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Buddhism is a major world religion that developed from the teachings of the Buddha-the Awakened One.
The Theravada doctrine evolved in Sri Lanka 2,300 years ago from an earlier Indian ‘Hinayana’ school.
Generally, Theravadin principles have a conservative spirit, but its practice has a dignified grace.
The goal of Theravadin practice is the attainment of Nibbana – freedom from the cycle of rebirth and suffering. The Mahayana emerged in India two millennia ago as a movement (the Mahasanghika) which aimed to be more accomodative of new ideas and regional differences in the interpretation of Buddhist doctrines.
Mahayana teachers and monks carried their teachings to Central, Southeast and East Asia, whereupon it took on a Sinicised form.
Vajrayana school evolved as a spiritual counter-culture to Mahayana scholasticism in early 7th Century CE India. The Vajrayana school also adopted the general Mahayana pantheon of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, with a few additions of their own, including deities in female (yogini) or wrathful forms. Although the Vajrayana school is presently synonymous with Tibetan Buddhism, it is also widely practised in Bhutan, Mongolia, Ladakh and Nepal. Over the course of twenty-six centuries, Buddhism has evolved into a myriad of traditions and practices. To the credit and eternal praise of Buddhism, despite the differences among its various traditions and schools of thoughts, Buddhists have never gone to war, nor expressed hostilities towards each other.
The Buddha attained Enlightenment 2,600 years ago (in 588 BCE), at Uruvela (present-day Bodhgaya), India. With the unification of the Indian Subcontinent under the Mauryan Dynasty, ruled by pious Asoka the Great, Buddhism became widespread throughout his empire. Recent PostsDhamma talk in Karawang, Indonesia9 March 20162nd Anniversary of MH3708 March 2016Nalanda Bulletin Issue No. Support UsIf you share Nalanda’s vision and mission in holistic Buddhist education, integral human development and effective Dhamma propagation, the management committee is now appealing to you to lend a helping hand to realize this noble mission. The tradition of ‘Rains Retreat’ was started by the Buddha Himself in the year 588 BCE, where the Lord and 60 bhikkhus – including the elders Kondanna, Bhaddiya, Vappa, Mahanama and Assaji, as well as Venerable Yasa and his 54 friends – resided in the vicinity of Sarnath near Varanasi. Monks and nuns would ideally spend their Vassana period engaging in intensive meditation and other spiritual pursuits. The Buddha, seeing that the period of intense spiritual practice and communal discipline had greatly benefitted the monks, formally instituted the ‘Rains Retreat’ whereby monks and nuns were to refrain from traveling and engaging in much activity to focus their attention inwardly towards spiritual development and purification. The Vassana period afforded lay people more opportunities to approach resident monks for Dhamma teachings and spiritual guidance.  Thus, the close symbiotic relationship between the monastics and the laity was further cemented. In the Theravada School of Buddhism, the tradition of observing the Vassana persists till today.  In fact, the ‘seniority’ of a Theravada bhikkhu (monk) is reckoned by the number of ‘Rains Retreat’ he has observed since his Upasampada (higher ordination). The continuation of the Buddha-Sasana very much depends upon the upholding of the Buddha’s teachings (Dhamma) and discipline (Vinaya) by both the monastic and lay communities.  As long as there is practice and realization of the Dhamma, the world will never be deprived of the Buddha’s profound wisdom. In France, they throw dinner parties (for the entire family) – cards and presents are exchanged, and it’s a grand time! Oshogatsu, the Japanese New Year, is an important time for family – as shops and offices are closed. To ward off evil spirits, the Japanese hang a rope of straw (which symbolizes happiness and good luck) across the front of their houses.
Mostly, we'll talk about making money, getting fit, and eating delicious desserts to balance it all out!
In all cases the Artists of Central Asia were Masters and all things in their hands exquisitely done. Scholars have reenacted the original colours and found the works so colourful that their single look is abundantly enjoyable by all.


