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Branches of Buddhism The 2 main schools of Buddhism are Mahayana and Theravada.

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Presentation on theme: "Branches of Buddhism The 2 main schools of Buddhism are Mahayana and Theravada."— Presentation transcript:

1 Branches of Buddhism The 2 main schools of Buddhism are Mahayana and Theravada

2 Early Buddhism  After Buddha’s parinirvana:  the sangha continued to operate.  They met to keep the teachings consistent.  Since the monks and nuns travelled a lot, the views began to change.  Buddhist practices merged with local customs.  The community disagreed about which scriptures to recognize.  Both the main schools recognize the Tripitaka as their scripture.

3 Where in the world are the Buddhists?

4 Theravada Buddhism  The “way of the elders”, formerly known as Hinayana (“the lesser vehicle”)  Oldest, most conservative  Only accepts Tripitaka  does not see Buddha as a god  meditation helps monks reach enlightenment  Ideal human state = arhat  Spread initially through monks and nuns sent out by the Emperor Ashoka

5 Theravadin practices  Lay people’s main focus is 3 things:  Dana (giving to monks) – sila (morality) – bhavana (meditation, beginning w puja)  Monks live a very structured life of meditation, study and chanting; community supports them completely.  Their goal is panna (wisdom) – sila (morality) – samadhi (mental training to reach enlightenment)

6 Performing dana “Thai monks collecting alms”

7 Mahayana Buddhism  This branch includes Zen, Pure Land Buddhism, Tibetan ( aka Vajrayana ) and others.  “the greater vehicle”  Many Mahayana Buddhists see Buddha as god  Believe in many Buddhas and people pray to them  Ideal human state = bodhisattva (also Buddhahood)  Recognize Tripitaka and many sutras as scriptures  Rituals reflect culture of the people

8 Mahayana devotion  Compared to Theravada, Mahayana is far more devotional (love of a god) and lay-focused. Cundi and Avalokitesvara (many forms exist of both)

9 Bodhisattva’s paying respect to the Buddha (l), Matreiya Buddha(r), the Buddha who is yet to come – sometimes depicted as Budai

10 Amida Buddha (Pure Land Sect) (l) and Guan Yin (r) with Amida Buddha in her crown. Guan Yin has many names and forms in different countries – often called Goddess of Mercy

11 Mahayana practices  Meditation – focus on an object (a Buddha image, a flower), a saying of B. Meditation varies – sitting, walking, working  Chanting mantras, e.g. OM MANI PADME HUM (Tibetan) –counted on a mala  Compassion  Specific practices for certain subgroups  Puja  dana

12 Mahayana subgroups  Zen  2fwUqN4 (asian art museum) 2fwUqN4  The Zen Mind  Z5DZcNM Z5DZcNM

13 Branch comparisons  Theravada  Humans are individual  Wisdom is key belief  Religion is for monks  Meditation is the key practice  Early scriptures in Pali (dhamma, kamma)  Mahayana  Communities are important  Compassion is key belief  Religion is for everyone  People pray for requests  Scriptures in Sanskrit (dharma, karma)

14 What both schools agree on  Buddha is the only master and the ideal example  One must take refuge in the Buddha, dharma and sangha  This world is not created by a god  One must accept the 4 Noble Truths  All things are impermanent

15 How is Tibet different?  emerged later in history (750 CE)  included in Mahayana  AKA esoteric Buddhism  Combined with native Tibetan religion  Ritualistic (mantras and using thangkas and mandalas) – builds concentration  Spiritual and political leader is Dalai Lama  Scriptures are translated to Tibetan  Practices include prayer wheels, flags and singing bowls

16 Tibetan Buddhism  Like other Mahayana groups, there is great concern for gaining merit (another word for good karma) and spreading compassion and peace.

17 Creating mandalas, chanting, Tibetan music and dress (Crow Museum of Asian Art)

18  Tibetan tour – prayer flags, wheels, mani stone pile (4:16)   Life of an Australian Buddhist monk (5:23) “The Monk Story”   A Day in the Life of Buddhist Zen Monks (1:52)  Buddhist Spirituality and Modernity  Tibet Tech Prayer Wheel (1:40)  Traditional Prayer wheels (both less than 1 min)    Tibetan singing bowl (2:53) 

19 Buddhism and Modernity  Jews in Buddhism  w4X3ws w4X3ws  Soka Gakkai -  The Beastie Boys – Bodhisattva Vow  astie-Boys/Bodhisattva-Vow.html astie-Boys/Bodhisattva-Vow.html


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