Buddhism Philosophy & Teachings

Schools of Buddhism | Introduction

We will give next a general historical account of the chief branches of Buddhist thought in India such as Vaibhasikas, Sautrantikas, Yogacaras and Madhyamikas and briefly show their relation to the central teachings of the Buddha such as three fundamental principles of Impermanence (anitya), Sorrow (duhkha), and Non-self (anātman).

Three Yanas - Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana

Classical Buddhist literature mentions several systems of theory and practice called by a Sanskrit name “- yanas”, which means “Vehicles”. Yanas might be considered as “views” or teachings supported by certain types of people that “moves” them forward. There are many such vehicles for people and deities and Buddhist vehicles among them: 1. Vehicle of personal liberation (Hinayana) 2. Vehicle of universal salvation (Mahayana) 3...

Tantra classes in Buddhist yoga

Yoga in Tibetan Buddhism can be classified in two ways – according to new tradition and according to old tradition. “The New Tradition” in Tibetan Buddhism means the system of tantra classification and Buddhist traditions which developed after the second coming of Buddhism in Tibet in X century and traditionally it is believed it has started with Rinchen Zangpo (958-1055) and was accepted in Kagyu,...

Four Noble Truths

Buddha’s first sermon was the teaching of the Four Noble Truths, the summary of all Buddha teachings, experienced by Buddha himself.The short summary of all Buddhist teachings was given by Buddha Shakyamuni, the great and venerable teacher himself, soon after his Enlightenment in the place near Sarnath in India, known also as Jetavana or Deer Park. This event is known as the First Turning of...

Three types of Wisdom

There are three types of wisdom-awareness, which can be translated as “ordinary knowledge, lesser transcendent awareness, and highest wisdom-awareness.” They are that which is born of receiving instructions through hearing, that which is born of reflection, and that which is born of meditation. There are ten branches of knowledge that are studied diligently in the Tibetan tradition so that disciples of the Buddha dharma can...

6 Paramitas : Joyful Perseverance

The fourth paramita, Joyful Perseverance, is also translated as “effort, exertion, and perseverance.” Practicing enthusiastic perseverance means being pleased to perform virtuous actions. Enthusiastic perseverance dispels all sufferings. Its practice is fundamental to avoid suffering of the lower realms, and through it we receive both worldly realizations and transcendent, supramundane realizations, those beyond the ordinary. Only enthusiastic perseverance can be called the main and best...

6 Paramitas : Patience

Patience is the third paramita or great perfection. We should understand the benefits of patience and shortcomings of impatience. Patience helps us to overcome anger that destroys good impressions in our mind and our merits. It also protects us from the anger of others, not letting the anger of others destroy clarity and light of our mind. Patience helps to create a good karma and...

6 Paramitas : Discipline

The second paramita is tshul-khrims, “ethics, morality, moral discipline, ethical conduct, rule, order,” Shila in Sanskrit. According to the Bodhisattva Vehicle, there are three categories of ethics (tshul-khrims-gsum): (1) to refrain from negative actions, (2) to accumulate what is positive and (3) to help others.

6 Paramitas : Generosity

The first Paramita is the practice of Generosity, to share what is helpful and good and to do it without selfishness. The practice of generosity, dana, can be traced to the early teachings of the nikayas, the agamas, and to the later teachings in the Prajnaparamita Sutras, as well as the Mahaprajnaparamita Shastra, which elaborates on this practice. Among the paramitas, generosity can be the...

Bodhisattva Path: 6 Paramitas

When we think about the Mahayana path to perfection and awakening of Bodhichitta we think about 6 Paramitas and 4 Immeasurables. Paramita means “transcendent perfection” in Sanskrit. And what we have to transcend here?! We should transcend the mental attachments to subject, object and actions. Six Paramitas describe the perfect qualities and practices of enlightened Bodhisattva who is practicing only to bring the utmost benefit...

Theravada and Mahasanghika

Hundred years after Buddha passed away, the first serious disagreements arouse between monks about the actual words of Buddha, and it was decided to hold the Second Buddhist Council. The main discussion objects in councils were Vinaya rules. Nowadays scholars believe the group known as Sthavira (Elders) wanted to tighten monastic discipline even more as it was given by Buddha himself and add more rules...

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