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Mahayana Buddhism The “Big Vehicle”. Mahayana Buddhism emphazises Enlightenment is attainable for everyone Stress on Bodhisattva Stress on compassion.

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Presentation on theme: "Mahayana Buddhism The “Big Vehicle”. Mahayana Buddhism emphazises Enlightenment is attainable for everyone Stress on Bodhisattva Stress on compassion."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mahayana Buddhism The “Big Vehicle”

2 Mahayana Buddhism emphazises Enlightenment is attainable for everyone Stress on Bodhisattva Stress on compassion for everyone thus the stress on Bodhisattva Attempts to meet almost every religious and philosophical need.

3 Mahayana Teaching and Practice

4 Some key characteristics Body is viewed positively Material things are viewed positively Open to art and music Senses and emotions part of spiritual transformation The gulf between sacred and non sacred is bridged

5 All Seeing Buddha

6 Main Emphasis A main emphasis in Mahayana is “karuna” which means compassion, empathy, kindness, sympathy. The idea is the all of us are part of the same ever changing universe and deep down we are really not different. To act kindly to another is to act kindly to one’s self.

7 Karuna taken to another level The idea of compassion in Buddhism is taken to another level in regard to enlightenment. A person becomes enlightened not simply for his or her sake but for the sake of others. A person who becomes enlightened and returns to show others is a “bodhisattva” which means “enlightenment being.”

8 Openness Mahayana Buddhism is open to a number of religious paths. A person may not find a devotion to a deity particularly suited for them however, that person may appreciate meditation. Mahayana is open to anything that will help a person spiritually; this is known as “upaya” or “skillful means.”

9 Thought and Worldview The universe is filled with the divine The universe is populated with holy personalities.

10 The Divine Nature of Buddha

11 The Three-Body Doctrine or Trikaya Doctrine The Buddha nature expresses itself in three ways called the “trikaya.” Buddha was considered a manifestation of divine reality, “the cosmic Buddha nature.” This is known as “Dharmakaya” variously known as “law body”, “form body”, or “body of reality.” The cosmic Buddha nature permeates everything.

12 Incarnation Siddhartha Gautama’s physical body is considered an incarnation of divine reality and is called “Narmanakya” (transformation body). There idea is the idea that there are more than one incarnation of Buddha and therefore another historical Buddha “Maitreya” will appear on earth in the future in inaugurate the golden age.

13 Cosmic Buddha This Buddha has taken on bodily form who are supernatural Buddhas who live in the heavens. Buddhas are envisioned in heavenly realms which spread in all directions and therefore each direction must have its own reigning body-bliss Buddha. The one that rules the Western Paradise is called “Amitabha Buddha.”

14 More on “heaven” Heavenly Bodhisattvas are Buddha beings who exists in other realms who are eager to help humans. They are beings of great compassion who once lived on Earth. The most significant one is “Avalokiteshvara” who looks from above to help. Was male in India In female “Guanyin”, “hears all cries.”

15 More Mahayana Concepts Shunyata - emptiness or zeroness. Because everything is in constant change, each apparently individual person and thing is actually “empty” of permanent individual identity. Tathata - thatness, thusness, suchness. Reality is revealed in each moment, as we savor pattern,s relationships and change. Because no moment is exactly the same, each one can be observed and appreciated as it passes.

16 Mahayana Literature Prajnaparamita Sutras (“sutra on the perfection of wisdom”); contrast ordinary understanding with enlightened understanding. Vimalakirti Sutra teaches that it is possible to live a devout Buddhist life without becoming a monk. Saddharma Pundarika Sutra (“lotus of the good law.” The Buddha shows his cosmic transcendent nature.

17 The Lands of Mahayana Buddhism Mahayana Buddhism exists in many countries among them are: –China –Japan –Korea

18 Major Schools in Mahayana Shingon (“true word”) - this school stresses uses sacred chants called mantras and if the rituals were carefully followed it would provide security for rulers, children for married couples. The followers attempt to unite with Buddha’s cosmic nature. This school uses “mandalas” which are geometrical designs that present reality in symbolic form.

19 More Schools Tendai is named for the greatest Chinese monastic mountain institution at Mount Tiantai (heavenly terrace) which is where the sect began. It focuses on ritual. Jodo or Pure Land is a devotional form of Buddhism that could be practiced by both laypeople and monks. Devotion to Amitabha is great.

20 More Schools Nichiren began in Japan. It’s founder was a Tendai monk named Nichiren. Believed that the Lotus Sutra contained all of the basic teachings of the Buddha. His sect uses the chant “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo” which means “Praise to the mystic law of the Lotus Sutra.”

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