Questions tagged [mahayana]

One of the two major vehicles of Buddhism.

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7
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2answers
6k views

What is meant by Namu Amida Butsu and also Nam-myoho-renge-kyo?

In two schools of Buddhism, an important part of the practice is the repetition of special mantras which sound like simple expressions of honor or gratitude to those of us outside of the sects, but ...
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6answers
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What teachings do all schools of Buddhism share?

Among the many schools and traditions, what core teachings are shared by all Buddhists?
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3answers
477 views

Pāramitāyāna and Tantrayāna

Wikipedia includes this (unreferenced) sentence: According to the perspective of Tibetan Buddhism, Mahāyāna practitioners have the choice of two practice paths: the path of perfection (Sanskrit: ...
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5answers
530 views

Can you criticise or improve Ven. Bodhi's description of Mahayana

Here I summarised, and here I referenced, this little essay by Bhikkhu Bodhi: Dhamma and Non-duality (the first four paragraphs seem to be about Advaita Vedanta, the remainder about "Mahayana Buddhism"...
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2answers
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What are the main differences between the Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana branches of Buddhism? [closed]

The question basically says it all, but I'll try to elaborate a bit: Are there differences in terms of the concepts used in each of these branches? Are there differences in the practices of each of ...
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2answers
143 views

Aversion and Mahayana

I think Andrei might have commented once that the suttas are mostly about (liberation from) lobha (including craving and attachment) as a problem, and Mahayana is about dosa. That's probably an ...
7
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5answers
472 views

Is there a better term than Hinayana?

I'm aware that using the term Hinayana isn't ideal as it has derogatory undertones - being coined by the Mahayana school to differentiate themselves from what had gone on before. The implication being ...
5
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4answers
571 views

Do Cittamatra / Yogacara explicitly refute the existence of an external world?

Tibetan texts that belong to the genre of tenets (doctrinal classification) usually claim that the Cittamatra school refutes external existence. These texts further claim that Cittamatrin posit that '...
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5answers
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Does Mahayana Buddhism discourage attaining enlightenment under the Gautama Buddha Sasana?

As far as I've heard, Mahayana Buddhists aspire to become Buddhas themselves in the future or want to become followers of a future Buddha like Buddha Maitreya. So, are Mahayana Buddhists discouraged ...
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1answer
496 views

How do Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists make sense of Maitreya's prophecy?

How do Mayahana and Vajrayana Buddhists make sense of Maiterya's prophecy? I know for a fact that some e.g. son masters claimed to have achieved anuttara samyak sambodhi, and that some Vajrayana ...
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7answers
513 views

Is there a compassion only Buddhist path?

In a recent version of the Buddhist Geeks podcast Rick Hanson said that recent academic research is showing that in the Pali Canon there were teachings indicating that compassion is enough to progress ...
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2answers
165 views

Do Beings go into total unconsciousness before attaining Buddhahood?

I am asking the Vajrayana/Mahayana view as I already know the theravada view.I heard that Buddhas only have jnana and not vijnana wich means they are inert like rocks but 'act' based on past merit and ...
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3answers
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Emptiness in Theravada and Mahayana

What is the difference between the concept of emptiness (Śūnyatā in Sanskrit, or suññatā in Pali) in the Theravada tradition and the concept of emptiness in the Mahayana tradition? From my basic ...
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4answers
456 views

Mahayana view on why Theravada's anatta is insufficient to uproot ignorance?

A Mahayana-practising member wrote this comment: With respect, the Theravada generally has a much more coarse understanding of emptiness and anatta and is confused as to the object of negation. ...
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3answers
357 views

What is the purpose of the Mahayana 'emptiness' doctrine?

Another naive question... Further to e.g. this answer, which may be an overview of what Mahayana teaches about emptiness, my question is why does Mahayana teach that? I gather that the purpose of ...
6
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3answers
572 views

Two unconditioned dhammas?

