4 Answers

  1. Mahayana and Hinayana is the two main Schools of Buddhism. Hinayana “The Little Chariot“; The Scriptures and the Southern Buddhist School opposed to Mahayana,”The Great Chariot“, in Tibet. Both schools are mystical.

    Mahayana is as much about Hinayana as Buddhism is about Vedanta. Mahayana knows and points to the essence of the elemental world, but Hinayana points to effects and causes, bypassing the emanations produced by causes.

    Mahayana originated in Western India in the third century BC, and was founded by a great teacher Nagarjuna. The main difference between it and Hinayana is that in addition to Gotama Buddha, it recognizes a Hierarchy of Light headed by many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Taras ( female deities). Among these Bodhisattvas, Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva (Patron Saint of Tibet) and Manjushri Bodhisattva (Patron Saint of Buddhism) are particularly popular.

    The Hinayana, on the other hand, recognizes no other Hierarchy than that of Gotama Buddha and one of His Successors, the Bodhisattva Maitreya.

    It goes without saying that they do not recognize the authority of either the Dalai Lama or the Tashi Lama.

    And most importantly, Hinayana is an exoteric School, while Mahayana is an Esoteric Teaching.

  2. Well, actually, the concept of “confessions”, strictly speaking, can only be applied to Christianity. In other religions and traditions, it would be wrong to use this term, which has absorbed too much from the specifics of Christianity, because the very use of this term in the context of other (non-Western, non-European) religious traditions largely demonstrates a simplified view and simplified understanding.

    So there are no “confessions” in Buddhism. And there are “chariots” as “currents”. It will be more neutral.

    About the differences. The Buddhist teaching includes the mobile-nomadic concept of “chariots” as the main metaphysical contour for a good reason. Saks-nomads from Central Asia as conquerors came to India about two thousand years ago. To this day, the official calendar used daily by Hindus is called the Saka calendar. And one of the Buddha's names — “Sakya muni” – means “wise man of the Sakas”. This legendary little man belonged to the Aryan Sakya tribe, which has nomadic roots. His father was Suddodana, the raja of Kapilavasta, a small principality on the border with Nepal. Here the Buddha was born in 563 BC. e. Indicative and indicative of belonging to the traditions of nomadic military democracy is not only the fact that Gautama belonged to the caste of warriors and rulers — kshatriyas, but also his quite royal rejection of aristocratic Sanskrit. The Tathagata's preaching in the language of the common people — Prakrit – was understood by the broad masses and left a non-caste, liberating mark on the linguistic consciousness of that time.

    Taking into account the above data, it is not surprising that the first teaching of the Buddha was the preaching of the Hinayana (Small Chariot, “yana”), and a few years later he preached the Mahayana (Big Chariot) teachings to selected disciples. Subsequently, the most complex and passionately sophisticated Vajrayana (Diamond Chariot) appeared. This is the third, final and unifying teaching that the Saka Prince gave last, shortly before leaving for absolute nirvana at the age of 80. The metamorphic, passion-welcoming Vajrayana path allows one to achieve Liberation in a single human lifetime. Among themselves, these “chariots” differ in metaphysical ways of moving towards liberation: Hinayana symbolizes a walking path, Mahayana can be associated with the use of a car, and Vajrayana (Tantrayana), perhaps, pulls if not on a starship, then on a jet plane for sure.

    Here we should once again touch upon the essence of the word “nirvana”. Here is how the term is interpreted by Buddhists themselves in the book “Tibetan Yoga and Secret Teachings” translated by the Russian orientalist Olga Tumanova: “Europeans, who perceived only exoteric aspects of the meaning of the word “nirvana”, are responsible for the now widespread erroneous view that nirvana, the summum bonum of Buddhism, means”complete annihilation”. In fact, nirvana means “fading” or “cooling” of the Three Fires of Desire, which are lust, ill will, and stupidity. When they are “cooled” or, in the esoteric interpretation, transmuted into chastity, kindness and wisdom, ignorance (skt. “avidya”) disappears and Perfect Knowledge is born in Buddhahood. The great Buddhist scholars of India, who were responsible for translating the Sanskrit texts of the religious teachings that now make up the Tibetan canonical Mahayana books, knew this hidden meaning of the term “nirvana” and translated the word into Tibetan as “nonchalant state” (mya-nan-med).

