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Tantric Buddhism In Ming China

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Chapter Summary

The Ming was a Han Chinese-dominated regime established by overthrowing a foreign conquest dynasty. It is well-known that there were eight great "religious kings" and "Dharma kings" in the early Ming. With the coming of a large number of Tibetan monks, Tibetan Buddhism naturally spread in China both within the Ming palace and among ordinary people outside the palace. The extent of the mid-Ming palace's enthusiasm towards Tibetan Buddhism can be seen in the details of Buddhist persecution after the death of Wuzong. Tibetan Buddhism was consistently represented as magic by Ming literati. Despite the fact that Tibetan Buddhism was practiced by many inside and outside the Ming court, Han Chinese literati made every attempt to discriminate against Tibetan monks and Tibetan Buddhism. It is certain that many more Chinese translations of Tibetan tantric Buddhist texts were created by Zhi Guang and his disciples during the early Ming period.

Keywords: Ming China; Tibetan monks; Tibetan tantric Buddhist texts

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