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RLG100 Lecture 30Wednesday.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Arti Dhand

RLG100 Lecture 30 Wednesday, January 29, 2014 -differences between the Theravada and Mahayana sects of Buddhism -Hinayana, ‘the lesser way’ -avoided by academics Theravada -not in favour of a lot of innovation -developed the basic canon of Buddhist scripture -The Pali Canon (Tripitaka) -composed in the Pali language hence the name -to achieve final stages of enlightenment one must follow a religious path where you become a lay person and work your way up the ranks to be ordained -becoming a monk and following the guidelines laid out by the Buddha is the only way to reach nirvana -believe that following in the Buddhas footsteps is the way to enlightenment Mahayana -saw themselves as the progressive sect for new ideas in Buddhism -Upaya -means skill -refers to the Mahayana idea that a truly skilled leader will have a diverse method in leading students toward the right path -very influential in the development of their scripture -accept the Pali Canon but also develops its own scripture -never closes though to leave room for the idea that the Buddha might some day in the future give new teachings to people who follow the religion -anyone can achieve enlightenment not just monks and nuns -lay people can achieve enlightenment through proper study and following the path set out by the Buddha -this is where the concept of Upaya comes into play -reconceptualises the ideal of the Buddhism -has a sharp, satirical critique of the Arhant -idea of Arhant is too narrow -ideal of practice is the Bodhisattva -similar to the concept of Arhant in the sense that he or she has achieved the same level of enlightenment -Arhant must be monk or nun, Bodhisattva can be a lay-person who has achieved enlightenment -the understanding of the Arhant is having achieved enlightenment for his/herself, they can now pass out of the cycle (there is no more reason to be in the cycle) -Bodhisattva achieves enlightenment, but rather than getting out of the cycle they elect to stay in the samsara cycle in order to help guide other suffering people out of the cycle of continued rebirth -postpone their own bliss to work in the world and help all other beings pass into nirvana] -believe the Arhant ideal to be too selfish and narrow because they care only about ending their own suffering -no longer subject to karma and can choose the forms which they return in based on the form they think will be most helpful to those around them -enlightenment is final, there is no falling back from this -reconceptualises the idea of the Buddha -the first refuge -Buddha is understood to be born a human being with the same kind of human limitations (Theravada understanding ) -a mortal figure who achieved enlightenment through his actions -expresses new understanding of the Buddha as
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