History of China
The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty, during the king Wu Ding's reign, recorded as the twenty-first Shang king by the written records of Shang dynasty unearthed. Ancient historical texts such as the Records of the Grand Historian and the Bamboo Annals describe a Xia dynasty before the Shang, but no writing is known from the period, Shang writings do not indicate the existence of the Xia; the Shang ruled in the Yellow River valley, held to be the cradle of Chinese civilization. However, Neolithic civilizations originated at various cultural centers along both the Yellow River and Yangtze River; these Yellow River and Yangtze civilizations arose millennia before the Shang. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest civilizations, is regarded as one of the cradles of civilization; the Zhou dynasty supplanted the Shang, introduced the concept of the Mandate of Heaven to justify their rule.
The central Zhou government began to weaken due to external and internal pressures in the 8th century BC, the country splintered into smaller states during the Spring and Autumn period. These states became warred with one another in the following Warring States period. Much of traditional Chinese culture and philosophy first developed during those troubled times. In 221 BC, Qin Shi Huang conquered the various warring states and created for himself the title of Huangdi or "emperor" of the Qin, marking the beginning of imperial China. However, the oppressive government fell soon after his death, was supplanted by the longer-lived Han dynasty. Successive dynasties developed bureaucratic systems that enabled the emperor to control vast territories directly. In the 21 centuries from 206 BC until AD 1912, routine administrative tasks were handled by a special elite of scholar-officials. Young men, well-versed in calligraphy, history and philosophy, were selected through difficult government examinations.
China's last dynasty was the Qing, replaced by the Republic of China in 1912, in the mainland by the People's Republic of China in 1949, resulting in two de facto states claiming to be the legitimate government of all China. Chinese history has alternated between periods of political unity and peace, periods of war and failed statehood – the most recent being the Chinese Civil War. China was dominated by steppe peoples, most of whom were assimilated into the Han Chinese culture and population. Between eras of multiple kingdoms and warlordism, Chinese dynasties have ruled parts or all of China. Traditional culture, influences from other parts of Asia and the Western world, form the basis of the modern culture of China. What is now China was inhabited by Homo erectus more than a million years ago. Recent study shows that the stone tools found at Xiaochangliang site are magnetostratigraphically dated to 1.36 million years ago. The archaeological site of Xihoudu in Shanxi Province has evidence of use of fire by Homo erectus, dated 1.27 million years ago, Homo erectus fossils in China include the Yuanmou Man, the Lantian Man and the Peking Man.
Fossilised teeth of Homo sapiens dating to 125,000–80,000 BC have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Dao County in Hunan. Evidence of Middle Palaeolithic Levallois technology has been found in the lithic assemblage of Guanyindong Cave site in southwest China, dated to 170,000–80,000 years ago; the Neolithic age in China can be traced back to about 10,000 BC. The earliest evidence of cultivated rice, found by the Yangtze River, is carbon-dated to 8,000 years ago. Early evidence for proto-Chinese millet agriculture is radiocarbon-dated to about 7000 BC. Farming gave rise to the Jiahu culture. At Damaidi in Ningxia, 3,172 cliff carvings dating to 6000–5000 BC have been discovered, "featuring 8,453 individual characters such as the sun, stars and scenes of hunting or grazing"; these pictographs are reputed to be similar to the earliest characters confirmed to be written Chinese. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BC, Dadiwan from 5800 BC to 5400 BC, Damaidi around 6000 BC and Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BC.
