One branch of Buddhism is Mahayana, which literally means the Great Vehicle. Mahayana can more easily be defined as a loose collection of teachings with large and extensive principles that coexist all together. Mahayana defines itself as penetrating further and more deeply into the Buddha's Dharma, or the way of the Buddha. This practice originates in India, and slowly spread across Asia to countries as China, Japan, Korea through the missionary activities of monks and the support of kings. However, the roots of this religion are still not completely known.
Simply, the only constant in the world is change. When individuals learn that growth and movement are natural and necessary, they can become balanced (Clark and Brown 7). Taoism teaches self-control and the importance of meditation in searching for enlightenment. &nbs... ... middle of paper ... ...ver which the imperial family presided, had been largely eclipsed by Buddhism” (Ralph et al 34). Aspects of the religion have also moved into the U.S., Growing interest in Asian culture and spiritual values in the West has led to the development of a number of societies devoted to the study and practice of Buddhism.
The community was only unified under the leadership of Songtsen Gampo. Due to a lack of cohesion within the previous community Buddhism had to pull in culture from the strong surrounding countries, India and China. Once Buddhism adapted Indian culture it not only gained power within Buddhism but also gave a great amount of cohesion to the country.
Since it was first introduced into China from India, Buddhism has had a history that has been characterized by periods of sometimes awkward and irregular development. This has mainly been the result of the clash of two cultures, each with a long history of tradition. Most of the difficulties have arisen due to the transplanting of an Indian religious/philosophical system onto a culture strongly dominated by indigenous secular, philosophical and religious systems. In spite of these difficulties, Chinese Buddhism has come to have an important influence on the growth and development of Buddhism in general and this has occurred largely because of its own innovatory contributions. (Eliade, M. p.16-29) The spread of Buddhism into China began in Central Asia and was facilitated by the efforts of the Indo-Scythian king Kanishka (Encyclopedia Britt.
After debates between a more liberal group and traditionalists, the liberal group left and labeled th... ... middle of paper ... ...roads and other expanding industries. Also, on the east coast, intellectuals were reading about Buddhism in books by Europeans. During World War II interest in Buddhism was renewed as many Asian Buddhists came to England and the U.S., and many European Buddhists came to the U.S. Zen Buddhism was particularly popular, especially in the U.S., where it became part of the Beatnik artistic and literary movement as "Beat Zen." Today, there are more than 300 million Buddhists in the world, including at least a quarter million in Europe, and a half million each in North and South America. Whatever the numbers may be, Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world, after Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism.
Ethics was his main fo... ... middle of paper ... ...ound its way into Vietnam, Korea and Japan due to trade and commerce with China. Chinese culture had a great impact on these countries, they eventual became unique to each country but its roots can be traced back to China. China’s history has been compared to the Roman Empire. It was a small nation that grew with each new Dynasty. Soon China became more economically and technologically advanced than any other nation.
The wolrd has become a place filled with great diversity of cultures. Every singlle country has slowly developed into a somewhat dependent society all because of pre-modern events, even if such events did not contribute to each other. There are various types of religions and ideas which spread and changed each part of the world, such as the silk roads. IF it would have not been for the great divergence we would not have the society we currently have. If it had not been for Ming China and the centuries of xenophobia among their people and empire, our whole word today could have been dominantly Chinese ruled.
Buddhism is a widely known practice throughout the world. Over the course following Buddha’s death, many rulers lived on to teach the Buddha’s teachings. Swearer mentions how, “The goals of Buddhism are, in short, both nibbanic and proximate—a better rebirth, an improved social and economic status in this life, and so on; the two are necessarily intertwined” (Location 157). We learned that King Asoka fell through many different ideas to make him into a great ruler and obtain the social and economic status in his life, following dharma. Although the Buddha was not reborn, his teachings live on in the stupas and in his own relics throughout several countries.
Centuries after the death of Buddha, followers of his teachings multiplied as his influential ideas spread throughout the region. But discontent amongst the followers began to accumulate as Buddha’s vague teachings were constantly interpreted and re-interpreted, leading to many discrepancies. These discrepancies lead to different ideologies and the division of the religious order into various sects. The two main sects became the known as the Mahayana school and the Hinayana school but despite the artificial differences resulting from the division of the Mahayana sect from the earlier Buddhist teachings (Hinayana), the essence of their beliefs is two of the same. The Hinayana Sect, meaning the ‘lesser vehicle’ was termed by the rival Mahayana, meaning ‘great vehicle’.
History proves that as Buddhism spread throughout the Asian world in the early 1st century, it was occasionally altered to fit the specific needs and beliefs of people it touched. Mahayana Buddhism is one such example of this gradual evolution. It was primarily a movement started and kept alive by monks that slowly gained popularity amongst lay people but was in no way a unified movement. Mahayana Buddhism still adheres to the basic fundamental beliefs presented in the Pali Canons, however, it Sutras often expand upon these basic ideas and traditions in order to answer the questions of a later generation. After closer study of the Mahayana texts the “A Sutra for Long Life” and “The World Universe as a Sutra”, it seems evident that, although Mahayana Buddhism is based on the teachings of the traditional Pali Canon, it places a larger emphasis on philosophical inquires; and ultimately creates a more accessible version of enlightenment, and the Buddhist faith in general, for all.