In A history of Indian Buddhism: From Sakyamuni to Early Mahayana, Professor Hirakawa states: Both nirvana and space were considered to be unconditioned dharmas. This fundamental classification of ...
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3answers
207 views

Does Nirvana have svabhava in Madhyamaka?

As suggested in this comment, we shall try to look more closely into this. Does Nirvana have svabhāva in Madhyamaka? Here, svabhāva is as defined in Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka, and commonly translated ...
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7answers
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How is samsara nirvana?

How is samsara nirvana? I have heard this mentioned in a couple books recently, but they never go into much detail.
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6answers
348 views

To debate or not to debate? and When to debate? and How to debate?

When we have several people with different understanding of Buddhism, how should we decide who is right? Debate is very tempting in Buddhism, but on the other hand, we must respect other people's ...
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3answers
434 views

Difference between Theravada's self and Mahayana's intrinsic essence

With reference to this comment: An intrinsic nature, essence or characteristic that is unique to some phenomena that can be described as that phenomena's self. The self of chair would be that ...
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4answers
2k views

Who was the first buddha?

If the number of buddhas is increasing, who was the first, and how did he become buddha without the dharma or a guru?
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4answers
264 views

Is it more important not to break precepts through proxy, or to not cause suffering to your family?

An important point I see is how one furthers death and lying. Through working, you are taxed, and taxes fund the breaking of the precepts. Taxes fund war and espionage, so killing and stealing are ...
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4answers
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How does the idea of Bodhisatva in Mahayana mesh with anattā?

As this is my first posted question, I welcome input as to how to improve it. Many thanks in advance. When I have heard Mahayana practitioners discuss the concept of Bodhisatva as it varies from ...
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7answers
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What exactly is svabhava?

What exactly is svabhāva in Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka? It is translated as inherent nature or inherent existence or inherent substance. But what does that really mean? Does it carry the same meaning as ...
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10answers
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Logic of Emptiness still unconvincing. Please help explain

I've been a practitioner of Vipassana and Mahamudra for 2 years now. One thing quite bothering me is various explanations from different teachers on emptiness logically disturbing... Usually, it goes ...
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9answers
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miscarriage and abortion

3 years back i had to face with an relationships Problem with my ex boy friend and at that time i was pregnant. I had to abort my child at that time as a result of those problems. Now i am married ...
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3answers
742 views

What is Nirvana (mahayana)?

...as per the title. In the Theravada literature, the Buddha is seen as someone who found an end to suffering and taught that for all his life, urging his disciples to apply themselves to it, to not ...
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2answers
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What are Bhavanga and Javana?

Will someone explain Bhavanga and Javana in simple way? At times, they seem non-comprehensible.
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1answer
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What is the basis of Lotus Sutta with respect to original Tipitaka?

I would like to know the basis of Lotus sutra and it's relationship with the original teachings of Buddha mentioned in the Tipitaka. I would like to also know where Lotus Sutra contradicts with things ...
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2answers
577 views

When is it time to meditate and when is it time to act?

As a Mahayana follower I keep growing my wish to help all beings. To accomplish this, I have developed the wish to become a Buddha. As I meditate and follow the teachings, I really wish to help all ...
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3answers
230 views

What is observing the precepts in a Hinayana way or a Mahayana way?

In Zen Mind, Beginners Mind Shunryu Suzuki says observing the precepts in a Hinayana way is violating the precepts in a Mahayana way Can an one give an explanation of way he is getting at here ...
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4answers
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What does the word "world" mean in the Buddhist context?

The Hemawatha Sutta Is a (very old)? sutta in "Sutha Nipatha" of KN, Just after the first sermon of "Dammachakka". 'Hemawata' (General of yakka's ) is also a listener of that. He ...
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3answers
318 views

What is it that is re-incarnated ? [duplicate]

I have been reading Mahayana philosophy. It proposes non-self and that self does not exist in the 5 aggregates. If the self/atman does not exist, what is that is re-incarnated? How can nothing ...
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6answers
2k views

Buddha's omniscience

Is a Buddha omniscient? If so, is there some agreement on what omniscience more specifically means? (All traditions are of interest. But particularly Mahayana)
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3answers
505 views

What is the Pure Land?

