The development of the Mahayana tradition

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

The Mahayana appears

  • Abhidharma: taxonomy/organization of the Buddha’s teachings (3rd basket of teachings)
  • Development of the Mahayana
    • Similarities of different traditions
    • Mahayana is based on Theravada
    • Vajrayana is based on Mahayana

Exploring Monastic Life 2006: Session 8, 1-3 (download)

The teacher

  • Three-tier system of relating to the teacher
    • Vinaya teacher: representative of the Buddha
    • Bodhisattva vow: emanation of a Buddha
    • Tantra: the teacher as a Buddha
  • Importance of talking about Vajrayana to an appropriate audience
  • Appearance of statues, paintings, scriptures and stupas
  • Concept of merit field

Exploring Monastic Life 2006: Session 8, 2-3 (download)

Questions and answers

  • Veneration of holy objects
  • Empowerment of lay people
  • Practicing as a lay person versus as a monastic
  • Giving birth to a child with a precious human rebirth
  • Disrobing of monastics
  • Consort practice

Exploring Monastic Life 2006: Session 8, 3-3 (download)

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