Manichaeism and Buddhism especially in China

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Manichaeism and Buddhism especially in China

Postby Rakshasa » Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:37 pm

Manichaeism was a very widespread religion from Iran to China, almost rivaling Christianity at one point of time. I had been recently reading about this religion and was surprised how "close" to Buddhism it was, especially after adopting many Buddhist ideas and terms in China (just like how Taoism was doing). The founder of White Lotus sect in China against the Qing dynasty was also a follower of Mani.

This scholar here has done a pretty detailed research upon it (which I am yet to study properly):
http://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j& ... mk&cad=rja

Upon researching further about it, I came to know that there is also a Monijiao Buddhist sect in China:
http://monijiao.org/

They do everything like normal Buddhists, which is pretty surprising for a religion originating in Iran!
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Re: Manichaeism and Buddhism especially in China

Postby Rakshasa » Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:47 pm

Could it be that many Buddhist sects like "Pure Land" were influenced by Manichaeism? Could "Kingdom of light" be the same as Sukhavati? Or it is the other way round? Mani, the prophet, was known to have travelled to Afghanistan at one point of time, so it is pretty clear that he was aware of Buddhism.
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Re: Manichaeism and Buddhism especially in China

Postby PorkChop » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:09 pm

Rakshasa wrote:Could it be that many Buddhist sects like "Pure Land" were influenced by Manichaeism? Could "Kingdom of light" be the same as Sukhavati? Or it is the other way round? Mani, the prophet, was known to have travelled to Afghanistan at one point of time, so it is pretty clear that he was aware of Buddhism.


Definitely the other way around.
The first Pure Land sutras had already been translated into Chinese 50+ years before Mani was ever born.
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Re: Manichaeism and Buddhism especially in China

Postby Luke » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:54 am

PorkChop wrote:Definitely the other way around.
The first Pure Land sutras had already been translated into Chinese 50+ years before Mani was ever born.

Hmm, that's very interesting. What's the proof of this?
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Re: Manichaeism and Buddhism especially in China

Postby Michael_Dorfman » Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:04 pm

Luke wrote:
PorkChop wrote:Definitely the other way around.
The first Pure Land sutras had already been translated into Chinese 50+ years before Mani was ever born.

Hmm, that's very interesting. What's the proof of this?


Nattier, in her article "The Indian Roots of Pure Land Buddhism: In sights from the Oldest Chinese Versions of the Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha" (available online at http://www3.nccu.edu.tw/~ckeng/doc/Nattier_PureLand.pdf) says the earliest Pure Land texts were translated into Chinese by Lokaṣema "in the late second century CE"; Mani, on the other hand, was born in 216 CE.
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Re: Manichaeism and Buddhism especially in China

Postby PorkChop » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:16 pm

Michael_Dorfman wrote:
Luke wrote:
PorkChop wrote:Definitely the other way around.
The first Pure Land sutras had already been translated into Chinese 50+ years before Mani was ever born.

Hmm, that's very interesting. What's the proof of this?


Nattier, in her article "The Indian Roots of Pure Land Buddhism: In sights from the Oldest Chinese Versions of the Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha" (available online at http://www3.nccu.edu.tw/~ckeng/doc/Nattier_PureLand.pdf) says the earliest Pure Land texts were translated into Chinese by Lokaṣema "in the late second century CE"; Mani, on the other hand, was born in 216 CE.


There's also:
http://www.acmuller.net/descriptive_cat ... k0024.html
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Re: Manichaeism and Buddhism especially in China

Postby Greg » Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:21 am

There is also a brief discussion in an article entitled "Manichaeism Meets Buddhism: The Problem of Buddhist Influence on Manichaeism," by Werner Sundermann in Bauddhavidyāsudhākara: Studies in Honour of Heinz Bechert on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday which is available here: http://libgen.org/book/index.php?md5=0a6d845fcd7f175ce4a8b8eb95c1c761
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