Prometheus wrote:I'm looking to practice Buddhism, but i have some concerns on where to start. I'm wondering if anyone can help me with these beginner questions
What are the differences between Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism?
If the Buddha only taught one dharma, why are there these two vehicles to choose from?
Perhaps most important:In choosing a path, how best to find the best one for me?
Whichever one you find yourself to have the most affinity with. This may also boil down to finding a guru you have affinity with.Sorry if these question have been addressed elsewhere, please direct me there.
Prometheus wrote:Perhaps most important:In choosing a path, how best to find the best one for me?
Anders wrote: Buddhism is a living and vibrant tradition. Rather than simply keeping to saying things exactly the same way the Buddha said it and refusing to make interpretation, successive generations have tried their best to present the path in ways accessible to the generations of their time and also to clarify various doubts. It's these differences in presentation and interpretation that have created different schools.
But they nevertheless agree that the Buddha taught only liberation and it is this same core they all seek to point back towards. So although there may be differences in the school, the Nirvana they aim for practitioners to realise is hopefully the same.
Wesley1982 wrote:My path in life is decided by what I can understand and "trodding" it to the best of my knowledge.
a) What others say
b) Your reponse to what others say
c) Time & Effort
nirmal wrote:The 'victorious bodhicitta' corresponds to 'the merciful mind'
Prometheus wrote:nirmal wrote:The 'victorious bodhicitta' corresponds to 'the merciful mind'
Is then the path of the Arhat to be found in Mahayana traditions and the bodhisattva path in Theravada traditions, the difference being primarily one of emphasis?
Anders wrote:Besides this, there is the historical factor whereby Theravada is the only one of the pre-mahayana schools that survive today.
Prometheus wrote:Indeed, it was the Kalama sutra which brought Buddhism to my attention. But how am i to know whether those things i myself find wholesome really are. In particular, what am i to do if what i find wholesome is different to the Buddha's teachings?
kirtu wrote:Bodhisattva training in the Theravada and Mahayana is different. The bodhisattva path is fully developed in several Mahayana and all Vajrayana schools. In the Theravada school it seems that the bodhisattva training there is limited to just merit accumulation because their view is that it takes one uncountable eon to accumulate the causes and conditions to become a Bodhisattva (and will then take two uncountable eons to actually become a Buddha) and so they don't apparently teach mind training (or not much of it), in order to not prematurely derail the Bodhisattva in training to Arhatship.
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