Standard Chinese known as Modern Standard Mandarin, Standard Mandarin, Modern Standard Mandarin Chinese, or Mandarin, is a standard variety of Chinese, the sole official language of China, the de facto official language of Taiwan and one of the four official languages of Singapore. Its pronunciation is based on the Beijing dialect, its vocabulary on the Mandarin dialects, its grammar is based on written vernacular Chinese. Like other varieties of Chinese, Standard Chinese is a tonal language with topic-prominent organization and subject–verb–object word order, it has more initial consonants but final consonants and tones than southern varieties. Standard Chinese is an analytic language, though with many compound words. There are two standardised forms of the language, namely Putonghua in Mainland China and Guoyu in Taiwan. Aside from a number of differences in pronunciation and vocabulary, Putonghua is written using simplified Chinese characters, Guoyu is written using traditional Chinese characters.
Many characters are identical between the two systems. In Chinese, the standard variety is known as: 普通话 in the People's Republic of China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Standard Chinese is commonly referred to by generic names for "Chinese", notably 中文. In total, there have been known over 20 various names for the language; the term Guoyu had been used by non-Han rulers of China to refer to their languages, but in 1909 the Qing education ministry applied it to Mandarin, a lingua franca based on northern Chinese varieties, proclaiming it as the new "national language". The name Putonghua has a long, albeit unofficial, history, it was used as early as 1906 in writings by Zhu Wenxiong to differentiate a modern, standard Chinese from classical Chinese and other varieties of Chinese. For some linguists of the early 20th century, the Putonghua, or "common tongue/speech", was conceptually different from the Guoyu, or "national language"; the former was a national prestige variety. Based on common understandings of the time, the two were, in fact, different.
Guoyu was understood as formal vernacular Chinese, close to classical Chinese. By contrast, Putonghua was called "the common speech of the modern man", the spoken language adopted as a national lingua franca by conventional usage; the use of the term Putonghua by left-leaning intellectuals such as Qu Qiubai and Lu Xun influenced the People's Republic of China government to adopt that term to describe Mandarin in 1956. Prior to this, the government used both terms interchangeably. In Taiwan, Guoyu continues to be the official term for Standard Chinese; the term Guoyu however, is less used in the PRC, because declaring a Beijing dialect-based standard to be the national language would be deemed unfair to speakers of other varieties and to the ethnic minorities. The term Putonghua, on the contrary, implies nothing more than the notion of a lingua franca. During the government of a pro-Taiwan independence coalition, Taiwan officials promoted a different reading of Guoyu as all of the "national languages", meaning Hokkien and Formosan as well as Standard Chinese.
Huayu, or "language of the Chinese nation" simply meant "Chinese language", was used in overseas communities to contrast Chinese with foreign languages. Over time, the desire to standardise the variety of Chinese spoken in these communities led to the adoption of the name "Huayu" to refer to Mandarin; this name avoids choosing a side between the alternative names of Putonghua and Guoyu, which came to have political significance after their usages diverged along political lines between the PRC and the ROC. It incorporates the notion that Mandarin is not the national or common language of the areas in which overseas Chinese live. Hanyu, or "language of the Han people", is another umbrella term used for Chinese. However, it has confusingly two different meanings: Standard Chinese; this term, as well as Hànzú, is a modern concept. A related concept is Hànzì; the term "Mandarin" is a translation of Guānhuà, which referred to the lingua franca of the late Chinese empire. The Chinese term is obsolete as a name for the standard language, but is used by linguists to refer to the major group of Mandarin dialects spoken natively across most of northern and southwestern China.
