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Buddhism: Its Essence and Development - Assignment Example

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In the paper “Buddhism: Its Essence and Development” the author summarizes what one needs to realize about Buddhism. This is that it is not a ‘religion of books’, like Judaism, Christianity or Islam, all of which are based on a primary body of scriptures…
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Buddhism: Its Essence and Development
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Download file to see previous pages It does not follow that what is left will be nothing; what is left is that boundless life itself. A series of attributes, derived from Buddhist texts, that apply to Nirvana is that it is permanent, stable, imperishable, immovable, ageless, deathless and unborn, that it is power, bliss and happiness, the secure refuge, the shelter, and the place of unassailable safety; that it is the real truth and the supreme reality, it is the supreme goal and the one and only consummation of our life, the eternal, hidden and incomprehensible peace.
When we approach Buddhist history, what strikes us immediately is that it splits. The Buddha dies, and before the century is out, the seeds of schism have been sown. One group took as its motto the Buddha's valedictory, "Be lamps unto yourselves; work out your salvation with diligence." They insisted that Buddhism was a full-time job; those who made nirvana their central object would have to give up the world and become monks as the Buddha himself had done. The other group held that compassion is the more important feature of, enlightenment, arguing that human beings are more social than the individual, and love is the greatest thing in the world. This group, pointing to its doctrine of cosmic help and its ampler regard for laypeople, claimed to be Buddhism for the masses. Accordingly, it preempted the name Mahayana meaning 'Big Raft', the raft that would carry people across life's sea to shores of enlightenment. the former group preferred to call its Buddhism Theravada, the 'Way of the Elders'. The differences between the two groups can be The Theravada community has traditionally had a monastic bias; the monks and nuns are isolated from the society except that they depend on local people for the one daily meal that is put into their begging bowls. The Mahayana community has sought to avoid spiritually privileging monks over laypeople. Even its priests usually marry, and they are expected to make service to the laity their primary concern. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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