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MAHAYANA BUDDHISM
Samillano, Jessa
Templonuevo, Christine
What is Mahayana Buddhism?
Mahayana Buddhism
has diverged into
numerous schools with
each developing its
own canon and rituals
since its founding more
than two thousand
years ago  Mahayana Buddhism also known
as the “Great Vehicle”
 The Mahasamghika (“of the Great Sangha”),
one of the early Buddhist schools, may have
been the source for the initial growth of
Mahayana Buddhism, especially during the
“Second Buddhist Council” that occured a
hundred years after Buddha’s parinirvana.
The Mahasamghika (“of Mahayana Buddhists
believed that Siddhartha secretly taught key
priciples to chosen people to his most
dedicated diciples of, or to the most faithful
who could copletely interpret these teachings
in time (Hopfe 1983; losch 2001).
 Mahayana buddhists forwarded the
concept that Siddhartha Gautama was
actually a benevolent celestial being, not
just a mere human being
 Mahayana Buddhists advanced the radical
idea that Siddhartha Gautama was not the
only Buddha.
The canon of Mahayana Buddhism consists of
Tripitaka namely;
Abhidharma Pitaka
(Ultimate Doctrine)
Vinaya Pitaka
(Discipline)
Sutra Pitaka
(Discourse)
 Mahayana Buddhism adapted the Sanskrit usage
rather than Pali form of common terms strictly used
in Theravada Buddhism.
 One of the most popular and prominent Mahayana
Buddhist texts (or Sutra) is the Lotus Sutra, or the
Saddharmapundarika-sutra that literally means
“correct dharma white lotus sutra” or Sutra of the
Lotud of the Wonderful Law” in Sanskrit.
Sutra- pertains to one of the
discourses of the historical
buddha that comprise the basic
text of buddhist sacred writing.
The buddha
Siddhartha
Gautama
he died at the
age of 80
The nature of the three bodies of
Buddha:
The concept of trikaya (“three bodies”) pertains to tha teaching of Mahayana Buddhism about the nature of the
Buddha and reality.
Dharmakaya
Sambhogakaya
Nirmanakaya
The body Nature or Aspect of
“Buddha-hood”
Manifestation
Dharmakaya Body of absolute
truth; absolute nature
of all beings
Buddha is
transcendent
Sambhogakaya Body that
experiences bliss of
enlightenment
Buddha’s body of
bliss, or enjoyment
body
Nirmanakaya Body that manifest
the world;
embodiment of
dharmakaya in human
form
Buddha’s earthly
body, just like any
other human being’s
body
Dharmakaya is identical with perfect enlightenment that is
absolute and beyond existence or non-existence.
Sambhogakaya is already enlightened but remains
distinctive
Nirmanakayais the physical body that undergoes
birth, inhabits the world, and dies in the end.
Bodhisattvas
One distinct feature of Mahayana Buddhism concerns its
teaching about an enlightened being or bodhisattva
(“enlightened existence”) which is the ultimate way for any
Buddhist to live in this word.
 generated bodhicitta or the spontaneous desire to
achieve the state of being enlightened.
Avalokiteshvara
is the most revered and most popular Buddhist deity
among all bodhisattvas, being the personification of
perfect compassion, probably representing in
Buddhism the sun-god Vishnu of the older Hinduism
(Murphy 1949).
Maitreya(Buddha of the Future”) is the only
accepted bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism, oriental
Mahayana Buddhism has other four principal
bodhisattvas, namely;
Manjushri is the embodiment of wisdom,
intelligence, and willpower.
Ksitigarbha is the one who helps and liberates
all sentient being residing in hell.