The Three Pure Land sutras contain descriptions of a beautiful and serene place with trees, ponds, and palaces all made of jewels and surrounded with heavenly music and fragrance. How is this Pure ...
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4answers
676 views

In the five paramitas, what is patience and why is it on the list?

I understand the English dictionary definition of patience, the ability to wait. When reading about the paramitas, it seems like this word in the original language covered forbearance, i.e. the ...
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3answers
340 views

Tathagatagarbha and dhammakaya

Can we consider 'tathagatagarbha' and 'dhammakaya' as synonyms? If not, what is the difference between those words.
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5answers
606 views

What Gautam Buddha said about "self", in Chapter Three of the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra?

From this site, I found the following saying of Buddha: "You, monks, should not thus cultivate the  notion (samjna) of impermanence, suffering and non-Self, the notion of impurity and so forth, ...
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3answers
758 views

What is the Buddhist view in Socratic questioning?

From Socratic questioning – Wikipedia: Socratic questioning is a form of disciplined questioning that can be used to pursue thought in many directions and for many purposes, including: to explore ...
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4answers
371 views

What are other peoples minds according to the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra?

I read that everything is just my own mind from the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra. If everything is my own mind, what about other peoples minds? Are they also my own mind? How can this be understood? For ...
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2answers
352 views

Describe the Mahayana path

This comment writes, reasonably enough: Worth mentioning regarding Tantra and Vajrayana that Vajrayana is not a path of renunciation So I was wondering what it is, if it isn't that. I remembered ...
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4answers
268 views

Two Truths in Mahayana

There are Two Truths in Mahayana Buddhism Conventional and Ultimate. I can't understand how it works. For example: Two Mahayana Buddhists have realized the absolute truth: and one Buddhist tells the ...
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4answers
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Difference between abiding nirvana and non-abiding nirvana?

In Mahayana Buddhism, what is the difference between abiding nirvana and non-abiding nirvana? Are there official Sanskrit terms for "abiding nirvana" and "non-abiding nirvana"? What are they? When a ...
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3answers
398 views

If no sentient being exists, for whom is there compassion? 'A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life' by Santideva

Quoted below is from 'A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life' by Santideva, Chapter IX: The Perfection of Wisdom. I'm struggling to follow the line of thought, can someone please decipher what it ...
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3answers
182 views

Mahayana doctrine about dreams and illusions

Is there some standard Mahayana doctrine about dreams and illusions? How is the doctrine meant to be used -- assuming it's a view, how is it meant to be effective? I ask because of this answer: ...
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4answers
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How do Mahayana Buddhists perceive the world?

One Mahayana Buddhist said, "we act as if each person has his or her own consciousness, sensation, and thoughts." Does everyone Mahayana Buddhist believe that he lives in a world in which ...
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3answers
223 views

Delayed speech as right speech

I was once told a story by the abbott of a monastery about how the Buddha once decided to delay his speech and said it only when it was the right time. Paraphrasing, the story is like this - Two ...
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8answers
367 views

Does reality exist?

Does reality exist? Carlo Rovelli (a famous theoretical physicist) doesn't think so and he cites Nagarjuna as believing the same: Rovelli has a different idea. He says reality doesn’t exist. The ...
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1answer
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Why did Mahayana leave out the Pali Canon?

I'm quite familiar with Theravada and Zen but I can't understand the historical reasons for not keeping the original Buddha's teaching as a core. The schools do not contradict each other, so why ...
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8answers
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Is there a Vipassana meditation in the Mahayana tradition?

I was brought up in the Theravada tradition and have little knowledge on Mahayana. Recently some of my friends participated in a Mahayana retreat and praised it highly. One of them even claimed that ...