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Quest for Enlightenment 8.docx

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Religious Studies
RELG 1681
Sam Borsman

Early Buddhist "History" (emic view)  according to the early Buddhist history, there were three important councils (communal recitations) after the Buddha died: o 1st Council at Rajagrha- In the year of the Buddha's death, aims to settle the canon (authoritative collection of Buddhist scripures)  Buddha's disciple Ananda recites from memory the discourses of the Buddha (Skt. Sutra, Pali sutta) All sutras begin with "Thus have I heard..."  Upali recites the rules of monastic discipline (Vinaya)- a lot of it is made of sexual rules for conduct  Buddhist scriptures are categorized into "three baskets" or Triptaka... Sutra, Vinaya, and philosophical analysis of the sutras called abhidharma  organized into the words of the Buddha (sutra), monastic codes of conduct (vinaya) and philosophical treatise (abhidharma)  the Diamond Sutra is the earliest printed book in the world (c. 868 CE)  in East Asia, it became an act of devotion to copy sutras with one's own blood  Hindus also use the word sutras for various commentaries in Buddhism, it refers to words of the Buddha  in Buddhism, texts are not just sources of doctrine/belief- they have spiritual meanings on their own- one can recite the texts without knowing what they mean, and recieve positive benefits (like Hindu Vedas)  in Chinese Buddhist temples, "Buddha Boxes" are present o 2nd Council at Vaishali- 100 years or so after the first council  dispute about monastic practices, such as the handling of money by monks  serious disagreements about Vinaya, not about doctrine or belief
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