    In other words, the currents in Buddhism correspond to the life path of Shakyamuni Buddha himself. So, this is quite natural, because from the height of life, a lot of things are seen differently.

    Yes, I forgot to say that what unites all these trends is just the personality, or rather, the life of the Buddha himself. I think, in general, this is the way to approach this, and not to formalize these trends with some artificial dogmas. They are close and related to each other, just as our own reckless youth, sympathetic maturity, and precise old age are close and related to each other.

  3. This is largely a matter of point of view. From the Mahayana point of view, these are the stages of development of the teaching. From the Theravada point of view, there are different faiths.�

    Here I will briefly outline you, and you can decide for yourself:

    In Theravada, the emphasis is on individual practice leading to liberation from endless rebirths and the associated dukha (suffering). There are three types of enlightened people who have achieved nibbana( nirvana): samasambudda, that is, who has independently achieved enlightenment and given the teaching; pacchekabudda, that is, who has independently achieved enlightenment, but does not give the teaching; arahant, that is, simply achieved enlightenment (usually meaning using the teaching given by samasambudda). In other words, every Buddha is an acharant, but not every arahant is a Buddha.�

    Samasambudda is the highest degree of development of a living being. This is above the divine status, because the merits accumulated by the future buddha cannot be compared to anyone else. In one kalpa (the period of existence of the universe in several billion years), up to five Buddhas can be born in the world in a happy kalpa (we are just living in such a kalpa – Gotama Buddha was the fourth and Maitreya Buddha is expected to appear) and none in an unhappy one. He “discovers” the teaching (Dhamma) by which others can stop being born into the world.

    Pacchekabudda has an order of magnitude less merit than samasambudda. He comes into the world when no one else alive can understand the Dhamma, because it is difficult to understand. Roughly speaking, in the world in which Pacchekabudda is born, there is simply no one to preach to. Actually, when Buddha Gotama reached enlightenment, he did not want to give the teachings, but a being from the world of Brahma named Brahma Sahampati appeared to him and asked the Buddha to give the Dhamma to the world. Then the Buddha realized that there are still a certain number of beings in the world whose minds are not very clouded and who are basically able to understand what he himself understood.

    The average person goes through 4 stages on the path to nibbana: 1) one who has entered the stream (sotopanna – will be born only in the world of people and gods and will reach enlightenment in a maximum of 7-8 lifetimes); 2) one who returns once (sakadami – everything will be born once in the future); 3) one who does not return (anagamin – after death will be born in the world of Brahma and there will already achieve liberation); 4) arahant (enlightened, released).�

    And, most importantly, the main goal of the path for a practitioner is to achieve nibbana. When a person attains Arahantship, the conditions for his further birth cease, and after death (parinibbana), he ceases to live in samsara.�

    But in the 1-2 centuries AD, that is, five hundred years after the death of Buddha Gotama, a body of works appears, the so – called Prajnaparamita sutras, among which the most famous is the Prajnaparamita Hridaya Sutra (sutra of the heart of infinite wisdom), in which, already in Sanskrit (the Theravada language is closely related to the Pali Sanskrit, in which the Tipitaka, that is, the “Pali canon”), an essentially completely new doctrine is set out. It calls itself Mahayana (big, great chariot), and everything that was before, including theravada-hinayana, that is, a despicable, miserable chariot (the traditional translation of “small” is incorrect).�

    Hinayana is considered poor not because it is not effective, but because its adherents, from the Mahayana point of view, behave extremely selfishly, caring only for their own good. The greatest criticism here is the figure of pacchekabudda.

