Pre-sectarian Buddhism, called early Buddhism, the earliest Buddhism, and original Buddhism, is the Buddhism that existed before the various subsects of Buddhism came into being. Some of the contents and teachings of this pre-sectarian Buddhism may be deduced from the earliest Buddhist texts, various terms are being used to refer to the earliest period of Buddhism, Pre-sectarian Buddhism Early Buddhism, The earliest Buddhism, Original Buddhism, The Buddhism of the Buddha himself. Precanonical Buddhism Some Japanese scholars refer to the subsequent period of the early Buddhist schools as sectarian Buddhism, Pre-sectarian Buddhism may refer to the earliest Buddhism, the ideas and practices of Gautama Buddha himself. It may refer to early Buddhism as existing until about one hundred years after the Parinirvana of the Buddha, contrary to the claim of doctrinal stability, early Buddhism was a dynamic movement. Pre-sectarian Buddhism may have included or incorporated other Śramaṇic schools of thought, as well as Vedic and Jain ideas, the first documented split occurred, according to most scholars, between the second Buddhist council and the third Buddhist council.
The first post-schismatic groups are stated to be the Sthaviravada. Eventually, eighteen different schools came into existence, Pre-sectarian Buddhism was originally one of the Śramaṇa movements. The time of the Buddha was a time of urbanisation in India and this release was the central aim of the Śramaṇa movements. The oldest recorded teachings are the texts of the four main nikayas of the Sutta Pitaka, together with the body of monastic rules. Scholars have claimed there is a core within this core, referring to some poems. The reliability of sources, and the possibility to draw out a core of oldest teachings, is a matter of dispute. According to Tillman Vetter, the comparison of the oldest extant texts does not just simply lead to the oldest nucleus of the doctrine. A Sthavira canon dating from c.270 B. C. when the activities during Asokas reign as well as dogmatic disputes had not yet created divisions within the Shtavira tradition. According to Vetter, inconsistencies remain, and other methods must be applied to resolve those inconsistencies.
Exemplary studies are the study on descriptions of liberating insight by Lambert Schmithausen, the overview of early Buddhism by Tilmann Vetter, the textual studies by Richard Gombrich, and the research on early meditation methods by Johannes Bronkhorst. A core problem in the study of early Buddhism is the relation between dhyana and insight, the Buddhist tradition has incorporated two traditions regarding the use of dhyana. There is a tradition that stresses attaining insight as the means to awakening, but it has incorporated the yogic tradition, as reflected in the use of jhana, which is rejected in other sutras as not achieving the final result of liberation. The problem was famously voiced in 1936 by Louis de La Vallee Poussin, in his text Musila et Narada and this problem has been elaborated by several well-known scholars, including Tilman Vetter, Johannes Bronkhorst, and Richard Gombrich
They can be categorized in a number of ways. These religious texts were written in different languages and scripts. Even after the development of printing, Buddhists preferred to keep to their practices with these texts. The Mahāsāṃghika and the Mūlasarvāstivāda considered both the Buddhas discourses, and of his disciples, to be buddhavacana, a number of different beings such as buddhas, disciples of the buddha, ṛṣis, and devas were considered capable to transmitting buddhavacana. The content of such a discourse was to be collated with the sūtras, compared with the Vinaya and these texts may be certified as true buddhavacana by a buddha, a saṃgha, a small group of elders, or one knowledgeable elder. In Theravada Buddhism, the collection of buddhavacana is the Pali Canon. Some scholars believe that some portions of the Pali Canon and Agamas could contain the substance of the historical teachings of the Buddha. In East Asian Buddhism, what is considered buddhavacana is collected in the Chinese Buddhist canon, the most common edition of this is the Taishō Tripiṭaka.