Some scholars have suggested. Excavation of a Peiligang culture site in Xinzheng county, found a community that flourished in 5,500 to 4,900 BC, with evidence of agriculture, constructed buildings and burial of the dead. With agriculture came increased population, the ability to store and redistribute crops, the potential to support specialist craftsmen and administrators. In late Neolithic times, the Yellow River valley began to establish itself as a center of Yangshao culture, the first villages were founded. Yangshao culture was superseded by the Longshan culture, centered on the Yellow River from about 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Bronze artifacts have been found at the Majiayao culture site, The Bronze Age is represented at the Lower Xiajiadian culture site in northeast China. Sanxingdui located in what is now Sichuan province is believed to be the site of a major ancient city, of a unknown Bronze Age culture; the site was first discovered in 1929 and re-dis
Gautama Buddha known as Siddhārtha Gautama in Sanskrit or Siddhattha Gotama in Pali, Shakyamuni Buddha, or the Buddha, after the title of Buddha, was a monk, sage, philosopher and religious leader on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He is believed to have lived and taught in the northeastern part of ancient India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement common in his region, he taught throughout other regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kosala. Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism, he is believed by Buddhists to be an enlightened teacher who attained full Buddhahood and shared his insights to help sentient beings end rebirth and suffering. Accounts of his life and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarised after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400 years later.
Scholars are hesitant to make unqualified claims about the historical facts of the Buddha's life. Most people accept that the Buddha lived and founded a monastic order during the Mahajanapada era during the reign of Bimbisara, the ruler of the Magadha empire, died during the early years of the reign of Ajatasatru, the successor of Bimbisara, thus making him a younger contemporary of Mahavira, the Jain tirthankara. While the general sequence of "birth, renunciation, search and liberation, death" is accepted, there is less consensus on the veracity of many details contained in traditional biographies; the times of Gautama's birth and death are uncertain. Most historians in the early 20th century dated his lifetime as c. 563 BCE to 483 BCE. More his death is dated between 411 and 400 BCE, while at a symposium on this question held in 1988, the majority of those who presented definite opinions gave dates within 20 years either side of 400 BCE for the Buddha's death; these alternative chronologies, have not been accepted by all historians.
The evidence of the early texts suggests that Siddhārtha Gautama was born into the Shakya clan, a community, on the periphery, both geographically and culturally, of the eastern Indian subcontinent in the 5th century BCE. One of his usual names was "Sakamuni" or "Sakyamunī", it was either a small republic, or an oligarchy, his father was an elected chieftain, or oligarch. According to the Buddhist tradition, Gautama was born in Lumbini, now in modern-day Nepal, raised in the Shakya capital of Kapilvastu, which may have been either in what is present day Tilaurakot, Nepal or Piprahwa, India. According to Buddhist tradition, he obtained his enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, gave his first sermon in Sarnath, died in Kushinagar. Apart from the Vedic Brahmins, the Buddha's lifetime coincided with the flourishing of influential Śramaṇa schools of thought like Ājīvika, Cārvāka, Ajñana. Brahmajala Sutta records sixty-two such schools of thought. In this context, a śramaṇa refers to one who toils, or exerts themselves.
It was the age of influential thinkers like Mahavira, Pūraṇa Kassapa, Makkhali Gosāla, Ajita Kesakambalī, Pakudha Kaccāyana, Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta, as recorded in Samaññaphala Sutta, whose viewpoints the Buddha most must have been acquainted with. Indeed and Moggallāna, two of the foremost disciples of the Buddha, were the foremost disciples of Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta, the sceptic. There is philological evidence to suggest that the two masters, Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, were indeed historical figures and they most taught Buddha two different forms of meditative techniques. Thus, Buddha was just one of the many śramaṇa philosophers of that time. In an era where holiness of person was judged by their level of asceticism, Buddha was a reformist within the śramaṇa movement, rather than a reactionary against Vedic Brahminism; the life of the Buddha coincided with the Achaemenid conquest of the Indus Valley during the rule of Darius I from about 517/516 BCE. This Achaemenid occupation of the areas of Gandhara and Sindh, to last for about two centuries, was accompanied by the introduction of Achaemenid religions, reformed Mazdaism or early Zoroastrianism, to which Buddhism might have in part reacted.