In English, "Mandarin" may refer to the standard language, the dialect group as a whole, or to historic forms such as the late Imperial lingua franca. The name "Modern Standard Mandarin" is sometimes used by linguists who wish to distinguish the current state of the shared language from other northern and historic dialects; the Chinese have different languages in different provinces, to such an extent
13th Dalai Lama
Thubten Gyatso was the 13th Dalai Lama of Tibet. In 1878 he was recognized as the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, he was escorted to Lhasa and given his pre-novice vows by the Panchen Lama, Tenpai Wangchuk, named "Ngawang Lobsang Thupten Gyatso Jigdral Chokley Namgyal". In 1879 he was enthroned at the Potala Palace, but did not assume political power until 1895, after he had reached his maturity. Thubten Gyatso was an intellectual reformer, he was responsible for countering the British expedition to Tibet, restoring discipline in monastic life, increasing the number of lay officials to avoid excessive power being placed in the hands of the monks. The 13th Dalai Lama was born in the village of Thakpo Langdun, one day by car, south-east from Lhasa, near Sam-ye Monastery, Tak-po province, in June 1876 to parents Kunga Rinchen and Lobsang Dolma, a peasant couple. Laird gives his birthdate as 27 May 1876, Mullin gives it as'dawn on the 5th month of the Fire Mouse Year.' Agvan Dorzhiev, a Khori-Buryat Mongol, a Russian subject, was born in the village of Khara-Shibir, not far from Ulan Ude, to the east of Lake Baikal.
He left home in 1873 at 19 to study at the Gelugpa monastery, near Lhasa, the largest monastery in Tibet. Having completed the traditional course of religious studies, he began the academic Buddhist degree of Geshey Lharampa, he continued his studies to become Tsanid-Hambo, or "Master of Buddhist Philosophy". He became a tutor and "debating partner" of the teenage Dalai Lama, who became friendly with him and used him as an envoy to Russia and other countries. C. G. E. Mannerheim met Thubten Gyatso in Utaishan during the course of his expedition from Turkestan to Peking. Mannerheim wrote his diary and notes in Swedish to conceal the fact that his ethnographic and scientific party was an elaborate intelligence gathering mission for the Russian army; the 13th Dalai Lama gave a blessing of white silk for the Russian Tsar and in return received Mannerheim's precious seven-shot officer's pistol with a full explanation of its use, as a gift. "Obviously," the 14th Dalai Lama said, "The 13th Dalai Lama had a keen desire to establish relations with Russia, I think he was a little skeptical toward England at first.
There was Dorjiev. To the English he was a spy, but in reality he was a good scholar and a sincere Buddhist monk who had great devotion to the 13th Dalai Lama." After the British expedition to Tibet by Sir Francis Younghusband in early 1904, Dorzhiev convinced the Dalai Lama to flee to Urga in Mongolia 2,400 km to the northeast of Lhasa, a journey which took four months. The Dalai Lama spent over a year in Urga and the Wang Khuree Monastery giving teachings to the Mongolians. In Urga he met the 8th Bogd Gegeen Jebtsundamba Khutuktu several times; the content of these meetings is unknown. According to report from A. D. Khitrovo, the Russian Border Commissioner in Kyakhta Town, the Dalai Lama and the influential Mongol Khutuktus, high lamas and princes "irrevocably decided to secede from China as an independent federal state, carrying out this operation under the patronage and support from Russia, taking care to avoid the bloodshed"; the Dalai Lama insisted that if Russia would not help, he would ask Britain, his former foe, for assistance.
After the Dalai Lama fled, the Qing dynasty proclaimed him deposed and again asserted sovereignty over Tibet, making claims over Nepal and Bhutan as well. The Treaty of Lhasa was signed at the Potala between Great Britain and Tibet in the presence of the Amban and Nepalese and Bhutanese representatives on 7 September 1904; the provisions of the 1904 treaty were confirmed in a 1906 treaty signed between Great Britain and China. The British, for a fee from the Qing court agreed "not to annex Tibetan territory or to interfere in the administration of Tibet", while China engaged "not to permit any other foreign state to interfere with the territory or internal administration of Tibet"; the Dalai Lama is. The British invasion of Lhasa in 1904 had repercussions in the Tibetan Buddhist world, causing extreme anti-western and anti-Christian sentiment among Tibetan Buddhists; the British invasion triggered intense and sudden Qing intervention in Tibetan areas, to develop and bring the regions under strong Qing central control.
