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16.02.2015
One of the most eminent Chinese Buddhist masters of the twentieth century, the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua (Xuanhua, 1918-1995) was a monastic reformer and the first Chinese master to teach Buddhism to large numbers of Westerners.
Jodo Shu or Jodo Buddhism, a branch of Pure Land Buddhism, is the most popular branch of Buddhism in Japan.
The pioneer Honen was born in the village named Inaoka in the township of Kume in Mimasaka province.
While teaching Buddhism to Seishi-maru (original name of Honen), his uncle Kangaku who was the younger brother of his mother, perceived the potential and the intelligence of Seishi-maru.
After 5 years, now 18, he was discontented by Tendai Buddhism and went studying with Jigem-bo Eiku, a hermit in the Kurodani valley, who named him Honen-bo Genku. After the completion of his studies with Eiku, he traveled from place to place, temple to temple, capital to capital in search of the way to universal salvation. Although the Nembutsu had been practiced before Honen, it was Honen who first elevated the Nembutsu to an absolutely independent practice. At the request of his patron Lord Kujo Kanezane (1148–1207), Honen’s main document expatiating his Pure Land doctrine the ‘Senchaku Hongan Nenbutsushu’ was written in 1198. The ‘Ichimai Kishomon’ or ‘One-Sheet Document’ is the other only document he wrote and it was his last testament. Actually, Honen offered mankind a simple Buddhist practice anybody could use toward Enlightenment. Besides reciting the Nembutsu, he encouraged practicionners to engage in ‘auxiliary’ practices, such as observing the Five Precepts, meditation, the chanting of sutras and other good conduct.
People from different walks of life including not only priests and nobles, but also warriors, ex-robbers, fishermen and even prostitutes were appealed by Jodo Shu. Theravada School (or Hinayana School)Known as the Theravada School, or the School of the Elders (Skt. The early Buddhists split into a number of factions following Gautama’s death, each faction holding firm to its own interpretations. Theravada Buddhism is still practiced widely in Southeast Asia, where its principles have been accepted with few differences in interpretation, but Theravada is not practiced widely in Japan. During his long career he emphasized the primacy of the monastic tradition, the essential role of moral education, the need for Buddhists to ground themselves in traditional spiritual practice and authentic scripture, and the importance of respect and understanding among religions.
Honen studied all the Buddhist scriptures three times and Shan-tao’s ‘Commentary on the Meditation Sutra’ five times. The Main temple of The Jodo Shu of Buddhism is ‘San’en-zan Kodo-in Zojoji’ which was founded after his death in 1393 in the Kanto region. On January 23, 1212, he wrote the ‘One Sheet Document (Ichimai-Kishomon)’ at the request of Genchi, his closest disciple.
All he said was- a being may be reborn, through Amida’s compassion, in the Pure Land where one can pursue nirvana more readily. Among the priests attracted to Honen’s teaching, Shoku, Shoko, and Shinran are important, because these honored followers lately gave birth to the other denominations of Pure Land Buddhism in Japan. After learning Honen’s teaching, he went to Kyushu and propagated the true light of the Nembutsu. The Theravada school advocates the meditative monastic life as the path to salvation and liberation, a path reserved for those few (the monks) who can give up all to follow its austere practices.
What we call Theravada today is the sole survivor of those early non-Mahayana schools.5 To avoid the pejorative tone implied by the terms Hinayana and Mahayana, it is common today to use more neutral language to distinguish between these two main branches of Buddhism. The temple was relocated to the present site in 1598 after Ieyasu Tokugawa, founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, entered Tokyo (then Edo) in 1590 to establish his provincial government. In the document, Honen stated the essence of his faith, asserting that the Nembutsu is the only ultimate way of universal salvation, so make every effort to practice it without bothering with your own finite knowledge.
All though other Buddhist practices were not practical on a wide-scale, particularly during the difficult times of the late Heian Period, Honen never said they were incorrect. Theravada sought to preserve the original and orthodox teachings of Gautama Buddha, while the Mahayana tradition was more flexible and innovative. See Additional Readings to learn about their early efforts to recall and codify the teachings of the Historical Buddha. Following the assassination of his father by a rival official, Sada-akira, he was sent to his uncle’s temple to carry out the final words of his father Uruma no Tokikuni.