In particular, the ideas of the Buddha may have consisted of a rejection of the "absolutist" or "perfectionist" ideas contained in these Achaemenid religions. No written records about Gautama were found from his lifetime or from the one or two centuries thereafter. In the middle of the 3rd century BCE, several Edicts of Ashoka mention the Buddha, Ashoka's Rummindei Minor Pillar Edict commemorates the Emperor's pilgrimage to Lumbini as the Buddha's birthplace. Another one of his edicts mentions the titles of several Dhamma texts, establishing the existence of a written Buddhist tradition at least by the time of the Maurya era; these texts may be the precursor of the Pāli Canon. "Sakamuni" in mentioned in the reliefs of Bharhut, dated to circa 100 BCE, in relation with his illumination and the Bodhi tree, with the inscription Bhagavato Sakamunino Bodho. The oldest surviving Buddhist manuscripts are the Gandhāran Buddhist texts, repor
Bahá'u'lláh, was a Persian religious leader and the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, which advocates universal peace and unity among all races and religions. At the age of 27, Bahá'u'lláh became a follower of the Báb, a Persian merchant who began preaching that God would soon send a new prophet similar to Jesus or Muhammad; the Báb and thousands of followers were executed by the Iranian authorities for their beliefs. Bahá'u'lláh faced exile from his native Iran, in Baghdad in 1863 claimed to be the expected prophet of whom the Báb foretold. Thus, Bahá'ís regard Bahá'u'lláh to be a Manifestation of God, fulfilling of the eschatological expectations of Islam and other major religions. Bahá'u'lláh faced further imprisonment under Ottoman authorities in Edirne, to the prison city of Acre, where he spent his final 24 years of life, his burial place is a destination of pilgrimage for his followers, the Bahá'í World Centre sits in nearby Haifa. He wrote many religious works, notably the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the Kitáb-i-Íqán, The Seven Valleys, the Hidden Words.
Bahá'u'lláh's teachings focus on the unity of God and mankind. Similar to other monotheistic religions, God is considered the source of all created things. Religion, according to Bahá'u'lláh, is renewed periodically by Manifestations of God, people who are made perfect through divine intervention and whose teachings are the sources of the major world religions throughout history. Bahá'ís view Bahá'u'lláh as the first of these teachers whose mission includes the spiritual unification of the entire planet through the eradication of racism and nationalism. Bahá'u'lláh's teachings include the need for a world tribunal to adjudicate disputes between nations, a uniform system of weights and measures, an auxiliary language that could be spoken by all the people on earth. Bahá'u'lláh taught that the cycles of revelatory renewal will continue in the future, with Manifestations of God appearing about every thousand years. Bahá'u'lláh was born Mírzá Ḥusayn-`Alí Núrí on 12 November 1817, in Tehran, the capital of Persia, present-day Iran.
Bahá'í authors trace his ancestry back to Abraham through Abraham's wife Keturah, to Zoroaster, to Yazdgerd III, the last king of the Sassanid Empire, to Jesse. According to the Bahá'í author John Able, Bahá'ís consider Bahá'u'lláh to have been "descended doubly, from both Abraham and Sarah, separately from Abraham and Keturah", his mother was Khadíjih Khánum, his father was Mírzá Buzurg. Bahá ` u ` lláh's father served as vizier to the twelfth son of Fat ′ h Ali Shah Qajar. Mírzá Buzurg was appointed governor of Burujird and Lorestan, a position that he was stripped of during a government purge when Muhammad Shah came to power. After the death of his father, Bahá'u'lláh was asked to take a government post by the new vizier Hajji Mirza Aqasi, but declined. Bahá'u'lláh had three wives, he married his first wife Ásíyih Khánum, the daughter of a nobleman, in Tehran in 1835, when he was 18 and she was 15. She was given the title of Navváb, his second wife was his widowed cousin Fátimih Khánum. The marriage took place in Tehran in 1849 when she was 21 and he was 32.
