The Spread of Buddhism Out of India
During this period of political unrest, Buddhism spread beyond its home in India and came to provide a common set of ideas and visual images for the entire region, but it coexisted with other religions, including Hinduism in India, Daoism in China, and Shinto in Japan. The forms of Buddhism that entered China, Japan, and Korea were called Mahayana, which means "Great Vehicle," thus refers to its inclusive nature. Buddhism was popular among rulers because it offered a source of magical power and a political tool to unite Chinese and non-Chinese. To the masses, Buddhism's democratic nature was attractive. Chinese was widely used as an international language outside China and its empire.