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Mahayana Buddhism: New Insights

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The three insights of Mahayana Buddhism are that Buddha taught secret truths, the Buddha was a divine being and a dharmic concept, not just an earthly figure, and Gautama was not the only Buddha.


The Emergence of the “Great Vehicle”

Part 1

I. Mahayana Buddhism: New Insights / New Doctrines

A. Introduction

B. The Mahasanghikas become a movement

1. Hinayana “Little Vehicle”

2. Mahayana “Great Vehicle”

C. Three Insights of Mahayana Buddhism

1. Insight #1: Buddha taught secret truths

a. Second Turn of the Wheel of Dharma – new sutras

b. Higher Wisdom / higher consciousness

c. Expanded transcendent destinations between ‘now’ & ‘nirvana’

d. Doctrine of expedient means

2. Insight #2: The Buddha was a divine being and a dharmic concept, not just an earthly figure

3. Insight #3: Gautama was not the only Buddha (multiplied Buddhas)

a. arhat path vs. Bodhisattva path

b. monastic path leading to arhathood and nirvana

c. messianic path leading to bodhicittta and nirvana

D. Three fold body of Buddha

1. Apparition Body (historical body)

2. Dharma Body (body of essence)

3. Body of Bliss

Terms to Know from this lecture:

Second turn of the Wheel of Dharma
Bodhicitta – The aspiration to attain Buddhahood for the sake of all living things
apparition body
dharma body
Body of bliss

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