Mahayana and Zen Buddhism

Editor  excerpts from article – Zen is  the abbreviation of the Japanese word zenna or zenno.  It refers to a meditative absorption in which all dualism such as I  and you, subject and object, true and false are eliminated. Zen  Buddhism first flourished in China and is now popular all over the  world. It is an offshoot of Mahayana, great vehicle, Buddhism, which  was propagated in China by Buddhist monks from India. Kumarajiva  (344–413 ce) went to China in 401, and Buddha bhadra (359–429) in  408.  Chinese Buddhists also came to India to study this doctrine and  then spread it back home. Fahsien, or Faxian, came to India between  399 and 414 ce, and Hsuantsang, or Xuanzang, between 633 and 643 ce.  The Indian monk Gunabhadra was the first to translate the Lankavatara  Sutra into  Chinese. Another noted translator was Paramartha.

The  philosophical basis of Mahayana Buddhism developed in India a few  centuries after Buddha’s parinirvana.  The Buddhist Emperor Kanishka convened in 100 ce the Fourth Buddhist  Council of the Sarvastivada tradition at Jalandhar, or Kashmir, in  which the great scholar Vasumitra presided along with Ashva ghosha,  another eminent scholar and the author of the Buddhacharita.  A schism took place at this Council that divided the Buddhists into  the two branches of Mahayana and Theravada. The Pali word thera is  derived from the Sanskrit sthavira,  which means elder. Theravada Buddhism is the orthodox form of  Buddhism and has preserved the historical teachings of Buddha. The  Theravada sutras in Pali are the earliest available historical  teachings of Buddha. The Pali canon, known as the Tripitaka in  Sanskrit and the Tipitaka in  Pali, consists of three parts: Sutra-Pitaka, Vinaya-Pitaka,  and Abhidharma-Pitaka.”

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2. In Japanese Harmonious blend of Hinduism, Buddhism and Shinto strains in Japan
3. Buddha and his Message
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