Then these sutras may be regarded as buddhavacana. Sometimes texts that are considered commentaries by some are regarded by others as Buddhavacana, in Tibetan Buddhism, what is considered buddhavacana is collected in the Kangyur. The East Asian and Tibetan Buddhist canons always combined Buddhavacana with other literature in their standard collected editions, the general view of what is and is not buddhavacana is broadly similar between East Asian Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism. The Tibetan Kangyur, which belongs to the schools of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, in addition to containing sutras and vinaya. Doctrinal elaborations were preserved in Abhidharma works and Karikas, as Buddhism spread geographically, these texts were translated into the local language, such as Chinese and Tibetan. The Pali canon was preserved in Sri Lanka where it was first written down in the first century BCE, the Sri Lankan Pali tradition developed extensive commentaries as well as sub-commentaries for the Pali Canon as well as treatises on Abhidhamma.
Sutra commentaries and Abhidharma works exist in Tibetan, Korean, important examples of non-canonical Pali texts are the Visuddhimagga, by Buddhaghosa, which is a compendium of Theravada teachings and the Mahavamsa, a historical Sri Lankan chronicle. Sanskrit Buddhist literature became the dominant tradition in India until the decline of Buddhism in India, around the beginning of the Christian era, a new genre of sutra literature began to be written with a focus on the Bodhisattva idea, commonly known as Mahayana sutras. Many of the Mahayana sutras were written in Sanskrit and translated into the Tibetan, some 600 Mahayana Sutras have survived in Sanskrit, or in Chinese and/or Tibetan translation. In the Mahayana tradition there are important works termed Shastras, or treatises which attempt to outline the sutra teachings, the works of important Buddhist philosophers like Nagarjuna and Dharmakirti are generally termed Shastras, and were written in Sanskrit
Indian Buddhists sought this understanding not just from the revealed teachings of the Buddha, but through philosophical analysis and rational deliberation. Buddhist thinkers in India and subsequently in East Asia have covered topics as varied as phenomenology, ontology, logic, a recurrent theme in Buddhist philosophy has been the reification of concepts, and the subsequent return to the Buddhist Middle Way. Particular points of Buddhist philosophy have often been the subject of disputes between different schools of Buddhism and these elaborations and disputes gave rise to various schools in early Buddhism of Abhidharma, and to the Mahayana traditions and schools of the prajnaparamita, Buddha-nature and Yogacara. Philosophy in India was aimed mainly at spiritual liberation and had soteriological goals, virtually all the great philosophical systems of India, Sāṅkhya, Advaitavedānta, Mādhyamaka and so forth, were preeminently concerned with providing a means to liberation or salvation. It was a tacit assumption with these systems that if their philosophy were correctly understood and assimilated, the goal of Buddhist philosophy is nirvana and to achieve this it needs to investigate the nature of the world.
For the Indian Buddhist philosophers, the teachings of the Buddha were not meant to be taken on faith alone, the Buddha expect his disciples to approach him as a teacher in a critical fashion and scrutinize his actions and words, as shown in the Vīmaṃsaka Sutta. The Buddha was a north Indian sramana from Magadha and he cultivated various yogic techniques and ascetic practices and taught throughout north India, where his teachings took hold. These teachings are preserved in the Pali Nikayas and in the Agamas as well as in other surviving fragmentary textual collections, dating these texts is difficult and there is disagreement on how much of this material goes back to a single religious founder. The Buddha defined his teaching as the middle way, in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, this is used to refer to the fact that his teachings steer a middle course between the extremes of asceticism and bodily denial and sensual hedonism or indulgence. Many sramanas of the Buddhas time placed much emphasis on a denial of the body, using such as fasting.
The Buddha however, realized that the mind was embodied and causally dependent on the body, according to Vetter, the description of the Buddhist path may initially have been as simple as the term the middle way. In time, this description was elaborated, resulting in the description of the eightfold path. Vetter argues that the eightfold path constitutes a body of practices which prepare one, and lead up to, according to Vetter and Bronkhorst, dhyāna constituted the original liberating practice, while discriminating insight into transiency as a separate path to liberation was a development. According to Bronkhorst, the four truths may not have been formulated in earliest Buddhism, Lambert Schmithausen concluded that the four truths were a development in early Buddhism. Carol Anderson, following Lambert Schmithausen and K. R, notes that the four truths are missing in critical passages in the canon, and states. According to some scholars, the outlook of earliest Buddhism was primarily negative.