Samanthabhadra is the representation of
love, virtue, and diligence
Bhumi Description Paramita Nature
Pramudita-bhumi
(joyful land)
The bodhisattva starts
the journey joyful with
the inspiration of
enlightenment
Dana Paramita
(Generosity)
Perfection of giving or
generosity
Vimala-bhumi (Land of
Purity)
The bodhisattva is
purified of immoral
conduct and disposition
Sila Paramita (Discipline) Perfection of morality
Prabhakari-bhumi
(Luminous or Radiant
Land)
The bodhisattva is
purified of the “Three
Poisons”, namely, greed,
hate, and ignorance
Ksanti Paramita
(Patience)
Perfection of patience
for forbearance
Archismati-bhumi (The
Brilliant or Blazing
Land)
The bodhisattva burns
away all false conception
Virya Paramita
(Diligence)
Perfection of energy
Sudurjaya-bhumi (The
Land That is Difficult
to conquer)
The bodhisattva gors
deeper into
Dhyana Paramita
(Meditative
Concentration)
Perfection of meditation
Abhimukhi-bhumi (The Land
Looking Forward to Wisdom)
The bodhisattva sees that all
phenomena are without self-
essence and understands the
nature of dependent origination
Prajna Paramita (Wisdom)
Durangama-bhumi (The Far-
Reaching Land)
The bodhisattva acquires the
power of skilful means (upaya) to
help others realize enlightenment
Achala-bhumi (The Immovable
Land)
The bodhisattva can no longer be
disturbed because “Buddha-
hood” is within sight
Sadhumati-bhumi (The Land of
Good Thoughts)
The bodhisattva understands all
dharmas and is able to teach
others
Dharmamegha-bhumi (The
Land of Dharma Clouds)
The bodhisattva is confirmed of
the “Buddha-hoof” and enters
“Tushita Heaven” or the heaven
of contended gods
In buddhist temples, they pray and chant to
pay their respect to the Buddhas and
bodhisattvas, such as Avalokiteshvara,
Manjushri, and Amitabha. They also offer
vegetarian food and light incense to pay
homage to these important divine beings.
Subdivisions
The more philosophical side of Indian Mahayana
Buddhism was developed within the context of two
major schools, namely, the Madhyamika and the
Yogachara (Adams 1965)
Madhyamika (“Intermediate”) whose adherents stress
the transformation of human perception to handle
the truth of that which is ultimately real beyond
any duality.
Mahayana Buddhism consist of a variety of schools and
family of religions, including the Pure Land Sect, Intuitive
Sects, Rationalist Sect, Socio-political Sect, and Tibetan
Buddhism.
Yogachara (“Practice of Yoga” thinkers emphasize that the
truth a human being perceives does not exist.
The PureLandSect
Pure Land Buddhism began in India around
the second century B.C.E., spread to China
by the second century C.E., and reached
Japan around sixth century C.E
Pure Land of the West also known Sukhavati
Amitabha- the god who supervises over a
western paradise, is the focus of this sect.
In Japan, by simplifying sect practices, such
as those done by the monk Honen in the twelfth
century, this attracted many followers to the sect
Jodo Buddhism or Jodo-shu (“The Pure Land School”)
founded in 1175.
An offshot of Pure Land Buddhism is the Shin
Buddhism or Jodo Shin-shu (“True Pure Land School”)
founded by another Japanese monk Shinran during the
thirteenth century.
The establishment of intuitive sect of Buddhism can be traced
around sixth century C.E to the work of an Indian monk named
Bodhidharma whose life stories are shrouded with mysteries and
numerous legends (Murphy 1949). This concept entered China from
India, and then carried onward to Korea and Japan. In China, it
came to be known as Ch’an. Ch’an Buddhism has close affinity
with Taoist philosophy because both are kinds of mysticism (Jurji
1946). In Japan, it reached its peak with the development of Zen
which is a blend of Indian Mahayana Buddhism and Taoism. The
followers of this school are called meditative Buddhist.
The Intuitive Sects
The word “meditation” in India is dhyana, ch’an in China, and zen
in Japan.