    If Theravada is not particularly interested in the essence of Buddhas, since it “egoistically” focuses on the practice of its own liberation, then mahayana emphasizes that each living being contains the Buddha nature, which each practitioner should develop and thus go to liberation.

    But liberation alone is not enough. The ideal figure is that of a bodhisattva-a buddha who achieved enlightenment, but gave up nirvana in order to bring it closer to everyone else. Actually, one of the main ideas of mahayana thus becomes ” the benefit of all living beings.”Mahayana is therefore much more socially active and much more popular in the West.

    The various bodhisattvas and Buddhas in the Mahayana are beginning to form an almost religious hierarchy, resembling traditional religions. These persons become a kind of saints, intercessors, helpers (this idea reaches the absolute in Amidaism-the worship of Buddha Amitabha, who after death can take those who pray to him to his Western Paradise).�

    We should also mention the idea of so-called “instant enlightenment”, especially expressed in Far Eastern Chan or Zen Buddhism. This doesn't mean that you can simply reach nirvana by magic (it takes decades of practice anyway), but in Theravada, it takes a lot of lifetimes…

    From the point of view of Theravada, this is really a different religion. A Theravadin thinks about how to achieve enlightenment (but really just how to improve your karma so that you can achieve it at some point in the distant future). That is, it is a long way to gradually change yourself. And the Mahayana adept aspires to become a Buddha, about which usually the Theravadin in general knows little, except that this is a unique being who has earned merit for more than one kalpa. Not only does he not want to be a Buddha , but it is also a great temptation to strive to be a Buddha. To do this, you need to be very confident in your abilities…

    Then, from the Theravada point of view, Mahayana is terribly illogical. Because it is impossible to be born again in the world after achieving nibbana, because the arahant (Buddha) no longer has the conditions for a new birth. But a Mahayana Bodhisattva (a Theravada term that is very rarely used and refers to someone who will become a Buddha in the future) easily walks from samsara to nirvana and back again. From the Theravada point of view, the very idea of nirvana is an absolute value, but in Mahayana it is something relatively easy to achieve and something that can be abandoned. And such a picture in the head of a Theravadin does not fit well.

    Well, the idea of a bodhisattva saving humanity from a Theravadin point of view is reminiscent of the well-known saying that it is easier to love all of humanity than your neighbor in the stairwell.

    So it turns out that for a Mahayana adept, Theravada is simply a more primitive teaching, a more difficult path to the same enlightenment. For Theravadin – in many ways close, but as if even another religion…

    As for friendship-enmity: Theravadins and Mahayans live well in Russia. There are Orthodox people who take Mahayana with hostility. But mostly the attitude is neutral or benevolent. No matter how different we are, practicing mahayana is much better than practicing nothing. All the same, Theravadins have no relatives closer than Mahayans and are not expected to.

    If we talk about the attitude of the Mahayans, then there is a very eloquent example: in Moscow there are two small Theravada communities that do not have their own premises, and one of them conducts classes in the Rime center for Tibetan Buddhism, and the other in the Dalma-sa center for Korean Zen.:)

  4. And what, in your opinion, are “confessions”, if not the result of “the development of one teaching”? Here was the original Christianity, known as Christianity of the Eastern (Greek) rite (we know it as “Orthodoxy”), then Catholicism emerged from it over the centuries, the western branch as a stage of its development, then Protestantism as a reform, and in England, as a result of certain events, Anglicanism. It is the same with Buddhism. First there was Buddhism, without “detailing”. Over time, its traditional branch began to be called Theravada, and the resulting several centuries of development of the teaching – Mahayana. And a certain side branch that went to the side and into the mountains, and there strongly crossed with some very different teachings, became known as Vajrayana.

    But if for Christianity the question of self-identification is critically important, in Christianity there can not be several right-wingers, there can only be one correct Christianity, then Buddhism has a more flexible approach to this. If you accept the Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths, you are a Buddhist, no matter how strange you look or how strange you pray.

    So the short answer to the question is Yes and Yes. These are both stages of development And different confessions at the same time.