The Tibetan Lamas in Batang proceeded to revolt in 1905, massacring Chinese officials, French missionaries, Christian Catholic converts. The Tibetan monks opposed the Catholics, razing the Catholic mission's Church, slaughtering all Catholic missionaries and Qing officials; the Manchu Qing official Fengquan was assassinated by the Tibetan Batang Lamas, along with other Manchu and Han Chinese Qing officials and the French Catholic priests, who were all massacred when the rebellion started in March 1905. Tibetan Gelugpa monks in Nyarong and Litang revolted and attacked missions and churches and slaughtered westerners; the British invasion of Lhasa, the missionaries, the Qing were linked in the eyes of the Tibetans, as hostile foreigners to be attacked. Zhongtian was the location of Batang monastery; the Tibetans slaughtered the converts, torched the building of the missionaries in Batang due to their xenophobia. Sir Francis Edward Younghusband wrote that At the same time, on the opposite side of Tibet they were still more aggressive, expe
Kamalaśīla was an Indian Buddhist of Nalanda Mahavihara who accompanied Śāntarakṣita to Tibet at the request of Trisong Detsen. Dargyay, et al. convey a lineage of transmission and translation of Śīla, Sutrayana Buddhavacana and the Six Pāramitā, from India to Tibet: The Indian pandits, represented by Śāntarakṣita, Kamalaśīla, his disciple Ye-śes-dbang-po, form a known group. These scholars were all defenders of the Madhyamaka school, based upon Nāgārjuna's teachings. First of all, they taught the ten rules of behaviour of the Buddhist ethics and a summary of the teachings according to the canonic Sūtras of the Mahāyāna, as well as the virtuous works of the six pāramitās; these exercises are supposed to lead, in a long endless way, to the gradual ascent to the acquisition of higher intellectual abilities culminating in Buddhahood. This trend was intensified after the debate of bSam-yas had taken place in the years 792 to 794. In 793 Trisong Detsen resolved. Following intense protests from Moheyan's supporters, Trisong Detsen proposed to settle the matter by sponsoring a debate, the "Council of Lhasa", although it may have taken place at Samye, a considerable distance from Lhasa.
Kamalaśila was invited to represent Vajrayana while Moheyan represented the East Mountain Teaching of Chan Buddhism. Most Tibetan sources state that the debate was decided in Kamasila's favour and Moheyan was required to leave the country and that all sudden-enlightenment texts were gathered and destroyed by royal decree; this was a pivotal event in the history of Tibetan Buddhism, which would afterward continue to follow the late Indian model with only minor influence from China. Moheyan's teachings were a mixture of the East Mountain Teachings associated with Yuquan Shenxiu and with the teachings of Baotang Wuzhu. There is a Cham dance that retells the story of the Council of Lhasa related to the teachings of Chöd. Moheyan is depicted as of ample girth, goaded by children. Chöd is a product of both the Chinese transmissions of Buddhism into the Himalayas. For a discussion of the Dunhuang fulcrum of the entwined relationship of Chinese and Indian Buddhism see van Schaik and Dalton. For simplicity, the Vajrayana transmission may be characterised as "gradual" and the Chan as "direct".
It needs to be emphasised that this neat dichotomy in characterisation of these two approaches is only valid for the historical context of the great debate between Kamalaśīla and Moheyan and then it is still open to dialectic. According to the lore of the orthodox, prevailing Tibetan cultural tradition, Kamalaśīla, a scholar educated at Nalanda, advocated the "gradual" process to enlightenment; the historicity of this debate has been drawn into question by Tucci & Heissig and Ruegg though this does not lessen its importance in defining the religious and cultural traditions of Tibet. Kamalaśīla was handsome and a great orator and "won" the debate: though there are conflicting primary sources and secondary accounts. One hagiography asserts that directly after this debate with Moheyan, as Kamalaśīla was making his way down from the Himalaya to the Indian lowlands, he was incited to enact phowa through compassionate duress, transferring his mindstream to animate a corpse polluted with a dangerous infection and thereby safely moving the hazard it presented to a nearby community.
As the mindstream of Kamalaśīla was otherwise engaged, a mahasiddha by the name of Dampa Sangye came across the vacant body of Kamalaśīla. Padampa Sangye was not karmically blessed with an aesthetic corporeal form, upon finding the handsome and healthy empty body of Kamalaśīla, which he perceived as a newly-dead fresh corpse, transferred his mindstream into Kamalaśīla's body. Padampa Sangye's mindstream in Kamalaśīla's body continued the ascent to the Himalaya and thereby transmitted the Chöd; the mindstream of Kamalaśīla, upon endeavouring to return to his body, was unable to do so and resorted by necessity to the vacant body of Padampa Sangye. The mindstream of Padampa Sangye continued in this body, it is in this handsome body that the transmission of Chöd was made to Machig Labdrön, his consort. Kamalaśīla is renowned for writing three texts, all called Bhāvanākrama, which summarize and build upon aspects of the Yogacara tradition of Asanga as pertaining to aspects of meditation practice and mental cultivation.