Only knowledge that is useful in achieving enlightenment is valued, the four noble truths or truths of the noble one are a central feature of the teachings and are put forth in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. The first truth of Dukkha, often translated as suffering, is the inherent unsatisfactoriness of life
The Mahayana sutras are a broad genre of Buddhist scriptures that various traditions of Mahayana Buddhism accept as canonical. They are largely preserved in the Chinese Buddhist canon, the Tibetan Buddhist canon, around one hundred Mahayana sutras survive in Sanskrit, or in Chinese and Tibetan translations. The origins of the Mahayana are not completely understood, the earliest views of Mahayana Buddhism in the West assumed that it existed as a separate school in competition with the so-called Hīnayāna schools. These views have largely dismissed in modern times in light of a much broader range of early texts that are now available. The old views of Mahayana as a separate lay-inspired and devotional sect are now dismissed as misguided. The early versions of Mahayana sutras were not written documents but orally preserved teachings, the verses which were committed to memory and recited by monks were viewed as the substitute for the actual speaking presence of the Buddha. The earliest textual evidence of the Mahayana comes from sutras originating around the beginning of the common era.
There is no evidence that Mahayana ever referred to a formal school or sect of Buddhism, but rather that it existed as a certain set of ideals. This continues today with the Dharmaguptaka ordination lineage in East Asia, Mahayana was never a separate rival sect of the early schools. Those who venerate the bodhisattvas and read the Mahayana sutras are called the Mahayanists, much of the early extant evidence for the origins of Mahayana comes from early Chinese translations of Mahayana texts. These Mahayana teachings were first propagated into China by Lokakṣema, the first translator of Mahayana sutras into Chinese during the 2nd century CE, others such as A. K. Warder have argued that the Mahayana sutras are not historical. Western scholarship does not go so far as to impugn the religious authority of Mahayana sutras and it is widely accepted that Mahayana sutras constitute a body of literature that began to appear from as early as the 1st century BCE, although the evidence for this date is circumstantial.
This picture may be qualified by the analysis of early manuscripts recently coming out of Afghanistan. In effect we have a vast body of anonymous but relatively coherent literature and this suggests that Mahayana was not simply an accretion of fabricated doctrines, as it is sometimes accused of being, but has a strong connection with the teachings of Buddha himself. However weak the claim to historicity that the Mahayana sutras hold, these sutras may be properly regarded as the words of the Buddha. Some teachers take the view that all teachings that stem from the insights of Buddha constitute the Buddhas speech. There are scriptural supports for this even in the Pāli Canon. There the Buddha is asked how the disciples should verify, after his death and his statement is neither to be approved nor scorned
Nirvana is the earliest and most common term used to describe the goal of the Buddhist path. The literal meaning is blowing out or quenching and it is the ultimate spiritual goal in Buddhism and marks the soteriological release from rebirths in saṃsāra. Nirvana is part of the Third Truth on cessation of dukkha in the Four Noble Truths, within the Buddhist tradition, this term has commonly been interpreted as the extinction of the three fires, or three poisons, passion and ignorance. When these fires are extinguished, release from the cycle of rebirth is attained, Nirvana has been deemed in Buddhism to be identical with anatta and sunyata states. Buddhist scholastic tradition identifies two types of nirvana, sopadhishesa-nirvana, and parinirvana or anupadhishesa-nirvana, the founder of Buddhism, the Buddha, is believed to have reached both these states. Nirvana, or the liberation from cycles of rebirth, is the highest aim of the Theravada tradition, the term nirvana describes a state of freedom from suffering and rebirth, but different Buddhist traditions have interpreted the concept in different ways.