Theravadins revere the Historical Buddha, but they do not pay homage to the numerous Buddha and Bodhisattva worshiped by Mahayana followers. The Mahayana school allows the masses to enjoy the pleasures of worldly life while still bringing them the hope of salvation. His mother was a vegetarian, and throughout her life she held to the practice of reciting the name of the Buddha Amitabha. When he was eleven years old, upon seeing a dead baby lying on the ground, he awakened to the fundamental significance of birth and death and the impermanence of all phenomena.
Known also as Gautama Buddha or Prince Siddhartha, the Historical Buddha lived in India from around 560 to 480 BC. They are for your personal and spiritual growth not for copying and posting on your website. He then resolved to become a monk and practice on the Buddhist Path, but he acquiesced to his mother’s request that he not do so until after her death. For comparative purposes, his contemporaries were Confucius and Lao-tzu (the founder, the “old boy” of Chinese Taoism) -- slightly later in the West comes Plato (427? Suffering is caused by human weakness -- desire, lust, pride, anger, greed and a host of other foibles.


The Eightfold Path means the Right View, Right Resolve, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Occupation, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration. Guide Through The Abhidhamma Pitaka by Nyanatiloka Mahathera (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1971), pp. He was not only diligent and focused but possessed a photographic memory, and so he was able to memorize the Four Books and the Five Classics of the Confucian tradition. In India, in the four centuries following Gautama’s death, his dialogues and teachings were preserved only in the memory of followers. Unlike the scriptures of many of the world's great religions, the Tipitaka is not regarded as gospel, as an unassailable statement of divine truth, revealed by a prophet, to be accepted purely on faith.
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He had also studied traditional Chinese medicine, astrology, divination, physiognomy, and the scriptures of the great religions. No written records or artistic representations (except for the footprints of the Buddha) survive into the present age.
He sought, through meditation, to attain a state known as Nirvana, in which one is free of desire and therefore suffering.
Instead, its teachings are meant to be assessed firsthand, to be put into practice in one's life so that one can find out for oneself if they do, in fact, yield the promised results. However, please do not copy information from the website and then tell us that you were trying to give us publicity.
Like the Hindu Brahmins, the early Buddhists believed that religious knowledge was too sacred to be written down, too sacred to be etched in stone or wood. It is the truth towards which the words in the Tipitaka point that ultimately matters, not the words themselves.
This framework consists of the Four Noble Truths, four fundamental principles of nature (Dhamma) that emerged from the Buddha's radically honest and penetrating assessment of the human condition.
In his vision, Master Huineng came to visit him and to give him the mission of bringing Buddhism to the Western world.At the end of his period of mourning, the Venerable Master took as his teacher Chan Buddhist Master Changzhi, and he entered Three Conditions Monastery as a novice monk. Chan Master Changzhi subsequently transmitted to him the Dharma of the Jinding Pilu Chan lineage. Craving propels this process onward, from one moment to the next and over the course of countless lifetimes, in accordance with kamma (Skt. During this time, the Master devoted himself not only to meditation but also to the study of the Buddhist scriptural tradition and to the mastery of all the major schools of Chinese Buddhism.After a period of solitary meditation in the Changbai Mountains, in 1946 the Master began the long journey to the south of China. In the centuries after the Buddha's death, as Buddhism spread across India into regions of different dialects, Buddhist monks increasingly depended on a common tongue for their Dhamma discussions and recitations of memorized texts.
In 1948, after over two thousand miles of travel, the Master arrived at Nanhua Monastery and bowed to Chan Master Xuyun, China’s most widely revered enlightened master. There he taught meditation, lectured on the Buddhist Sūtras, and sponsored their printing.
