Saturday, September 13, 2014

Buddhist Dharma - Mahayana

Chris Chapple talked about Nagarjuna in class.  He was the great seminal thinker of Mahayana Buddhism. He thought a lot about impermanence (anitya), He wanted to move away from complexity to emptiness (sunyata).violence

He talked about the Binary: Good vs Evil.  The binary pushes us towards violence.  Instead he spoke of the quadranerary model

1. Sunyata (language)
2. Karuna (cultivation of karuna, I am going to end suffering of all beings)
3. Samsara=Nirvana
4. Bodhhisattva Cow

The Mahayana represents a huge shift in the task of the monasticism with the inclusion of the community.  The first 600 years of Buddhism, Buddhist were all monks and nuns.  But now, why exclude lay people.

Robert Thurman's 1st book was on Vilmalkirti.  Now, the life of a lay person doesn't differ from the life of a monk.  We are all called to a higher degree of sila because we are not sheltered from people who do not share our vow.

Theraveda Buddhism was in South India until 400 years ago.  There is a huge geographical divide in Buddhism. Tibetan's criticized the Hinyana by saying they don't understand emptiness and they don't have compassion.

So what has happening that spurred the Mahayana?  Around 100 CE was the peak of Roman trade in India.  There was a cosmpolitanism.

The Boddhisatva vow may be influenced by Messianic influences.

Theravada is the one surviving schools of 18 schools.

For some reason I have the quote "Beautiful art reminds us of our best self."

Grasping - Only by emtpying our grasping can we be of service to others.

When a tile breaks a piece of everyone's heart breaks.

Out of fragility of presence arises karuna.

Samurtti satya - conventional truth - samsara
Paramartha satya - absolute trutch - nirvana

But the can't be separated. Only the unenlightened think there is enlightenment.

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