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The Different Buddhist Traditions

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  1. The Different Buddhist Traditions

  2. The Different Buddhist Traditions One of the results of the Buddhist Second Council which took place about 100 years after the Buddha’s passing (c. 386 BCE), was the Great Schism of Buddhism. The Buddhist Order formally split into two sects generally known as the Sthaviravadins (forerunners of Theravada and the Mahasanghikas (forerunners of the Mahayana).

  3. The Different Buddhist Traditions One of the results of the Buddhist Second Council which took place about 100 years after the Buddha’s passing (c. 386 BCE), was the Great Schism of Buddhism. The Buddhist Order formally split into two sects generally known as the Sthaviravadins (forerunners of Theravada and the Mahasanghikas (forerunners of the Mahayana).

  4. The Different Buddhist Traditions Theravada means the “Teachings of the Elders”. Mahayana means the “Great Vehicle”. The demeaning term “Hinayana” or “Lesser Vehicle” was used by the early Mahayana to elevate themselves above Theravada. It has negative connotations and is seldom used nowadays.

  5. The Different Buddhist Traditions Theravada means the “Teachings of the Elders”. Mahayana means the “Great Vehicle”. The demeaning term “Hinayana” or “Lesser Vehicle” was used by the early Mahayana to elevate themselves above Theravada. It has negative connotations and is seldom used nowadays.

  6. The Different Buddhist Traditions Theravada means the “Teachings of the Elders”. Mahayana means the “Great Vehicle”. The demeaning term “Hinayana” or “Lesser Vehicle” was used by the early Mahayana to elevate themselves above Theravada. It has negative connotations and is seldom used nowadays.

  7. Theravada The earliest available teachings of the Buddha are in the Pali language, which is used by the Theravadins. These teachings were brought to Sri Lanka at the time of the Third Council (c. 250 BCE) where they took root, and despite several difficult periods, remain intact till today. Theravada Buddhism is also the main religion of Thailand, Burma and Cambodia.

  8. Theravada The earliest available teachings of the Buddha are in the Pali language, which is used by the Theravadins. These teachings were brought to Sri Lanka at the time of the Third Council (c. 250 BCE) where they took root, and despite several difficult periods, remain intact till today. Theravada Buddhism is also the main religion of Thailand, Burma and Cambodia.

  9. Theravada Although the Sangha may belong to different sects in their countries, the teachings are essentially homogenous with insignificant, if any, differences at all. Theravada Buddhism is currently enjoying a growing popularity in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and other Western countries due to the easier availability of English language materials and teachings and the internet.

  10. Theravada Although the Sangha may belong to different sects in their countries, the teachings are essentially homogenous with insignificant, if any, differences at all. Theravada Buddhism is currently enjoying a growing popularity in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and other Western countries due to the easier availability of English language materials and teachings and the internet.

  11. Mahayana Mahayana comprises a great variety of schools of Buddhism found in China, Japan, Korea and Tibet. These schools originated in India after the Second Council and developed from new ideas within Buddhist thought as well as incorporating some Brahministic, Hindu and other concepts.

  12. Mahayana Mahayana comprises a great variety of schools of Buddhism found in China, Japan, Korea and Tibet. These schools originated in India after the Second Council and developed from new ideas within Buddhist thought as well as incorporating some Brahministic, Hindu and other concepts.

  13. Mahayana As Buddhism spread to China around the 1st century CE, it also absorbed elements of Taoism and Confucianism in order to survive and adapt to the local culture and society. When Buddhism spread to Tibet in the 7th century CE, it already had Indian Tantric influences and also absorbed elements of the local Bon religion.

  14. Mahayana As Buddhism spread to China around the 1st century CE, it also absorbed elements of Taoism and Confucianism in order to survive and adapt to the local culture and society. When Buddhism spread to Tibet in the 7th century CE, it already had Indian Tantric influences and also absorbed elements of the local Bon religion.

  15. Mahayana Mahayana developed new concepts, in particular the Bodhisattva ideal, which they then formulated into new sutras and attributed them to the Buddha. These sutras, such as the Lotus Sutra, Heart Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Amitabha Sutra, etc. usually originated in the Sanskrit language and formed the basis of the Mahayana teachings.

  16. Mahayana Mahayana developed new concepts, in particular the Bodhisattva ideal, which they then formulated into new sutras and attributed them to the Buddha. These sutras, such as the Lotus Sutra, Heart Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Amitabha Sutra, etc. usually originated in the Sanskrit language and formed the basis of the Mahayana teachings.

  17. Mahayana One of the defining sutras in Mahayana is the Lotus Sutra (1st century CE) where the Buddha for the first time, is seen as a god-like father figure, as opposed to an enlightened human spiritual teacher. The Arahant ideal of early Buddhism was also downgraded to below that of the Bodhisattva ideal, a new concept of Mahayana Buddhism.

  18. Mahayana One of the defining sutras in Mahayana is the Lotus Sutra (1st century CE) where the Buddha for the first time, is seen as a god-like father figure, as opposed to an enlightened human spiritual teacher. The Arahant ideal of early Buddhism was also downgraded to below that of the Bodhisattva ideal, a new concept of Mahayana Buddhism.