The origin is probably pre-Buddhist, and its etymology may not be conclusive for its meaning, Nirvana has a wide range of meanings, although the literal meaning is blowing out or quenching. It refers both to the act and the effect of blowing to put it out, but the process and outcome of burning out, becoming extinguished. The term nirvana in the sense of blown out, extinguished state of liberation does not appear in the Vedas nor in the pre-Buddhist Upanishads. According to Collins, the Buddhists seem to have been the first to call it nirvana. However, the ideas of spiritual liberation using different terminology, is found in ancient texts of non-Buddhist Indian traditions, the prevalent interpretation of nirvana as extinction is based on the etymology of nir√vā to blow out. Nir is a negative, while va is commonly taken to refer to to blow, The term nirvana is part of a metaphorical structure. According to Gombrich, the number of three fires alludes to the three fires which a Brahmin had to alight, and thereby symbolise life in the world.
The meaning of this metaphor was lost in Buddhism, not only passion and delusion were to extinguished, but all cankers or defilements. The blowing out does not mean total annihilation, but the extinguishing of a flame, which returns, the term nirvana can be used as a verb, he or she nirvāṇa-s, or he or she parinirvānṇa-s. The term nirvana, to out, has been interpreted as the extinction of the three fires, or three poisons, namely of passion or sensuality, aversion or hate and of delusion or ignorance. Another explanation of nirvana is the absence of the weaving of activity of the mind, Matsumoto Shirō, for example, states that the original etymological root of nirvana should not be considered as nir√vā which means extinction, but should be considered to be nir√vŗ, to uncover. The problem with considering it as extinction or liberation, is that it presupposes a self to be extinguished or liberated, according to Matsumoto, the original meaning of nirvana was therefore not “to extinguish” but to uncover the atman from that which is anatman
Buddhist monasticism is one of the earliest surviving forms of organized monasticism in the history of religion. It is one of the most fundamental institutions of Buddhism and nuns are considered to be responsible for the preservation and dissemination of the Buddhas teaching and the guidance of Buddhist lay people. The order of Buddhist monks and nuns was founded by Gautama Buddha during his lifetime between the fifth and fourth centuries BC, the Buddhist monastic lifestyle grew out of the lifestyle of earlier sects of wandering ascetics, some of whom the Buddha had studied under. Monks and nuns were expected to live with a minimum of possessions, lay followers provided the daily food that monks required, and provided shelter for monks when they were needed. Some Buddhist schools assert that during the Buddhas time, many retreats and gardens were donated by citizens for monks. Generally more than one monk stayed in house with each monk in his own cell. ārāma, a permanent and more comfortable arrangement than the avasa.
This property was donated and maintained by a wealthy citizen. It generally consisted of residences within orchards or parks, one of the more famous Arama is Anathapindikas, known as Anathapindikassa arame, built on Prince Jetas grove. It had buildings worth 1.8 million gold pieces built in a beautiful grove, after the parinirvana of the Buddha, the Buddhist monastic order developed into a primarily cenobitic movement. The practice of living communally during the rainy season, prescribed by the Buddha. The number of rules observed varies with the order, Theravada monks follow around 227 rules, there are a larger number of rules specified for bhikkhunis. The information presented here, unless noted, characterises only certain Buddhist monks who follow the most strict regulations of the Southern Schools tradition. The oldest existing set of texts concerning a Buddhist form of life are those of the Pāli Canon. Although no copy of these comes from the time of the Buddha, because of its relative age the Pāli Canon is used by some monastic communities to define their conduct.
