Buddhism: The Rise of Mahayana Buddhism
The Rise of Mahayana Buddhism
The positions advocated by Mahayana [great vehicle] Buddhism, which distinguishes itself from the Theravada and related schools by calling them Hinayana [lesser vehicle], evolved from other of the early Buddhist schools. The Mahayana emerges as a definable movement in the 1st cent.
The bodhisattva is an actual religious goal for lay and monastic Buddhists, as well as the name for a class of celestial beings who are worshiped along with the Buddha. The Mahayana developed doctrines of the eternal and absolute nature of the Buddha, of which the historical Buddha is regarded as a temporary manifestation. Teachings on the intrinsic purity of consciousness generated ideas of potential Buddhahood in all living beings. The chief philosophical schools of Indian Mahayana were the Madhyamika, founded by Nagarjuna (2d cent.
Sections in this article:
- The Spread of Buddhism
- The Rise of Mahayana Buddhism
- Early Buddhism
- Basic Beliefs and Practices
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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