Schools of Buddhism are classified in various ways. Normal English-language usage (as given in dictionaries) divides Buddhism into Theravāda (also known by the name "Hīnayāna", which many consider pejorative) and Mahāyāna. The most common classification among scholars is threefold, with Mahāyāna split into East Asian (also known simply as Mahāyāna) and Vajrayāna, or Tibetan Buddhism (although Vajrayāna properly includes the Japanese Shingon school).
The Macmillan Encyclopedia of Religion distinguishes three types of classification of Buddhism:
- Nikayās, or monastic fraternities, three of which survive at the present day:
- Theravāda, in Southeast Asia
- Dharmaguptaka, in China, Korea and Vietnam
- Mūlasarvāstivāda, in the Tibetan tradition
- Doctrinal schools
The terminology for the major divisions of Buddhism can be confusing, as Buddhism is variously divided by scholars and practitioners according to geographic, historical, and philosophical criteria, with different terms often being used in different contexts. The following terms may be encountered in descriptions of the major Buddhist divisions:
"Conservative Buddhism" an alternative name for the early Buddhist schools.
"Early Buddhist Schools" the schools into which Buddhism became divided in its first few centuries; only one of these survives as an independent school, Theravāda
"East Asian Buddhism" a term used by scholars to cover the Buddhist traditions of Japan, Korea, Singapore and most of China and Vietnam
"Eastern Buddhism" an alternative name used by some scholars[page needed] for East Asian Buddhism; also sometimes used to refer to all traditional forms of Buddhism, as distinct from Western(ized) forms.
"Esoteric Buddhism" usually considered synonymous with "Vajrayāna". Some scholars have applied the term to certain practices found within the Theravāda, particularly in Cambodia.[page needed]
"Hīnayāna" often interpreted as a pejorative term, used in Mahāyāna doctrine to denigrate its opponents. It is sometimes used to refer to the early Buddhist schools, including the contemporary Theravāda, although the legitimacy of this is disputed. Its use in scholarly publications is controversial. By the Mahāyāna schools and groups in China, Korea, Tibet, and Japan the term is felt to be only slightly pejorative, or not pejorative at all. By some it is used with respect proper to teachings coming direct from the Buddha. The main use of the term in East Asian and Tibetan traditions is in reference to spiritual levels regardless of school. The literal meaning of "Hīnayāna" can also be "the small vehicle," referring to a raft meant to carry one person, as an arhat, to nirvana through their own effort, in contrast to the "large vehicle" of Mahāyāna meant to carry many there at once, piloted by a bodhisattva.
"Lamaism" an old term, still sometimes used, synonymous with Tibetan Buddhism; widely considered derogatory.
"Mahāyāna" a movement that emerged out of early Buddhist schools, together with its later descendants, East Asian and Tibetan Buddhism. Vajrayāna traditions are sometimes listed separately. The main use of the term in East Asian and Tibetan traditions is in reference to spiritual levels,[page needed] regardless of school.
"Mainstream Buddhism" a term used by some scholars for the early Buddhist schools.
"Mantrayāna" usually considered synonymous with "Vajrayāna". The Tendai school in Japan has been described as influenced by Mantrayana.[page needed]
"Newar Buddhism" a non-monastic, caste based Buddhism with patrilineal descent and Sanskrit texts.
"Nikāya Buddhism" or "schools" an alternative term for the early Buddhist schools.
"Non-Mahāyāna" an alternative term for the early Buddhist schools.
"Northern Buddhism" an alternative term used by some scholars[page needed] for Tibetan Buddhism. Also, an older term still sometimes used to encompass both East Asian and Tibetan traditions. It has even been used to refer to East Asian Buddhism alone, without Tibetan Buddhism.
"Secret Mantra" an alternative rendering of Mantrayāna, a more literal translation of the term used by schools in Tibetan Buddhism when referring to themselves.
"Sectarian Buddhism" an alternative name for the early Buddhist schools.
"Southeast Asian Buddhism" an alternative name used by some scholars[page needed] for Theravāda.
"Southern Buddhism" an alternative name used by some scholars[page needed] for Theravāda.
"Śravakayāna" an alternative term sometimes used for the early Buddhist schools.