She was known as Mahd-i-`Ulyá. His third wife was Gawhar Khánum and the marriage occurred in Baghdad sometime before 1863, he had five of whom he outlived. Bahá'ís regard Ásíyih Khánum and her children Mírzá Mihdí, Bahíyyih Khánum and `Abdu'l-Bahá to be the Bahá'í holy family. In 1844, a 24-year-old man from Shiraz, Siyyid Mírzá `Alí-Muḥammad, claimed to be the promised redeemer of Islam, taking the title of the Báb, which means "the gate"; the resulting Bábí movement spread across the Persian Empire, attracting widespread opposition from the Islamic clergy. The Báb himself was executed in 1850 by a firing squad in the public square of Tabriz at the age of 30; the Báb claimed no finality for his revelation. In his writings, he alluded to a Promised One, most referred to as "Him whom God shall make manifest". According to the Báb, this personage, promised in the sacred writings of previous religions, would establish the kingdom of God on the Earth; the Báb entreats his believers to follow Him whom God shall make manifest when he arrives.
The Báb eliminated the institution of successorship or vicegerency to his movement, stated that no other person's writings would be binding after his death until Him whom God shall make manifest had appeared. Bahá'u'lláh first heard of the Báb when he was 27, received a visitor sent by the Báb, Mullá Husayn, telling him of the Báb and his claims. Bahá'u'lláh became a Bábí and helped to spread the new movement in his native province of Núr, where he became recognized as one of its most influential believers, his notability as a local gave him many openings, his trips to teach the religion were met with success among some of the religious class. He helped to protect fellow believers, such as Táhirih, for which he was temporarily imprisoned in Tehran and punished with bastinado or foot whipping. Bahá'u'lláh, in the summer of 1848 attended the conference of Badasht in the province of Khorasan, where 81 prominent Bábís met for 22 days, it is at this conference that Bahá'u'lláh took on
The Han dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms period. Spanning over four centuries, the Han period is considered a golden age in Chinese history. To this day, China's majority ethnic group refers to themselves as the "Han Chinese" and the Chinese script is referred to as "Han characters", it was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han, interrupted by the Xin dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang. This interregnum separates the Han dynasty into two periods: the Western Han or Former Han and the Eastern Han or Later Han; the emperor was at the pinnacle of Han society. He presided over the Han government but shared power with both the nobility and appointed ministers who came from the scholarly gentry class; the Han Empire was divided into areas directly controlled by the central government using an innovation inherited from the Qin known as commanderies, a number of semi-autonomous kingdoms.
These kingdoms lost all vestiges of their independence following the Rebellion of the Seven States. From the reign of Emperor Wu onward, the Chinese court sponsored Confucianism in education and court politics, synthesized with the cosmology of scholars such as Dong Zhongshu; this policy endured until the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911 AD. The Han dynasty saw an age of economic prosperity and witnessed a significant growth of the money economy first established during the Zhou dynasty; the coinage issued by the central government mint in 119 BC remained the standard coinage of China until the Tang dynasty. The period saw a number of limited institutional innovations. To finance its military campaigns and the settlement of newly conquered frontier territories, the Han government nationalized the private salt and iron industries in 117 BC, but these government monopolies were repealed during the Eastern Han dynasty. Science and technology during the Han period saw significant advances, including the process of papermaking, the nautical steering ship rudder, the use of negative numbers in mathematics, the raised-relief map, the hydraulic-powered armillary sphere for astronomy, a seismometer employing an inverted pendulum that could be used to discern the cardinal direction of distant earthquakes.
The Xiongnu, a nomadic steppe confederation, defeated the Han in 200 BC and forced the Han to submit as a de facto inferior and vassal partner, but continued their military raids on the Han borders. Emperor Wu launched several military campaigns against them; the ultimate Han victory in these wars forced the Xiongnu to accept vassal status as Han tributaries. These campaigns expanded Han sovereignty into the Tarim Basin of Central Asia, divided the Xiongnu into two separate confederations, helped establish the vast trade network known as the Silk Road, which reached as far as the Mediterranean world; the territories north of Han's borders were overrun by the nomadic Xianbei confederation. Emperor Wu launched successful military expeditions in the south, annexing Nanyue in 111 BC and Dian in 109 BC, in the Korean Peninsula where the Xuantu and Lelang Commanderies were established in 108 BC. After 92 AD, the palace eunuchs involved themselves in court politics, engaging in violent power struggles between the various consort clans of the empresses and empresses dowager, causing the Han's ultimate downfall.
