In the heavenly regions, or Pure Lands, the enjoyment body teaches the bodhisattva doctrines that are unintelligible to those who are unenlightened. The unmanifested body of the law dharmakaya already appears in the Saddharmapundarika , or Lotus Sutra , a transitional text of great importance to Mahayana devotional schools. In many Mahayana texts buddhas are infinite and share an identical nature—the dharmakaya. As anticipated in ancient schools, the Buddha is the law dharma and is identified with an eternal dharma , enlightenment bodhi , and nirvana.
All is in the dharmakaya , the third body and expression of ultimate reality; nothing is outside it, just as nothing is outside space; transcendence and immanence come together. Other schools posit a presence that is innate within all human beings, even if it is not perceived. It is like a gem hidden in dross, which shines in its purity as soon as the veil of ignorance has been removed.
New revelations are made on earth and in heavenly paradises by Shakyamuni and other buddhas. The teaching is expounded uninterruptedly in the universe because worlds and paradises are infinite and all buddhas are consubstantial with the essential body. They speak to assemblies of shravaka s disciples , bodhisattvas, gods, and demons. The authors of the new doctrines revealed their religious enthusiasm in various highly expressive ways, filling their works with phantasmagoria of celestial choruses, fabulous visions in which shine flashes of new speculations, and trains of thought influenced by Indian speculative and mystical traditions.
The texts, from which new trends spring, overflow with repetitions and modulate the same arguments with a variety of readings. Mahayana thinkers faced the daunting challenge of producing a completely logical arrangement of this prolix literature, some of which had legendary origins. There are various Prajnaparamita texts, ranging from , verses the Shatasahasrika to only a few lines the Prajnaparamitahrdaya-sutra , widely known as the Heart Sutra.
Along with his disciple Aryadeva, the Indian philosopher Nagarjuna c. The main work of Aryadeva, the Chatushataka , criticizes other forms of Buddhism and the classical Sanskrit philosophical systems. Nagarjuna and his followers sought a middle position, devoid of name and character and beyond all thought and words.
They used rigorous logic to demonstrate the absurdity of various philosophical positions, including those of Hindus and other Buddhists. Assuming that contradiction is proof of error, Nagarjuna took any point of view that would reveal the error of his opponents. He did not, however, accept the opposing point of view but used it only as a means to expose the relativity of the system he was attacking.
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Because he was willing to refute his first position, he could claim adherence to no doctrine. Moreover, Nagarjuna attempted to prove that all worldly thought is empty shunya or relative and that the true path is that of the middle, the path that is between or, more correctly, above extremes. This belief has been called the doctrine of emptiness of all things, which posits that all things lack essential characteristics and exist only in relation to conditions surrounding them.
Nagarjuna presented this middle path above extremes in his statement of the Eightfold Path of Buddhism:. Nothing comes into being, nor does anything disappear.
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According to Richard Gombrich, the sequence of the four rupa-jhanas describes two different cognitive states. Discriminating insight into transiency as a separate path to liberation was a later development. Norman,  bodhi was at first not specified. It is not at all clear what gaining bodhi means. We are accustomed to the translation "enlightenment" for bodhi , but this is misleading [ According to Norman, bodhi may basically have meant the knowledge that nibbana was attained,   due to the practice of dhyana.
Bronkhorst notes that the conception of what exactly this "liberating insight" was developed throughout time. Whereas originally it may not have been specified, later on the four truths served as such, to be superseded by pratityasamutpada , and still later, in the Hinayana schools, by the doctrine of the non-existence of a substantial self or person. The developing importance of liberating insight may have been to due an over-literal interpretation by later scholastics of the terminology used by the Buddha,  or to the problems involved with the practice of dhyana , and the need to develop an easier method.
The path was no longer seen as a sequential development resulting in dhyana , but as a set of practices which had to be developed simultaneously to gain insight. According to Alexander Wynne, the ultimate aim of dhyana was the attainment of insight,  and the application of the meditative state to the practice of mindfulness.
Scholars have noted inconsistencies in the list, and regard it to be a later synthesis of several older lists. According to A. Now, O bhikkhus , I say to you that these teachings of which I have direct knowledge and which I have made known to you — these you should thoroughly learn, cultivate, develop, and frequently practice, that the life of purity may be established and may long endure, for the welfare and happiness of the multitude, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, well being, and happiness of gods and men.
And what, bhikkhus, are these teachings? They are the four foundations of mindfulness, the four right efforts, the four constituents of psychic power, the five faculties, the five powers, the seven factors of enlightenment, and the Noble Eightfold Path. These, bhikkhus, are the teachings of which I have direct knowledge, which I have made known to you, and which you should thoroughly learn, cultivate, develop, and frequently practice.
Alex Wayman has criticized A. Warder , for failing to present an integrated picture of early Buddhism. According to Donald Swearer, the journey to nirvana is not a journey to a "separate reality", but a move towards calm, equanimity, nonattachment and nonself. Kasulis mentions the Malunkyaputta sutta which denies any view about the existence of the Buddha after his final bodily death, all positions the Buddha exists after death, does not exist, both or neither are rejected. Edward Conze argued that nirvana was a kind of Absolute. He mentions ideas like the "person" pudgala , the assumption of an eternal "consciousness" in the Saddhatu sutra, the identification of the Absolute, of Nirvana, with an "invisible infinite consciousness, which shines everywhere" in Digha Nikaya XI 85, and "traces of a belief in consciousness as the nonimpermanent centre of the personality which constitutes an absolute element in this contingent world" as pointing to this.
Influenced by Schayer, M. The three bodies are concentric realities, which are stripped away or abandoned, leaving only the nirodhakaya of the liberated person. Lindtner, who argues that in precanonical Buddhism Nirvana is:. As opposed to this world, it is a pleasant place to be in, it is sukha, things work well.
According to Lindtner, Canonical Buddhism was a reaction to this view, but also against the absolutist tendencies in Jainism and the Upanisads.watch
Nirvana came to be seen as a state of mind, instead of a concrete place. According to Lindtner, this lead him to taking a "paradoxical" stance, for instance regarding nirvana, rejecting any positive description. Referring to this view, Alexander Wynne holds that there is no evidence in the Sutta Pitaka that the Buddha held this view, at best it only shows that "some of the early Buddhists were influenced by their Brahminic peers".
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. See also: Early Buddhism. Early Buddhist schools.
Main article: Satipatthana. Main article: Buddhist meditation. K Warder: " It may be substantially the Buddhism of the Buddha himself. The renouncer tradition played a central role during this formative period of Indian religious history [ Even the most conservative of the early schools seem to have added new texts to their collections. However, there is a central body of sutras dialogues , in four groups, which is so similar in all known versions that we must accept these as so many recensions of the same original texts.
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These make up the greater part of the Sutra Pitaka. The central body of sutras in these texts is so similar that they are considered to be different recensions of the same text. Warder [quote 3] and Richard Gombrich.
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