"Tantrayāna" or "Tantric Buddhism" usually considered synonymous with "Vajrayāna". However, one scholar describes the tantra divisions of some editions of the Tibetan scriptures as including Śravakayāna, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna texts (see Buddhist texts). Some scholars[page needed], particularly François Bizot, have used the term "Tantric Theravāda" to refer to certain practices found particularly in Cambodia.
"Theravāda" the traditional Buddhism of Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and parts of Vietnam, China, India, Bangladesh and Malaysia. It is the only surviving representative of the historical early Buddhist schools. The term "Theravāda" is also sometimes used to refer to all the early Buddhist schools.
"Tibetan Buddhism" usually understood as including the Buddhism of Tibet, Mongolia, Bhutan and parts of China, India and Russia, which follow the Tibetan tradition.
"Vajrayāna" a movement that developed out of Indian Mahāyāna, together with its later descendants. There is some disagreement on exactly which traditions fall into this category. Tibetan Buddhism is universally recognized as falling under this heading; many also include the Japanese Shingon school. Some scholars[page needed], also apply the term to the Korean milgyo tradition, which is not a separate school. One scholar says, "Despite the efforts of generations of Buddhist thinkers, it remains exceedingly difficult to identify precisely what it is that sets the Vajrayana apart."
An image of Gautama Buddha with a swastika, a traditional Buddhist symbol of infinity, on his chest. Ananda, the Buddha's disciple, appears in the background. This statue is from Hsi Lai Temple.
Main articles: Nikaya Buddhism and Early Buddhist schools
- Pudgalavāda ('Personalist') (c. 280 BCE)
- Vibhajjavāda (prior to 240 BCE; during Aśoka)
- Theravāda (c. 240 BCE)
- Theravāda subschools (see below)
- Mahīśāsaka (after 232 BCE)
- Dharmaguptaka (after 232 BCE)
- Kāśyapīya (after 232 BCE)
- Vatsīputrīya (under Aśoka) later name: Saṃmitīya
- Mūlasarvāstivāda (third and fourth centuries)
- Sautrāntika (between 50 BCE and c. 100 CE)
- Mahāsaṃghika ('Majority', c. 380 BCE)
- Ekavyahārikas (under Aśoka)
- Golulika (during Aśoka)
- Bahuśrutīya (late third century BCE)
- Prajñaptivāda (late third century BCE)
- Caitika (mid-first century BCE)
- Apara Śaila
- Uttara Śaila
The following lists the twenty sects described as Hīnayāna in some Mahāyāna texts:
Sthaviravāda (上座部) split into the 11 sects:
- 法上部 (Dharmottara)
- 化地部 (Mahīśāsaka)
- 雞胤部 (Kaukkutika)
- 西山住部 (Aparaśaila)
Influences on East Asian schools
The following later schools used the vinaya of the Dharmaguptaka:
- Chinese Buddhism, especially the Vinaya School
- Korean buddhism, especially Gyeyul
- Vietnamese Buddhism
- Japanese Ritsu
The following involve philosophical influence:
- The Japanese Jojitsu is considered by some an offshoot of Sautrāntika; others consider it to be derived from Bahuśrutīya
- The Chinese/Japanese Kusha school is considered an offshoot of Sarvāstivāda, influenced by Vasubandhu.
The different schools in Theravāda often emphasize different aspects (or parts) of the Pāli canon and the later commentaries, or differ in the focus on and recommended way of practice. There are also significant differences in strictness or interpretation of the [[Vinaya|vinaya.