Imperial authority was seriously challenged by large Daoist religious societies which instigated the Yellow Turban Rebellion and the Five Pecks of Rice Rebellion. Following the death of Emperor Ling, the palace eunuchs suffered wholesale massacre by military officers, allowing members of the aristocracy and military governors to become warlords and divide the empire; when Cao Pi, King of Wei, usurped the throne from Emperor Xian, the Han dynasty ceased to exist. According to the Records of the Grand Historian, after the collapse of the Qin dynasty the hegemon Xiang Yu appointed Liu Bang as prince of the small fief of Hanzhong, named after its location on the Han River. Following Liu Bang's victory in the Chu–Han Contention, the resulting Han dynasty was named after the Hanzhong fief. China's first imperial dynasty was the Qin dynasty; the Qin unified the Chinese Warring States by conquest, but their empire became unstable after the death of the first emperor Qin Shi Huang. Within four years, the dynasty's authority had collapsed in the face of rebellion.
Two former rebel leaders, Xiang Yu of Chu and Liu Bang of Han, engaged in a war to decide who would become hegemon of China, which had fissured into 18 kingdoms, each claiming allegiance to either Xiang Yu or Liu Bang. Although Xiang Yu proved to be a capable commander, Liu Bang defeated him at Battle of Gaixia, in modern-day Anhui. Liu Bang assumed the title "emperor" at the urging of his followers and is known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu. Chang'an was chosen as the new capital of the reunified empire under Han. At the beginning of the Western Han known as the Former Han dynasty, thirteen centrally controlled commanderies—including the capital region—existed in the western third of the empire, while the eastern two-thirds were divided into ten semi-autonomous kingdoms. To placate his prominent commanders from the war with Chu, Emperor Gaozu enfeoffed some of them as kings. By 157 BC, the Han court h
Maitreya, Metteyya, is regarded as a future Buddha of this world in Buddhist eschatology. In some Buddhist literature, such as the Amitabha Sutra and the Lotus Sutra, he is referred to as Ajita. According to Buddhist tradition, Maitreya is a bodhisattva who will appear on Earth in the future, achieve complete enlightenment, teach the pure dharma. According to scriptures, Maitreya will be a successor to Gautama Buddha; the prophecy of the arrival of Maitreya refers to a time in the future when the dharma will have been forgotten by most on the terrestrial world. Maitreya has been adopted for his millenarian role by many non-Buddhist religions in the past, such as the White Lotus, as well as by modern new religious movements, such as Yiguandao; the name Maitreya is derived from the Sanskrit word maitrī "loving-kindness", in turn derived from the noun mitra "friend". The Pali form Metteyya is mentioned in the Cakkavatti-Sīhanāda Sutta of the Pāli Canon, in chapter 28 of the Buddhavamsa. Most of the Buddha's sermons are presented as having been presented in answer to a question, or in some other appropriate context, but this sutta has a beginning and ending in which the Buddha is talking to monks about something different.
This leads scholar Richard Gombrich to conclude that either the whole sutta is apocryphal or that it has at least been tampered with. In the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara, in the first centuries CE in northern India, Maitreya was the most popular figure to be represented along with Gautama Buddha. In 4th to 6th-century China, "Buddhist artisans used the names Shakyamuni and Maitreya interchangeably... indicating both that the distinction between the two had not yet been drawn and that their respective iconographies had not yet been set". An example is the stone sculpture found in the Qingzhou cache dedicated to Maitreya in 529 CE as recorded in the inscription; the religious belief of Maitreya developed around the same time as that of Amitābha, as early as the 3rd century CE. One mention of the prophecy of Maitreya is in the Maitreyavyākaraṇa, it implies that he is a teacher of meditative trance sādhanā and states that gods and other beings: Will lose their doubts, the torrents of their cravings will be cut off: free from all misery they will manage to cross the ocean of becoming.
