Buddhist Sects In India

A Short History of the Buddhist Schools
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In fine, I should like to thank my learned friend, Sri K. Mukhopadhyay, M. Lamotte, who has also published many other valuable works on Mahayana Buddhism, utilizing exhaustively the Chinese versions of the lost Sanskrit texts. I also thank my student Dr.


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Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism - World History - Khan Academy

These include peaceful relations with all neighboring states, hospitals and animal hospitals, special officials to oversee the welfare of local populations, and shady rest stops for travelers. Thus he remains today the paragon of a Buddhist ruler, and his reign is looked back upon by Buddhists as a golden age. The Mauryan empire soon fragmented, but the Buddha Dharma continued as a dominant force throughout India in the early centuries of the common era. The kings of the Satavahana dynasty of central India followed Ashoka in adopting the Dharma as a civilizing and unifying force in governing disparate peoples.

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King Kanishka r. Under his patronage, a Fourth Council was held, at which major new commentaries on the Tripitaka were written, largely under Sarvastivadin influence. Under Kanishka, the Buddha Dharma was firmly planted among the Central Asian peoples whose homelands lay along the Silk Route, whence the way lay open to China. The Kushan empire also saw the flowering of Gandharan art, which under Hellenistic influences produced Buddha images of extraordinary nobility and beauty.

Traditional accounts of the Fourth Council say that the assembly was composed of arhats under the leadership of the arhat Parshva but also under the accomplished bodhisattva Vasumitra. Indeed it was at this time, about the beginning of the second century, that the way of the bodhisattva, or the Mahayana Great Vehicle , appeared.

The most visible manifestation of the Mahayana was a new wave of sutras, scriptures claiming to be the word of the Buddha that had remained hidden until then in other realms of existence. The Mahayana replaced the ideal of the arhat with that of the bodhisattva.

Whereas arhats sought to end confusion in themselves in order to escape samsara, bodhisattvas vowed to end confusion in themselves yet remain in samsara to liberate all other sentient beings. The vision of spiritual life broadened beyond the controlled circumstances of cloister and study to include the wide-open situations of the world. Great masters shaped the Mahayana in the early centuries of the common era.

Outstanding among them all was Nagarjuna fl. Nagarjuna was born in South India and became the head of Nalanda, the great Buddhist university a few miles north of Rajagriha, which was a major stronghold of the Dharma for a thousand years. Another great master was Asanga fl. Through most of the Gupta period c.

The Sects of the Buddhists.

In the sixth century, however, hundreds of Buddhist monasteries were destroyed by invading Huns under King Mihirakula. This was a serious blow, but the Dharma revived and flourished once again, mainly in northeastern India under the Pala kings eighth-twelfth centuries. These Buddhist kings patronized the monasteries and built new scholastic centers such as Odantapuri near the Ganges some miles east of Nalanda.

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If nic:cG, nimilla lite. In other languages Add links. This view nf the M , is o nly 11 corollary to the previo us one. In the South and West of India, Hindu and Jain sects increasingly earned the support of the political and economic elite. II, r. II seems that the earlier Mahasanghikas were not conccu Lraled in one centre as were the 5ailas.

Though the Hinayana had largely vanished from India by the seventh century, in this last Indian period the Mahayana continued, and yet another form—known as Mantrayana, Vajrayana, or Tantra—became dominant. Like the Mahayana, the Vajrayana Diamond Vehicle was based on a class of scriptures ultimately attributed to the Buddha, in this case known as Tantras. Vajrayanists regarded the Hinayana and Mahayana as successive stages on the way to the tantric level. The Vajrayana leaped yet further than the Mahayana in acceptance of the world, holding that all experiences, including the sensual, are sacred manifestations of awakened mind, the buddha principle.

It emphasized liturgical methods of meditation, or sadhanas , in which the practitioner identified with deities symbolizing various aspects of awakened mind. The palace of the deity, identical with the phenomenal world as a whole, was known as a mandala. In the place of the arhat and the bodhisattva, the Vajrayana placed the siddha , the realized tantric master. By the thirteenth century, largely as a result of violent suppression by Islamic conquerors, the Buddha Dharma was practically extinct in the land of its birth.

However, by this time Hinayana forms were firmly ensconced in Southeast Asia, and varieties of Mahayana and Vajrayana in most of the rest of Asia. The Mahayana entered China through Central Asia at the beginning of the common era.

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The schools of Buddhism are the various institutional and doctrinal divisions of Buddhism that .. Buddhist Sects in India. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Buddhism is a world religion, which arose in and around the ancient Kingdom of Magadha . During the early period of Chinese Buddhism, the Indian Buddhist sects recognized as important, and whose texts were studied, were the.

At first it was confused with indigenous Taoism, whose terms it had to borrow. The Kuchean monk Kumarajiva , brought to China as a prisoner of war, created a new level of precision in Chinese Buddhism.

His lucid translation and teaching resulted in the formation of the Chinese Madhyamaka school San-Iun, Three Treatises. Paramartha was another great translator and teacher. His work made possible the development of the Fa-hsiang, or Chinese Yogachara, school. Monasteries were numerous and powerful and had the support of the emperors. In , however, came a major persecution of the Dharma community, and the monasteries had to be evacuated.

Thereafter the Buddha Dharma in China never recovered its former glory. The Sung period was a time of blending Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian ideas and methods. Communist rule in the twentieth century reduced the Dharma community to a remnant, but in Taiwan the Dharma flourished, predominantly in Pure Land and other popular forms.