The Eightfold Path and the Practice of DhammaBecause the roots of ignorance are so intimately entwined with the fabric of the psyche, the unawakened mind is capable of deceiving itself with breathtaking ingenuity. He also commissioned the making of images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and he aided monastic refugees from mainland China. The solution therefore requires more than simply being kind, loving, and mindful in the present moment. He also built Western Bliss Garden Monastery (Xi Le Yuan), established the Buddhist Lecture Hall (Fo Jiao Jiang Tang), and rebuilt and renovated Flourishing Compassion Monastery (Ci Xing Si).In 1962, he traveled to the United States at the invitation of Hong Kong disciples who were then living in San Francisco Bay area, and he began lecturing at the San Francisco Buddhist Lecture Hall (Sanfanshi Fojiao Jiangtang), which had been previously established as a branch of the Hong Kong Buddhist Lecture Hall (Xianggang Fojiao Jiangtang). The practitioner must equip him- or herself with the expertise to use a range of tools to outwit, outlast, and eventually uproot the mind's unskillful tendencies.
Great Disciples of the Buddha by Nyanaponika Thera and Hellmuth Hecker (Somerville: Wisdom Publications, 1997), pp.
As the community at the Buddhist Lecture Hall in San Francisco grew, both in size and in diversity, the institution’s name was changed, first to the Sino-American Buddhist Association and then, in 1984, to the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association. For example, the practice of generosity (dana) erodes the heart's habitual tendencies towards craving and teaches valuable lessons about the motivations behind, and the results of, skillful action.
In 1970 the Venerable Master moved from Chinatown to the newly established Gold Mountain Monastery (Jinshan Si) in the Mission District of San Francisco. The practice of virtue (sila) guards one against straying wildly off-course and into harm's way. In 1969, he astonished the monastic community of Taiwan by sending there, for complete ordination, two American women and three American men whom he had ordained as novices. The ten recollections offer ways to alleviate doubt, bear physical pain with composure, maintain a healthy sense of self-respect, overcome laziness and complacency, and restrain oneself from unbridled lust. The Hindu Vedas, for example, predate the Buddha by at least a millennium (Buddhist Religions, p. They were the first Americans of that period to become fully ordained Buddhist monks and nuns. During subsequent years, the Venerable Master trained and oversaw the ordination of hundreds of people, both Asians and Westerners, from among those who came to California from every part of the world to study with him.
These monastic disciples now teach in the twenty-three temples, monasteries and convents that the Venerable Master and his disciples founded in the United States, Canada, Australia, and several Asian countries.The Venerable Master was determined to transmit to the West the correct teachings of Buddhism, and he categorically rejected what he considered to be corrupt practices that had become widespread in China. The development of right view and right resolve (the factors classically identified with wisdom and discernment) facilitates the development of right speech, action, and livelihood (the factors identified with virtue). As virtue develops so do the factors identified with concentration (right effort, mindfulness, and concentration).


He himself followed, and he required that his monastic disciples follow the prohibition against eating after noon. The Abhidhamma and the Commentaries, by contrast, state that samatha and vipassana are two distinct meditation paths (see, for example, The Jhanas in Theravada Buddhist Meditation by H. He encouraged his disciples among the Sangha to join him in following the Buddha's beneficial ascetic practices of eating only one meal a day and of never lying down.
One begins to see that one's future well-being is neither predestined by fate, nor left to the whims of a divine being or random chance. Of his monastic disciples he expected strict purity, and he encouraged his lay disciples to adhere to the five precepts of the Buddhist laity.Although he understood English well and spoke it when necessary, the Master almost always lectured in Chinese. His aim was to encourage his Western disciples to learn Chinese and his Chinese disciples to learn English, so that together they could help to fulfill his wish that the Buddhist Canon be translated into other languages. At the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, he established formal training programs for monastics and for laity, elementary and secondary schools for boys and for girls, and Dharma Realm Buddhist University. These are condensed into a very practical form in the five precepts, the basic code of ethical conduct to which every practicing Buddhist subscribes: refraining from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and using intoxicants. Responding to requests from Buddhists around the world, the Venerable Master led delegations to Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Southeast Asia, and Europe to propagate the Dharma. Of these practices, mindfulness of the body (especially mindfulness of breathing) is particularly effective at bringing into balance the twin qualities of tranquillity (samatha) and insight (vipassana), or clear-seeing.
He was also often invited to lecture at universities and academic conferences.The Venerable Master was a pioneer in building bridges between different Buddhist communities.
