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Buddhists, 528 b.c.e, Banaras: Buddhist holy city

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Siddhartha Gautama: Buddha: "the enlightened one" born 563 b.c.e. : founder of Buddhism

Friends

Song Dynasty
Hinduism
Mongols
Tang Dynasty
Mauryan Dynasty
Manchus

Technology

We have no technology and do not believe in weaponry. We rely on our faith and the guidance of Buddha to allow us to prosper and spread our beliefs.

Culture

-Our lifestyle revolves around quiet contemplation, thoughtful reflection, and disciplined self control. This allowed our people to reduce their desire for material goods and other things that weren't needed. We want personal salvation and nirvana. Nirvana is a state of perfect spiritual independence. - Our religion has served a great appeal to people that were new to it. There is a simpler language for a much broader audience to appreciate, there are many places of worship, and many motivated converts that willingly decide to dedicate their lives to to search for enlightenment and salvation. We have a disregard for social classes and therefore we attract many merchants, artisans, and others on low rank throughout the Indian social order. After the acceptance of gifts from wealthy classes, we generally have relied on the comforts of our monasteries and a much smaller community. As a result, our neighboring religion, Hinduism, have in a sense, become more widespread and popular. But with the establishment of the silk roads, we have been able to spread our religion more so. China was is very fond of us Buddhists. They particularly like our high standards of morality, intellectual sophistication, and promise of salvation.

Religion

wheel.gif The Four Noble Truths: life involves around suffering, desire is the cause of suffering, elimination of desire brings an end to suffering, a disciplined life conducted in accordance with this brings the elimination of desire. The Noble Eightfold Path: people should lead a balanced and moderate life. Right belief, resolve, speech, behavior, occupation, effort, contemplation, and meditation are key principles. - both of these two doctrines led to one combined doctrine shared by all Buddhas of all sects. This is known as the dharma. We want people to reach a state of "boddhivista" that means that they have reached spiritual perfection. These groups of people that reach this state are known as boddhivistas. To better please Chinese in the Song Dynasty, we have interpreted our religion in respect to their Daoist religion. Dharma has become known as dao which is a common term in Daoism as well as the term wuwei (nirvana).

Blog

Blog 1:I, Siddhartha Gautama, on this day in the year of 534 b.c.e, have decided to leave my wife, family, and everything that I know, to live the existence of a holy man. I wandered throughout that Ganges valley searching for spiritual enlightenment and an explanation of suffering. For forty-nine days, I sat under a large bo tree in Bodh Gaya. After this was complete, I received enlightenment and I then became the Buddha: the enlightened one. I have gained trust among the people and have followers: known as monks. If there is one thing that they should know it is this. Decay is inherent in all competent things! Work out your salvation with diligence! Blog 2: We have benefited immensely with the support of the Mauryan dynasty's conversion to Buddhism thanks to their leader, Ashoka's conversion. He had given us many grants of lands and have encouraged and helped us spread our religion throughout India. He has not only done this for us, but has also contributed by building monasteries and stupas, made pilgrimages, and sent missionaries to Bactria and Ceylon, allowing us not only to spread throughout India, but also various parts of Asia. He has been a very influential contributor to our religion and we respect and thank him very much for his graciousness. Blog 3: With the emergence of the boddhivistas, there was some new things that have happened to our religion. Boddhivistas served as examples of excellence and inspiration for others who have not reached the state of nirvana yet. Along with that, we have begun to accept gifts from wealthy individuals and take that as generosity that as result allowed them to have salvation. Although this is against our beliefs of self dependence and lack of material goods, we would like everyone to be able to experience our religion despite the fact that some followers do not want to completely subject themselves to the requirements. Blog 4: With the establishment of the silk roads, we have been able to spread our religion throughout once again. We had quite an influence on the oasis towns on the silk roads where many people from different regions like steppe lands. Nomadic peoples took interest in our religion as they were trading in these towns and helped us spread more so throughout Central Asia. Blog 5: We are sorry to say that we have come under great pressure in our homeland and have become a minor faith. Hinduism and Islam have out done us and have appealed more to the people than us Buddhists do. Along with the Turkish peoples invading, they have destroyed many of our shrines and stupas. Many of our own monks have been killed and many other things of our religion have been torched. It is sad to say that we are a minor religion in our own region of birth.

