national protection Buddhism

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Name given to the belief, widely held in east Asia, that the primary purpose of religious practice and the rituals performed by religious specialists is to enlist the assistance of spiritual powers in order to protect the interests of the nation. For example, the esoteric traditions of Chinese and Japanese Buddhism (see esoteric Buddhism) received lavish state support for their often extravagant and expensive rituals because the national government believed that such rituals would bring rain to end droughts, avert plagues, and help to fend off invasions. See also China; Japan.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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