Theravāda Teachings

Theravada Buddhism | Introduction

Theravada Buddhism comes from the teachings of the Buddha, who lived in the 5th century B.C.E. The Theravada (School of the Elders, in the Pali language) is the sole surviving branch of the earliest Buddhism. Its primary emphasis was on monastic life, with the single goal of individual Liberation through Enlightenment, until the early 20th century, when it became more widely available. Laypeople practice generosity

Arhat in Theravada Buddhism

The Sanskrit term Arhat (Pāli, Arahant) derives from the root arh (Arhati) and literally means “worthy” or “deserving.” In its most typical usage in Theravāda Buddhism, however, the term Arahant signifies persons who have reached the goal of Enlightenment or Nibbāna (Skt., Nirvāṇa) The term is especially important in Theravāda Buddhism, where it denotes the highest state of spiritual development, but it also has pre-Buddhist

Buddhist Saṅgha | Community

The Saṅgha (community) is the third of the 3 Buddhist Refuges, or Jewels (tri-rātna), of Buddha, Dharma, and Saṅgha. The word Saṅgha literally means “that which is well struck together”; it derives from a Sanskrit root, han (to strike), with the prefix sam conveying a sense of togetherness and completeness. The idea is that the true Buddhist community is well hammered together, impervious to schism,

Precepts in Buddhism

Precepts within Buddhism are rules and guidelines intended to properly shape the mind and its manifestations in physical and verbal behaviour so as to facilitate progress on the path to Liberation. Although the precepts appear as external prescriptions and are often couched in negative terms, their goal and the proper thrust of Buddhist morality is the natural and positive embodiment of right action, speech, and

Rebirth in Buddhism

Rebirth, also called transmigration and reincarnation, is the belief common to all Buddhist traditions that birth and death occur in successive cycles driven by: 1. Ignorance (avidya), 2. Desire (tṛṣṇā), and 3. Hatred (dveṣa). The cycle of rebirth, termed Saṁsāra, is beginningless and on-going, and it is determined by the moral quality of a person’s thoughts and Karma (Action). The effects of good moral actions

Buddha Images in Art

Buddha images - whether they are Indian, Thai, Chinese, or Japanese - are usually readily recognizable: The date an image was created rarely confuses its identification as Buddhist because the iconography of the Buddha image has remained constant almost from the earliest invention of the image type, even though the style of the figure has varied depending on date and geographical location. The earliest images

Buddhist Cosmology Overview

Although the earliest Buddhist texts of the Mainstream Buddhist schools - the Nikāyas or Āgamas (4th-3rd century B.C.E.) - do not set out a systematic cosmology, many of the ideas and details of the developed cosmology of the later traditions are, in fact, present in these texts. The early ideas and details are elaborated in the later texts of systematic Buddhist thought, the Abhidharma (3rd-2nd

Disciples of the Buddha

The Disciples of the Buddha form a diverse category of human, non-human, and divine figures. This article will restrict its discussion to those presented by the Indian Buddhist tradition as personal disciples of the historical Buddha. Even so, the discussion will be selective. Key disciples of all kinds also appear as co-protagonists in stories of former lives of the Buddha (Jātaka), extending their relationship into

Pratyekabuddha

In the early tradition of the Pāli Canon the Paccekabuddha (Sanskrit, Pratyekabuddha) refers to a male individual who has attained Enlightenment or insight (Bodhi; hence, Buddha) by himself. In contrast to a Sammāsambuddha (Sanskrit, Samyaksaṁbuddha), which is a completely Enlightened person, a Pratyekabuddha keeps Enlightenment for himself (pratyeka) and does not embark on a career of preaching it to others. Pratyekabuddha may be the result

Prātimokṣa | Disciplinary Code

The Prātimokṣa (Pāli, pātimokkha), presumably the oldest section of the Vinaya, contains the disciplinary code that regulates the life of the Saṅgha, the Buddhist monastic community. The etymology of the term prātimokṣa is uncertain, but it denotes the highest standard of conduct for Buddhist monastics. The prātimokṣa is recited twice a month, on the full moon and new moon days, at an observance known as

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