SOURCES:
1. Bentley, Jerry H., and Herbert F. Ziegler. Traditons and Encounters: A Global Perspective on the past. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006.

The Wall

- Mauryan Dynasty No problem Buddhists. We respect you guys because, after all, Ashoka respected you. Ashoka ruled the high point of our dynasty so we looked to him for the 411. He only had great things to say about you. He encouraged his subject to observe Buddhist values, and expressed his intention to serve as a fair, just, and humane ruler. As a result of these practices, we were well intergraded and we benefited from both an expanding economoy as well as a stable government. We do not know why Ashoka converted to Buddhism, but lengends suggest he was dazzled by a Buddhist monk with supernatural powers.
I LOVE THE BIG FAT BUDDHAS! They are nice and round and cute. We started our nation with a different faith, but we converted to Buddhism as it inspired us. I love this faith and all of its values. We Buddhists rock this world!!! -Manchus

No problem, anytime. Your religion rocks by the way, we're proud to be followers. -- xOx Han dynasty

Hello! It's good to see that there are still some truly faithful people in the world, and I wanted to let you know that I'm glad that we can both exist together without our followers killing each other to decide which of us is better. You are so awesome! and I hope we can always be such good friends.
- Confucianism

Malaysians
Agreeing with the Manchus, we too love your big fat Buddhas. We also love your faith as well. My friend from Angkor raves about the Theravada school of Buddhism whose thoughts have swept throughout his kingdom and it's monastic practices. My buddy down in Srivijava raves about Vajrayana Buddhism which is different from the techniques and practices but is still very different to Mahayana Buddhism.
Just giving a shout out and letting you know, we love your religion the four noble truths, the noble eightfold path, I'm all about that.

Manichaeists - Buddhism, all we can say is ROCK ON!! We are all about your enlightened path and the way Siddhartha abstained from most pleasures of this world, as he was a great prophet who knew the way to best attain spiritual fullfillment and enlightenment. Because of the Buddha's great teachings, we have decided to incorporate him as one of our prophets in our new religion for a new age. Along with Jesus and Zarathustra, Buddha will help the people of our faith to lead good and fullfilling lives.

Hey props on your religion, most of us follow it not and things have been running pretty smoothly, the Buddha is a symbol of our people and their beliefs and Buddhism just rocks! Long live the Han dynasty and Buddhism! --xOx Han Dynasty

Hey Buddhists! You guys have been such a big influence to us it's ridiculous. Yeah, we have the word "Confucianism" in the name of our religion, but that doesn't mean that we aren't down with what you guys have to say too. That's right, we're all for Buddhism and it's teachings and it's been a huge factor in shaping our way of life and the way we practice our faith.

Many thanks,
neo-Confucianism

Hello Buddhists,
Thanks so much for showing us the way to salvation and enlightenment. We really began to embrace your spiritual teachings during our period of bakufu rule, especially a chosen few sects, such as the Zen school of Buddhism that was especially embraced by our powerful samurai class. Your faith and teachings influenced greatly the history of our shogunate rule, and for this the Japanese will always be grateful and proud. Even though Shinto remained a powerful state religion during our rule, Buddhism became increasingly dominant and was eventually the prominent faith of the Kamakura Japanese. This, of course, was due to our relations with our Chinese neighbors.
-Kamakura Japan

(In the nineth century) Our Khmer kings built a capital at Angkor Thom, with the aid of brahmin advisors from India, to reflect the Hindu world order. However, as we turned to Buddhism (twelfth and thirteenth century) we added Buddhist temples to the complex without removing the old Hindu temples. I guess my real question is 'do you feel upset when you see structures of a competing religion, such as Hinduism, next to your place of worship? Should we have demolished the Hindu buildings in respect to you?' -Angkor Kingdom

Hey, just wanted to say how equality for all people is AWESOME! We share similar views in the road to salvation and it's cool that we both do not recognize a distinction between different classes. - Jainists
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