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).

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 : The Great Schism

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...

Four schools of Buddhist philosophy

To understand better Buddhist philosophy, Buddhist views and differences between different traditions and first of all between 3 yanas – Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana – we have to speak about their philosophy. Generally there could be differentiated 4 schools of philosophy- Vaibhāṣika, Sautrāntika, Yogacara (Cittamatra in Tibetan sources) and Madhyamaka. All of them are based upon Buddha Shakyamuni teachings, Sutras and Abhidharma, and may share...

 valid cognition in Buddhism

Theory of valid cognition is a discipline that analyses statements of others by means of logical deliberation. And the same is true regarding Buddha. We should analyse statements of Buddha by means of logical deliberation and theory of cognition if they are correct or not. If a teaching is correct it should withstand threefold criteria of truthfulness

Healing Mantras in Tibetan Buddhism

In my previous article about the basics of Tibetan medicine I already explained how it is closely related with Buddhism, right livelihood and religious principles. Often it may appear difficult to maintain all external conditions, like appropriate ingredients for a healing food or some others. But the good news is – as long we are alive in this life and body, we have our mind...

Basics of Tibetan Medicine

The fundamental bases of Tibetan medicine are teachings about three principles of life-force (often called dosha or humors) - rLung (pron. Loong)(Wind), mKhris-pa (pron. Tree-pa) [ bile ], and Bad-kan (pron. Pay-gen) ( phlegm ). They represent combinations of 5 basic elements (earth, water, fire, wind, akasha (space)). If these elements are in good harmony and balance – the person is healthy. But misbalance of...

8 obstacles to practice Buddhism

Buddhism philosophy states that all beings have the Buddha nature. But not all beings are able to reach Buddhahood, enlightenment. To reach enlightenment one has to have a beneficial human body. It is the basis to reach enlightenment. There are many other beings like hungry ghosts and hell beings that are not able to reach enlightenment and many humans in unbeneficial circumstances as well. There...

5 types of potential to reach Buddhahood

We use to say that all living beings have a potential to reach enlightenment. This is what the Third Noble Truth of Path to Enlightenment assumes. Although due to our past karma, not all beings have the same abilities and potential to reach the realization. For this reason Buddha Shakyamuni were giving different teachings for different people with different level of realizations, abilities and hence...

Nirmanakaya - 3 physical manifestations of enlightenment

Nirmanakaya is another manifestation of dharmakaya - in physical form. Nirmana is a Sanskrit term which means to manifest in a form. Not each form would be Nirmanakaya, but the Body of Truth – a completely purified form which carries the essence of enlightenment, dharmakaya, and the highest wisdom. Often it refers to physical manifestations and acts of great enlightened teachers as Buddha Shakyamuni or...

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