The Rationalist Sect
A rationalist Buddhist school of thought called T’ien-t’ai emerged
around the sixth century C.E. with its name originating from a mountain in
south eastern China where its founder Chih-I or Zhiyi lived.
Chih-I – emphasized that acts of studying and contemplation were both vital for
spiritual enlightenment.
A Japanese Buddhist monk by the name of Nichiren
Daishonin who lived during the thirteenth century during the
Kamakura period began to teach that the path towards attaining
enlightenment rested solely on the devotion to the Lotus Sutra.
Nichiren (“sun lotus”)- Buddhism, which is purely a Japanese
phenomenon, perceives itself as the rightful version of
Buddhism.
-taught that he alone understood Buddhist truths.
-is an example of a religious group that came to have an effect in
the socio-political dimension of Japan (Hopfe 1983).
The Socio-political Sect
Present-day schools of Nichiren Buddhism include Soka Gakkai,
Nichiren Shoshu, and Nichiren Shu.
TIBETAN BUDDHISM
Buddhism was officially introduced into Tibet around the
seventh century C.E. during the reign of Songtsan Gampo,
considered the founder of the Tibetan Empire.
Bon- Tibetan Buddhism borrowed tantric and shamanic
attributes, as well as elements from Tibet’s native religion called
Bon.
- A pre-Buddhistic religion, was a kind of shamanism where
spirits and deities were revered (Parrinder 1971).
The four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism include:
nyingma kagyu sakya gelug
Tibetan Buddhism has its own set of clergy;
Lamas – they are commonly senior members of the monastic community.
- the term lama means “the superior”
The Dalai Lama – is the most prominent face of Tibetan Bugddhism who
has been living in exile in India since he fled Chinese occupation of Tibet
in 1959.
- the term dalai means “ocean” in Mongol referring to the
vastness and depth of the person.
- the current and fourteenth Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso who
is the leader of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism and is believed to
be a reincarnation of Avalokisteshvara.
SELECTED ISSUES
Tzu Chi Foundation
the Tzu Chi Foundation (“Compassionate Relief”) was established
by a buddhist nun Cheng Yen in 1966 in Taiwan.
- It was a charity organization anchored on the teachings of the Buddha.
Tzu Chi Foundation that principally advoctes the four endeavours of:
Charity
Medicine
Education
Humanity

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Mahayana buddhism

  • 2. What is Mahayana Buddhism? Mahayana Buddhism has diverged into numerous schools with each developing its own canon and rituals since its founding more than two thousand years ago  Mahayana Buddhism also known as the “Great Vehicle”
  • 3.  The Mahasamghika (“of the Great Sangha”), one of the early Buddhist schools, may have been the source for the initial growth of Mahayana Buddhism, especially during the “Second Buddhist Council” that occured a hundred years after Buddha’s parinirvana.
  • 4. The Mahasamghika (“of Mahayana Buddhists believed that Siddhartha secretly taught key priciples to chosen people to his most dedicated diciples of, or to the most faithful who could copletely interpret these teachings in time (Hopfe 1983; losch 2001).  Mahayana buddhists forwarded the concept that Siddhartha Gautama was actually a benevolent celestial being, not just a mere human being
  • 5.  Mahayana Buddhists advanced the radical idea that Siddhartha Gautama was not the only Buddha.
  • 6. The canon of Mahayana Buddhism consists of Tripitaka namely;
  • 7. Abhidharma Pitaka (Ultimate Doctrine) Vinaya Pitaka (Discipline) Sutra Pitaka (Discourse)
  • 8.  Mahayana Buddhism adapted the Sanskrit usage rather than Pali form of common terms strictly used in Theravada Buddhism.  One of the most popular and prominent Mahayana Buddhist texts (or Sutra) is the Lotus Sutra, or the Saddharmapundarika-sutra that literally means “correct dharma white lotus sutra” or Sutra of the Lotud of the Wonderful Law” in Sanskrit.
