Theravada

  • “Teaching of the elders”
  • 486 BCE originated
  • Strong emphasis:
    • Moral Discipline
    • Renunciation
    • Monasticism
    • Sutra Study
  • Pali Canon
    • Vinaya-Pitaka
      • “Basket of Order”
      • Contains:
        • Monastic Codes
        • Buddha’s life
        • Dhammapada > most famous tract
      • Sutra-Pitaka
        • “Basket of Teachings”
        • Contains:
          • Discourses of the Buddha
          • 500 Jakata tales
            • Birth story of past lives of the Buddha
          • Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand
          • Monks wear orange robes

Mahayana

  • “Great Vehicle”
  • 1st and 2nd Centuries originated
  • Reformed Buddhism
  • Ideal figure > Bodhisattva
    • Enlightened being who compassionately postpones his/her own post-enlightenment liberation in order to help others.
  • Mahayana Scriptures
    • Written in Sanskrit
    • Sutras
      • Words of the Buddha
        • Prajnaparmita – Sutra
          • “Sutra of the wisdom that reaches the other shore.”
          • Smaller sutras collection
          • Exploring emptiness
          • Contains:
            • Heart Sutra
            • Diamond Sutra
          • Saddharmapundarika – Sutra
            • “Lotus Sutra”
            • Buddha’s most essential teachings
          • Shastras
            • Treatises
            • Three Body Doctrine
              • How Buddha-nature pervades the universe
              • Every sentient being has Buddha-nature
              • Dharmakaya
                • Truth of essence body
                • The absolute truth of Buddha-nature
              • Sambhogakaya
                • Bliss body
                • Symbolization of a particular Buddha-nature quality
              • Nirmanakaya
                • Form body
                • Flesh and blood manifestations of Buddha-nature
              • Tantras
                • Texts
                • Esoteric teachings
              • China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Tibet
              • Americans are more aware of it than other vehicles
              • Japanese Zen wears black robes
              • Tibetan wears yellow robes

Vajrayana

  • “Diamond Vehicle”
  • 3rd – 8th Centuries originated
  • Magical beliefs
  • Influenced by Bon Shamanism
  • Bodhisattva > Ideal Figure
  • Tibet, Bhutan, Mongolia, Sikkim, Nepal
  • Dalai Lama most famous
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