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It is a uniquely insightful practice that is not based upon beliefs in divinity nor reliance on others for one’s salvation; but on developing right understanding and living a virtuous life to gain liberation from suffering.
The emphasis of this doctrine is on self-development and gradual cultivation towards liberation.
Its vast canonical compilation is called the Tipitaka, which comprises the Vinayapitaka (disciplinary code), the Suttapitaka (doctrinal discourses) and the Abhidhammapitaka (metaphysics). One embarks upon the Noble Eightfold Path – the progressive cultivation of morality, mentality and insight until the arising of wisdom and realization of Truth. Due to its inclusive spirit, Mahayana schools gained widespread acceptance amongst the newer converts to the religion. From China, Mahayana doctrines spread to Korea, Japan and Vietnam, where they remain the dominant sects of Buddhism practised to this day. The Mahayana espouses the Bodhisattva ideal – a great being who lives with virtue, wisdom and compassion, and vows to be reborn many life-times for the sake of delivering others from suffering.
Many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are said to exist and their intercession can help beings in understanding the Truth and be delivered from Samsara. There, having come into contact with local beliefs, it acquired a distinctive esoteric and mystical character. Yet, with all their diversities, Buddhists are united by their faith in the Three Jewels – the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. A few weeks after His great awakening, the Buddha shared His realization with His five ascetic friends, and they became His earliest converts and disciples. Even during His lifetime, Buddhism gained a great following of kings, nobles, merchants, and masses of common folks. Asoka even sent missionaries abroad to as far as the Middle-east, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia.
Due to its vast geographical expansion, Buddhism came into contact with many regional cultures and traditions. Whether you are studying or working, young or retired, if you believe in doing good and giving back to society, we warmly welcome you!
It's open-ended, exploratory, surprising, frustrating, and full of blind alleys and interesting side trips. Like in the United States, parties start on December 31st and at midnight they ring in the New Year with whistles, rattles, and bells. In 1582, the French adopted the reformed calendar which changed the beginning of the New Year from March 25 to January 1. To bring good luck in the New Year, Japanese people begin to laugh when the New Year begins.
We have references of Sultan Iltutmish having such scenes painted on the wall by Chinese Masters.
Theravada focuses on the lives and teachings of the historical Buddha Sakyamuni and His immediate disciples – the monastic elders. Lay devotees are expected to provide for the monks’ and nuns’ material needs, thus gaining for themselves spiritual merits.
Theravada also relies heavily on Pali commentarial works, especially those by Buddhaghosa, compiled in the 6th Century CE. Thereafter, he or she is known as an ‘Arahant’ – one who has accomplished the extinction of defilements.
The Mahayana schools’ vast corpus of sutras and shastras (commentaries) were also translated from Sanskrit into various vernacular languages, such as Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Bengali, and Javanese, among others.


According to its teachings, obstacles to realization of the Dharma can be removed by enigmatic rituals and through the intercession of an Enlightened being. Tibetan Buddhism has a significant following in the West due to the practical, contemporary teachings of the 14th Dalai Lama, and other such charismatic monks. All Buddhists accept Sakyamuni Buddha as their teacher, and the Four Noble Truths as fundamental teaching.
Not long afterwards, the Buddha converted more than a thousand nobles and former fire- worshippers of Uruvela.
High-caste or low, they were all drawn to the Teaching’s simplicity, practicality, candour and egalitarian spirit.
The patronage of succeeding Kushan, Gupta and Pala dynasties endowed Buddhism with great learning resources and a rich cultural heritage. The various local beliefs and practices were often assimilated into Buddhism, which gave the religion a rich pan-Asian flavour and outlook.
Sometimes, though, research takes a long time – so we’ve taken care of the legwork for you and are sharing New Year Traditions From Around the World!
In fact many of these works remain unstudied and are being looked upon by scholars in new perspectives.
Nevertheless, Theravada has taken a more egalitarian trait today as lay people are also becoming aware of the path, and are practising meditation with increasing fervour. The ‘power’ to conduct such rituals were transmitted from an adept teacher to a disciple through complex and codified initiation ceremonies.
These thousand- strong followers formed the pioneer Saogha – the spiritual community of monks. In Buddha-Dhamma, people saw the truth of existence and the possibility of overcoming all suffering. A result of such assimilation was the rise of variations in the interpretation of Buddhist Teachings. Compare notes with your colleagues and take advantage of the friendly people sitting at the reference desk. The Ajanta and Bagh caves fall in the same tradition of these Masters who came from abroad and were not sprung from depths of here. Lahore Fort has a gallery of such works on the outer walls, destroyed by the apathy of our own people. In fact, Buddhism rapidly expanded to become the dominant faith throughout the densely-populated Ganges Valley by the 5th Century BCE. By the reign of Emperor Asoka in the 3rd Century BCE, there were 18 schools of Buddhist thoughts. Cave paintings in Afghanistan were discovered by archaeologists and are spread over a long time. Even the Samadh of Ranjit Singh, a purely Islamic based architecture (Sikh archives record name of Darogha Imarat Qadir Baksh and Raheem Baksh), has figurative works of large size on the entrance. Today, the Theravada tradition survives as the sole representative of the orthodox group, whereas a few Mahayana traditions have continued existing till now.
Locally addicted to stone sculpture, the citizens were not fond of painting over Choona lime background, and considered it not of long life. And yet these caves and their paintings lasted over a 1000 years and are there for us to enjoy and study.



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