19 votes
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Logic of Emptiness still unconvincing. Please help explain

Your confusion is clear as day to me. :) As is the true meaning of "emptiness". The challenge is how to explain it to you in a way you can understand. :) You are stuck on this idea of "...
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13 votes
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What teachings do all schools of Buddhism share?

There is an existent reference to the similarities between Theravāda & Mahāyāna which I will cite: (I think it also applies to Vajrayāna although I may be wrong in this regard.) Whatever our ...
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  • 3,716
10 votes
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Are there any cultural or religious guidelines for Buddhist tattoos?

Japan- tattoos are taboo in general, since the assumption only criminals, prostitutes and other low class sorts have tattoos. I think it would be hard to distinguish a religious from a classist ...
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10 votes
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If Dalai Lama is enlightened, why he keeps coming back?

This is a fundamental premise of Mayayana, that the goal is not to be extinguished and leave samsara like an Arhat, but to stick around until everyone is enlightened. Here is the zen formulation of ...
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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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10 votes

Buddha's omniscience

In MN 71, the Buddha clarifies the meaning of his omniscience to the wandering ascetic Vacchagotta: Vaccha: ‘Venerable sir, I have heard this said: The recluse Gotama is all knowing and all seeing ...
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  • 9,458
9 votes
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What is meant by Namu Amida Butsu and also Nam-myoho-renge-kyo?

My answer is from the Shin perspective, I'll let someone else answer for Nichiren. Indeed you're right in saying that there are "two" meanings of Namu-Amida-Butsu - and that for the person of faith, ...
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  • 757
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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  • 4,247
8 votes
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What is the Avatamsaka Sutra about?

During the beginning of the 4th century CE, Buddhist scholars began composing a new series of Sūtras with the purpose of synthesizing and organizing concepts from earlier Mahāyāna Sūtras, a task which ...
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  • 2,189
8 votes
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Does Mahayana Buddhism discourage attaining enlightenment under the Gautama Buddha Sasana?

In early Buddhist texts one gains nibbāna and is freed from ever having to be reborn again. Many people achieved this and in relatively short time frames. The Buddha of the early texts seems to have ...
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  • 4,247
8 votes

Finding The Right Buddhist "Vehicle" / Sect For An Individual

Demographically the majority of Buddhists today (nearly 99%) are born in Asia into Buddhists families and would likely follow their family or local tradition. But assuming your question is regarding ...
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  • 9,462
8 votes

How to address wrong view

Of course others have responsibility to rectify the wrong views. There were several individuals spreading wrongly grasped views on Dhamma even during Buddha's time like Arittha, Sati and Sunakkhattha. ...
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  • 4,203
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

What is the Buddhist view in Socratic questioning?

This meta-topic mentioned the Pañha Sutta, which includes, There are these four ways of answering questions. Which four? There are questions that should be answered categorically [straightforwardly ...
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7 votes
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What is the difference between a Bodhisatta and a Bodhisattva?

Bodhisatta is Pali, Bodhisattva is Sanskrit, they have the same basic meaning. Wikipedia: In Buddhism, a bodhisattva (Sanskrit: बोधिसत्त्व bodhisattva; Pali: बोधिसत्त bodhisatta) is an ...
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7 votes

What are the main differences between the Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana branches of Buddhism?

This question, indeed, requires a whole book in order to be answered completely. Let me address only Theravada and Mahayana here. In two words: The most important aspect is that Theravada is focused ...
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7 votes

Sutras in Western Buddhism?

I practice with the Triratna Buddhists which is an explicit attempt to bring Buddhism into the Western context. It is ecumenical so brings in all traditions so for me this question is very interesting....
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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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  • 23.8k
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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  • 3,116
7 votes
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Is there a Vipassana meditation in the Mahayana tradition?

Mahayana is not a single tradition. It is a variety of forms the live teaching has taken as it was internalized by people belonging to different cultures and lifestyles over ~2600 years of the ...
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7 votes
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Is there a compassion only Buddhist path?

The recent scholarship that Hanson is referring to is probably this, by Richard Gombrich, the eminent British academic scholar of Buddhism: Kindness and Compassion as means to Nirvana in Early ...
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  • 1,151
7 votes

Ignorant mind and Buddha nature

It seems like you're viewing buddha nature as essence. Freedom from imputations, conceptions, conventions, perspective, etc is buddha nature. But don't view it as essence, which would be a ...
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7 votes

Does Paritta/Sutta really have magical power?

In AN 4.67, the Buddha allowed the monks to use the paritta to protect themselves from harm. Notice Ven. Thanissaro's note: "This is one of the few protective charms mentioned in the Pali canon and ...
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  • 9,458
7 votes
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Prajñāpāramitā Hṛdaya Sūtra in Sanskrit with English translation

The prajnaparamita canon is quite ancient going back to 1-2 BCE. It's not clear if the original set of sutras were composed in Sanskrit or Gandhari first and subsequently translated to Sanskrit. (...
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  • 7,383
7 votes

What is Karuṇā? Is 'compassion' really a good translation?

Literally, karuna means "to mourn", "to pity", "to lament" - but the Buddhist meaning is quite different. In Pali Canon karuna is one of the four brahmaviharas, practiced as an antidote against ...
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  • 55.2k
7 votes

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

In my opinion... in Buddhism this kind of worry is called "udacca-kukucca" :) -- "Am I not doing enough of what I should be doing? I am doing this but shouldn't I be doing that instead?" Instead, ...
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  • 55.2k
7 votes

Why is the Heart Sutra so important in Mahayana Buddhism?

Maybe because Clinging/Upadana is such a powerful destructive force, even advanced practitioners still have a tough time dealing with. So the non-clinging theme reflected through insight into ...
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