How did the ancient Chinese and Indians view each other?

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by ericliang313, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. ericliang313

    ericliang313 Regular Member

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    I am a Chinese student, and I am very fascinated by the ancient relationship between two of the oldest civilizations in Asia. But what is more intriguing to me personally is that we know so little about it.

    I know something of how ancient China viewed India, but how did the Indians view China and the Chinese? Can anyone help me?
     
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Let us start with the ancient Chinese view of India. Why don't you let is know?
     
  4. satish007

    satish007 Senior Member Senior Member

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    DFI tradition is you introduce everything in member corner before you ask questions. Ancient counties had not email,mobile,Internet,nuke,few people care far far away places,but now even a 3 years old Indian knows Chinese have even invaded unprepared India so that we can not be bhai.
     
  5. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    @satish007 Guru my perception is @ericliang313 is a Cantonese based on my pan-Chine experience :cool2: Am I correct Eric?
     
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  6. ericliang313

    ericliang313 Regular Member

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    I am not. I am from Jiangsu Province.
     
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  7. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    ooops then my miss :namaste: in Canton and HK there're Leungs all over
     
  8. ericliang313

    ericliang313 Regular Member

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    Very well. Buddhism has indeed influenced China tremendously, enriching Chinese philosophy, medicine, literature, and other aspects of Chinese culture, and this influence is seen everywhere in China, from Shaolin temples, to dramas, movies, parodies, video games, and childhood cartoons based on the immensely popular story of the Journey to the West.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2012-11/26/c_132000063.htm
    "In ancient times, India in old Chinese writings was a holy land where the almighty and lenient Buddhas dwelled and preached their benevolent teachings. For centuries, the two oriental civilizations were plainly peaceful with each other across the Himalayas. Then came the Western colonizers who trickily planted the seeds for territorial disputes between the two countries and even a brief border war in 1962."

    India was indeed regarded as a holy land of benevolent and wise spiritual masters by most Chinese, especially the Buddhist clergy, in ancient times. The "West" in Chinese more accurately means "西天" (or the Western Heaven) referred generically to India or to the Vulture Peak of India.

    如來佛 (our name for the Buddha) is seen as the supreme deity in ancient Chinese mythology, a mixture of Chinese and Indian beliefs, and is ranked higher than even the Taoist gods. Where even the Jade Emperor and all his forces failed to subdue the Monkey, Sun Wu Kong, in the old stories, the Buddha was able to do so easily with his palm. The teachings of karma and reincarnation have also influenced Chinese mythology and thought heavily; there are Buddhist monks who tell one's family's fortunes. 天竺 is another name we called India (meaning literally in English "center of heaven"). Our current name for India, Yin Du (印度) is derived from the Tang Priest's calling of India - Wu Yin (五印), which refers to India as the land of the "five provinces".
     
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  9. ericliang313

    ericliang313 Regular Member

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    《新西游记》第59集 [超清720P] - YouTube
    (This episode is one of the newest drama portrayals of India, in which 唐僧, nearing the Vulture Peak of the Buddha with his disciples, was coerced into almost marrying the princess of India before escaping; I think you will find the Indian portrayals interesting)

    西游记-天竺少女 (India-Journey to the west) - YouTube
    (This is an older portrayal of the Tang Priest and his disciples in India, some kind of Indian dance)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-drZRFA7qyk
    洪健华 西游记 TVB-《西游记2》片尾曲 - YouTube
    (Two versions of the Cantonese song titled "Claiming the Western Scriptures", its chorus based off some kind of Buddhist mantra)

    These are basically minor examples of some elements of ancient India's influence on Chinese culture that last to this day.

    How, then, did the people of ancient India view China as a country and a people? Did Chinese culture, for example, influence India's civilization at all, perhaps through philosophy or inventions? Is anyone from India well-versed in the topic of ancient civilizations? I think knowledge in that area is particularly limited, and of great interest to both sides.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  10. srikanth

    srikanth Regular Member

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    @ericliang313

    The only reference to China from ancient India I can think of is Mahabharata.
     
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  11. satish007

    satish007 Senior Member Senior Member

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    what wrong with your title,you should be star instead of senior member.
     
  12. srikanth

    srikanth Regular Member

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    @ericliang313

    Thanks for the videos. They are amazing, please share some more like those if you know.
     
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  13. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    China referred in Mahabharata please elaborate sir.
     
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  14. srikanth

    srikanth Regular Member

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  15. Ancient Land

    Ancient Land Regular Member

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    @ericliang313

    Lao Tse is well known (in India and outside) at least among the philosophy students. We had a visiting spiritual teacher/monk (here in Melbourne two years back) from India who often quoted Lao Tse and other Indian spiritual masters in his discourses. So, I think the ancient Chinese too influenced Indians in some way.
     
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  16. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    One of the Chinese rendering of Hridaya Paramita Sutra of Budha




    Another one:
     
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  17. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    This is what happens to Sanskrit when a Chinese sings that in Mandarin style :

     
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  18. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    This is what it is in Sanskrit (Listen and be in peace);

     
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  19. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Short version

     
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  20. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    This is how we see Sino Indian cultural Heritage

     
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  21. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    http://www.indianembassy.org.cn/dynamiccontent.aspx?menuid=4&submenuid=0
    Cultural Relations between India and China: The Tradition ofContinuity

    History of Cultural Exchanges

    Both India and China, are not mere societies; they are civilizations. We do not know exactly when and how they started exchanging their cultural elements, but what we do know is that they grew in parallel and shared their cultural traits since the beginning of human history and this tradition of sharing has been continuing ever since.

    Even before the transmission of Buddhism, the Shang-Zhou civilization and the ancient Vedic civilization in 1500-1000 B.C. showed some evidence of conceptual and linguistic exchanges. For instance,"wumingzhi" (nameless finger) in Chinese is called "anamika" (nameless) in Sanskrit and in Pali. Similarly, some ancient Indian literature mentions "chinas" referring to the Chinese people. The Mahabharata of the fifth century B.C. contains reference to China. Chanakya of the Maurya dynasty (350-283 B.C.) refers to Chinese silk as "chinamsuka" (Chinese silk dress) and "chinapatta" (Chinese silk bundle) in his Arthashastra. Likewise, the Record of the Grand Historian of Zhang Qian and Sima Qian has references to "Shendu", may be referring to “Sindhu” in Sanskrit.

    In sixth century B.C., the birth of Confucius and Sakyamuni opened a new period of exchanges between the two civilizations. Emperor Ashoka’s propagation of Buddhism after his conversion in 256 B.C. brought both civilizations even closer. Ashoka’s bilingual (Kharoshti and Greek) edict points at extension of Buddhism in the direction of China and Central Asia. The trend continued in first century A.D. during emperor Kanishka’s period. His empire, with its capital at Purushpura (now Peshawar inPakistan), enabled Buddhist pilgrims and scholars to travel on the historic “silk route”. Kashyapa Matanga and Dharmaratna made the White Horse monastery at Luoyang their abode. Along the silk route, Khotan Turpan and Kucha became prominent centers of Buddhism and India-China exchanges. The great scholar Kumarajiva initiated efforts to collect and translate important Buddhist texts at a great Buddhist conclave in Chang’an (present Xi’an) where he stayed until his death in 413 A.D. and managed to have 98 major Buddhist canonical works translated into Chinese. He is widely believed to be responsible for bringing in Mahayana Buddhism and Madhyamika doctrine into Chinese philosophy. In the beginning of the fifth century A.D., Dharmakshema, an Indian Buddhist scholar came to China bringing with him the “Mahaparinirvana Sutra” which was translated into Chinese about the year 415 A.D. Meanwhile, the Chinese Pilgrim Fa Hein had left for India along the Silk Route and arrived there in 405 A.D. Batuo (464-495 A.D.) and Bodhidharma visited China; Xuan Zhang (604A.D.) and I Ching were students at the prestigious Nalanda University. All along, the Silk Road played a significant role in facilitating India-China cultural, commercial and technological exchanges. It also connected both of us with the people of ancient Persia and the Mediterranean.

    Both civilizations also shared scientific knowledge. In eighth century, Indian astronomer Aryabhata's astronomical signs were translated into Chinese in the book "Kaiyuan Zhanjing" compiled by Gautama Siddha, an astronomer in Chang'an of Indian descent. It is also believed that he translated the Nabagraha calendar into Chinese. During the Ming Dynasty, navigator General Zheng. His arrival at Calicut in early 15th century is also a testimony of China’s ancient maritime linkage with India.
     

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