The first volume was translated into Classic Chinese. Commentary on Difficult Points by Kamalaśīla Nagarjuna Bhāvanākrama Kamalaśīla; the Tibetan Text of the Second Bhāvanākrama. Goshima Kiyotaka. Kamalaśīla. Bhāvanākramaḥ: Tibetan version, Sanskrit restoration and Hindi translation. Central Inst. of Higher Tibetan studies. Kamalaśīla. Bhāvanākrama of Kamalaśila: Transl. Into English by Parmananda Sharma. Aditya Prakashan. ISBN 978-81-86471-15-9. Kamalaśīla; the Stages of Meditation: Bhāvanākrama II. Middle volume. Translated b
The Dhamma Chakra is a symbol from ancient India and one of the Ashtamangala of Hinduism, Buddhism. The Dhamma wheel symbol has represented Buddhism, Gautama Buddha's teachings and his walking of the path to Enlightenment since the time of early Buddhism; the symbol is connected to the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. The Sanskrit noun dharma is a derivation from the root dhṛ, which has a meaning of "to hold, keep", takes a meaning of "what is established or firm", hence "law", it is derived from the Vedic Sanskrit n-stem dharman- with the meaning "bearer, supporter" in the historical Vedic religion conceived of as an aspect of Ṛta. The wheel is the main attribute of Vishnu, the Vedic god of preservation. Madhavan and Parpola note Chakra sign appears in Indus Valley civilization, on several seals. Notably, in a sequence of ten signs on the Dholavira signboard, four are the chakra. Common Dharmachakra symbols consist of either 24 spokes. In Unicode, as emoji: ☸️; the Buddha described the 24 qualities of ideal Buddhist followers, represented by the 24 spokes of the Ashoka Chakra which represent 24 qualities of a Santani: Also an integral part of the emblem is the motto inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script: Satyameva Jayate.
This is a quote from the concluding part of the sacred Hindu Vedas. In the Bhagavad Gita too, verses 14, 15 and 16, of Chapter 3 speaks about the revolving wheel thus: "From food, the beings are born; the one who does not follow the wheel thus revolving, leads a sinful, vain life, rejoicing in the senses." The Dharmachakra is one of the ashtamangala of Buddhism. It is one of the oldest known Buddhist symbols found in Indian art, appearing with the first surviving post-Indus Valley Civilization Indian iconography in the time of the Buddhist king Ashoka; the Buddha is said to have set the dhammacakka in motion when he delivered his first sermon, described in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. The wheel itself depicts ideas about the cycle of saṃsāra and furthermore the Noble Eightfold Path. Buddhism adopted the wheel as the main symbol of the chakravartin "wheel-turner", the ideal king or "universal monarch", symbolising the ability to cut through all obstacles and illusions. According to Harrison, the symbolism of "the wheel of the law" and the order of Nature is visible in the Tibetan prayer wheels.
The moving wheels symbolize the movement of cosmic order. The image, having been found in antiquity is referred to as Rimbo is an accepted symbol used in Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, first Vice President of India has stated that the Ashoka Chakra of India represents the Dharmachakra. In the Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana, two kings named Jadabharata of the Hindu solar and lunar dynasties are referred to as "Chakravartins". Jagdish Chandra Jain referred to this icon in Kalinga. In Jainism, the Dharmachakra is worshipped as a symbol of the dharma. Other "chakras" appear in other Indian traditions, e.g. Vishnu's Sudarśanacakra, a wheel-shaped weapon; the former Flag of Sikkim featured a version of the dharmachakra. Thai people use a yellow flag with a red dhammacakka as their Buddhist flag; the emblem of Mongolia includes a dharmachakra together with some other Buddhist attributes such as the padma, cintamani, a blue khata and the Soyombo symbol. The dharmachakra is the insignia for Buddhist chaplains in the United States Armed Forces.