  • 9. Sutra- pertains to one of the discourses of the historical buddha that comprise the basic text of buddhist sacred writing.
  • 12. The nature of the three bodies of Buddha: The concept of trikaya (“three bodies”) pertains to tha teaching of Mahayana Buddhism about the nature of the Buddha and reality. Dharmakaya Sambhogakaya Nirmanakaya
  • 13. The body Nature or Aspect of “Buddha-hood” Manifestation Dharmakaya Body of absolute truth; absolute nature of all beings Buddha is transcendent Sambhogakaya Body that experiences bliss of enlightenment Buddha’s body of bliss, or enjoyment body Nirmanakaya Body that manifest the world; embodiment of dharmakaya in human form Buddha’s earthly body, just like any other human being’s body
  • 14. Dharmakaya is identical with perfect enlightenment that is absolute and beyond existence or non-existence. Sambhogakaya is already enlightened but remains distinctive Nirmanakayais the physical body that undergoes birth, inhabits the world, and dies in the end.
  • 15. Bodhisattvas One distinct feature of Mahayana Buddhism concerns its teaching about an enlightened being or bodhisattva (“enlightened existence”) which is the ultimate way for any Buddhist to live in this word.  generated bodhicitta or the spontaneous desire to achieve the state of being enlightened.
  • 16. Avalokiteshvara is the most revered and most popular Buddhist deity among all bodhisattvas, being the personification of perfect compassion, probably representing in Buddhism the sun-god Vishnu of the older Hinduism (Murphy 1949). Maitreya(Buddha of the Future”) is the only accepted bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism, oriental Mahayana Buddhism has other four principal bodhisattvas, namely;
  • 17. Manjushri is the embodiment of wisdom, intelligence, and willpower. Ksitigarbha is the one who helps and liberates all sentient being residing in hell. Samanthabhadra is the representation of love, virtue, and diligence
  • 18. Bhumi Description Paramita Nature Pramudita-bhumi (joyful land) The bodhisattva starts the journey joyful with the inspiration of enlightenment Dana Paramita (Generosity) Perfection of giving or generosity Vimala-bhumi (Land of Purity) The bodhisattva is purified of immoral conduct and disposition Sila Paramita (Discipline) Perfection of morality Prabhakari-bhumi (Luminous or Radiant Land) The bodhisattva is purified of the “Three Poisons”, namely, greed, hate, and ignorance Ksanti Paramita (Patience) Perfection of patience for forbearance Archismati-bhumi (The Brilliant or Blazing Land) The bodhisattva burns away all false conception Virya Paramita (Diligence) Perfection of energy Sudurjaya-bhumi (The Land That is Difficult to conquer) The bodhisattva gors deeper into Dhyana Paramita (Meditative Concentration) Perfection of meditation
  • 19. Abhimukhi-bhumi (The Land Looking Forward to Wisdom) The bodhisattva sees that all phenomena are without self- essence and understands the nature of dependent origination Prajna Paramita (Wisdom) Durangama-bhumi (The Far- Reaching Land) The bodhisattva acquires the power of skilful means (upaya) to help others realize enlightenment Achala-bhumi (The Immovable Land) The bodhisattva can no longer be disturbed because “Buddha- hood” is within sight Sadhumati-bhumi (The Land of Good Thoughts) The bodhisattva understands all dharmas and is able to teach others Dharmamegha-bhumi (The Land of Dharma Clouds) The bodhisattva is confirmed of the “Buddha-hoof” and enters “Tushita Heaven” or the heaven of contended gods
  • 20. In buddhist temples, they pray and chant to pay their respect to the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, such as Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri, and Amitabha. They also offer vegetarian food and light incense to pay homage to these important divine beings.
  • 21. Subdivisions The more philosophical side of Indian Mahayana Buddhism was developed within the context of two major schools, namely, the Madhyamika and the Yogachara (Adams 1965) Madhyamika (“Intermediate”) whose adherents stress the transformation of human perception to handle the truth of that which is ultimately real beyond any duality.
