Actually, when Buddhism first came to China it was believed to be a sect of Daoism.Xing wrote:I thought it was Taoism that was about simplicity. Could anyone explain the difference between the two religions then?broadwaytower wrote:What is it about then? Simplicity (ajjavatā or asaṭha) is the quality of being uncomplicated, direct and easy to do or understand. It is the opposite of complexity, convolution, calculation and pretence.
Daoism is native to China, formalized/founded by Laozi, a philosopher from the Warring States period of China, who lived somewhere between fifty and one hundred years before Confucius. Daoism stresses a return to nature and the natural and acknowledges a Greater Being that is referred to as the Dao, or the Way, because Laozi didn't know what else to call it. It is older than the gods and where all things come from and to which all things return. The Dao De Jing is 81 chapters, many of which are very short. Although religious Daoism has rituals and deities and a myriad other things, philosophical Daoism is concerned only with contemplation of the Dao and a return to the natural. That is to say, living in a simple and relatively stress free way.
Buddhism was founded in what is present day Nepal by Shakyamuni, or Siddhartha Gautama. So it is told, Siddhartha Gautama was a prince of the Shakya clan (hence Shakyamuni, or prince of the Shakya). There were (or weren't, depending on the branch) portents that foretold that Siddhartha Gautama was to become a wandering monk or a great warrior, his father liked the sound of great warrior and made as much of an attempt to keep him in the palace and sated of all curiosities as best he could. But Siddhartha Gautama escaped the palace one night and saw suffering, death and met a monk. Siddhartha gave up his princedom and became a wandering monk as well, and eventually gained Enlightenment. He discovered that there either were no Vedic gods, or that the Vedic gods were merely another form of existence (depending on who you ask) and that the real Truth was Nirvana and breaking the cycle of death/rebirth with Enlightenment and eventually merging with Nirvana.
Superficially and quickly it is easy to see why when Buddhism first entered China in about 67A.D. the people thought it was a form of Daosim. But in some places the two differ greatly. Daoism, in its purest form, does not have a concept like Karma, nor the death/rebirth cycle that Buddhism has. Both have ethical codes, Buddhism's concerned with the accrueage of good Karma and ridding oneself of bad Karma, whereas Daoism really doesn't have any kind of consequence if one acts amorally. Daoism pretty much just says you should be good because that's what nature wants. No Daoist hell exists, though there are some 1,000 hells in Buddhism (but you only stay in hell for as long as you need to to cleanse bad karma). Buddhism and Daoism both have a concept of simplicity and natural order.
I hope something in that mad rambling helped.
Modicone: Split from the Papisa-samama thread.