Analysis of a Key Scripture of Buddhism

Research Paper
Religion and Theology
Pages 4 (1004 words)
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Student’s Name Instructor’s Name Course 29 February 2012 Analysis of Vimalakirti Sutra The development of the Buddhist creed has historically proceeded through the differentiation of various schools and branches of the general doctrine of this religion.


Within a framework of the present study, the Vimalakirti Sutra has been selected for analysis. This text is claimed to have been composed in India approximately in early 2nd century CE . Representing a story of a certain Vimalakirti, this sutra 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 sutra; on the contrary, the text purports to provide instructions for both categories. The main thrust of the Vimalakirti Sutra 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 (sa?sara) at the end of the personal lifetime, as in the case of traditional concept of arhat. ...
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