In non-Buddhist cultural contexts, an eight-spoked dharmachakra resembles a traditional ship's wheel. As a nautical emblem, this image is a common sailor tattoo. In the Unicode computer standard, the dharmachakra is called the "Wheel of Dharma" and found in the eight-spoked form, it is represented as U+2638. In Falun Gong or Falun Dafa, the Fǎlún is described as “an intelligent, rotating entity composed of high-energy matter.” Practitioners of Falun Gong cultivate this Law Wheel, which rotates in the lower abdomen, the same focal point described as Lower Dāntián. Dorothy C. Donath. Buddhism for the West: Theravāda, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna. Julian Press. ISBN 0-07-017533-0. Media related to Dharmacakra at Wikimedia CommonsBuddhist Wheel Symbol
Hanyu Pinyin abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, written using Chinese characters; the system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters; the pinyin system was developed in the 1950s by many linguists, including Zhou Youguang, based on earlier forms of romanizations of Chinese. It was published by revised several times; the International Organization for Standardization adopted pinyin as an international standard in 1982, was followed by the United Nations in 1986. The system was adopted as the official standard in Taiwan in 2009, where it is used for international events rather than for educational or computer-input purposes, but "some cities and organizations, notably in the south of Taiwan, did not accept this", so it remains one of several rival romanization systems in use.
The word Hànyǔ means'the spoken language of the Han people', while Pīnyīn means'spelled sounds'. In 1605, the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci published Xizi Qiji in Beijing; this was the first book to use the Roman alphabet to write the Chinese language. Twenty years another Jesuit in China, Nicolas Trigault, issued his Xi Ru Ermu Zi at Hangzhou. Neither book had much immediate impact on the way in which Chinese thought about their writing system, the romanizations they described were intended more for Westerners than for the Chinese. One of the earliest Chinese thinkers to relate Western alphabets to Chinese was late Ming to early Qing dynasty scholar-official, Fang Yizhi; the first late Qing reformer to propose that China adopt a system of spelling was Song Shu. A student of the great scholars Yu Yue and Zhang Taiyan, Song had been to Japan and observed the stunning effect of the kana syllabaries and Western learning there; this galvanized him into activity on a number of fronts, one of the most important being reform of the script.
While Song did not himself create a system for spelling Sinitic languages, his discussion proved fertile and led to a proliferation of schemes for phonetic scripts. The Wade–Giles system was produced by Thomas Wade in 1859, further improved by Herbert Giles in the Chinese–English Dictionary of 1892, it was popular and used in English-language publications outside China until 1979. In the early 1930s, Communist Party of China leaders trained in Moscow introduced a phonetic alphabet using Roman letters, developed in the Soviet Oriental Institute of Leningrad and was intended to improve literacy in the Russian Far East; this Sin Wenz or "New Writing" was much more linguistically sophisticated than earlier alphabets, but with the major exception that it did not indicate tones of Chinese. In 1940, several thousand members attended a Border Region Sin Wenz Society convention. Mao Zedong and Zhu De, head of the army, both contributed their calligraphy for the masthead of the Sin Wenz Society's new journal.
Outside the CCP, other prominent supporters included Sun Fo. Over thirty journals soon appeared written in Sin Wenz, plus large numbers of translations, some contemporary Chinese literature, a spectrum of textbooks. In 1940, the movement reached an apex when Mao's Border Region Government declared that the Sin Wenz had the same legal status as traditional characters in government and public documents. Many educators and political leaders looked forward to the day when they would be universally accepted and replace Chinese characters. Opposition arose, because the system was less well adapted to writing regional languages, therefore would require learning Mandarin. Sin Wenz fell into relative disuse during the following years. In 1943, the U. S. military engaged Yale University to develop a romanization of Mandarin Chinese for its pilots flying over China. The resulting system is close to pinyin, but does not use English letters in unfamiliar ways. Medial semivowels are written with y and w, apical vowels with r or z.
