Development of the traditions

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A talk given during Sravasti Abbey’s annual Exploring Monastic Life program in 2006.

The spread of early Buddhism

  • Development of the various Buddhist traditions: 1st, 2nd and 3rd Buddhist councils
  • Spread of Buddhism to Ceylon
  • Pali canon written down in 1st century B.C.?
  • Mahayana scriptures
    • Appearance of the Prajna Paramita sutras in the latter half of the 1st century and the 2nd century A.D.
    • Initially the Mahayana wasn’t a distinct tradition
    • Western historians say that Mahayana sutras were made up by people
    • Practitioners say the sutras were taught by the Buddha but were kept hidden as they were too profound for people at that time

Exploring Monastic Life 2006: Session 7, 1-3 (download)

Comparing the canons

  • Similarities and differences between the Pali canon and Mahayana sutras
  • A.D. centuries: many Indian sages wrote commentaries
  • How to approach the study of the Tibetan tenets system

Exploring Monastic Life 2006: Session 7, 2-3 (download)

Questions and answers

  • The fate of the Mahasangikas after the 2nd Buddhist council
  • Clarification of vow to not falsely accuse
  • View of the Prasangika Madhyamika school by the various Tibetan traditions
  • Mind Only School in the Chinese, Zen, and Chan traditions

Exploring Monastic Life 2006: Session 7, 3-3 (download)

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