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Thread: Ancient Hindu Temples in China

  1. #1

    Ancient Hindu Temples in China

    http://www.india.cd/members/indian/activity/872/

    China’s hindu temples were built by Tamil traders 800 years to 1000 years ago for personal worship when they settled in Quanzhou region for managing trade. Many of them have collapsed now but manuscripts and figures of gods have been recovered and preserved by Chinese museums. Earliest settlers from Tamil kingdoms came as early as 6th or 7th century. “These rich Indian men and women mainly live on vegetables, milk and rice,” a Chinese writer of that time wrote, unlike the Chinese “who eat meat and fish.”
    Philosoraptor

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something." - Plato

  2. #2

    Re: Ancient Hindu Temples in China

    This is fascinating. There is certainly a great untold story to be discovered of the ancient interactions between Southern India and East Asia. In addition to the trade with China recounted here, the similarities between the Tamil and Japanese languages are truly striking.

  3. #3

    Re: Ancient Hindu Temples in China

    delete
    Last edited by Sudas Paijavana; 17 January 2014 at 07:04 PM.

  4. #4

    Re: Ancient Hindu Temples in China

    What I found most interesting about this was the anecdote, from a non-interested source, asserting that the Indian visitors were vegetarians.

    This is interesting because some academics perpetually argue that whatever is good about Hinduism (i.e. vegetarianism, etc) was a later addition.
    Philosoraptor

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something." - Plato

  5. #5

    Re: Ancient Hindu Temples in China

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor View Post
    What I found most interesting about this was the anecdote, from a non-interested source, asserting that the Indian visitors were vegetarians.

    This is interesting because some academics perpetually argue that whatever is good about Hinduism (i.e. vegetarianism, etc) was a later addition.
    Also interesting to note that the Indians are described as rich. Of course, they were merchants, but this also cuts against the tendency of westerners to see India as having been perpetually poor (and to blame this poverty on an imagined Hindu "fatalism," essentially a mangled version of the karma doctrine).

    And also worth pointing out that they were living in China, meaning ancient Indians traveled (contrary to simplistic readings of the Manusmriti). And presumably some of them were Brahmins. Someone had to serve in those temples. This was definitely the case in Southeast Asia during the same period.

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    Re: Ancient Hindu Temples in China

    Pranam


    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffery D. Long View Post
    Also interesting to note that the Indians are described as rich. Of course, they were merchants, but this also cuts against the tendency of westerners to see India as having been perpetually poor (and to blame this poverty on an imagined Hindu "fatalism," essentially a mangled version of the karma doctrine).
    That perception is absolutely wrong, India was and still is very rich, first for thousand of years it has been perpetually looted and now the politicians has been doing it.

    And also worth pointing out that they were living in China, meaning ancient Indians traveled (contrary to simplistic readings of the Manusmriti). And presumably some of them were Brahmins. Someone had to serve in those temples. This was definitely the case in Southeast Asia during the same period.
    My understanding is that the crossing the sea was tabu, i could be wrong but that is my understanding.

    Long before 1000 year history of this temple Ashoka's empire stretched a far distance.

    It is though very interesting to note the dietary habit of Indians then, although it would not come as surprise to many of us.

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    Re: Ancient Hindu Temples in China

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffery D. Long View Post
    Also interesting to note that the Indians are described as rich. Of course, they were merchants, but this also cuts against the tendency of westerners to see India as having been perpetually poor (and to blame this poverty on an imagined Hindu "fatalism," essentially a mangled version of the karma doctrine).
    According to economic historian Angus Maddison in his book Contours of the world economy, 1–2030 AD: essays in macro-economic history, India had the world's largest economy in terms of GDP for 16 of the last 20 centuries. In fact India's share of the world economy was around 33% compared to about 21% for the U.S.A. today. Not surprisingly, India's share of world GDP declined continuously throughout the period it was under the rule of the adharmic ideologies of Islam, Christianity and Socialism. It is only after free market reforms that India's share of the world economy has begun to rise again.
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    Re: Ancient Hindu Temples in China

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor View Post
    What I found most interesting about this was the anecdote, from a non-interested source, asserting that the Indian visitors were vegetarians.

    This is interesting because some academics perpetually argue that whatever is good about Hinduism (i.e. vegetarianism, etc) was a later addition.

    Excellent info and deduction also. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    The influence of Hindu tradition is visibly seen in Thailand today, which means the Hindus used to travel regularly by sea in Bay of Bengal. They ofcourse must have traveled further in the south china sea to extend influence on Philippines, Quanzhou etc.

    Looking at Thailand, Sri Lanka etc. it seems like some kind of efforts to spread our dharma were always going on.

    The warning against crossing the sea must have originated by examining the culture in those countries.

    Atleast one thing is for sure. If our ancestors could manage to be staunch vegetarians even in China of those times, we should be ashamed of complaining about practicality of being a strict vegetarian, now .

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    Re: Ancient Hindu Temples in China

    delete
    Last edited by Sudas Paijavana; 17 January 2014 at 04:38 PM.

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    Re: Ancient Hindu Temples in China

    I live near Hong Kong and will be visiting the Happy Valley temple there within the next week or so- I'll post some pictures.

    There are very few if any Hindu temples in mainland China particularly in the north but the government is now supporting Mahayana Buddhist and Taoist-Shenist temples. There is a very fine place down the road from me in Zhuhai- I have a few photos...
    Be without the three gunas, O Arjuna

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