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4 Answers

  1. Mahayana and Hinayana is the two main Schools of Buddhism. Hinayana “The Little Chariot“; The Scriptures and the Southern Buddhist School opposed to Mahayana,”The Great Chariot“, in Tibet. Both schools are mystical.

    Mahayana is as much about Hinayana as Buddhism is about Vedanta. Mahayana knows and points to the essence of the elemental world, but Hinayana points to effects and causes, bypassing the emanations produced by causes.

    Mahayana originated in Western India in the third century BC, and was founded by a great teacher Nagarjuna. The main difference between it and Hinayana is that in addition to Gotama Buddha, it recognizes a Hierarchy of Light headed by many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Taras ( female deities). Among these Bodhisattvas, Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva (Patron Saint of Tibet) and Manjushri Bodhisattva (Patron Saint of Buddhism) are particularly popular.

    The Hinayana, on the other hand, recognizes no other Hierarchy than that of Gotama Buddha and one of His Successors, the Bodhisattva Maitreya.

    It goes without saying that they do not recognize the authority of either the Dalai Lama or the Tashi Lama.

    And most importantly, Hinayana is an exoteric School, while Mahayana is an Esoteric Teaching.

  2. Well, actually, the concept of “confessions”, strictly speaking, can only be applied to Christianity. In other religions and traditions, it would be wrong to use this term, which has absorbed too much from the specifics of Christianity, because the very use of this term in the context of other (non-Western, non-European) religious traditions largely demonstrates a simplified view and simplified understanding.

    So there are no “confessions” in Buddhism. And there are “chariots” as “currents”. It will be more neutral.

    About the differences. The Buddhist teaching includes the mobile-nomadic concept of “chariots” as the main metaphysical contour for a good reason. Saks-nomads from Central Asia as conquerors came to India about two thousand years ago. To this day, the official calendar used daily by Hindus is called the Saka calendar. And one of the Buddha's names — “Sakya muni” – means “wise man of the Sakas”. This legendary little man belonged to the Aryan Sakya tribe, which has nomadic roots. His father was Suddodana, the raja of Kapilavasta, a small principality on the border with Nepal. Here the Buddha was born in 563 BC. e. Indicative and indicative of belonging to the traditions of nomadic military democracy is not only the fact that Gautama belonged to the caste of warriors and rulers — kshatriyas, but also his quite royal rejection of aristocratic Sanskrit. The Tathagata's preaching in the language of the common people — Prakrit – was understood by the broad masses and left a non-caste, liberating mark on the linguistic consciousness of that time.

    Taking into account the above data, it is not surprising that the first teaching of the Buddha was the preaching of the Hinayana (Small Chariot, “yana”), and a few years later he preached the Mahayana (Big Chariot) teachings to selected disciples. Subsequently, the most complex and passionately sophisticated Vajrayana (Diamond Chariot) appeared. This is the third, final and unifying teaching that the Saka Prince gave last, shortly before leaving for absolute nirvana at the age of 80. The metamorphic, passion-welcoming Vajrayana path allows one to achieve Liberation in a single human lifetime. Among themselves, these “chariots” differ in metaphysical ways of moving towards liberation: Hinayana symbolizes a walking path, Mahayana can be associated with the use of a car, and Vajrayana (Tantrayana), perhaps, pulls if not on a starship, then on a jet plane for sure.

    Here we should once again touch upon the essence of the word “nirvana”. Here is how the term is interpreted by Buddhists themselves in the book “Tibetan Yoga and Secret Teachings” translated by the Russian orientalist Olga Tumanova: “Europeans, who perceived only exoteric aspects of the meaning of the word “nirvana”, are responsible for the now widespread erroneous view that nirvana, the summum bonum of Buddhism, means”complete annihilation”. In fact, nirvana means “fading” or “cooling” of the Three Fires of Desire, which are lust, ill will, and stupidity. When they are “cooled” or, in the esoteric interpretation, transmuted into chastity, kindness and wisdom, ignorance (skt. “avidya”) disappears and Perfect Knowledge is born in Buddhahood. The great Buddhist scholars of India, who were responsible for translating the Sanskrit texts of the religious teachings that now make up the Tibetan canonical Mahayana books, knew this hidden meaning of the term “nirvana” and translated the word into Tibetan as “nonchalant state” (mya-nan-med).

