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The Division of Buddhism:
Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism
Buddhism, the religion was born in India in the sixth century, with wide spread over a large part of Asia and many parts of the world. After the death of the Buddha, the Buddhist communities of their own have been met in a series of councils, each sponsored by a different king, to resolve disputes related to what the Buddha’s taught and what rules should follow by monastic orders. These councils led to the emerged of two main branches of Buddhism. Theravada Buddhism (“Way of the Elders”) sought to preserve the original and orthodox teachings of Guatama Buddha. Mahayana Buddhism (“Greater Vehicle”) find Guatama Buddha’s taught are more flexible and innovative.
During the Fourth Great Council, which confirmed the division of Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism by its different interpretations of achieving enlightenment.
Theravada tradition is organized according to the basic teaching of the Buddha. The Theravadin ideal is to embodied arhat. The arhat, a Buddhist follower by his own strenuous efforts has reached the stage of enlightenment; has reached Nirvana. “Burmese Hinayanist, U Thittila: the extinction of greed, the extinction of anger, the extinction of delusion – this indeed called Nirvana. And for the disciple thus freed the Arhat, in whose heart dwells peace, there is nothing to be added to what has been done and naught more remains for him to do.” 1
The arhat or a fully being, one who attains enlightenment as a result of their efforts. A life, where all birth is ends; one has achieved holiness; there is no more
suffering, and no more back to the time of the live. Those who listened to the original
teaching of the Buddha and put them into reality practice would finally become one of seclusion. The arhat is completely enlightenment being is selfless, such a person thoroughly in knowledge, understanding and wisdom. “Problematic arise on whether Nirvana represents the annihilation of the self? Buddhism in answer is that there is not a permanent resident to self annihilate, the annihilation of the illusion.”2 While Nirvana may easily go through as some form of mental euthanasia, orthodox Buddhism, rebut any suggestion that it involves some form of total annihilation. The Theravadin undoubtedly stresses arhat consciousness as reaching nirvana and that person to be kept that life's highest arhat, for example, worth being. But in what sense of an arhat? Arhat in a sense of Nirvana went to the outside simultaneously loyal to tradition and faithfulness to reality of Nirvana ..... Nirvana arise.3
In Theravadin tradition, only those who practice the meditative monastic life -- spirit can achieve perfection. Monastery includes monks and nuns. Monastic life is based on the rules can be understood as an attempt to guide and a commitment to transfer of individuals rather than to change society. Monastic are regulations that are exclusive right to be based on the instructions of the Buddha. Any father was a monk, harmony with the orders for ..... in accordance with the Dhamma and discipline .... the attributes of a perfect man .... a monk, is a spirit of understanding the full perfection. 4 Monks can make a significant study of the Pali Canon; in general, monks are expected mainly to learn from their experiences and personal meditation teacher, to participate in the life liturgical and to provide a basic foundation for Buddhist teachings. The meditation traditions associated with the supernatural achieve some powers are described in
Pali traditional folk. Those who advocate the meditative monastic life as a path to salvation, a path so that the monks all over to follow the strict practices.
Mahayana Buddhism, began more formal emerge with distinction in Theravada Buddhism, after the Fourth Council. The Mahayana emphasis on the existence of many
bodhisattvas, who acts as the universal savors. The Mahayana promises salvations for all those who sincerely search for it through the propaganda of the bodhisattva ideal.
Bodhisattva is one of the rests of Nirvana heaven and remains on the earth in different semblances to help people find salvation and enlightenment. The road to becoming a Buddha or bodhisattva is open to all individuals, not just the monks or nuns in the monastery.
“Mahayana sees the goal of enlightenment recede to a point beyond horizon….not an object of emulation; the bodhisattva was an object of devotion….vows to deliberate all beings in the universe from suffering, all beings were object of the bodhisattva’s compassionate deeds.” 5
The presence of innumerable bodhisattva revealed the message of the Buddha is being expressed to the world. The Buddhist is one who awakens within his pure mind, promised to save all living beings, and exerts himself in the performance of these behaviors will make a Buddha - Bodhisattva. 6 A Bodhisattva would indeed summon on six perfections - human compassion, to comply with discipline, forbearance, exertion, meditation, and wisdom. How can one self vow to the Ten Stages of Bodhisattvahood? Mahayana philosophy for the characteristics of the Ten Bodhisattvahood is relatively
quick path to enlightenment: “Joy-self salvation, Purity-selfless, Brightness-intellectual
condition of the awakened, Burning-consumes evils and illusion in purifying, Invincibility-the Virtues, breaks all evil passions, Revealing Oneself-reach Dharma, Going Far Away-work of salvation for benefit of mankind, Immovability-attained by bodhisattva when acquires very highest knowledge, Good Intelligence-sentient beings benefit by his works, Clouds of Dharma-enlightened man has practiced all the virtues of purity.” 7
During the Fourth Great Council, which confirmed the division of Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism by its different interpretations of achieving enlightenment. Theravada Buddhism is more individualistic - organizations that each person must achieve enlightenment on their own. Those followers or aspirant seeker reached insight spirit from his or hers own experience and practices. Free from suffering and achieve enlightenment, the aspirant must meditate. This is the best and only effective technique to achieve a spiritual awakening. Only in the meditation can be understood and practices, and ways in which annihilated. In time, practitioners will come to awareness and enlightenment Nirvana, the ultimate goal of Theravada Buddhism. Mahayana emphasizes the enlightenment of all beings. The idea of Mahayana is to allow all beings to be enlightened together, not only a sense of oneself, but because oneself can not separate themselves from each other. Enlightenment is achieved through a normal life with different levels of the spirit of participation. Mahayana is the ideal to become a Bodhisattva strives to liberate all beings from the cycle of birth and death.
1 Ross Wilson Nancy. Buddhism: A Way of Life and Thought (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1980) pp.43-48.
2 Olson Carl. The Different Paths of Buddhism (New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2005) pp.64-66.
3 Carter Ross John. On Understanding Buddhists (New York: State University of New York Press, 1993) pp.102-103.
4 Horner I. B. The Book of Discipline (Vinaya-Pitaka), volume 1 and 2, (London: Pali Text Society, 1938, 1940) pp.101
5 Lopez S. Donald, Jr. Buddhism in Practice (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1995) pp.24-25
6 Olson Carl. Original Buddhist Sources (New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2005) introductory
7 Stryk Lucien. World of the Buddha (New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1968) pp.1i-1v