No longer will they regard anything as their own, they will have no possession, no gold or silver, no home, no relatives! But they will lead the holy life of oneness under Maitreya's guidance, they will have torn the net of the passions, they will manage to enter into trances, theirs will be an abundance of joy and happiness, for they will lead a holy life under Maitreya's guidance. Maitreya is pictured seated, with either both feet on the ground or crossed at the ankles, on a throne, waiting for his time, he is dressed in the clothes of either a Indian royalty. As a bodhisattva, he would be standing and dressed in jewels, he wears a small stupa in his headdress that represents the stupa with relics of Gautama Buddha to help him identify it when his turn comes to lay claim to his succession and can be holding a dharmachakra resting on a lotus. A khata is always tied around his waist as a girdle. In the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara, Maitreya is represented as a northern Indian nobleman, holding a kumbha in his left hand.
Sometimes this is a "wisdom urn". He is flanked by the brothers Asanga and Vasubandhu; the Maitreyasamiti was an extensive Buddhist play in pre-Islamic Central Asia. The Maitreyavyakarana in Central Asia and the Anagatavamsa of South India mention him. Maitreya resides in the Tuṣita Heaven, said to be reachable through meditation. Gautama Buddha lived here before he was born into the world as all bodhisattvas live in the Tuṣita Heaven before they descend to the human realm to become Buddhas. Although all bodhisattvas are destined to become Buddhas, the concept of a bodhisattva differs in Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism. In Theravada Buddhism, a bodhisattva is one, striving for full enlightenment, whereas in Mahayana Buddhism, a bodhisattva is one who has reached a advanced state of grace or enlightenment but holds back from entering nirvana so that he may help others. In Mahayana Buddhism, Buddhas preside over pure lands, such as Amitābha over Sukhavati. Once Maitreya becomes a buddha, he will rule over the Ketumati pure land, an earthly paradise sometimes associated with the city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India.
In Theravada Buddhism, Buddhas are born as unenlightened humans, are not rulers of any paradise or pure land. Maitreya's arising would be no different from the arising of Gautama Buddha, as he achieved full enlightenment as a human being and died, entering parinibbana. In Mahayana schools, Maitreya is traditionally said to have revealed the Five Treatises of Maitreya through Asanga; these texts are the basis of the Yogacara tradition and constitute the majority of the third turning within the Three Turnings of the Wheel of Dharma. According to Buddhist tradition, each kalpa has 1,000 Buddhas; the previous kalpa was the vyuhakalpa, the present kalpa is called the bhadrakalpa. The Seven Buddhas of Antiquity are seven Buddhas which bridge the vyuhakalpa and the bhadrakalpa: Vipassī Sikhī Vessabhū (the 1000th and final Buddha of the vyuhak
Nurhaci was a Jurchen chieftain who rose to prominence in the late 16th century in Manchuria. Nurhaci was part of the Aisin Gioro clan, reigned from 1616 to his death in September 1626. Nurhaci reorganised and united various Jurchen tribes, consolidated the Eight Banners military system, launched attacks on Ming China and Joseon Korea, his conquest of Ming China's northeastern Liaodong province laid the groundwork for the conquest of the rest of China by his descendants, who founded the Qing dynasty in 1644. He is generally credited with ordering the creation of a new written script for the Manchu language based on the Mongolian vertical script. Nurhaci is written as ᠨᡠᡵᡤᠠᠴᡳ in Manchu language; some suggests that the meaning of the name in the Manchu language is "the skin of a wild boar". Regarded as the founding father of the Qing dynasty, he is given the customary temple name of Taizu, traditionally assigned to founders of dynasties, his name is alternatively spelled Nurgaci, Nurhachi, or Nu-er-ha-chi.
