>>544579 Buddhism is a synthetic belief in Asia, not a prime religion. Without it you would still have Confucianism and Taoism in most of East Asia, with Shinto mixed in in Japan. Basically exactly what you have now except for no Buddha or meditation (probably).
Given its vast expansion across Asia (stretching from the Indus to Vietnam and Indonesia, from Thailand to Mongolia, Korea, Japan) and its deep penetration into the religious, philosophical, artistic and literary cultures of each of these civilizations, I don't think it's possible to wager a guess.
Buddhism is bound up with the entire intellectual and cultural histories of all the great civilizations of the Far East.
Saying another Buddha would have been, that the ideas some other man who came from the intellectually fertile land of India, would have eventually crossed over the Himalayas, is like saying another Christ, some other Messiah of the ancient Jews, would surely have his teachings spread through the whole of Europe and Rome.
You are underestimating the influence that the genius of certain extremely rare and unique individuals have.
To be sure, no man is untouched by the cultural or intellectual climate of his day and people. But some create ideas which were never bound to come from such climates, which have no origin in them and which come in due time to alter everything about them.
1. There is much more, especially in the ancient world, than the political dimension of society.
There would not be pagodas without Buddhism, for example. The greatest impact was probably in the lived experience of common people across centuries, whose lives were heavily informed by Buddhist tradition, belief and ritual.
2. The influence of Buddhism is prominent in places beyond China.
>>545143 >Buddhism is bound up with the entire intellectual and cultural histories of all the great civilizations of the Far East.
Wrong, other way around. The far east influenced Buddhist intellectual and cultural histories.
Because when it first came to East Asia, man were the Chinese disgusted at its seemingly irresponsible message in how to live life. It had to be repackaged by Confucian/Taoist beliefs to be acceptable in Chinese thinking which is filial/state-centric as fuck.
Leading to the emergence of Chan buddhism. You know, the Buddhism that East Asians practice.
>>545143 >Buddhism is bound up with the entire intellectual and cultural histories of all the great civilizations of the Far East. The Japs may still take Confucianism without Buddhism, so does the Korean.
>>545216 >The influence of Buddhism is prominent in places beyond China SEA Buddhism are different with the Chinese (and Far East) one. As said before, the Japanese and Korean won't be much different without it.
>>545235 >That's like saying Christianity is second fiddle to paganism and worship on winter/summer solstice. That's like saying Europe is the same as Asia.
No, Buddhism was only ever the second major religion in East Asia. More people believed in their native gods and Buddha had to be Sinified as fuck to divorce him from his Barbarian Indian roots. This is true now, and it was more true back then.
We don't have anything to argue about my friend. The question asked to guess, I said I don't think it's a good idea to guess.
These questions aren't really meant to construct and accurate revision of history. There is a kind of butterfly affect in history that makes this whole project silly for something as ancient as the preaching of the Buddha.
But the question can still be useful if we take it as an opportunity to try and grasp just how far reaching the effects of things as broad as "Buddhism" can be. Just how many minds carry around Buddhist ideas in Asia today, or see Buddhist things, or live in a nation shaped by political forces influenced by Buddhism?
I wouldn't hesitate to say very nearly all of them, Chinese included!
Buddhism did not arrive in China the way Catholicism arrived in South America. It had many centuries to leak, bleed and weave its way across Asia. The kind of contest you seem to be imagining is a fiction. There were Chinese students studying in Sri Lankan monasteries, Chinese monks who traveled thousands of miles to India in search of mantras or legendary texts, Chinese translators of Sanskrit.
If anything the Chinese reached into India and brought it into itself. And this they did slowly, without at all abandoning older ideas.
>>545266 >The kind of contest you seem to be imagining is a fiction. >Civilization that calls itself the center of the world that easily accepting Poo-in-Loo Barbarian Teachings. Ok. >Because Buddhism was a foreign influence, however, and everything "barbarian" was suspect, certain Chinese critics were jolted out of complacency by the spread of the dharma [...] In the first four centuries of the Christian Era, this barbarian influence was infiltrating China just when it was least politically stable and more vulnerable to sedition. As the philosophy and practice infiltrated society, many traditionalists banded together to stop the foreign influence, not so much out of intolerance, but because they felt that the Chinese world view was being turned upside down. It was Barbarian. It had to be Sinified.
Fact still remains: Buddhism is only the second biggest East Asian religion. Second only to Local Beliefs. If Buddhism didn't happen, East Asia would religiously still look the same.
>>546431 I'd disagree. Buddhism did many things to pacify the degenerative part of Shinto in Japan. Both animal sacrifices and human sacrifices were practiced by Shinto but later died down with Buddhist morals/ethics catching the Japanese society.
>>544579 Southeast Asia would be hindu where it's currently buddhist. More people in East Asia currently referring to themselves as buddhists would instead identify primarily as taoist, shinto, shenist, tengrist etc. Christianity may have found less resistance during the major western imperialism. Manicheanism might survive here and there with one fewer competitor.
>>547598 One of the influence of Mani is Buddhism. Imagine a spacecraft flying without propulsion or without heatshield or without computer technology, etc.
Buddhist influence in Roman/Greek era were known. Who knows how much it impacted. The rosary practice in Christianity, the monastic order, the "desert father" ascetics could be bunch of buddhist influenced philosophers, etc. If you take one element out of something, the resulting change would be pretty drastic.
Taoism/Hinduism both competed with Buddhism and evolved with Buddhism. Without Buddhism to drive up the competition, they would be pretty different. The Hinduism was a primary competition for Buddhism and they changed substantially.
>>544579 >hindu metaphysics would develop quite differently, probably less abstractly >jainism might have a chance to expand in influence, though it would need a more practical reform movement before becoming truly viable as a state religion >japanese discourse with korea and china would be affected since there would be no exotic new religion to want to import >south east asian kingdoms would remain hindu >manicheanism would never exist >herakles would never reach japan
>>544579 Jainism would be alot bigger. there was a comtemporary of guatama that was a big jain "buddha" for lack of a better term and was spreading his philsophy at the same time. buddhism won out eventually.
This is what white buddhism is, in a female variant:
reminder that women cannot become enlightened if they miss the window which is before their puberty. non-virgin and non-menopausal women swim far too much in hedonism for them to understand anything outside hedonism. non-menopausal women remain to hippies and longing for her past hedonism.
>>551536 hellenistic framework had a huge influence on the artistic development of buddhism.
>As Buddhism expanded in Central Asia and fused with Hellenistic influences into Greco-Buddhism, the Greek hero Heracles was adopted to represent Vajrapāni. He was then typically depicted as a hairy, muscular athlete, wielding a short "diamond" club. Buddhaghosa associated Vajrapāni with the deva Indra.
>In Japan, Vajrapāni is known as "the head vajra-wielding god" (執金剛神 Shukongōshin?), and has been the inspiration for the Niō (仁王?, Benevolent Kings), the wrath-filled and muscular guardian gods of the Buddha, standing today at the entrance of many Buddhist temples under the appearance of frightening, wrestler-like statues. He is also associated with Acala (不動明王 Fudō-myōō?); the mantra for Fudō-myōō references him as the powerful wielder of the vajra.
>The origin of the image of Vajrapani should be explained. This deity is the protector and guide of the Buddha Sakyamuni. His image was modelled after that of Hercules. (...) The Gandharan Vajrapani was transformed in Central Asia and China and afterwards transmitted to Japan, where it exerted stylistic influences on the wrestler-like statues of the Guardian Deities (Nio).
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