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28 votes
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Why isn't there a Buddhist Bible?

Why is it that Buddhism never compiled a reasonably concise set of canonical texts like the Bible? One could equally ask, "why didn't Christianity compile a lengthy and diverse set of canonical texts ...
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22 votes
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When were women first welcomed into Buddhist orders?

According to the texts (Cv 10), after the Buddha returned to visit his father in Kapilavatthu, his aunt and step-mother, Mahapajapati Gotami, followed him back to Vesali and eventually ordained her ...
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20 votes
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Was Vipassana discovered by the Buddha (Siddhartha)?

The orthodox view is that samatha meditation was not discovered by the Buddha and vipassana meditation was. On the origins of samatha meditation: Besides the fact that other teachers at the time of ...
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15 votes

Why is Buddhism followed mainly outside of India when it originated there?

India (the modern country) didn't exist when the Buddha was born. The Buddha was born near modern-day Northern India or Nepal. Wikipedia's Decline of Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent says, [This] ...
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13 votes
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What was the chronology of events in the Buddha's life?

This is from Hajimi Nakamura's "Gotama Buddha" vol. 1 Sorry about the quality... 1st 36 varanasi migadayavana 2nd 37 Vulture Peak Veluvana 3rd ...
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13 votes

Are the Chakras present in the original Buddha's teachings?

There is nothing supernatural about chakras. They are psychosomatic phenomena; they exist only in the subjective world of a person. That's why you can't photograph a chakra, or measure its "field ...
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12 votes

Is there evidence of a Buddhist influence on Greek Stoicism?

It's hard to answer these kind of things with a negative but I'm going to be bold and do that with caveats. I haven't heard of Stoicism itself being directly influenced by Buddhism but..... There is ...
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12 votes

Why did the Buddha suffer before he died?

Buddha did not experience suffering(mental). He experienced pain due to poor health during his final days. Enlightened beings do not create new Karmas. Also, they have removed the potential of all ...
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11 votes

Why isn't there a Buddhist Bible?

I think it is mistaken to think that Christianity just has the Bible as it's authority and everything else is dispensable. That idea only showed up at the time of the protestant reformation, and ...
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10 votes

Is there a better term than Hinayana?

As I was just explaining in a comment to one of my answers, the term "Hinayana" is widely used by Tibetan Buddhism teachers to refer to basic/elementary/foundational (and because of this often ...
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9 votes

What is the oldest text/sutra of the Mahayana tradition?

The oldest existing manuscript clearly identified as Mahāyāna is a birch bark manuscript of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā-prajñāpāramitā-sutra or Discourse on Perfect Wisdom consisting of 8000 [Lines]. This ...
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9 votes
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Was Buddha born of a Virgin?

This refers to a dream that Queen Maya had after trying for many years to have a baby with her husband. The reality is, they wrote that he was born to a woman who had been married for twenty years, ...
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9 votes

Evidence of Pali Canon's Origin

I encourage you to read the following: Bhikkhu Sujato & Bhikkhu Brahmali. The Authenticity of the Early Buddhist Texts. In this work, their project is to investigate the question of authencity ...
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8 votes

Was Buddha born of a Virgin?

Was Buddha born of a Virgin? No. Tathagata Buddha was born as normal human being. He was named "Siddhartha Gautama". His birth is elaborated in some details over here About the reference which you ...
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8 votes

Why is Buddhism followed mainly outside of India when it originated there?

I think the invasions of India cannot be a sufficient reason for the decline of Buddhism. Much more is needed to destroy a religion than the destruction of holy sites (think about the followers!). ...
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  • 1,524
8 votes

Significance of Bhikkhus uncovering their right shoulder

In Pāḷi texts, the right shoulder is not specified. The standard description of a monk meeting the Buddha says ekaṃsaṃ uttarāsaṅgaṃ karoti (Vin 1.46) he arranged his robe over one shoulder. However ...
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8 votes
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Why did Mahayana leave out the Pali Canon?

It did not. The Canon is an integral part of Mahayana, has always been. In Chinese Mahayana, the Canon is included in the form of Agamas (translated to Chinese). In Tibetan Mahayana, the Canon is a ...
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8 votes

Is it true that Lord Buddha was born in Sri Lanka?

Lumbini, Nepal has been recognized as the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama since a stone pillar was placed at the site by the emperor Ashoka circa 245 BCE. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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8 votes
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Is it true that Lord Buddha was born in Sri Lanka?

Prince Siddhartha was raised, according to Buddhist texts, in Kapilawastu (I will not present sources for this as I think this would be undisputed). The modern name for Kapilawastu is unknown: I will ...
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7 votes
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Is there a historical connection between Buddhism and martial arts?

There is a legend that Bodhidharma instructed the monks at the Shaolin Monastery in ways to increase their physical fitness. These exercises later became the Shaolon kung fu. As one of the documents ...
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7 votes
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Were robes a factor in the spread of Buddhism?

In Theravada, robes may be made of six types of material, including linen, cotton, silk, wool, jute, or hemp (Mv.VIII.3.1). I've got a wool robe myself and it works fine in Canadian winters, so that ...
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7 votes
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Is there a better term than Hinayana?

Based on the Introduction in "Buddhist Religions" by Robinson, Johnson, and Thanissaro (5th ed.), one option could be to use Śrāvakayāna. Those authors discuss Buddhism as being more like three (at ...
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7 votes

What's the origin of 108 being a sacred number?

The origin of 108 in the ancient buddhist scriptures seems to be from the total number of feelings classified in different ways by the Buddha: "Monks, I will teach you a one-hundred-and-eight ...
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7 votes

Was Buddha born of a Virgin?

As far as I know Queen Maya is not described as a virgin anywhere in the Pali canon, but she was believed to be sterile by most Burmese Buddhists. The account of the Buddha's birth is derived from ...
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7 votes

History of refuge in the 3 jewels

Taking refuge in the 3 jewels of Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha was recommended by the Buddha as providing protection from certain afflictions. It is specifically mentioned in the Dhajagga-paritta ("...
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7 votes

Why aren't there omnicidal Buddhists?

existence is the root of suffering no, it's not. The official definitions are "unsatisfied thirst is [mental] suffering", "craving and grasping is the origin of suffering", "...
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6 votes
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Did the Buddha ever talk about his family?

The Buddha praised princess Yashodara's virtue by dispensing the Channakinnara Jataka when he visited her at Kapilavatthu. Yashodara has never been a wife to another man since the life when Bodhisatva ...
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6 votes
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How did Buddha's teachings about samsara differ from earlier Indian tradition?

I’m not sure what you mean by six stages here. Actually, it seems that the rebirth/samsara concept was not that old when Buddhism came on the scene. Gananath Obeyesekere is an anthropologist who ...
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