The exact time of the introduction of
Buddhism into China is hard to be ascertained. At its early
years after introduction, Buddhism did not have much influence.
It is said that in the year 2BC, Yi Cun, an
emissary of Dayuezhi Kingdom (an ancient mid-Asian country established by a
strong Chinese minority originally living in northern China and later moved to
the west), arrived in Chang'an (today's Xi'an City), capital of China at the
time. He dictated Buddhism to Doctor Jing Lu. And this is the first record about
the introduction of Buddhism into China.
There is another saying that during the
reign of the Indian King Asoka (272-226 BC), 18 Indians visited China's Xianyang
City during the reign of Qin Emperor Shihuang (the first ever emperor of the Qin
Dynasty, 246-210 BC, and therefore the first ever emperor of feudal China). In
the year 250BC, King Asoka convoked the third conference and, after the
conference, Dade was sent to spread Buddhism to other countries including