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It should be born in mind that what we are speaking of here is an oral rehearsal of the Canon, not it being compiled in written form. Despite reference to writing in the Canon it does not seem that it was written down until after the time of Asoka. The third part of the modern canon, the Abhidhamma Pitaka was not compiled until later, perhaps at around the same time as the texts were being written down. So it can be said that everything in the Cannon is not direct words of Buddha. The recitation of the Texts at the Council was made in order to fix the authentic version of the Canon.

There must have been some process by which different people recited the Texts and a consensus was reached on what was the correct version of a particular teaching. Perhaps some parts or versions were accepted and some were rejected or amended. The question must be raised here of why such a Council needed to be held. There was evidently concern over this or the council would not have been held. Perhaps in part this is due to the presence of many Suttas which are not actually the words of Buddha. There are Suttas which it is said that Buddha had requested his disciples to deliver and then He had approved of them.

There are also materials which were said by others at other times, and are then reported to Buddha and He then said that He approved of them. There is also a fourth category Suttas which Buddha had predicted would be said and gave prior approval to. So clearly the concept of the speech of Buddha, Buddhavacana, which was adopted at the First Council was not simply what Buddha had said, but that which accorded with the teachings of Buddha.

From this it is clear that parts were compiled during the life of Buddha. However, the descriptions of what happened after the death of Buddha can in no sense be taken as the utterance of Buddha. There are also aspects which reflect the spectrum of Buddhist Texts from lay to monastic traditions. Specially, the author will turn to how the European and Indian scholars have interpreted and evaluated the historical materials related to the First Council.

The Buddha was bald

Here the viewpoints of I. Smith, M. Suzuki, Jean Przylusky, R. Majumdar, Rhys Davids, W. Geiger, Louis Finot, E. Obermiller, M. Prebish [11] and other scholars will be reviewed as much as possible. In this review, the author will not focus on the arguments echoed by later scholars which found already in other texts.

The Third Chapter is not only to focus on Dissent and Protest in the First Council but also offers a critical vision of the former scholarly works which have proved to be the most widely used and enduring label for the identification of Buddhist Councils. It is very imperative to discuss some aspects of the controversies of the two above mentioned sources.

Minayeff comes to this conclusion for he thinks that the account of chanting of dhamma and vinaya suffers from both incoherence and contradiction. It is also clear that the legendary account of the chanting of Dhamma and Vinaya is of much later origin while the different episodes which are of historical nature, belong to an earlier tradition.


Rhys Davids in Dialogues of The Buddha after making the two columns in comparison in his work points out that a glance at the above columns shows that the two Texts are identical except in two particulars. He further points out that the story of the Councils begins just on the same line in which the narrative of the burial of the Buddha finishes, without any indication whatsoever. In the Fourth Chapter, I shall not only focus on Dissent and Protest, but also identify some of significant events in the Second Councils, that seems to be conflict in a few aspects of the major Buddhist schools.

Another fundamental question that needs to be addressed is why should we presume that there was ever such a thing like single undivided Buddhist tradition?

There are accounts of monks whose practices varied in different locations. In addition his followers appear to have distinctive characters. Many of his main disciples typify different aspects of the tradition. As we know that identification of conflict is not simply a negative act. It needs to be examined in the field of historical and political process that takes place as an urgent social contest. Buddhism is no exception.

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My interest in mimicry, mirroring, and religious mimesis provides an opportunity for me to reflect my own knowledge in relation to Buddhism as a Buddhist monk. Since the focus of this dissertation has been directed towards the Dissent and Protest in ancient Indian Buddhism and how to identify the positive side of the Dissent on the way to develop Buddhism in the later centuries and open the way for Buddhism preaching outside India, in this Chapter, I conclude by situating my own knowledge both in philosophy and history of Buddhism in terms of the disciplinary fields of research work, from which and for which this Thesis is written.

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We cannot deny some serious works done by well-known scholars, at the same time we can recognize the fact that very few works have approached these issues by using the evident sources from Vinaya which, the author believes that, records all information of the different Buddhist sects. One can say that without study from Vinaya , the works concern to the Buddhist schism will be of limited result. I begin by looking at these materials in the manner of a phenomenologist; I assume that I will assemble a broad range of material in order to see what a kind of recognizable patterns appears.

I will take particular interest in themes that occur most open-ended and involves least in its consideration of materials and any selection of texts that is chosen for consideration is by nature provisional. The author suggests some approaches these issues by the information provided by Vinaya and this is the aim of the Fifth Chapter. In Chapter Sixth, we conclude all the debated theories in the previous Chapters and suggest some guidance to investigate Buddhism that the reader perhaps recognizes in the following ideas. Re-thinking the relationship between the negative and positive sides of Dissent and Protest in Buddhism requires reconfiguring these issues within the discipline of Buddhist studies and social identity.

This project arises from a felt need to trespass the narrow disciplinary boundaries of Buddhist studies, boundaries that are so carefully policed by the high priests of Buddhist orthodoxy as well as the curators of Buddhism. Many who belong to this discipline too often assume the Dissent and Protest as the rebel of Buddhism while refusing to accept the fact that these issues arise from the internal elements of Buddhism and they are the symbol of democracy and liberty which are the main goal of Buddhism.

The conclusion reached by many scholars of Buddhism today, namely that Dissent and Protest and the different explanations of main Buddhist schools are unorthodox form of Buddhism is a misplaced remark. If we take seriously a vision of Buddhism and its developed schools, theories as mutually constitutive, then the conclusion of this issue needs to be defined differently.

