Buddhism, The Article Of Donald S. Lopez Essay

Buddhism, The Article Of Donald S. Lopez Essay

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“Buddhism In Practise”, the article of Donald S. Lopez, is aimed to give brief historical introduction to Buddhism and describes one of its most important doctrines. The original teaching of the historical Buddha is impossible to restore, since the written accounts came much later after his death. Nonetheless, teaching of Buddha supported by kings, and maintained by monks, continued to spread across the Asia. Various movements were functioning inside the Buddhism, each movement had its own way to interpret and practice the religion. Mahayana movement introduced new sutras and praised the veneration of stupas. Mahayana can be viewed as a reactionary social movement as an opposition to powerful monastic organizations. Their heavy body of literacy challenged the authority of institutions in favor of superiority of Buddha himself. Hinayana is a collective term for earlier school of Buddhism who didn’t accept new sutras of Mahayana. Vajrayana, another movement, offered the varied practices such as visualization that could help to achieve buddhahood faster than Mahayana’s teachings. Lopez see that all three vehicles have more in common, their proclaimed differences one from another can be seen as a wish for uniqueness.
Buddhist texts are usually organized in accordance to three vehicle. Lopez concerns with the lack of such a simplified view, he accentuates that development of Buddhism practises across Asia was much complexed process, and the role of ritual practices, monastic influences, belief in attaining buddhahood during the lifetime must be included in the bigger picture. General evolutionary model accepted by many scholars with its stress on anthology, in Lopez’s opinion, disregards numerous texts that were produced in following...


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...the Buddha’s teachings. Ambiguity of the term reflects the vast amount of texts, especially since there are no written records of the original Buddha’s teachings. Sangha describes the community of Buddhist monks and nuns, but in wider sense it can be understood as a whole body of Buddhist followers.
The author shows how complexed Buddhist religion is. Even the basic concepts can be challenging and always have multiple layers of meanings and representation. The long history of the religion, different movements and practices, geographical specifications and influences of local cultures, created endless web of interpretations and varied systems. Thus the seek of understanding of the three jewels: the Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha is becoming some sort of mental meditation. Probably, the answers for these questions are laid in the process of the discovery itself.

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