Through persistent practice, the meditator becomes more adept at bringing the combined powers of samatha-vipassana to bear in an exploration of the fundamental nature of mind and body.13 As the meditator masters the ability to frame his immediate experience in terms of anicca (inconstancy), dukkha, and anatta (not-self), even the subtlest manifestations of these three characteristics of experience are brought into exquisitely sharp focus.
At the same time, the root cause of dukkha a€” craving a€” is relentlessly exposed to the light of awareness.
He stressed commonalities in religious traditions, above all their emphasis on proper and compassionate conduct.
Eventually craving is left with no place to hide, the entire karmic process that fabricates dukkha unravels, the eightfold path reaches its noble climax, and the meditator gains, at long last, his or her first unmistakable glimpse of the Unconditioned a€” Nibbana.AwakeningThis first enlightenment experience, known as stream-entry (sotapatti), is the first of four progressive stages of Awakening, each of which entails the irreversible shedding or weakening of several fetters (samyojana), the manifestations of ignorance that bind a person to the cycle of birth and death. In 1976, together with his friend Paul Cardinal Yubin, who had been archbishop of Nanjing and who was the Chancellor of the Catholic Furen University in Taiwan, he made plans for an Institute for World Religions that came to fruition in Berkeley in 1994.In 1990, at the invitation of Buddhists in several European countries, the Venerable Master led a large delegation on a European Dharma tour, knowing full well that, because of his ill health at the time, the rigors of the trip would shorten his life.
Stream-entry marks an unprecedented and radical turning point both in the practitioner's current life and in the entirety of his or her long journey in samsara. After his return, his health gradually deteriorated, yet, while quite ill, he made another major tour, this time to Taiwan, in 1993.In Los Angeles, on June 7, 1995 at the age of 77, the Venerable Master left this world. The stream-enterer is said to be assured of no more than seven future rebirths (all of them favorable) before eventually attaining full Awakening. His every thought and every action were for the sake of bringing true happiness to all sentient beings.
As the practitioner presses on with renewed diligence, he or she passes through two more significant landmarks: once-returning (sakadagati), which is accompanied by the weakening of the fetters of sensual desire and ill-will, and nonreturning (agati), in which these two fetters are uprooted altogether. The final stage of Awakening a€” arahatta a€” occurs when even the most refined and subtle levels of craving and conceit are irrevocably extinguished. With ignorance, suffering, stress, and rebirth having all come to their end, the arahant at last can utter the victory cry first proclaimed by the Buddha upon his Awakening:"Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done!
When the arahant's aeons-long trail of past kamma eventually unwinds to its end, the arahant dies and he or she enters into parinibbana a€” total Unbinding.
Surely life is not all misery and disappointment: it offers many kinds of happiness and sublime joy. Why then this dreary Buddhist obsession with unsatisfactoriness and suffering?The Buddha based his teachings on a frank assessment of our plight as humans: there is unsatisfactoriness and suffering in the world. Dukkha lurks behind even the highest forms of worldly pleasure and joy, for, sooner or later, as surely as night follows day, that happiness must come to an end. Were the Buddha's teachings to stop there, we might indeed regard them as pessimistic and life as utterly hopeless. But,like a doctor who prescribes a remedy for an illness, the Buddha offers both a hope (the third Noble Truth) and a cure (the fourth).
The teachings offer as their reward the noblest, truest kind of happiness, and give profound value and meaning to an otherwise grim existence. In the past century, however, the West has begun to take notice of Theravada's unique spiritual legacy in its teachings of Awakening. In recent decades this interest has swelled, with the monastic Sangha from various schools within Theravada establishing dozens of monasteries across Europe and North America.
Will the current popular Western climate of "openness" and cross-fertilization between spiritual traditions lead to the emergence of a strong new form of Buddhist practice unique to the modern era, or will it simply lead to confusion and the dilution of these priceless teachings? Earnest seekers of truth are therefore often faced with the unsavory task of wading through fragmentary teachings of dubious accuracy. How are we to make sense of it all?Fortunately the Buddha left us with some simple guidelines to help us navigate through this bewildering flood.



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