Accent marks are used to indicate tone. Pinyin was created by Chinese linguists, including Zhou Youguang, as part of a Chinese government project in the 1950s. Zhou is called "the father of pinyin," Zhou worked as a banker in New York when he decided to return to China to help rebuild the country after the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, he became an economics professor in Shanghai, in 1955, when China's Ministry of Education created a Committee for the Reform of the Chinese Written Language, Premier Zhou Enlai assigned Zhou Youguang the task of developing a new romanization system, despite the fact that he was not a professional linguist. Hanyu Pinyin was based on several existing systems: Gwoyeu Romatzyh of 1928, Latinxua Sin Wenz of 1931, the diacritic markings from zhuyin. "I'm not the father of pinyin," Zhou said years later. It's a lo
Simplified Chinese characters
Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language; the government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Hong Kong and the Republic of China. While traditional characters can still be read and understood by many mainland Chinese and the Chinese community in Malaysia and Singapore, these groups retain their use of simplified characters. Overseas Chinese communities tend to use traditional characters. Simplified Chinese characters may be referred to by their official name colloquially; the latter refers to simplifications of character "structure" or "body", character forms that have existed for thousands of years alongside regular, more complicated forms.
On the other hand, the official name refers to the modern systematically simplified character set, which includes not only structural simplification but substantial reduction in the total number of standardized Chinese characters. Simplified character forms were created by reducing the number of strokes and simplifying the forms of a sizable proportion of Chinese characters; some simplifications were based on popular cursive forms embodying graphic or phonetic simplifications of the traditional forms. Some characters were simplified by applying regular rules, for example, by replacing all occurrences of a certain component with a simplified version of the component. Variant characters with the same pronunciation and identical meaning were reduced to a single standardized character the simplest amongst all variants in form. Many characters were left untouched by simplification, are thus identical between the traditional and simplified Chinese orthographies; some simplified characters are dissimilar to and unpredictably different from traditional characters in those where a component is replaced by a simple symbol.
This has led some opponents of simplification to complain that the'overall process' of character simplification is arbitrary. Proponents counter that the system of simplification is internally consistent. Proponents have emphasized a some particular simplified characters as innovative and useful improvements, although many of these have existed for centuries as longstanding and widespread variants. A second round of simplifications was promulgated in 1977, but was retracted in 1986 for a variety of reasons due to the confusion caused and the unpopularity of the second round simplifications. However, the Chinese government never dropped its goal of further simplification in the future. In August 2009, the PRC began collecting public comments for a modified list of simplified characters; the new Table of General Standard Chinese Characters consisting of 8,105 characters was implemented for use by the State Council of the People's Republic of China on June 5, 2013. Although most of the simplified Chinese characters in use today are the result of the works moderated by the government of the People's Republic of China in the 1950s and 60s, character simplification predates the PRC's formation in 1949.
Cursive written text always includes character simplification. Simplified forms used in print are attested as early as the Qin dynasty. One of the earliest proponents of character simplification was Lufei Kui, who proposed in 1909 that simplified characters should be used in education. In the years following the May Fourth Movement in 1919, many anti-imperialist Chinese intellectuals sought ways to modernise China. Traditional culture and values such as Confucianism were challenged. Soon, people in the Movement started to cite the traditional Chinese writing system as an obstacle in modernising China and therefore proposed that a reform be initiated, it was suggested that the Chinese writing system should be either simplified or abolished. Lu Xun, a renowned Chinese author in the 20th century, stated that, "If Chinese characters are not destroyed China will die". Recent commentators have claimed that Chinese characters were blamed for the economic problems in China during that time. In the 1930s and 1940s, discussions on character simplification took place within the Kuomintang government, a large number of Chinese intellectuals and writers maintained that character simplification would help boost literacy in China.
In 1935, 324 simplified characters collected by Qian Xuantong were introduced as the table of first batch of simplified characters, but they were suspended in 1936. The PRC issued its first round of official character simplifications in two documents, the first in 1956 and the second in 1964. Within the PRC, further character simplification became associated with the leftists of the Cultural Revolution, culminating with the second-round simplified characters, which were promulgated in 1977. In part due to the shock and unease felt in the wake of the Cultural Revolution and Mao's death, the second-round of simplifications was poorly received. In 1986 the authorities retracted the second round completely. In the same year, the authorities promulgated a final list of simplifications, identical to the 1964 list except for six changes (including the restoration of three characters, simplified in the First Round: 叠, 覆, 像.
