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Why did the Longmen Grottoes not develop in the Sui Dynasty?

The development of Longmen Grottoes has been tortuous and not all smooth sailing. Unfortunately, the Northern Wei Dynasty was in troubled times after the Longmen Grottoes were excavated and failed to develop. During the Sui Dynasty and the early Tang Dynasty, the development of caves during this period was slow, and it was also suspended due to regional conflicts.

During the Northern Wei Dynasty, Buddhism was advocated, and the carving technology was very mature. The sculpture art was concentrated in the cave temples at that time. It has inherited the Chinese artistic tradition since the Qin and Han dynasties, and has also been influenced by foreign, especially ancient Indian art.

At that time, Emperor Xiaowen of the Xianbei tribe moved his capital to Luoyang, Henan from Datong, Shanxi. He built the Yungang Grottoes in Datong before. When he arrived in Luoyang, he continued to build Longmen Grottoes. However, because ethnic minorities have been sinicized after they came to the Central Plains, the faces and costumes of Buddha statues are quite different from those of Yungang Grottoes. Most of the mountain statues in the feudal era represented the will of the ruling class.

At the end of the Southern and Northern Dynasties, Emperor Wu Wenyong of the Northern Zhou Dynasty was brave and heroic. In 575 AD (32 years old), he personally conquered the Northern Qi Dynasty and unified the north again at the age of 34. In 574, Yuwenyong threatened not to be afraid of going to hell, and that Buddha and Taoism would be destroyed, destroying Buddhist scriptures and statues, and making monks and Taoists return to vulgarity.

After the Northern Qi Dynasty was destroyed, the two religions of Buddhism and Taoism were forbidden in the original Northern Qi, 40,000 monasteries were seized as mansions, Buddhist sites were burned, and 3 million monks and nuns were forced to return to the vulgar. In June of the following year, the northern expedition to the Turks, the army arrived, but Emperor Wu died of a sudden illness at the age of 35.

“Sui Shu” records: when Yang Jian was in the temple, purple gas was full of the courtyard. Bhikshuni Zhixian said to his mother: This child is an extraordinary one and must be raised by her herself. Yang Jian returned to his parents at the age of 13. After Yang Jian ascended the throne, as predicted, the Eastern Buddhism was pushed to its peak, and the Sui Dynasty also experienced a flourishing emperor.

Emperor Wen of the Sui Dynasty (581-604) inherited the rule of the Northern Zhou Dynasty. From the very beginning, he changed the policy of Emperor Wu Wenyong of Zhou Wu to destroy Buddhism, and took Buddhism as one of his policies to consolidate his rule. This is not unrelated to the fact that he was born in Fengyi (present-day Dali County, Shaanxi) and was raised by Zhixianni at the Praruuni Temple and when Tan Yanli asked to revive Buddhism when he came to the throne.

He first ordered the restoration of the ruined temples, allowed people to become monks, and ordered every household to pay for the creation of scripture statues. The capital (Chang’an) and the capitals of Bingzhou, Xiangzhou, Luozhou and other capitals were written by the official family and kept in the temples and Inside the secret pavilion, so the world prevails, the folk Buddhist scriptures are many times more than the Confucian six scriptures.

However, although Buddhism developed at this time, it had nothing to do with the Longmen Grottoes. The Longmen Grottoes were not built. In the early Tang Dynasty, the development of Buddhism was tortuous. How could anyone care about the Longmen Grottoes? The prosperity of the Longmen Grottoes in the Tang Dynasty began in the period of Wu Zetian.

At the end of the Sui Dynasty, the war was chaotic and history repeated itself. In 618, Li Yuan replaced the Sui Dynasty and established the Tang Dynasty, but Li Yuan did not believe in Buddhism and even ordered a campaign to exterminate Buddhism.

In 626, Taishi ordered Fu Yi to write a book to destroy the Buddha seven times, and his words were intense. Regardless of the opposition of the overwhelming majority of his officials, Li Yuan issued an edict in May: “There are three temples and two temples in the capital. The rest of the world keeps one each. “Other temples and Taoist temples were demolished, and only the diligent Buddha and Taoist disciples were offered. Other orders were returned to vulgarity.

At that time, there were only more than 300 state capitals in the Tang Dynasty, and there were more than 5,000 temples, 500,000 monks and nuns, and nearly one hundred Buddha caves in the country. However, the Xuanwumen Incident occurred in June. Li Shimin was pro-political, and the edict failed to be implemented. If this were not the case, the history of the Tang Dynasty might have to be rewritten.

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