The developed Dissent theories and development schools is important for Buddhist studies for challenging our understanding of what binds Buddhism and what its boundaries are toward the required modern society. It invites serious works in the area. This Thesis seeks to reconstruct the new imagine by shifting the bias toward the Dissent and Protest in the Ancient Indian Buddhism.

This influences the establishment of the later schools, if any, as an unorthodox, or the rebel of Buddhism. HIB, Etienne Lamotte, p. EBW , G. Upreti, p. GEB ,. I own this idea to EBW , by G.

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Rhys Davids. IHQ Finot, vol. IHQ, Obermiller, vol. Top of page Contents 01 02 03 04 05 Similarly, a person who aspires to attain Nirvana as a disciple is a Sravakayanika or Hinayanist though he may belong to a country or a community considered as Mahayana. Thus it is wrong to believe that there are no Bodhisattvas in Theravada countries or that all are Bodhisattvas in Mahayana countries.


It is not conceivable that Sravakas and Bodhisattvas are concentrated in separate geographical areas. Further, Asanga says that when a Bodhisattva finally attains Enlightenment Bodhi he becomes an Arahant, a Tathagata i. Here it must be clearly understood that not only a Sravaka disciple but also a Bodhisattva becomes an Arahant when finally he attains Buddhahood.

The Mahayana unequivocally says that a Buddha, a Pratyekabuddha and a Sravaka disciple , all three are equal and alike with regard to their purification or liberation from defilements or impurities Klesavaranavisuddhi. This is also called Vimukti-Kaya Liberation-body , and in it there is no difference between the three.

That means that there are no three different Nirvanas or Vimuktis for three persons. Nirvana or Vimukti is the same for all. But only a Buddha achieves the complete liberation from all the obstructions to the knowable, i. This also is called Dharma-Kaya Dharma-body , and it is in this and many other innumerable qualities, capacities and abilities that the Buddha becomes incomparable and superior to Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas. This Mahayana view is quite in keeping with the Theravada Pali Tripitaka. In the Samyutta-Nikaya the Buddha says that the Tathagata i.

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Buddha and a bhikkhu i. These three states of the Sravaka, the Pratyekabuddha and the Buddha are mentioned in the Nidhikanda Sutta of the Khuddakapatha, the first book of the Khuddaka-nikaya, one of the five Collections of the Theravada Tripitaka. It says that by practising virtues such as charity, morality, self-restraint, etc. They are not called Yanas vehicles. In the Theravada tradition these are known as Bodhis, but not Yanas. A whole chapter of this book is devoted to the discussion of these three Bodhis in great detail. Just like the Mahayana, the Theravada holds the Bodhisattva in the highest position.

The Commentary on the Jataka, in the tradition of the Mahavihara at Anuradhapura, provides a precise example: In the dim past, many incalculable aeons ago, Gotama the Buddha, during his career as Bodhisattva, was an ascetic named Sumedha. At that time there was a Buddha called Dipankara whom he met and at whose feet he had the capacity to realise Nirvana as a disciple Sravaka. But Sumedha renounced it and resolved, out of great compassion for the world, to become a Buddha like Dipankara to save others. Then Dipankara Buddha declared and predicted that this great ascetic would one day become a Buddha and offered eight handfuls of flowers to Sumedha.

This story of Sumedha distinctly shows the position a Bodhisattva occupies in the Theravada. Although the Theravada holds that anybody can be a Bodhisattva, it does not stipulate or insist that all must be Bodhisattva which is considered not practical. The decision is left to the individual whether to take the Path of the Sravaka or of the Pratyekabuddha or of the Samyaksambuddha. But it is always clearly explained that the state of a Samyaksambuddha is superior and that the other two are inferior. Yet they are not disregarded.

In the 12th Century AD. Thus it was believed that kings of Sri Lanka were Bodhisattvas. We come across at the end of some palm leaf manuscripts of Buddhist texts in Sri Lanka the names of even a few copyists who have recorded their wish to become Buddhas, and they too are to be considered as Bodhisattvas. At the end of a religious ceremony or an act of piety, the bhikkhu who gives benedictions, usually admonishes the congregation to make a resolution to attain Nirvana by realising one of the three Bodhis — Sravakabodhi, Pratyekabodhi or Samyaksambodhi — as they wish according to their capacity.

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There are many Buddhists, both bhikkhus and laymen, in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia which are regarded as Theravada countries, who take the vow or resolution to become Buddhas to save others. They are indeed Bodhisattvas at different levels of development. Thus one may see that in Theravada countries all are not Sravakas. There are Bodhisattvas as well. There is a significant difference between the Theravada and the Mahayana with regard to the Bodhisattva ideal. The Theravada, although it holds the Bodhisattva ideal as the highest and the noblest, does not provide a separate literature devoted to the subject.

The teachings about the Bodhisattva ideal and the Bodhisattva career are to be found scattered in their due places in Pali literature.

History of Buddhism

The Mahayana by definition is dedicated to the Bodhisattva ideal, and they have not only produced a remarkable literature on the subject but also created a fascinating class of mythical Bodhisattvas. The Venerable Dr. He received the traditional monastic training and education in Buddhism in Ceylon. In , he became the Professor of History and Religions at Northwestern University, thus becoming the first bhikkhu to hold a professorial chair in the Western world. He has written extensively about Buddhism in English, French and Sinhalese.

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