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Development of the traditions

Development of the traditions

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)

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.

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