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Mahayana split - Dhamma Wheel

Mahayana split

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
greggorious
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Mahayana split

Postby greggorious » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:58 pm

Could someone tell me the exact reason why the mahayana was invented and why it decided to split from theravada? Or is this too open to debate? Was Zen the first Mahayana tradition?
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

Clarence
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Re: Mahayana split

Postby Clarence » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:25 pm

Define invented. :smile:

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daverupa
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Re: Mahayana split

Postby daverupa » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:39 pm

Zen wasn't first, that much is certain. It comes much later, and starts as Ch'an via Bodhidharma sometime around the 5th or 6th centuries C.E.

As to the rest, scholarly work suggests it began as a monastic movement in India, perhaps as early as 100 B.C.E., iirc.

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Re: Mahayana split

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Kare
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Re: Mahayana split

Postby Kare » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:07 pm

Eric Cheetham has produced an interesting booklet called "The Pre-Mahayana Landscape", published by The Buddhist Society, London, in 1989. In this booklet he points out different Mahayana trends or doctrines that appeared in different early schools before Mahayana as such made an appearance. The book does not give the full and final answer on how Mahayana was created, but it shows that what later was known as Mahayana, can be seen as a collection of several different developments that arose at different times and in different places.
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Re: Mahayana split

Postby Paññāsikhara » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:33 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

Bankei
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Re: Mahayana split

Postby Bankei » Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:56 am

There are many different theories regarding the arising of the Mahayana.

It seems to have emerged by around the 1century, as evidenced by translations of Mahayana texts into Chinese. But Schopen points out the lack of inscriptions with Mahayana themes from this period. So it is unclear exactly when Mahayana arose, but probably first century BC or thereabouts.

Why it arose is another interesting question. Some, such as Hirakawa Akira, have argued that it was originally a lay movement that emerged in communities connected to Stupa worship. I think this theory is largely discredited now. A more recent theory, Florin, is that it was a monastic movement, mainly forest monks, who wanted to get back to the original teachings and away from the Abhidharmic style developments of over analysis.

Just remember that Mahayana is a philosophical movement and that the monks who were mahayanist would have had a nikayaic ordinaiton so someone could have been a Theravadin by ordination but a Mahayanist by belief - and this is what you will still find today. All Mahayana monks (not Japanese priests though) would be ordained under Dharmaguptaka or Mulasarvastivada vinayas.

Zen was a much later development, dating from 520 when Bodhidharma went to China - legend, actual formation probably much later.
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Re: Mahayana split

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Re: Mahayana split

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Re: Mahayana split

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Re: Mahayana split

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Re: Mahayana split

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Re: Mahayana split

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Re: Mahayana split

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Re: Mahayana split

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Re: Mahayana split

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Mahayana split

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:56 pm

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Re: Mahayana split

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:41 am

:goodpost:
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Mahayana split

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Re: Mahayana split

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