buddhism. Thanks to all who helped, Keahapana (talk) 01:56, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Who's Massim Sthavira?[edit]

I've been unsuccessfully searching for a missing citation that Ashoka sent the missionary "Massim Sthavira" to Nepal, Bhutan, and China. Although three WP articles mention this name, neither Google Books nor Scholar finds "Massim Sthavira" (or "Massim Sthaviravada). Are there alternate romanizations? Keahapana (talk) 02:05, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Daoism and Buddhism as a single religion[edit]

Citing Liu Ying's simultaneous support of both Daoism and Buddhism, Henri Maspero noted, "It is a very curious fact that, throughout the whole Han dynasty, Taoism and Buddhism were constantly confused and appeared as a single religion."[10]

I'm not really sure why this person considers simultaneous support of two religions as evidence for confusion of the two. Even in modern China, many people venerate both buddhas and immortals. How could simultaneous support for two religions be considered confusion of the two? This seems to show some degree of naivete on the part of this author about the basic outlook of Chinese culture regarding religions. Tengu800 21:11, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes that's unclear. Sorry this section isn't finished yet, but I'm starting to revise it. Yes, Maspero and others like Zürcher note that early Buddhism was considered a kind of Daoism. Some call this blend "Buddho-Daoism". Keahapana (talk) 00:36, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Okay, sounds good. I was just perusing the page, and that caught my attention. WP is always a work in progress. Tengu800 02:29, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

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