Nurhaci was the last chieftain of the Jianzhou Jurchens and First Khan of the Later Jin dynasty. His title in Manchu as Khan was ᡤᡝᡵᡝᠨᡤᡠᡵᡠᠨ ᠪᡝᡠᠵᡳᡵᡝᡤᡝᠩᡤᡳᠶᡝᠨᡥᠠᠨ Geren Gurun-be Ujire Genggiyen Han, his regnal name was Tianming, in Mongolian Тэнгэрийн сүлдэт Tengri-yin Süldetü. It means "The Emperor of Heaven's Mandate." He was given a posthumous name in 1736, the shortened form of, "Emperor Gao" Nurhaci was born on 8 April 1559. Being a member of the Gioro clan of the Suksuhu River tribe, Nurhaci claimed descent from Mentemu, a Jurchen headman who lived some two centuries earlier; the young man grew up as a soldier in the household of the Ming dynasty general Li Chengliang in Fushun, where he learned Chinese. He named his clan Aisin Gioro around 1612, when he formally ascended the throne as the Khan of the Later Jin dynasty. In 1582, Nurhaci's father Taksi and grandfather Giocangga were killed in an attack on Gure by a rival Jurchen chieftain, Nikan Wailan while being led by Li Chengliang; the following year, Nurhaci began to unify the Jurchen bands around his area.
In 1584, when Nurhaci was 25, he attacked Nikan Wailan at Turun to avenge the deaths of his father and grandfather, who are said to have left him nothing but thirteen suits of armor. Nikan Wailan fled away to Erhun, which Nurhaci attacked again in 1587. Nikan Wailan this time fled to Li Chengliang's territory; as a way to build relationship, Li gave Nikan Wailan to Nurhaci, who beheaded Nikan Wailan immediately. With Li's support, Nurhaci grew his strength in the following years. In 1593, the Yehe called upon a coalition of nine tribes: the Hada, Hoifa, Khorchin Mongols, Guwalca, Jušeri and the Yehe themselves to attack the Jianzhou Jurchens, they were defeated at the Battle of Gure and Nurhaci emerged victorious. From 1599 to 1618, Nurhaci set out on a campaign against the four Hulun tribes, he began by attacking the Hada in 1599 and conquering them in 1603. In 1607, Hoifa was conquered with the death of its beile Baindari, followed by an expedition against Ula and its beile Bujantai in 1613, the Yehe and its beile Gintaisi at the Battle of Sarhu in 1619.
In 1599, Nurhaci gave two of his translators, Erdeni Baksi and Dahai Jargūci, the task of creating a Manchu alphabet by adapting the Mongolian script. In 1606, he was granted the title of Kundulun Khan by the Mongols. In 1616, Nurhaci declared himself Khan and founded the Jin dynasty called the Later Jin in reference to the legacy of the earlier Jurchen Jin dynasty of the 12th century, he constructed a palace at Mukden. The "Later Jin" was renamed to "Qing" by his son Hong Taiji after his death in 1626, however Nurhaci is referred to as the founder of the Qing dynasty. In order to help with the newly organized administration, five of his trusted companions were appointed as his chief councilors, Anfiyanggū, Eidu, Hūrhan and Hohori. Only after he became Khan did he unify the Ula and the Yehe, the clan of his consort Monggo Jerjer. Nurhaci chose to variously emphasize either differences or similarities in lifestyles with other peoples like the Mongols for political reasons. Nurhaci said to the Mongols that "The languages of the Chinese and Koreans are different, but their clothing and way of life is the same.
