Buddhism - Lesson 7

The Mahayana Sutras

The Mahayana Sutras include the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, Lotus Sutra, Heart Sutra, Vimalakirti Sutra and the Lankavatara Sutra.

Lesson 7
Watching Now
The Mahayana Sutras

The Emergence of the “Great Vehicle”

Part 2

II. The Mahayana Sutras

A. The Perfection of Wisdom Sutras

1. A new goal

2. New philosophical insights

3. Forerunner of Madhyamika school as espoused by Nagarjuna

B. Heart Sutra

1. Wisdom of perfected enlightenment – no distinctions

2. Everything is empty of ‘own-being’

C. Vimalakirti Sutra

1. Wisdom of perfected enlightenment – no distinctions

2. Powerful anti-monastic / clergy dissent

D. Lankavatara Sutra

1. Mediation for perfected enlightenment

2. Mind only – forerunner of Yogacara

3. Storehouse of consciousness

E. Lotus Sutra

1. Traditional Mahayana teaching

2. Unique insight into multiple ‘vehicles’

a. Monastic vehicle

b. Messianic vehicle

c. Solitary vehicle

Terms to Know from this lecture:

avalokitesvara (male/female bodhisattva in Heart Sutra)
storehouse of consciousness
tathagata-garbha (Womb or Embryo of Enlightenment)

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Class Resources

This course is an overview of the religion of Buddhism. We are missing four lectures which cover the points in the outline: the rise of Buddhist philosophy, Vajranyana Buddhism, Korean Buddhism and Buddhism in America. Dr. Tennent will record these lessons the next time he lectures on Buddhism.