Subject Information

SUBJECT Mahayana
TYPE AAT
REFERENCE ID 300022014
NOTES Refers to the version of Buddhism that originated in India and spread to Central Asia, China, Japan, mainland Southeast Asia, Java, Sumatra, and Sri Lanka (Abhayagiri monastery). It is often characterized as the pan-Asiatic form of Buddhism, involving widely-accepted basic shifts in the original Buddhist doctrine and approach. This form of Buddhism discredits the existence of the self and the presence of dharmas, and challenges the idea that the Buddha comes exclusively from an elite lineage (arhat), substituting in its place the idea of the bodhisattva, someone who possesses the innate tendency to become Buddha, a disposition inherent in all persons. This form of Buddhism values benevolence and service to others above all else and advocates the struggle for internal peace and supreme wisdom (prajna) through the nullification of the self and struggle toward an ultimate reality.
HIERARCHY Associated Concepts Facet>Associated Concepts>religions (concept)>Buddhism>Mahayana
CHILDREN Pure Land Buddhism

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