Buddhism II: The branches of modern Buddhism Introduction to World Religions Fall 2007 Dr. Hannah Schell Agenda for class meeting Review The main branches of modern Buddhism: Mahayana Buddhism Theravada Buddhism Vajrayana Buddhism Video segment : The chanting of Tibetan Buddhist monks.
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Buddhism II:The branches of modern Buddhism
Introduction to World Religions Fall 2007 Dr. Hannah Schell
What is true of everything in the natural order?
2. There is no such thing as a permanent soul (the doctrine of anatta or anatman).
3. Impermanence - All is impermanent, transitory (anicca).
“And now, O priests, I take my leave of you; all the constituents of the world are transitory; work out your salvation with diligence.”
(the monastic community of monks and nuns)
“Ah, happy indeed are the Arhants! In them no craving’s found. The ‘I am’ conceit is rooted out; confusion’s net is burst. Lust-free they have attained; translucent is the mind of them. Unspotted in the world are they ,… with outflows none.. They roar the lion’s roar: ‘Incomparable are Buddhas in the world.’”
- Samyutta Nikaya; included in The World’s Wisdom (76).
“Concentration is… a profitable single-pointedness of the mind.. It is the state, in virtue of which, consciousness and its many factors remain evenly and rightly on a single object undistracted and unscattered.” -Buddhaghosa, quoted by Mitchell, 78.
- Adopted from Mitchell’s discussion, Buddhism (79-80).
Bodhisattva: “wisdom-being”; a being whose essence is bent on attaining enlightenment; a person who, out of compassion, renounces his or her own entry into nirvana in order to be reborn repeatedly to undertake the infinite work of saving all sentient beings. This is accomplished through the transference of merit and by taking on the burden of other’s sufferings.
“I take upon myself the burden of all suffering… I do not turn or run away, do not tremble, am not terrified,.. To not turn back or despond.
And why?... I have made the vow to save all beings… The whole world of living beings I must rescue, from the terrors of birth-and-death, from the jungle of false views.. My endeavors do not merely aim at my own deliverance. I must rescue all these beings from the stream of Samsara.. And I must not cheat beings out of my store of merit. I am resolved to abide in each single state of woe for numberless aeons; and so I will help all beings to freedom, in all the states of woe that may be found in any world system whatsoever.
And why? Because it is surely better that I alone should be in pain than that all these beings should fall into stages of woe.
From The World’s Wisdom, 81.
Therefore, every person is a potential Buddha!
“The Buddha appears in the world
Only for this One Reality…
The Buddha himself abides in the Great Vehicle
and in accordance with the Law he has attained
By meditation and wisdom and the effort and ornament of virtue,
He saves all beings…
“Any among the living beings,
Who have come into contact with former Buddhas,
Have learned the Law and practiced charity,
Or have undergone discipline and endured forbearance and humiliation,
Or have made serious efforts at concentration and understanding, etc.,
And cultivated various kinds of blessing and wisdom–
All of these people,
Have reached the level of Buddhahood.
Those who, for the sake of the Buddha,
Installed images,/Or have them carved,
Heave reached the level of Buddhahood.
Those who with a happy frame of mind
Have sung the glory of the Buddha,
Even with a very small sound,
Or have worshiped,
Or have merely folded their hands,
Or have uttered one “Namo” [Praise be..],
All have reached the level of Buddhahood.
- From the Lotus Sutra; The Buddhist Tradition, ed. De Bary, 158-159.
What is the sound of one hand clapping?
What was the appearance of your face before your ancestors were born?
Does a dog have a Buddha nature?
(From Smith, 88).
The “Diamond/Thunderbolt” Path aka Tibetan Buddhism aka Tantric Buddhism
See video clip on Huston Smith and the Tibetan monks.