The Vision of Han Emperor Mingti that spread Buddhism
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
As quoted in Wonders In The Sky - Unexplained Aerial Objects From Antiquity To Modern Times - and Their Impact on Human Culture, History, and Beliefs - Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck
John Henry Gray, China, a History of the Laws, Manners and Customs of the People (Courier Dover: 2003), 106; Arthur Lillie, Buddhism in Christendom or Jesus the Essene (London: K. Paul, Trench, 1887), 188.
Han Emperor Mingti, who had heard of Buddhism, had a vision of a golden figure floating in a halo of light - interpreted as a flying Apsara (Buddhist angel). Some sources present this vision as a dream, others as an "apparition." Arthur Lillie mentions it as a "golden man, a spirit named Foe," while Gray calls it "a foreign god entering his palace."
Whatever it was, the visionary being was interpreted by the Emperor's wise men, including Minister Fu Yi, to be the Buddha himself. Consequently, an envoy was sent to India to learn about the new religion, returning with sacred Buddhist texts and paintings as well as Indian priests to explain the teachings of the Buddha to the Emperor.