  19. Mahayana There are several major schools of the Mahayana tradition : Chan / Zen Buddhism Pureland / Amitabha Buddhism Vajrayana / Tibetan Buddhism

  20. Mahayana There are several major schools of the Mahayana tradition : Chan / Zen Buddhism Pureland / Amitabha Buddhism Vajrayana / Tibetan Buddhism

  21. Mahayana There are several major schools of the Mahayana tradition : Chan / Zen Buddhism Pureland / Amitabha Buddhism Vajrayana / Tibetan Buddhism

  22. Mahayana There are several major schools of the Mahayana tradition : Chan / Zen Buddhism Pureland / Amitabha Buddhism Vajrayana / Tibetan Buddhism

  23. Mahayana Chan / Zen Buddhism : The establishment of Chan is traditionally credited to the Indian prince-turned-monk Bodhidharma around the 5th century CE. The aim of Chan / Zen is to discover the Buddha-nature within each person, through meditation and mindfulness of daily experiences. It does not place emphasis on written and verbal teachings.

  24. Mahayana Chan / Zen Buddhism : The establishment of Chan is traditionally credited to the Indian prince-turned-monk Bodhidharma around the 5th century CE. The aim of Chan / Zen is to discover the Buddha-nature within each person, through meditation and mindfulness of daily experiences. It does not place emphasis on written and verbal teachings.

  25. Mahayana Pureland / Amitabha Buddhism : This is based on the Pure Land Sutras, brought to China in the 2nd century CE and is a "faith"-oriented branch of Buddhism. It is very popular in East Asia, originally among the peasants, as it provides an alternative and “easier” route to enlightenment.

  26. Mahayana Pureland / Amitabha Buddhism : This is based on the Pure Land Sutras, brought to China in the 2nd century CE and is a "faith"-oriented branch of Buddhism. It is very popular in East Asia, originally among the peasants, as it provides an alternative and “easier” route to enlightenment.

  27. Mahayana Amitabha Buddha : Amitabha Buddha means the Buddha of “Boundless Light” or “Infinite Life” and is the main Buddha of the Pure Land sect. They believe that he resides in Sukhavati, the Western Paradise of Eternal Bliss, or simply the Pure Land, which he created through his infinite merits when he was a Bodhisattva named Dharmakara.

  28. Mahayana Amitabha Buddha : Amitabha Buddha means the Buddha of “Boundless Light” or “Infinite Life” and is the main Buddha of the Pure Land sect. They believe that he resides in Sukhavati, the Western Paradise of Eternal Bliss, or simply the Pure Land, which he created through his infinite merits when he was a Bodhisattva named Dharmakara.

  29. Mahayana Amitabha Buddha : They believe that Nirvana has become too difficult to attain on our own, and that only through devotion to Amitabha that can one be reborn in the Pure Land, from which enlightenment is guaranteed. A central practice is the concentrated and heartfelt repetitive recitation of “Namo Amitabha Buddha” or “Namo Amituofo”.

  30. Mahayana Amitabha Buddha : They believe that Nirvana has become too difficult to attain on our own, and that only through devotion to Amitabha that can one be reborn in the Pure Land, from which enlightenment is guaranteed. A central practice is the concentrated and heartfelt repetitive recitation of “Namo Amitabha Buddha” or “Namo Amituofo”.

  31. Mahayana Vajrayana / Tibetan Buddhism : The earliest documented influence of Buddhism in Tibet dates from the 7th century CE. Its teachings includes Tantras which are orally-transmitted esoteric rituals or meditation practices. In Vajrayana, such teachings cannot be understood and should not to be practiced without the guidance of a guru.

  32. Mahayana Vajrayana / Tibetan Buddhism : The earliest documented influence of Buddhism in Tibet dates from the 7th century CE. Its teachings includes Tantras which are orally-transmitted esoteric rituals or meditation practices. In Vajrayana, such teachings cannot be understood and should not to be practiced without the guidance of a guru.

  33. Mahayana Vajrayana / Tibetan Buddhism : The goal of Vajrayana is to become a Buddha / Bodhisattva not only for one's own sake, but to help all other sentient beings also attain enlightenment and be free from Samsara and suffering. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can manifest on earth, eg. the Dalai Lama is the manifestation of Avalokiteshvara.

  34. Mahayana Vajrayana / Tibetan Buddhism : The goal of Vajrayana is to become a Buddha / Bodhisattva not only for one's own sake, but to help all other sentient beings also attain enlightenment and be free from Samsara and suffering. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can manifest on earth, eg. the Dalai Lama is the manifestation of Avalokiteshvara.

  35. Mahayana Vajrayana / Tibetan Buddhism : Four main schools : Nyingma Kagyu Sakya Gelug

  36. Mahayana Vajrayana / Tibetan Buddhism : Four main schools : Nyingma Kagyu Sakya Gelug

  37. Trikaya or Three Bodies Nirmanakaya / Transformation BodyThe physical body that appears in the world to teach and liberate others. Sambhogakaya / Reward BodyIt is the bliss of enlightenment and the reward of spiritual practice. Dharmakaya / Truth BodyEmbodies the Dharma and principles of enlightenment. It is the Buddha nature without limits, boundaries or distinctions.

  38. Trikaya or Three Bodies Nirmanakaya / Transformation BodyThe physical body that appears in the world to teach and liberate others. Sambhogakaya / Reward BodyIt is the bliss of enlightenment and the reward of spiritual practice. Dharmakaya / Truth BodyEmbodies the Dharma and principles of enlightenment. It is the Buddha nature without limits, boundaries or distinctions.