World Heritage Site
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area, selected by the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization as having cultural, scientific or other form of significance, is protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity. To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance, it may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet. The sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored/uncontrolled/unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence. Sites are demarcated by UNESCO as protected zones; the list is maintained by the international World Heritage Program administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 "states parties" that are elected by their General Assembly.
The programme catalogues and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common culture and heritage of humanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund; the program began with the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since 193 state parties have ratified the convention, making it one of the most recognized international agreements and the world's most popular cultural program; as of July 2018, a total of 1,092 World Heritage Sites exist across 167 countries. Italy, with 54 sites, has the most of any country, followed by China, France, Germany and Mexico. In 1954, the government of Egypt decided to build the new Aswan High Dam, whose resulting future reservoir would inundate a large stretch of the Nile valley containing cultural treasures of ancient Egypt and ancient Nubia. In 1959, the governments of Egypt and Sudan requested UNESCO to assist their countries to protect and rescue the endangered monuments and sites.
In 1960, the Director-General of UNESCO launched an appeal to the member states for an International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia. This appeal resulted in the excavation and recording of hundreds of sites, the recovery of thousands of objects, as well as the salvage and relocation to higher ground of a number of important temples, the most famous of which are the temple complexes of Abu Simbel and Philae; the campaign, which ended in 1980, was considered a success. As tokens of its gratitude to countries which contributed to the campaign's success, Egypt donated four temples: the Temple of Dendur was moved to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Temple of Debod was moved to the Parque del Oeste in Madrid, the Temple of Taffeh was moved to the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in the Netherlands, the Temple of Ellesyia to Museo Egizio in Turin; the project cost $80 million, about $40 million of, collected from 50 countries. The project's success led to other safeguarding campaigns: saving Venice and its lagoon in Italy, the ruins of Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan, the Borobodur Temple Compounds in Indonesia.
UNESCO initiated, with the International Council on Monuments and Sites, a draft convention to protect the common cultural heritage of humanity. The United States initiated the idea of cultural conservation with nature conservation; the White House conference in 1965 called for a "World Heritage Trust" to preserve "the world's superb natural and scenic areas and historic sites for the present and the future of the entire world citizenry". The International Union for Conservation of Nature developed similar proposals in 1968, they were presented in 1972 to the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. Under the World Heritage Committee, signatory countries are required to produce and submit periodic data reporting providing the World Heritage Committee with an overview of each participating nation's implementation of the World Heritage Convention and a "snapshot" of current conditions at World Heritage properties. A single text was agreed on by all parties, the "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage" was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972.
The Convention came into force on 17 December 1975. As of May 2017, it has been ratified by 193 states parties, including 189 UN member states plus the Cook Islands, the Holy See and the State of Palestine. Only four UN member states have not ratified the Convention: Liechtenstein, Nauru and Tuvalu. A country must first list its significant natural sites. A country may not nominate sites. Next, it can place sites selected from that list into a Nomination File; the Nomination File is evaluated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union. These bodies make their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee; the Committee meets once per year to determine whether or not to inscribe each nominated property on the World Heritage List and sometimes defers or refers the decision to request more information from the country which nominated the site. There are ten selection criteria – a site must meet at least one of them to be included on the list
Monuments of Japan
Monuments is a collective term used by the Japanese government's Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties to denote Cultural Properties of Japan as historic locations such as shell mounds, ancient tombs, sites of palaces, sites of forts or castles, monumental dwelling houses and other sites of high historical or scientific value. The government designates "significant" items of this kind as Cultural Properties and classifies them in one of three categories: Historic Sites Places of Scenic Beauty, Natural Monuments. Items of high significance may receive a higher classification as: Special Historic Sites Special Places of Scenic Beauty Special Natural Monuments, respectively; as of September 2013, there were 3,089 nationally designated Monuments: 1,710 Historic Sites, 374 Places of Scenic Beauty, 1,005 Natural Monuments. Since a single property can be included within more than one of these classes, the total number of properties is less than the sum of designations: for example Hamarikyu Gardens are both a Special Historic Site and a Special Place of Scenic Beauty.
