By John Kieschnick (ed.), Meir Shahar (ed.)
India and China dominate the Asian continent yet are separated via ambitious geographic boundaries and language modifications. for lots of centuries, lots of the info that handed among the 2 lands got here via Silk direction intermediaries in lieu of first-person encounters—leaving enormous room for invention. From their advent to Indian tradition within the first centuries C.E., chinese language thinkers, writers, artists, and designers imitated India inside of their very own borders, giving Indian pictures and ideas new varieties and adapting them to their very own tradition. but India's influence on China has now not been drastically researched or good understood.
India within the chinese language Imagination takes a brand new examine the methods the chinese language embedded India in diversified artifacts of chinese language non secular, cultural, inventive, and fabric lifestyles within the premodern period. prime Asian experiences students discover where of Indian myths and storytelling in chinese language literature, how chinese language authors built-in Indian heritage into their notion of the political and non secular earlier, and the philosophical relationships among Indian Buddhism, chinese language Buddhism, and Daoism. This multifaceted quantity, illustrated with over a dozen artistic endeavors, finds the intensity and subtlety of the come across among India and China, laying off gentle on what it ability to visualize one other culture—and why it matters.
Contributors: Stephen R. Bokenkamp, Bernard Faure, John Kieschnick, Victor H. Mair, John R. McRae, Christine Mollier, Meir Shahar, Robert H. Sharf, Nobuyoshi Yamabe, Ye Derong, Shi Zhiru.
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Extra info for India in the Chinese Imagination: Myth, Religion, and Thought
Tantric Buddhism played a major role in bringing to China the characteristic iconography of the multi-headed and multi-armed Hindu divinities. The voluptuous imagining of the gods was especially apparent in their wrathful manifestations (Chinese fennu, or weinu; Sanskrit: krodha). 31 The latter revealed to Chinese artists the scope of Indian fantasies of the supernatural. Wielding assorted weaponry, the wrathful Tantric deities came to China equipped with a multiplicity of bodily organs and bedecked by abundant divine ornaments.
9 Before we proceed to examine Nezha’s Indian origins, we may summarize his salient traits: He is a child; he is divinely powerful; he is locked in conflict with his parents (especially his father); he draws a mighty bow that no one has been able to bend; and he is a dragon-tamer. a In Spring 841, Ennin (793–864) visited the Tang capital Chang’an, participating in the festivities of the Buddha Śākyamuni’s tooth, which had been treasured at the Chongsheng Monastery. ”10 The identification of Nezha (then Nazha) as Vaiśravaṇa’s son had been shared by contemporaneous Chinese sources.
Of course, the two approaches are not mutually exclusive, and a concern for “hungry ghosts” (Skt. 4 Indeed, much of the discourse on Yama is about the afterlife and the most popular texts dealt with the story of the Arhat Mulian (Skt. 5 As Stephen Teiser has shown, the Yulanpen literature spares us no details about the horrors of the Buddhist Hells. Tantric texts, on the other hand, are more concerned with Death itself, and they insist on the judicial function of Yama and his acolytes. 6 It is this “this-worldly” version of that religious system that I want to consider here.