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Hansen And Wriggins: A Comparative Analysis

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One thing that both readings made very clear was the importance of miracles in the spread and acceptance of Buddhism during its early years. Both Hansen and Wriggins highlighted this in their own distinct way, Hansen with her dry factual style and Wriggins through her storytelling framework. However, even with such differing writing styles it was this reoccurring theme that kept drawing my eye. The miracles The Buddha performed bolstered his reputation as a powerful figure, this reputation, then spread across Central Asia reaching many people. The Buddha was subsequently seen as a foreign power who would be advantageous to pray to(Hansen 155). This signifier of power eventually led to Buddhism gaining converts all across Central Asia. I used…show more content…
I find this to be the strongest example of the sway these miracles held, even non-believers respected and were drawn to them. I personally can easily put myself in the shoes of one of the curious non-believers of the time, since for me nothing pulls quite like the mysterious. Wriggins also touches on the power of miracles in her depiction of the Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang. Xuanzang set out to gather facts on The Buddha’s life, however a large focus of his was on the miracles The Buddha performed(Wriggins 95). The miracles in these stories were not just agents to recruit new followers to Buddhism, they also held a lot of emotional significance to the practitioners of the time. Wriggins demonstrates this during Xuanzang’s emotional reaction to the historic site of The Buddha’s Jewel Walk(111). Wriggins brings this ancient Buddhist pilgrim truly to life in her writings by adding a few speculations on Xuanzang’s emotional disposition at key moments of his pilgrimage(106-107). This was an interesting contrast to Hansen’s dry relay of facts and personally I found Wriggins writings much more
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