It is the same with us Mongols. Our languages are different, but our clothing and way of life is the same." Nurhaci indicated that the bond with the Mongols was not based in any real shared culture, rather it was for pragmatic reasons of "mutual opportunism", when he said to the Mongols: "You Mongols raise livestock, eat meat and wear pelts. My people live on grain. We two are not one country and we have different languages." In 1618, Nurhaci commissioned a document entitled the Seven Grievances in which he enumerated seven problems with Ming rule and began to rebel against the domination of the Ming dynasty. A majority of the grievances dealt with conflicts against Yehe, Ming favouritism of Yehe. Nurhaci led many successful engagements against the Ming Chinese, the Koreans, the Mongols, other J
Chinese folk religion
Chinese folk religion or Han folk religion or Shenism is the religious tradition of the Han Chinese, including veneration of forces of nature and ancestors, exorcism of harmful forces, a belief in the rational order of nature which can be influenced by human beings and their rulers as well as spirits and gods. Worship is devoted to a multiplicity of gods and immortals, who can be deities of phenomena, of human behaviour, or progenitors of lineages. Stories regarding some of these gods are collected into the body of Chinese mythology. By the 11th century, these practices had been blended with Buddhist ideas of karma and rebirth, Taoist teachings about hierarchies of gods, to form the popular religious system which has lasted in many ways until the present day. Chinese religions have a variety of sources, local forms, founder backgrounds, ritual and philosophical traditions. Despite this diversity, there is a common core that can be summarised as four theological and moral concepts: Tian, the transcendent source of moral meaning.
Yin and yang is the polarity that describes the order of the universe, held in balance by the interaction of principles of growth and principles of waning, with yang preferred over yin in common religion. Ling, "numen" or "sacred", is the inchoate order of creation. Both the present day government of China and the imperial dynasties of the Ming and Qing tolerated village popular religious cults if they bolstered social stability but suppressed or persecuted those that they feared would undermine it. After the fall of the empire in 1911, governments and elites opposed or attempted to eradicate folk religion in order to promote "modern" values, many condemned "feudal superstition"; these conceptions of folk religion began to change in Taiwan in the late 20th century and in mainland China in the 21st. Many scholars now view folk religion in a positive light. In recent times Chinese folk religions are experiencing a revival in Taiwan; some forms have received official understanding or recognition as a preservation of traditional Chinese culture, such as Mazuism and the Sanyi teaching in Fujian, Huangdi worship, other forms of local worship, for example the Longwang, Pangu or Caishen worship.
Chinese "popular religion" or "folk religion" or "folk belief" have long been used to indicate the local and communal religious life and complexities of Han local indigenous cults of China in English-language academic literature, though the Chinese language has not had a concept or overarching name for this. In Chinese academic literature and common usage "folk religion" refers to specific organised folk religious sects. "Folk beliefs" is a technical term with little usage outside the academia, in which it entered into usage at first among Taiwanese scholars from Japanese language during Japan's occupation, between the 1990s and the early 21st century among mainland Chinese scholars. With the rise of the study of traditional cults and the creation of a government agency to give legal status to this religion and philosophers in China have proposed the adoption of a formal name in order to solve the terminological problems of confusion with folk religious sects and conceptualise a definite field for research and administration.
The terms that have been proposed include "Chinese native religion" or "Chinese indigenous religion", "Chinese ethnic religion", or simply "Chinese religion" viewed as comparable to the usage of the term "Hinduism" for Indian religion, "Shenxianism" inspired by the term "Shenism", used in the 1950s by the anthropologist Allan J. A. Elliott; the Qing dynasty scholars Yao Wendong and Chen Jialin used the term shenjiao not referring to Shinto as a definite religious system, but to local shin beliefs in Japan. Other definitions that have been used are "folk cults","spontaneous religion", "lived religion", "local religion", "diffused religion"."Shendao" is a term used in the Yijing referring to the divine order of nature. Around the time of the spread of Buddhism in the Han period, it was used to distinguish the indigenous religion from the imported religion. Ge Hong used it in his Baopuzi as a synonym for Taoism; the term was subsequently adopted in Japan in the 6th century as Shindo Shinto, with the same purpose of identification of the Japanese indigenous religion.
In the 14th century, the Hongwu Emperor used the term "Shendao" identifying the indigenous cults, which he strengthened and systematised."Chinese Universism", not in the sense of "universalism", a system of universal application, Tian in Chinese thought, is a coinage of Jan Jakob Maria de Groot that refers to the metaphysical perspective that lies behind the Chinese religious tradition. De Groot calls Chinese Universism "the ancient metaphysical view that serves as the basis of all classical Chine