As of 1 May 2013, there were a further 2,961 Historic Sites, 266 Places of Scenic Beauty, 2,985 Natural Monuments designated at a prefectural level and 12,840 Historic Sites, 845 Places of Scenic Beauty, 11,020 Natural Monuments designated at a municipal level. Alterations to the existing state of a site or activities affecting its preservation require permission from the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs. Financial support for purchasing and conserving designated land and for the utilization of the site is available through local governments; the Agency for Cultural Affairs designates monuments based on a number of criteria. A monument can be designated based on multiple criteria. Shell mounds, settlement ruins, other historic ruins of this type Ruins of fortified towns, government administration offices, old battlefields and other historic ruins related to politics or government Remains of shrines and temples, former compound grounds and other historic ruins related to religion Schools, research institutions, cultural facilities and other historic ruins related to education, learning or culture Medical care and welfare facilities, life related institution, other society and life related historic ruins Transport and communication facilities, forest conservation and flood control facilities, manufacture facilities and other historic sites related to finance or manufacture activities Graves and stone monuments with inscriptions Former residences, gardens and other areas of particular historical significance Ruins related to foreign countries or foreigners Parks and gardens Bridges and embankments Flowering trees, flowering grass, autumn colors, green trees and other places of dense growth Places inhabited by birds and wild animals, fish/insects and others Rocks, caves Ravines, waterfalls, mountain streams, abysses Lakes, wetlands, floating islands, springs Sand dunes, seasides, islands Volcanoes, onsen Mountains, plateaus, rivers Viewpoints Animals Well-known animals peculiar to Japan and their habitat Animals which are not peculiar to Japan, but need to be preserved as well-known characteristic Japanese animals, their habitat Animals or animal groups peculiar to Japan within their natural environment Domestic animals peculiar to Japan Well-known imported animals presently in a wild state, with the exception of domestic animals.
Remarkable occurrence of epiphytic plants on rocks, trees or shrubs Remarkable plant growth on marginal land Remarkable growth in the wild of crop plants Wild habitat of rare or near extinct plants Geological and mineralogical features Rocks and fossil producing sites Conformable and unconformable strata Fold and thrust strata Geological features caused by the work of living creatures Phenomena related to earthquake dislocation and landmass motion Caves, grottoes Examples of rock organization Onsen and their sediments Erosion and weathering related phenomena Fumaroles and other items related to volcanic activity Ice and frost related phenomena Particularly precious rock and fossil specimen Representative territories rich in natural monuments to be protected A separate system of "registration" has been established for modern edifices threatened by urban sprawl or other factors. Monuments from the Meiji period onward which require preservation can be registered as Registered Monuments. Members of this class of Cultural Property receive more limited assistance and protection based on governmental notification and guidance.
As of April 2012, 61 monuments were registered under this system. List of Spec
Tō-ji is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect in Kyoto, Japan. It once had a partner, Sai-ji and, they stood alongside the Rashomon, gate to the Heian capital, it was known as Kyō-ō-gokoku-ji which indicates that it functioned as a temple providing protection for the nation. Tō-ji is located in Minami-ku near the intersection of Ōmiya Street and Kujō Street, southwest of Kyōto Station. Tō-ji was founded in the early Heian period; the temple dates from 796, two years after the capital moved to Heian-kyō. Together with its partner Sai-ji, the temple Shingon-in, it was one of only three Buddhist temples allowed in the capital at the time, is the only of the three to survive to the present. Tō-ji is associated with Kōbō Daishi. Though Tō-ji began to decline in the end of Heian period, it came back into the spotlight with the rise of Daishi Shinko in Kamakura period; the well-known Buddhist priest was put in charge of Tō-ji in 823 by order of Emperor Saga. The temple's principal image is of Yakushi Nyorai, the Medicine Buddha.
Many religious services for Daishi are held in the residence of Kōbō Daishi. The Five-story pagoda of Tō-ji stands 54.8 meters high, is the tallest wooden tower in Japan. It dates from the Edo period, when it was rebuilt by order of Iemitsu; the pagoda has been, continues to be, a symbol of Kyoto. Entrance into the pagoda itself is permitted only a few days a year; the five-storied pagoda was built during the Edo period in 1643. The Kondo or Golden Hall is the main hall of the temple, contains a statue of Yakushi from 1603; the Miedo is dedicated to Kobo Daishi called Kukai, the temple's founder. It stands on the location of his original residence; the hall is opened on the 21st of each month. The grounds feature a pond, in which turtles and koi swim; the grounds house an academically rigorous private school, from which many students are sent to elite universities. Tō-ji was rebuilt in the late Edo Period. During this rebuild, Tō-ji was dedicated to be a Shingon Buddhist temple; these temples were built in the mountains and utilized more natural and demographic design elements, dictating the resulting architectural layout.
In the Kamakura period, Japanese architects began to utilize technology to resist damage from earthquakes, rainfall and heat damage. These fortifications were integrated into the remodeling of Tō-ji; this style of building of defending against the natural elements evolved into the Zenshūyō style, seen on in the Kamakura period. This style utilizes the "hidden roof" innovation. Zenshūyō style temples, such as Tō-ji, are characterized by linear spacing outlines of the Garan, hinging panel doors, cusped windows called Katōmado, decorative pent roofs called Mokoshi. Although containing many of the elements of Zenshūyō style architecture, the Tō-ji temple uses the natural land around it to dictate the layout of the garan, a technique used in the Heian Period and Edo Period of Japanese Architecture; this correlates with the Shingon attribution by Emperor Saga in 823. The decorative mokoshi and outfitting of modern structural technology, was most integrated during the remodeling of the tower in the Kamakura Period.
Recognizing the historical and spiritual significance of Tō-ji, UNESCO designated it, along with several other treasures in Kyoto Prefecture, as part of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto" World Heritage Site. On the 21st of each month, a famous flea market is held on the grounds of Tō-ji; this market is popularly called Kōbō-san, in honor of Kōbō Daishi, who died on March 21. The flea market features a variety of antiques, clothes, some food, typical second-hand flea market goods. By far the largest market is held on December 21. A similar market is held on the 25th of every month at Kitano Tenmangū called Tenjin. A Kyoto proverb proclaims, "Fair weather at Tō-ji market means rainy weather at Tenjin market", calling to mind Kyoto's fickle weather. A smaller, less-crowded, antique-oriented market is held at the Tō-ji grounds on the first Sunday of each month; the Rashomon was situated to the west of Tō-ji, though now only a marker remains, reachable a short walk west along Kujō street. A little further west was Sai-ji.
Tō-ji and Sai-ji were built at the southern edge of the capital, were the only Buddhist temples allowed in Heian-kyō at the time. Sai-ji disappeared in the 16th century; the reason was the lack of funds to maintain it. A legend says that at the time of a great drought, Kūkai, the priest at Tō-ji, Shubin, his colleague at Sai-ji, were both praying for the rainfall. Kūkai succeeded where Shubin had failed, Shubin, shot an arrow at Kūkai. At that time a Jizō took the arrow instead of Kūkai, saving his life. You can find the Jizō in question near the ruins of Rashōmon, it has been chipped. On July 7, 2007, one of the Live Earth concerts was staged at Tō-ji. List of Buddhist temples in Kyoto List of National Treasures of Japan List of National Treasures of Japan List o
Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions and spiritual practices based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana. Most Buddhist traditions share the goal of overcoming suffering and the cycle of death and rebirth, either by the attainment of Nirvana or through the path of Buddhahood. Buddhist schools vary in their interpretation of the path to liberation, the relative importance and canonicity assigned to the various Buddhist texts, their specific teachings and practices. Observed practices include taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, observance of moral precepts, monasticism and the cultivation of the Paramitas.
Theravada Buddhism has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia such as Myanmar and Thailand. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Nichiren Buddhism and Tiantai, is found throughout East Asia. Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian adepts, may be viewed as a separate branch or as an aspect of Mahayana Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth-century India, is practiced in the countries of the Himalayan region and Kalmykia. Buddhism is an Indian religion attributed to the teachings of the Buddha born Siddhārtha Gautama, known as the Tathāgata and Sakyamuni. Early texts have his personal name as "Gautama" or "Gotama" without any mention of "Siddhārtha," which appears to have been a kind of honorific title when it does appear; the details of Buddha's 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. The evidence of the early texts suggests that he was born as Siddhārtha Gautama in Lumbini and grew up in Kapilavasthu, a town in the plains region of the modern Nepal-India border, that he spent his life in what is now modern Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Some hagiographic legends state that his father was a king named Suddhodana, his mother was Queen Maya, he was born in Lumbini gardens. However, scholars such as Richard Gombrich consider this a dubious claim because a combination of evidence suggests he was born in the Shakyas community – one that gave him the title Shakyamuni, the Shakya community was governed by a small oligarchy or republic-like council where there were no ranks but where seniority mattered instead; some of the stories about Buddha, his life, his teachings, claims about the society he grew up in may have been invented and interpolated at a time into the Buddhist texts. According to the Buddhist sutras, Gautama was moved by the innate suffering of humanity and its endless repetition due to rebirth, he set out on a quest to end this repeated suffering. Early Buddhist canonical texts and early biographies of Gautama state that Gautama first studied under Vedic teachers, namely Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, learning meditation and ancient philosophies the concept of "nothingness, emptiness" from the former, "what is neither seen nor unseen" from the latter.
Finding these teachings to be insufficient to attain his goal, he turned to the practice of asceticism. This too fell short of attaining his goal, he turned to the practice of dhyana, which he had discovered in his youth, he famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree now called the Bodhi Tree in the town of Bodh Gaya in the Gangetic plains region of South Asia. He gained insight into the workings of karma and his former lives, attained enlightenment, certainty about the Middle Way as the right path of spiritual practice to end suffering from rebirths in Saṃsāra; as a enlightened Buddha, he attracted followers and founded a Sangha. Now, as the Buddha, he spent the rest of his life teaching the Dharma he had discovered, died at the age of 80 in Kushinagar, India. Buddha's teachings were propagated by his followers, which in the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE became over 18 Buddhist sub-schools of thought, each with its own basket of texts containing different interpretations and authentic teachings of the Buddha.
The Four Truths express the basic orientation of Buddhism: we crave and cling to impermanent states and things, dukkha, "incapable of satisfying" and painful. This keeps us caught in saṃsāra, the endless cycle of repeated rebirth and dying again, but there is a way to liberation from this endless cycle to the state of nirvana, namely following the Noble Eightfold Path. The truth of dukkha is the basic insight that life in this mundane world, with its clinging and craving to impermanent states and things is dukkha, unsatisfactory. Dukkha can be translated as "incapable of satisfying," "the unsatisfactory nature and the general insecurity of all conditioned phenomena". Dukkha is most translated as "suffering," but this is inaccurate, since it refers not to episodic suffering, but to the intrinsically unsat
Enryaku-ji is a Tendai monastery located on Mount Hiei in Ōtsu, overlooking Kyoto. It was founded in 788 during the early Heian period; the temple complex was established by Saichō known as Dengyō Daishi, who introduced the Tendai sect of Mahayana Buddhism to Japan from China. Enryaku-ji is the headquarters of the Tendai sect and one of the most significant monasteries in Japanese history; as such, it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto". The founders of Jōdo-shū, Sōtō Zen, Nichiren Buddhism all spent time at the monastery. Enryaku-ji is the center for the practice of kaihōgyō. With the support of Emperor Kanmu, the Buddhist monk Saichō ordained a hundred disciples in 807. Maintaining a strict discipline on Mt. Hiei, his monks lived in seclusion for twelve years of study and meditation. After this period, the best students were retained in positions in the monastery and others graduated into positions in the government. At the peak of its power, Enryaku-ji was a huge complex of as many as 3,000 sub-temples and a powerful army of warrior monks.
In the tenth century, succession disputes broke out between Tendai monks of the line of Ennin and Enchin. These disputes resulted in opposing Tendai centers at Enryaku-ji and at Mii-dera, known as the Mountain Order and the Temple Order. Warrior monks were used to settle the disputes, Tendai leaders began to hire mercenary armies who threatened rivals and marched on the capital to enforce monastic demands; as part of a program to remove all potential rivals and unite the country, warlord Oda Nobunaga ended this Buddhist militancy in 1571 by attacking Enryaku-ji, leveling the buildings and slaughtering monks. Enryaku-ji's current structures date from the late 16th century through the first half of the 17th century, when the temple was reconstructed following a change of government. Only one minor building survived, the Ruri-dō, located down a long, unmarked path from the Sai-tō complex. During reconstruction, some buildings were transferred from other temples, notably Mii-dera, thus the buildings themselves are old, though they have not always been at this location.
Today, most of Enryaku-ji's buildings are clustered in three areas: Tō-dō, Sai-tō, Yokokawa. The monastery's most important buildings are concentrated in Tō-dō. Sai-tō is a 20-minute walk away downhill from Tō-dō, features several important buildings. Yokokawa is more isolated and less visited, about a 1:30 walk, is most reached by bus, which connects the three complexes and other locations on the mountain. On April 4, 2006, Enryaku-ji performed a ceremony for former leaders of Yamaguchi-gumi, by far the largest Yakuza organization in Japan; because such temple ceremonies have been used for Yamaguchi-gumi fund-raising and demonstrations of power, the Shiga Prefectural Police requested that Enryaku-ji cease performance of the ceremony. Rejecting the request, Enryaku-ji received crime-related money for the ceremony and allowed nearly 100 upper-level Yamaguchi-gumi leaders to attend. After reports in the Asahi Shimbun and Yomiuri Shimbun newspapers, Enryaku-ji faced a nationwide scandal; the temple was criticized by the Japan Buddhist Temple Association, which led a movement against the Yakuza.
On May 18, all representative directors of Enryaku-ji resigned, apologizing on their website and in e-mails which were sent to 3,000 branch temples. Glossary of Japanese Buddhism Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto List of Buddhist temples in Kyoto List of National Treasures of Japan List of National Treasures of Japan List of National Treasures of Japan List of National Treasures of Japan Tourism in Japan Guoqing Temple Ponsonby-Fane, Richard Arthur Brabazon.. Kyoto: The Old Capital of Japan, 794-1869. Kyoto: The Ponsonby Memorial Society. Official website Japan Atlas: Enryaku-Ji Temple Photos of Mount Hiei and the three precincts of Enryaku-ji Temple
Henry L. Stimson
Henry Lewis Stimson was an American statesman and Republican Party politician. Over his long career, he emerged as a leading figure in the foreign policy of the United States, serving in Republican and Democratic administrations, he served as Secretary of War under William Howard Taft, Secretary of State under Herbert Hoover, Secretary of War under Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman; the son of prominent surgeon Lewis Atterbury Stimson, Stimson became a Wall Street lawyer after graduating from Harvard Law School. He served as a United States Attorney under President Theodore Roosevelt, prosecuting several antitrust cases. After being defeated in the 1910 New York gubernatorial election, Stimson served as Secretary of War under Taft, he continued the reorganization of the United States Army that had begun under his mentor, Elihu Root. After the outbreak of World War I, Stimson became part of the Preparedness Movement, he served as an artillery officer in France after the U. S. entered the war.
From 1927 to 1929, he served as Governor-General of the Philippines under President Calvin Coolidge. In 1929, President Hoover appointed Stimson as Secretary of State. Stimson sought to limit worldwide naval build-up and helped negotiate the London Naval Treaty to that end, he protested the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, instituting the Stimson Doctrine of non-recognition of international territorial changes that were executed by force. After World War II broke out in Europe, Stimson accepted Roosevelt's appointment to the position of Secretary of War. After the United States entered World War II, Stimson took charge of raising and training 13 million soldiers and airmen, supervised the spending of a third of the nation's GDP on the Army and the Air Forces, helped formulate military strategy, oversaw the Manhattan Project, which built the first atomic bombs, he supported the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which ended the war against Japan. During and after the war, Stimson opposed the Morgenthau Plan, which would have de-industrialized and partitioned Germany into several smaller states.
He insisted on judicial proceedings against Nazi war criminals, leading to the Nuremberg trials. Stimson retired from office in September 1945 and died in 1950. Henry Lewis Stimson was born in Manhattan, New York City, the son of Lewis Atterbury Stimson, a prominent surgeon, his wife, the former Candace Thurber Wheeler; when he was nine his mother died of kidney failure. He spent summers with his grandmother Candace Wheeler at her Catskills country house, playing with his nephew Dunham Wheeler the same age, in "the Armory" - their nickname for one corner of a large room in the house. Roaming the Catskills mountains he would become an avid sportsman, he was educated at Phillips Academy in Andover, where he gained a lifelong interest in religion and a close relationship with the school and donated Woodley, his Washington DC real estate to the school in his will. He was an honorary lifetime member of Theodore Roosevelt's Boone and Crockett Club, North America's first wildlife conservation organization.
He was a Phillips trustee from 1905 to 1947, serving as president of the board from 1935 to 1945. He attended Yale College where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, he joined a secret society that afforded many contacts for the rest of his life. He graduated in 1888 and attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1890, joined the prestigious Wall Street law firm of Root and Clark in 1891, he became a partner in 1893. Elihu Root, a future Secretary of War and Secretary of State, became a major influence on and role model for Stimson. In July 1893, Stimson married the former Mabel Wellington White, a great-great granddaughter of American founding father Roger Sherman and the sister of Elizabeth Selden Rogers. An adult case of mumps had left Stimson infertile and they had no children. In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Stimson U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Here, he made a distinguished record prosecuting antitrust cases. Stimson served from 1937 to 1939 as president of the New York City Bar Association, where a medal honoring service as a U.
S. Attorney is still awarded in his honor. Stimson was defeated as Republican candidate for Governor of New York in 1910. In 1911, President William Howard Taft appointed Stimson Secretary of War, he continued the reorganization of the Army begun by Elihu Root, improving its efficiency prior to its vast expansion in World War I. In 1913, following the accession of President Woodrow Wilson, Stimson left office. Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, he was a strong supporter of Britain and France, but supported the nation's neutrality policy, he called for preparation of a large, powerful army and was active in the funded Plattsburg Training Camp Movement to train potential officers. When war came in 1917 Stimson was one of eighteen officers selected by former President Theodore Roosevelt to raise a volunteer infantry division, Roosevelt's World War I volunteers, for service in France in 1917. President Woodrow Wilson refused to make the unit disbanded. Stimson served the regular U. S. Army in France as an artillery officer, reaching the rank of colonel in August 1918.
He continued his military service in the Organized Reserve Corps, rising to the rank of brigadier general in 1922. In 1927, Stimson was sent by President Calvin Coolidge to Nicaragua to negotiate an end to the civil war taking place there. Stimson wrote that Nicaraguans "were not fitted for the responsibilities that go with indepe
Mahāyāna is one of two main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice. This movement added a further set of discourses, although it was small in India, it had long-term historical significance; the Buddhist tradition of Vajrayana is sometimes classified as a part of Mahāyāna Buddhism, but some scholars consider it to be a different branch altogether. According to the teachings of Mahāyāna traditions, "Mahāyāna" refers to the path of the Bodhisattva seeking complete enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings called "Bodhisattvayāna", or the "Bodhisattva Vehicle". A bodhisattva who has accomplished this goal is called a samyaksaṃbuddha, or "fully enlightened Buddha". A samyaksaṃbuddha can establish the Dharma and lead disciples to enlightenment. Mahāyāna Buddhists teach that enlightenment can be attained in a single lifetime, this can be accomplished by a layperson; the Mahāyāna tradition is the largest major tradition of Buddhism existing today, with 53% of practitioners, compared to 36% for Theravada and 6% for Vajrayana in 2010.
In the course of its history, Mahāyāna Buddhism spread from India to various other South and Southeast Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore. Mahayana Buddhism spread to other South and Southeast Asian countries, such as Afghanistan, Cambodia, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Burma and other Central Asian countries before being replaced by Theravada Buddhism or other religions. Large Mahāyāna scholastic centers such as Nalanda thrived during the latter period of Buddhism in India, between the seventh and twelfth centuries. Major traditions of Mahāyāna Buddhism today include Chan Buddhism, Korean Seon, Japanese Zen, Pure Land Buddhism, Nichiren Buddhism and Vietnamese Buddhism, it may include the Vajrayana traditions of Tiantai, Shingon Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, which add esoteric teachings to the Mahāyāna tradition. According to Jan Nattier, the term Mahāyāna was an honorary synonym for Bodhisattvayāna – the vehicle of a bodhisattva seeking buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.
The term Mahāyāna was therefore adopted at an early date as a synonym for the path and the teachings of the bodhisattvas. Since it was an honorary term for Bodhisattvayāna, the adoption of the term Mahāyāna and its application to Bodhisattvayāna did not represent a significant turning point in the development of a Mahāyāna tradition; the earliest Mahāyāna texts use the term Mahāyāna as a synonym for Bodhisattvayāna, but the term Hīnayāna is comparatively rare in the earliest sources. The presumed dichotomy between Mahāyāna and Hīnayāna can be deceptive, as the two terms were not formed in relation to one another in the same era. Among the earliest and most important references to Mahāyāna are those that occur in the Lotus Sūtra dating between the 1st century BCE and the 1st century CE. Seishi Karashima has suggested that the term first used in an earlier Gandhāri Prakrit version of the Lotus Sūtra was not the term mahāyāna but the Prakrit word mahājāna in the sense of mahājñāna. At a stage when the early Prakrit word was converted into Sanskrit, this mahājāna, being phonetically ambivalent, was mistakenly converted into mahāyāna because of what may have been a double meaning in the famous Parable of the Burning House, which talks of three vehicles or carts.
The origins of Mahāyāna are still not understood and there are numerous competing theories. The earliest Western views of Mahāyāna assumed that it existed as a separate school in competition with the so-called "Hīnayāna" schools. According to David Drewes, for most of the 20th century, the leading theories about the origins of Mahāyāna were that it was either a lay movement or that it developed among the Mahāsāṃghika Nikaya; these theories have been overturned or shown to be problematic. The earliest textual evidence of "Mahāyāna" comes from sūtras originating around the beginning of the common era. Jan Nattier has noted that some of the earliest Mahāyāna texts, such as the Ugraparipṛccha Sūtra use the term "Mahāyāna", yet there is no doctrinal difference between Mahāyāna in this context and the early schools, that "Mahāyāna" referred rather to the rigorous emulation of Gautama Buddha in the path of a bodhisattva seeking to become a enlightened buddha. Nattier writes that in the Ugra, Mahāyāna is not a school, but a rigorous and demanding "spiritual vocation, to be pursued within the existing Buddhist community."Several scholars such as Hendrik Kern and A.
K. Warder suggested that Mahāyāna and its sutras developed among the Mahāsāṃghika Nikaya, some pointing to the area along the Kṛṣṇa River in the Āndhra region of southern India as a geographical origin. Paul Williams thinks that "there can be no doubt that at least some early Mahāyāna sutras originated in Mahāsāṃghika circles", pointing to the Mahāsāṃghika doctrine of the supramundane nature of the Buddha, close to the Mahāyāna view of the Buddha. Anthony Barber and Sree Padma note that "historians of Buddhist thought have been aware for quite some time that such pivotally important Mahayana Buddhist thinkers as Nāgārjuna, Candrakīrti, Āryadeva, Bhavaviveka, among many others, formulated their theories