Buddhism Lecture 10

Buddhism Lecture 10 - Buddhism in China Cult of...

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Unformatted text preview: Buddhism in China: Cult of Avalokitesvara Buddhism in China: Cult of Avalokitesvara u& Dàshèng Mahayana The Mahayana Mah y na ā ā (literally Great Vehicle; Chinese: , Dàshèng ; Japanese: Daij ō ) is one of the major branches of Buddhism. It is dominant Buddhism in China, Tibet, Mangolia, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan. From Mahayana developed the esoteric Vajrayana , represented in Tibet, Mongolia and Nepal, which claims to combine all previous schools. Mahayana’s essential teaching is that salvation can be attained only through absolute trust in the saving power of Amitabha Buddha , longing to be reborn in his paradise through his grace. The ideal of the Mahayana school is that of the Bodhisattva , a person who delays his or her own enlightenment in order to compassionately assist all other beings and ultimately attains to the highest Bodhi. Core of Mahayana Spread of Mahayana Buddhism Mahayana Buddhism in Asia Origins of Mahayana Buddhism Scholars believe that Mahayana as a distinct movement began around the 1st century BCE in the North-western Indian subcontinent, estimating a formative period of about three centuries before it was transmitted in a highly evolved form to China in the 2nd century CE. The term Mahayana itself only first recorded in the 6th Century. The development of the Mahayana Buddhism was a slow, gradual process. The Mahayana was not a rival school, and therefore it was not the consequence of a schism (sanghbheda). Mahayana and non-Mahayana monks could live without discord in the same monastery. Bodhisattv a 3rd century The Mahayana: The New Emphasis Near the beginning of the common era (roughly between 100 BCE and AD 100), a movement appeared that called itself the Mahayana , or “ Great Vehicle ," in contrast to the earlier form which later considered as Hinayana , or " Lesser Vehicle ." The actual origin of Mahayana remains a mystery. But Mahayana texts trace their origin to the Buddha himself. The Mahayana offered a new path to a newly defined goal and some strikingly new philosophical and psychological assertions. It presented a number of very different understandings of the Buddha’s message, based on a body of scriptures which, it was claimed, had been uttered by the Buddha, but had lain undiscovered for centuries. Mahayana formed around the time of Christ but there is no firm evidence of influence either way between Christianity and Buddhism. However, there are some similarities between Christianity and Mahayana Buddhism. For example: 1. The concept of Savior vs the ideal of Bodhisattva Mahayana Buddhism & Christianity 2. The significance of teaching on Love (agape) vs Mahayana concept of Compassion ( karuna ) Mahayana Buddhism & Christianity Rather than seeking one’s own salvation, in the way the earlier teachings had advised, the Mahayana places great emphasis on working to save others....
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Buddhism Lecture 10 - Buddhism in China Cult of...

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