  • 22. Mahayana Buddhism consist of a variety of schools and family of religions, including the Pure Land Sect, Intuitive Sects, Rationalist Sect, Socio-political Sect, and Tibetan Buddhism. Yogachara (“Practice of Yoga” thinkers emphasize that the truth a human being perceives does not exist.
  • 23. The PureLandSect Pure Land Buddhism began in India around the second century B.C.E., spread to China by the second century C.E., and reached Japan around sixth century C.E Pure Land of the West also known Sukhavati Amitabha- the god who supervises over a western paradise, is the focus of this sect.
  • 24. In Japan, by simplifying sect practices, such as those done by the monk Honen in the twelfth century, this attracted many followers to the sect Jodo Buddhism or Jodo-shu (“The Pure Land School”) founded in 1175. An offshot of Pure Land Buddhism is the Shin Buddhism or Jodo Shin-shu (“True Pure Land School”) founded by another Japanese monk Shinran during the thirteenth century.
  • 25. The establishment of intuitive sect of Buddhism can be traced around sixth century C.E to the work of an Indian monk named Bodhidharma whose life stories are shrouded with mysteries and numerous legends (Murphy 1949). This concept entered China from India, and then carried onward to Korea and Japan. In China, it came to be known as Ch’an. Ch’an Buddhism has close affinity with Taoist philosophy because both are kinds of mysticism (Jurji 1946). In Japan, it reached its peak with the development of Zen which is a blend of Indian Mahayana Buddhism and Taoism. The followers of this school are called meditative Buddhist. The Intuitive Sects
  • 26. The word “meditation” in India is dhyana, ch’an in China, and zen in Japan. The Rationalist Sect A rationalist Buddhist school of thought called T’ien-t’ai emerged around the sixth century C.E. with its name originating from a mountain in south eastern China where its founder Chih-I or Zhiyi lived. Chih-I – emphasized that acts of studying and contemplation were both vital for spiritual enlightenment.
  • 27. A Japanese Buddhist monk by the name of Nichiren Daishonin who lived during the thirteenth century during the Kamakura period began to teach that the path towards attaining enlightenment rested solely on the devotion to the Lotus Sutra. Nichiren (“sun lotus”)- Buddhism, which is purely a Japanese phenomenon, perceives itself as the rightful version of Buddhism. -taught that he alone understood Buddhist truths. -is an example of a religious group that came to have an effect in the socio-political dimension of Japan (Hopfe 1983). The Socio-political Sect
  • 28. Present-day schools of Nichiren Buddhism include Soka Gakkai, Nichiren Shoshu, and Nichiren Shu. TIBETAN BUDDHISM Buddhism was officially introduced into Tibet around the seventh century C.E. during the reign of Songtsan Gampo, considered the founder of the Tibetan Empire. Bon- Tibetan Buddhism borrowed tantric and shamanic attributes, as well as elements from Tibet’s native religion called Bon.
  • 29. - A pre-Buddhistic religion, was a kind of shamanism where spirits and deities were revered (Parrinder 1971). The four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism include: nyingma kagyu sakya gelug
  • 30. Tibetan Buddhism has its own set of clergy; Lamas – they are commonly senior members of the monastic community. - the term lama means “the superior” The Dalai Lama – is the most prominent face of Tibetan Bugddhism who has been living in exile in India since he fled Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959. - the term dalai means “ocean” in Mongol referring to the vastness and depth of the person. - the current and fourteenth Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso who is the leader of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism and is believed to be a reincarnation of Avalokisteshvara.
  • 31. SELECTED ISSUES Tzu Chi Foundation the Tzu Chi Foundation (“Compassionate Relief”) was established by a buddhist nun Cheng Yen in 1966 in Taiwan. - It was a charity organization anchored on the teachings of the Buddha. Tzu Chi Foundation that principally advoctes the four endeavours of: