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Research Paper sample - Analysisof A key scripture of Buddhism - paper one
Religion and Theology
Pages 4 (1004 words)
The development of the Buddhist creed has historically proceeded through the differentiation of various schools and branches of the general doctrine of this religion. Such differentiation has usually taken form of the development of respective doctrinal literature generally…
This text is claimed to have been composed in India approximately in early 2nd century CE . Representing a story of a certain Vimalakīrti, this sūtra provides a sophisticated theological account of the concept of bodhisattva as the ideal form of attaining the Awakening, which is contrasted and compared with the traditional Buddhist idea of arhat. Nonetheless, the Arhatship is far from being rejected in the text of the sūtra; on the contrary, the text purports to provide instructions for both categories.
The main thrust of the Vimalakīrti Sūtra is aimed at the followers of the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism. This tradition encompasses a number of Buddhist schools and sects that, despite their manifold differences, agree on the necessity of helping the other being to achieve Awakening, rather than purely individual efforts at attaining this condition themselves. The former variant, known as the Bodhisattva Path, is construed as involving the dedication of life energies of the prospective bodhisattva to the assistance to other living beings, rather than disappearing from the worldly existence (saṃsāra) at the end of the personal lifetime, as in the case of traditional concept of arhat. The collectivist impulse found in Mahayana allowed it to become more popular than traditional ‘Southern’ schools of Buddhism in many regions of the world, including Japan, Mongolia, China, etc.
The Mahayana Buddhism was not, however, a completely laymen-based phenomenon, as there is strong evidence that the monastic spiritualists play an important part in its development (Mitchell 97). The main aim of Mahayana devotees has always been the definition of the essence of the ‘Great Vehicle’ that can allow them to reach the condition of Buddha through the path of Bodhisattva. Such Great Vehicle was eventually associated with the altruistic desire (bodhicitta) to assist the other ...
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