- Sangharaj Nikaya
- Mahasthabir Nikaya
- Thudhamma Nikaya
- Vipassana tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw and disciples
- Thudhamma Nikaya
- Shwekyin Nikaya
- Dvaya Nikaya or Dvara Nikaya (see Mendelson, Sangha and State in Burma, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, 1975)
- Sri Lanka:
- Siam Nikaya
- Waturawila (or Mahavihara Vamshika Shyamopali Vanavasa Nikaya)
- Amarapura Nikaya
- Kanduboda (or Swejin Nikaya)
- Tapovana (or Kalyanavamsa)
- Ramañña Nikaya
- Galduwa (or Kalyana Yogashramaya Samsthava)
- Forest Nikaya
- Siam Nikaya
- Maha Nikaya
- Dhammakaya Movement
- Thammayut Nikaya
- Thai Forest Tradition
- Tradition of Ajahn Chah
- Thai Forest Tradition
- Maha Nikaya
- Sanlun (Three Treatise school)
- Mahā-Mādhyamaka (Jonangpa)
- Cittamātra in Tibet
- Wei-Shi (Consciousness-only school) or Faxiang (Dharma-character school)
- Daśabhūmikā (absorbed into Huayan)
- Huayan (Avataṃsaka)
- Chan / Zen / Seon / Thien
- Keizan line
- Jakuen line
- Giin line
- Won Buddhism: Korean Reformed Buddhism
- Pure Land (Amidism)
- Jodo Shu
- Jodo Shinshu
- Tiantai (Lotus Sutra School)
- Cheontae Tendai (also contains Vajrayana elements)
- Tendai (also contains Vajrayana elements)
- Nichiren Shū
- Nichiren Shōshū
- Nipponzan Myōhōji
- Soka Gakkai
see also: Vajrayāna Subcategorised according to predecessors
- Tibetan Buddhism
- New Bön (synthesis of Yungdrung Bön and Nyingmapa)
- Shangpa Kagyu
- Marpa Kagyu:
- Rechung Kagyu
- Dagpo Kagyu:
- Karma Kagyu (or Kamtshang Kagyu)
- Tsalpa Kagyu
- Baram Kagyu
- Pagtru Kagyu (or Phagmo Drugpa Kagyu):
- Taglung Kagyu
- Trophu Kagyu
- Drukpa Kagyu
- Martsang Kagyy
- Yerpa Kagyu
- Yazang Kagyu
- Shugseb Kagyu
- Drikung Kagyu
- Rime movement (ecumenical movement)
- Japanese Mikkyo
- Tendai (derived from Tiantai but added tantric practices)
New Buddhist movements
- Aum Shinrikyo (now known as Aleph)
- Diamond Way
- Friends of the Western Buddhist Order
- New Kadampa Tradition
- Share International
- True Buddha School
- Vipassana movement
- Shambhala Buddhism
- ^ B & G, Gethin, R & J, P & K
- ^ a b c Penguin, Harvey
- ^ Encyclopedia of Religion, Macmillan, New York, volume 2, page 440
- ^ Indian Insights, Luzac, London, 1997
- ^ "Hinayana (literally, 'inferior way') is a polemical term, which self-described Mahāyāna (literally, 'great way') Buddhist literature uses to denigrate its opponents." - p. 840, MacMillan Library Reference Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004
- ^ "Hinayana is a designation that has no clearly identifiable external referent" - p. 840, MacMillan Library Reference Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004
- ^ "The supposed Mahayana-Hinayana dichotomy is so prevalent in Buddhist literature that it has yet fully to loosen its hold over scholarly representations of the religion." - p. 840, MacMillan Library Reference Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004
- ^ "It is also certain that Buddhist groups and individuals in China, Korea, Tibet, and Japan have in the past, as in the very recent present, identified themselves as Mahayana Buddhists, even if the polemical or value claim embedded in that term was only dimly felt, if at all.": Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 492
- ^ Penguin Handbook, pages 378f
- ^ a b Penguin Handbook
- ^ a b Harvey, pages 153ff
- ^ Hopkins, Jeffrey (1985) The Ultimate Deity in Action Tantra and Jung's Warning against Identifying with the Deity Buddhist-Christian Studies, Vol. 5, (1985), pp. 159-172
- ^ R & J, P & K
- ^ Skilling, Mahasutras, volume II, Parts I & II, 1997, Pali Text Society, Lancaster, page 78
- ^ Indian Insights, loc. cit.
- ^ Crosby, Kate( 2000)Tantric Theravada: A bibliographic essay on the writings of François Bizot and others on the yogvacara Tradition. In Contemporary Buddhism, 1:2, 141—198
- ^ Encyclopedia of Religion, volume 2, Macmillan, New York, 1987, pages 440f; Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, sv Buddhism
- ^ Harvey
- ^ Lopez, Buddhism in Practice, Princeton University Press, 1995, page 6
- Coleman, Graham, ed. (1993). A Handbook of Tibetan Culture. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.. .
- Warder, A.K. (1970). Indian Buddhism. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 July 2011 00:21