The Story of Buddhism: A Concise Guide to Its History & Teachings
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- How and when did the many schools of Buddhism emerge?
- How does the historical figure of Siddartha Guatama relate to the many teachings that are presented in his name?
- Did Buddhism modify the cultures to which it was introduced, or did they modify Buddhism?
Leading Buddhist scholar Donald S. Lopez Jr. explores the origins of this 2,500-year-old religion and traces its major developments up to the present, focusing not only on the essential elemenmts common to all schools of Buddhism but also revealing the differences among the major traditions. Beginning with the creation and structure of the Buddhist universe, Lopez explores the life of the Buddha, the core Buddhist tenets, and the development of the monastic life and lay practices. Combining brilliant scholarship with fascinating stories -- contemporary and historical, sometimes miraculous, sometimes humorous -- this rich and absorbing volume presents a fresh and expert history of Buddhism and Buddhist life.
confirm that a great gift that he had made as Prince Vessantara in his previous life had won him the right to sit beneath the tree. She assented with a tremor, and Mara withdrew. Now the prince meditated through the night. During the first watch of the night, he had a vision of all of his past lives, recalling where he had been reborn, what he had been named, which caste he had belonged to, what food he had eaten. He saw the persistence of the person, both in its plenitude and paucity, multiplied
pre dominant state of mind, whether it is inclined toward virtue or non virtue, will be manifest at the moment of death, when the seed for your next life will bear its fruit. The vast store of karmic seeds carried by each being in the uni verse creates the apparently infinite possibility for future rebirth. Simply stopping ac t io n is therefore not a viable solution to the dilemma of birth and death. The Buddha postulated that it was nec essary instead to put an end to the cause of action.
amended in the Mahayana siitras but rather that they are reinterpreted. The accounts of the Buddha include a host of human concerns; monks fan the Buddha in the heat, wash his feet, rub his back, and bring him medicine when he is sick. A nanda brings the Buddha water to wash h i s face and a stick to clean his teeth . A nanda carries messages for the Buddha, assembles the monks at his request, and makes sure that monks who come to visit the Buddha do not accidentally leave any belongings behind.
sleeping in any bed that is offered, without concern for its quality; and never lying down. Indeed, one of the schisms that occurred in the sailgha during the Buddha 's life involved a dispute over the degree of asceticism required of monks. The Buddha's cousin, Devadatta, led a faction that favored a more extreme disci pline than that counseled by the Buddha, requiring, for example, that monks live only in the forest and never eat meat. When Devadatta failed in winning control of the order, he
not a demon ), and male (and not a hermaphro dite), free from debt, exempt from the military, free from various diseases such as leprosy and asthma, had his parents' permission, and was at least twenty years of age. The novice would formally request ordination three times, after which the presiding monk would ask him a series of questions to determine his eligibility. The presiding monk would then ask the assembly three times to accept the novice into the order. The assembled monks would assent