Mahayana Buddhism 2 - Mahayana Buddhism To preserve the...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Mahayana Buddhism - To preserve the spread of his teachings, Buddha created the Sangha and it helped Buddhism grow into a unified tradition. o in the form of the monastic order or a community of monks who were totally dedicated to becoming an arhat or enlightened person. Theravada Buddhism was the majority at the beginning of Buddhism and the minoriety was a smaller group that was more spiritual and mystical. The two groups typically got along and lived in harmony although there were some clashes over the Pali cannon. - In the century after the Pali Canon was written, the Mahayana movement gained more strength as a response to the Pali Canon. Some people were not happy with the the Theravada interpretations of Buddha’s teachings because they were too conservative and self-centered. o Most of the movement was in the upper Indus valley. In Gandhara there was a lot of mixing of cultures which lead to the Mahayana gaining even more strength. Mahayana is literally the “great vehicle” in Sanskrit. It refers to a boat that would get people across the river of ignorance—Buddha’s metaphor. Hinayana referred to a smaller boat and was only reserved for the elites. Hinayana was everyone who didn’t follow Mahayana and was meant to show the limitation. - One of the important beliefs of Mahayana is that anyone can achieve Buddhahood. Pranjnaparamita - The Mahayana followers produced the Prajnaparamita which was a collection of about 40 separate works and was declared to be a sutra. It claims to be records of interactions between Buddha and his disciples. - The Theravada followers argued against the Mahayana sutras saying that they were not actual accounts of Buddha and only the Pali Canon is authentically Buddha’s teachings. - The Mahayanas argued back saying that their sutras (pranjnaparamita) were passed down directly from Buddha to a few carefully selected disciples through the oral tradition. These disciples passed the stories down from generation to generation orally to preserve the “deep and esoteric heart of Buddha’s teachings.” They argued that the world was finally ready to hear the teachings when they finally decided to write it all down and make it available to all. - The article then talks about how this seems only too convenient and that scholars agree that the Mahayana sutras were composed by anonymous authors at the time they first appeared. However, it might be true that there was some oral tradition that influenced these works. *** the sutras originated in the 2
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 11/28/2011 for the course RELIGION 202 taught by Professor Mandair during the Winter '11 term at University of Michigan.

Page1 / 5

Mahayana Buddhism 2 - Mahayana Buddhism To preserve the...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online