Deity yoga is a practice of Vajrayana Buddhism involving identification with a chosen deity through visualisations and rituals, the realisation of emptiness. According to the Tibetan scholar Tsongkhapa, deity yoga is what separates Buddhist Tantra practice from the practice of other Buddhist schools. Deity yoga involves the generation stage and the completion stage. In the generation stage, one dissolves the mundane world and visualizes one's chosen deity, its mandala and companion deities, resulting in identification with this divine reality. In the completion stage, one dissolves the visualization of and identification with the yidam in the realization of sunyata or emptiness. Completion stage practices can include subtle body energy practices; the purpose of Deity yoga is to bring the meditator to the realization that the yidam or meditation deity and the practitioner are in essence the same, that they are non-dual. According to John Powers. "Deity yoga is a technique for becoming progressively more familiar with the thoughts and deeds of a buddha, until the state of buddhahood is actualized through repeated practice."According to Gyatrul Rinpoche, the point of this practice is to "understand your buddha nature, the essence of your being" and is "intrinsically present" in all beings.
The fact that the deity is a reflection of qualities inherent in the practitioner is what makes this practice different than mere deluded or wishful thinking. The yidam appears in a mandala and the practitioner visualizes himself or herself and their environment as the yidam and mandala of their Deity Yoga practice; this visualization method undermines a habitual belief that views of reality and self are solid and fixed, enabling the practitioner to purify spiritual obscurations and to practice compassion and wisdom simultaneously: Deity Yoga employs refined techniques of creative imagination and photism in order to self-identify with the divine form and qualities of a particular deity as the union of method or skilful means and wisdom. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama says, "In brief, the body of a Buddha is attained through meditating on it". Representations of the deity, such as a statues, paintings, or mandalas, are employed as an aid to visualization in both the Generation Stage and the Completion Stage of Anuttarayoga Tantra.
The mandalas are symbolic representations of sacred enclosures, sacred architecture that house and contain the uncontainable essence of a yidam. In the book, The World of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama describes a mandala: “This is the celestial mansion, the pure residence of the deity.” In the Vajrayāna Buddhism of Tibet and East Asia, which follow the Nālandā Tradition of India-Tibet-China, there are fifteen major tantric sādhanās, each connected with a specific yidam: All of these are available in Tibetan form, many are available in Chinese, some are still extant in ancient Sanskrit manuscripts. Mandalas are used as an aid in realizing the inner ground: xternal ritual and internal sadhana form an indistinguishable whole, this unity finds its most pregnant expression in the form of the mandala, the sacred enclosure consisting of concentric squares and circles drawn on the ground and representing that adamantine plane of being on which the aspirant to Buddhahood wishes to establish himself.
The unfolding of the tantric ritual depends on the mandala. In Tantric Buddhism, the generation stage is the first phase of Deity yoga, it is associated with the'Father Tantra' class of anuttara-yoga-tantras of the Sarmapa or associated with what is known as Mahayoga Tantras by the Nyingmapa. An example of a'Father Tantra' is the Guhyasamāja Tantra; the generation stage engages creative imagination or visualization as an upaya or skillful means of personal transformation through which the practitioner either visualizes a meditational deity or refuge tree before themselves in front generation, or as themselves in self generation, to engender an alteration to their perception and/or experience of the appearance aspect of reality. One practices oneself in the identification with the meditational Buddha or deity by visualisations, until one can meditate single-pointedly on being the deity. According to Tsongkhapa, throughout the various stages of visualization one is to maintain the cognition of emptiness and "one trains in everything to appear as like illusions".
Reginald Ray writes that during the process of yidam visualization, the deity is to be imaged as not solid or tangible, as "empty yet apparent", with the character of a mirage or a rainbow. In the generation stage of Deity Yoga, the practitioner visualizes the "Four Purities" which define the principal Tantric methodology of Deity Yoga that distinguishes it from the rest of Buddhism: Seeing one's body as the body of the deity Seeing one's environment as the pure land or mandala of the deity Perceiving one's enjoyments as bliss of the deity, free from attachment Performing one's actions only for the benefit of others Front generation is a form of meditative visualization employed in Tantric Buddhism in which the yidam is visualized as being present in the sky facing the practitioner as opposed to the self-identification that occurs in self generation. According to the Vajrayana tradition, this approach is considered less advanced, hence safer for the sadhaka, is engaged more for the ri