奇跡

Qj

(Wondeful)

 

 

What could provide both a worthwhile path in life as well as serving as a fitting memorial (or testament) to inspire others? Most philosophies including those associated with religious movements tend to point in the same direction: "good works that include building similar drives in future generations".

Identifying such correspondences in teachings have undoubtedly played their part for some in making links between Buddhist philosophy and early Christian teachings. It may appear to be fanciful thinking to many modern Western Christians, but as it happens, the evidence is relatively prevalent ... particularly in the Far East. In China, for example, there is a pagoda-like structure in Shaanxi Province that is known as 大秦塔 (in Chinese historiography, the term 大秦 is known to refer to ancient Syria [including Judea] and 塔 refers to a tower, pagoda, steeple or lighthouse) that has been identified as a Christian structure dating to the 7th Century CE. Later, when anti-Buddhist sentiment bubbled through the region in the 9th Century CE, Christian groups feared being targeted and it was during that period that the Xi'an Stele (shown in the attached image) along with other monuments - was buried in what was believed to be an effort to protect it from damage.

The stele was rediscovered in the 17th Century CE and has subsequently been a source of information concerning the early Christian traditions that spread to East Asia particularly as it refers to patronage and interest being extended by the Chinese Emperors of the time. Among the statements appearing on the stele is an interesting commentary concerning the foundational decisions and associated practices concerning the symbolism of the "cross" that are highly divergent from the dogma that permeates modern Western Christianity. The script at the top of the documents, however, may also provide evidence of philosophies that parallel Buddhism. That traditional reading of the material is along the lines of "Stele to the Propagation in China of the Luminous Religion of the Roman Empire". Shown in the photograph on the right, the relevant text appears to be as detailed below.

中教大

國流秦

碑行景

Alternative readings are possible, including that which follows (and otherwise, also reinforces the thoughts in the introductory paragraph):

The target (that which is correct and successful) causes and provides guidance concerning greatness (what is important, ideal, admirable, exceptional, excellent and exemplary).

To establish a city or state that flows with and disseminates such fine and plentiful nourishment memorializes a path, conduct and training that is auspicious and illuminating.

 

 

 

The image shown above is a portion of the Stele carrying the inscription

noted in the associated commentary.

 

 
   
 
 
 
 
 
     

 

 

 

 

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Last modified: 12/06/22