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What is Mahayana Buddhism?

I have taken the Belief-O-Matic quiz over and over and the answer is always the same (which is a good thing). But my number 2 answer is always Mahayana Buddhism at 81%. However, I know nothing about it! Granted an 81% isn't really all that great, but it's second to a 100% for Neo-Paganism, which goes without saying! So I would just like to know a little more! Some basics at least!


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Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 12:21 AM on Nov. 2, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (3)
  • The Mahayanists, however, did not see themselves as creating a new start for Buddhism, rather they claimed to be recovering the original teachings of Buddha, in much the same way that the Protestant reformers of sixteenth century Europe claimed that they were not creating a new Christianity but recovering the original form. The Mahayanists claimed that their canon of scriptures represented the final teachings of Buddha; they accounted for the non-presence of these teachings in over five hundred years by claiming that these were secret teachings entrusted only to the most faithful followers.

    I knew it had something to do with the original teachings but that says is much more better

    Answer by OneToughMami at 12:23 AM on Nov. 2, 2009

  • If you click on your results after you take the test it will take you to an explanation of the religion's basic beliefs.


    Answer by .Silvermist. at 8:31 AM on Nov. 2, 2009

  • Mahayana Buddhism is one of the 'vehicles' (denominations) of Buddhism. It is the more prevalent vehicle in Asia. Because there are many Buddhist sutras (it's not really a 'religion of the book') different vehicles may emphasize certain teaching- Mahayana Buddhism has a focus on practicing compassion and loving kindness. Rather than emphasizing increasing separation from the world as one proceeds towards enlightenment, Mahayana Buddhism emphasizes engagement with the world in order to bring positive change as one proceeds towards enlightenment. The 'ideal' of Mahayana Buddhism is the Boddhisatva- an enlightened being who is freed from the cycle of death and rebirth but vows to return in subsequent incarnations anyhow until all have achieved enlightenment as well. Generally all Buddhist vehicles follow the same central teachings of the Buddha (Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path) but vary in their emphasis. HTH!

    Answer by Freela at 8:39 AM on Nov. 2, 2009

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