    In other words, the currents in Buddhism correspond to the life path of Shakyamuni Buddha himself. So, this is quite natural, because from the height of life, a lot of things are seen differently.

    Yes, I forgot to say that what unites all these trends is just the personality, or rather, the life of the Buddha himself. I think, in general, this is the way to approach this, and not to formalize these trends with some artificial dogmas. They are close and related to each other, just as our own reckless youth, sympathetic maturity, and precise old age are close and related to each other.

  3. This is largely a matter of point of view. From the Mahayana point of view, these are the stages of development of the teaching. From the Theravada point of view, there are different faiths.�

    Here I will briefly outline you, and you can decide for yourself:

    In Theravada, the emphasis is on individual practice leading to liberation from endless rebirths and the associated dukha (suffering). There are three types of enlightened people who have achieved nibbana( nirvana): samasambudda, that is, who has independently achieved enlightenment and given the teaching; pacchekabudda, that is, who has independently achieved enlightenment, but does not give the teaching; arahant, that is, simply achieved enlightenment (usually meaning using the teaching given by samasambudda). In other words, every Buddha is an acharant, but not every arahant is a Buddha.�

    Samasambudda is the highest degree of development of a living being. This is above the divine status, because the merits accumulated by the future buddha cannot be compared to anyone else. In one kalpa (the period of existence of the universe in several billion years), up to five Buddhas can be born in the world in a happy kalpa (we are just living in such a kalpa – Gotama Buddha was the fourth and Maitreya Buddha is expected to appear) and none in an unhappy one. He “discovers” the teaching (Dhamma) by which others can stop being born into the world.

    Pacchekabudda has an order of magnitude less merit than samasambudda. He comes into the world when no one else alive can understand the Dhamma, because it is difficult to understand. Roughly speaking, in the world in which Pacchekabudda is born, there is simply no one to preach to. Actually, when Buddha Gotama reached enlightenment, he did not want to give the teachings, but a being from the world of Brahma named Brahma Sahampati appeared to him and asked the Buddha to give the Dhamma to the world. Then the Buddha realized that there are still a certain number of beings in the world whose minds are not very clouded and who are basically able to understand what he himself understood.

    The average person goes through 4 stages on the path to nibbana: 1) one who has entered the stream (sotopanna – will be born only in the world of people and gods and will reach enlightenment in a maximum of 7-8 lifetimes); 2) one who returns once (sakadami – everything will be born once in the future); 3) one who does not return (anagamin – after death will be born in the world of Brahma and there will already achieve liberation); 4) arahant (enlightened, released).�

    And, most importantly, the main goal of the path for a practitioner is to achieve nibbana. When a person attains Arahantship, the conditions for his further birth cease, and after death (parinibbana), he ceases to live in samsara.�

    But in the 1-2 centuries AD, that is, five hundred years after the death of Buddha Gotama, a body of works appears, the so – called Prajnaparamita sutras, among which the most famous is the Prajnaparamita Hridaya Sutra (sutra of the heart of infinite wisdom), in which, already in Sanskrit (the Theravada language is closely related to the Pali Sanskrit, in which the Tipitaka, that is, the “Pali canon”), an essentially completely new doctrine is set out. It calls itself Mahayana (big, great chariot), and everything that was before, including theravada-hinayana, that is, a despicable, miserable chariot (the traditional translation of “small” is incorrect).�

    Hinayana is considered poor not because it is not effective, but because its adherents, from the Mahayana point of view, behave extremely selfishly, caring only for their own good. The greatest criticism here is the figure of pacchekabudda.

