By Simon Foster
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Pinning down exactly what enlightenment constitutes is a tricky one, but could be 48 n Confucianism described as an omniscience of all beings, in all their lives, the consequences of their actions and thus the symbiosis inherent in the cosmos! Schools of Buddhism Buddhism has many forms, the most significan t of wh ich are mahayana (Greater Vehicle), as practiced in China, and theravada (Lesser Vehicle), prominent in Southeast Asia. Theravada is the version which originally arrived in China, but its focus on gaining nirvana as an individual had little hold with the regimented group mentality prominent in the Middle Kingdom.
65). The Tang dynasty was Buddhism’s great era in Chinese history and monks numbered in the hundreds of thousands. It was also during this period that China’s great Bud- Buddhism n 47 Introduction dhist cave art flourished, most spectacularly at Longmen near Luoyang in Shandong province, at Dunhuang in Gansu province and at Dazu in Szechuan province. Life of Sakyamuni Buddhism is a religion borne of Sakyamuni, a Nepali prince, also known as Siddhartha Gautama. Having been sheltered from the harsh realities of life by living within a palace, Siddhartha was shocked by his first glimpses of the outside world and renounced his earthly possessions in the search for release from the earthly cycle of life, death and re-birth.
For those traveling into western mountain regions, you’ll likely encounter yaks, both wild and domesticated and, if you’re southwardbound, you may see monkeys. China’s rivers also offer an array of wildlife, including river dolphins (see list below), sturgeons and even alligators. Fauna n 39 Endangered Species Brown Eared Pheasant – China has a quarter of the world’s 196 species of pheasant, including the rare brown eared variety. It is unique to China and lives in high mountain coniferous forests in Shaanxi and Hebei provinces.