Also the Buddhas disciple Ananda strongly insisted on including female order, ordination in the bhikkhuni lineage continues to exist among East Asian communities, and attempts have been made at a revival in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka. Such divisions are rarely made in the Northern schools, or in the West. Monks and nuns are expected to fulfill a variety of roles in the Buddhist community and foremost, they are expected to preserve the doctrine and discipline now known as Buddhism
Gautama Buddha, known as Siddhārtha Gautama, Shakyamuni Buddha, or simply the Buddha, after the title of Buddha, was an ascetic and sage, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He is believed to have lived and taught mostly in the part of ancient India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE. Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement common in his region and he taught throughout other regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kosala. Gautama is the figure in Buddhism. He is recognized by Buddhists as a teacher who attained full Buddhahood. Accounts of his life and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death, various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400 years later. Scholars are hesitant to make unqualified claims about the facts of the Buddhas life. Apart from the Vedic Brahmins, the Buddhas lifetime coincided with the flourishing of influential schools of thought like Ājīvika, Cārvāka, Jainism.
Brahmajala Sutta records sixty-two such schools of thought, Buddha was just one of the many śramaṇa philosophers of that time. The times of Gautamas birth and death are uncertain, most historians in the early 20th century dated his lifetime as circa 563 BCE to 483 BCE. These alternative chronologies, have not yet accepted by all historians. It was either a republic, or an oligarchy, and his father was an elected chieftain. He obtained his enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, gave his first sermon in Sarnath, no written records about Gautama were found from his lifetime or some centuries thereafter. One Edict of Asoka, who reigned from circa 269 BCE to 232 BCE, another one of his edicts mentions the titles of several Dhamma texts, establishing the existence of a written Buddhist tradition at least by the time of the Maurya era. These texts may be the precursor of the Pāli Canon and they are written in the Gāndhārī language using the Kharosthi script on twenty-seven birch bark manuscripts and date from the first century BCE to the third century CE.
The sources for the life of Siddhārtha Gautama are a variety of different and these include the Buddhacarita, Lalitavistara Sūtra, Mahāvastu, and the Nidānakathā. Of these, the Buddhacarita is the earliest full biography, a poem written by the poet Aśvaghoṣa in the first century CE. The Lalitavistara Sūtra is the next oldest biography, a Mahāyāna/Sarvāstivāda biography dating to the 3rd century CE, the Mahāvastu from the Mahāsāṃghika Lokottaravāda tradition is another major biography, composed incrementally until perhaps the 4th century CE
Buddhist Devotion is an important part of the practice of most Buddhists. According to a spokesman of the Sasana Council of Burma, devotion to Buddhist spiritual practices inspires devotion to the Triple Gem, most Buddhists use ritual in pursuit of their spiritual aspirations. To images chanting, the Three Refuges protective chanting, in the Samyuktagama, the verse is mainly about loving-kindness and doing no harm to all beings. The mantra is given to trae in Chinese transcription of the Sanskrit and this episode does not occur in the counterpart sutta in the Samyutta-Nikaya, and may have been added after the Sarvastivada/Vibhajjavada split. A very important form of Buddhist devotion is Pure Land Buddhism and it exists as a group of independent denominations in Japan, the most radical, and largest, of which, Jodo Shinshu, holds to a subtle idea of effortless salvation
Buddhism is a religion and dharma that encompasses a variety of traditions and spiritual practices largely based on teachings attributed to the Buddha. Buddhism originated in India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, from where it spread through much of Asia, two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars and Mahayana. Buddhism is the worlds fourth-largest religion, with over 500 million followers or 7% of the global population, Buddhist schools vary on the exact nature of the path to liberation, the importance and canonicity of various teachings and scriptures, and especially their respective practices. In Theravada the ultimate goal is the attainment of the state of Nirvana, achieved by practicing the Noble Eightfold Path, thus escaping what is seen as a cycle of suffering. Theravada has a following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Nichiren Buddhism, rather than Nirvana, Mahayana instead aspires to Buddhahood via the bodhisattva path, a state wherein one remains in the cycle of rebirth to help other beings reach awakening.
Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian siddhas, may be viewed as a branch or merely a part of Mahayana. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth century India, is practiced in regions surrounding the Himalayas, Tibetan Buddhism aspires to Buddhahood or rainbow body. Buddhism is an Indian religion attributed to the teachings of Buddha, the details of Buddhas life are mentioned in many early Buddhist texts but are inconsistent, his social background and life details are difficult to prove, the precise dates uncertain. Some hagiographic legends state that his father was a king named Suddhodana, his mother queen Maya, and he was born in Lumbini gardens. Some of the stories about Buddha, his life, his teachings, Buddha was moved by the innate suffering of humanity. He meditated on this alone for a period of time, in various ways including asceticism, on the nature of suffering. He famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree now called the Bodhi Tree in the town of Bodh Gaya in Gangetic plains region of South Asia.
He reached enlightenment, discovering what Buddhists call the Middle Way, as an enlightened being, he attracted followers and founded a Sangha. Now, as the Buddha, he spent the rest of his teaching the Dharma he had discovered. Dukkha is a concept of Buddhism and part of its Four Noble Truths doctrine. It can be translated as incapable of satisfying, the unsatisfactory nature, the Four Truths express the basic orientation of Buddhism, we crave and cling to impermanent states and things, which is dukkha, incapable of satisfying and painful. This keeps us caught in saṃsāra, the cycle of repeated rebirth, dukkha
Tibetan Buddhist canon
The Tibetan Buddhist canon is a loosely defined list of sacred texts recognized by various sects of Tibetan Buddhism. In addition to texts from Early Buddhist and Mahayana sources. The Tibetan Canon underwent a final compilation in the 14th century by Buton Rinchen Drub, all texts presumably have a Sanskrit original, although in many cases the Tibetan text was translated from Chinese or other languages. Tengyur or Translated Treatises, is the section to which were assigned commentaries, the Tengyur contains 3626 texts in 224 Volumes. The Kangyur is divided into sections on Vinaya, Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, Avatamsaka and other sutras, when exactly the term Kangyur was first used is not known. Collections of canonical Buddhist texts already existed in the time of Trisong Detsen, the exact number of texts in the Kangyur is not fixed. Each editor takes responsibility for removing texts he considers spurious or adding new translations, currently there are about 12 available Kangyurs. These include the Derge, Narthang, Peking, Urga and Stog Palace versions, in addition, some canonical texts have been found in Tabo and Dunhuang which provide earlier exemplars to texts found in the Kangyur.
The majority of extant Kangyur editions appear to stem from the so-called Old Narthang Kangyur, though the Phukdrak, the stemma of the Kangyur have been well researched in particular by Helmut Eimer and Paul Harrison. A team of Indian and Tibetan scholars was assigned for the purpose, as a major step in this remarkable attempt at literary standardization, the bi-lingual glossary known as the Mahavyutpatti was successfully accomplished in the Tibetan horse year. The earliest catalogue compilation was recorded from the manuscript of the collection housed in the palace- pho-brang ‘phang-thang ka-med kyi gtsug-lag-kang in the Tibetan dog year. This cataloguing work became famous by the name of the palace, dkar-chag ldan-dkar-ma was compiled in the dragon year. Among these three catalogues, ldan-dkar-ma, included in the volume Jo of sna-tsogs in sde-ge bka’-bstan, is believed to be the only surviving so far. But recently a manuscript of dkar-chag phang-thang-ma is discovered and published from Tibet and it contains 961 titles listed under 34 subject headings with additional information of numbers of verses that contains in each text.
The ldan-dkar-ma catalogue comprises 735 titles and listed under a category of 27 subject headings. of words, canto, thus today we have a record of 73 million words contained in the bka’-’gyur & bstan-’gyur collection. According to the latest edition of Dharma Publication, the bKa’-‘gyur contains 1,115 texts, the bsTan-gyur contains 3,387 texts using 127,000 folios amounting to 850,000 lines and 48 millions words. The sum total of both these collections is 4,502 texts in 73 millions words, by fixing bampo to verses and to words of each of the textual contents, the individual works are interpolation and alteration. This further strengthened the authenticity of Tibetan Buddhist literature, thus, becomes the earliest to accomplish catalogue as inventory in the history of evolution of catalogue