    If Theravada is not particularly interested in the essence of Buddhas, since it “egoistically” focuses on the practice of its own liberation, then mahayana emphasizes that each living being contains the Buddha nature, which each practitioner should develop and thus go to liberation.

    But liberation alone is not enough. The ideal figure is that of a bodhisattva-a buddha who achieved enlightenment, but gave up nirvana in order to bring it closer to everyone else. Actually, one of the main ideas of mahayana thus becomes ” the benefit of all living beings.”Mahayana is therefore much more socially active and much more popular in the West.

    The various bodhisattvas and Buddhas in the Mahayana are beginning to form an almost religious hierarchy, resembling traditional religions. These persons become a kind of saints, intercessors, helpers (this idea reaches the absolute in Amidaism-the worship of Buddha Amitabha, who after death can take those who pray to him to his Western Paradise).�

    We should also mention the idea of so-called “instant enlightenment”, especially expressed in Far Eastern Chan or Zen Buddhism. This doesn't mean that you can simply reach nirvana by magic (it takes decades of practice anyway), but in Theravada, it takes a lot of lifetimes…

    From the point of view of Theravada, this is really a different religion. A Theravadin thinks about how to achieve enlightenment (but really just how to improve your karma so that you can achieve it at some point in the distant future). That is, it is a long way to gradually change yourself. And the Mahayana adept aspires to become a Buddha, about which usually the Theravadin in general knows little, except that this is a unique being who has earned merit for more than one kalpa. Not only does he not want to be a Buddha , but it is also a great temptation to strive to be a Buddha. To do this, you need to be very confident in your abilities…

    Then, from the Theravada point of view, Mahayana is terribly illogical. Because it is impossible to be born again in the world after achieving nibbana, because the arahant (Buddha) no longer has the conditions for a new birth. But a Mahayana Bodhisattva (a Theravada term that is very rarely used and refers to someone who will become a Buddha in the future) easily walks from samsara to nirvana and back again. From the Theravada point of view, the very idea of nirvana is an absolute value, but in Mahayana it is something relatively easy to achieve and something that can be abandoned. And such a picture in the head of a Theravadin does not fit well.

    Well, the idea of a bodhisattva saving humanity from a Theravadin point of view is reminiscent of the well-known saying that it is easier to love all of humanity than your neighbor in the stairwell.

    So it turns out that for a Mahayana adept, Theravada is simply a more primitive teaching, a more difficult path to the same enlightenment. For Theravadin – in many ways close, but as if even another religion…

    As for friendship-enmity: Theravadins and Mahayans live well in Russia. There are Orthodox people who take Mahayana with hostility. But mostly the attitude is neutral or benevolent. No matter how different we are, practicing mahayana is much better than practicing nothing. All the same, Theravadins have no relatives closer than Mahayans and are not expected to.

    If we talk about the attitude of the Mahayans, then there is a very eloquent example: in Moscow there are two small Theravada communities that do not have their own premises, and one of them conducts classes in the Rime center for Tibetan Buddhism, and the other in the Dalma-sa center for Korean Zen.:)

  4. And what, in your opinion, are “confessions”, if not the result of “the development of one teaching”? Here was the original Christianity, known as Christianity of the Eastern (Greek) rite (we know it as “Orthodoxy”), then Catholicism emerged from it over the centuries, the western branch as a stage of its development, then Protestantism as a reform, and in England, as a result of certain events, Anglicanism. It is the same with Buddhism. First there was Buddhism, without “detailing”. Over time, its traditional branch began to be called Theravada, and the resulting several centuries of development of the teaching – Mahayana. And a certain side branch that went to the side and into the mountains, and there strongly crossed with some very different teachings, became known as Vajrayana.

    But if for Christianity the question of self-identification is critically important, in Christianity there can not be several right-wingers, there can only be one correct Christianity, then Buddhism has a more flexible approach to this. If you accept the Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths, you are a Buddhist, no matter how strange you look or how strange you pray.

    So the short answer to the question is Yes and Yes. These are both stages of development And different confessions at the same time.

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