- Pre-sectarian Buddhism
Scriptures Councils Schools
The term pre-sectarian Buddhism is used by some scholars to refer to the Buddhism that existed before the various subsects of Buddhism came into being. Other terms that have been used to refer to this first period of Buddhism are: the earliest Buddhism, original Buddhism and the Buddhism of the Buddha himself. Some Japanese scholars (such as Nakamura and Hirakawa) use the term Early Buddhism to refer to this first period of Buddhism, and refer to the subsequent period of the Early Buddhist Schools as sectarian Buddhism.
Pre-sectarian Buddhism refers to Buddhism in the period between the first discourse of Gautama Buddha until the first enduring split in the Sangha, which occurred (according to most scholars) between the second Buddhist council and the third Buddhist council. The late Professor Hirakawa however, places the first schism after the death of King Asoka. Professor Schopen questions whether there ever was a unified Buddhism which split into sects.
Pre-sectarian Buddhism is the Buddhism presupposed by the early Buddhist schools as existing about one hundred years after the Parinirvana of the Buddha. Most scholars do agree that there was a rough body of sacred literature that a relatively early community maintained and transmitted. This may be substantially the Buddhism of the Buddha himself, although this cannot be proved. According to Professor A.K. Warder, there is no evidence to suggest that it was formulated by anyone other than the Buddha and his immediate followers. Prof. Ronald Davidson however has little confidence that much, if any, of surviving Buddhist scripture is actually the word of the historical Buddha.
- 1 Sources on Pre-sectarian Buddhism
- 2 Opinions of scholars
- 3 Buddhism during the lifetime of Gautama Buddha
- 4 After the Buddha's paranirvana
- 5 Later elaborations on the original teachings
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Sources on Pre-sectarian Buddhism
The information on Buddhism in the period before the rise of the early Buddhist schools is based on accounts of Buddha's life and teachings in the scriptures of the Theravadin Pali Canon, and the surviving portions of the scriptures of Sarvastivada, Mulasarvastivada, Mahisasaka, Dharmaguptaka and other schools, most of which are only available in a Chinese translation. Some individual scriptures found in Nepal, however, are composed in Sanskrit. Recently the Gandhāran Buddhist Texts were recovered from Afghanistan. The central body of sutras in these texts is so similar that they are considered to be different recensions of the same text. The accounts in these individual scriptures might be tainted by the particular philosophies of those schools or by translation issues. However, since various recensions of these texts (from various schools) are available, comparisons can be made, and conclusions drawn, to filter out the most obvious of these taints.
Comparing the various scriptures, it is even possible to uncover certain features of early Buddhism (and its environment) that the traditions themselves have forgotten about.
Opinions of scholars
The idea of a "pre-sectarian Buddhism" was not studied before Western scholarship on Buddhism began in the 1890s. Both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhists accepted the reliability of their respective canons.
The earliest phase of scriptures, recognized by nearly all scholars (the main exception is Dr Gregory Schopen), is based on a comparison of the Pali Canon with the Chinese Agamas and other surviving portions of other early canons. Some scholars consider that this rough common core of the scriptures of the different schools gives a substantially correct picture of the original teachings of the Buddha. This core is identified as the four main nikayas of the Sutta Pitaka (the Digha Nikaya, Majjhima Nikaya, Samyutta Nikaya and Anguttara Nikaya), together with the main body of monastic rules, the Vinaya Pitaka. Scholars have also claimed that there is a core within this core, referring to some poems and phrases which seem to be the oldest parts of the Sutta Pitaka. Another body of scholars consider that the question has not been settled one way or another. This last group includes those scholars who claim it is impossible to ever know the teachings of the Buddha, an attitude which has been criticized by Warder to be one of 'extreme caution'.
Buddhism during the lifetime of Gautama Buddha
Pre-sectarian Buddhism was a changing form of Buddhism, with Gautama Buddha defining and refining the proper behavior for monks (vinaya), with the help of monks like Upali. The rules were frequently amended to allow for certain (harmless) kinds of behavior which was forbidden in a previous version of the rule.
The Pre-sectarian Buddhist monks' order grew from a small unknown order of highly dedicated monks (in the year after the attainment of Nirvana) to a large, well-established and well-known order, which needed more formalities and more rules to uphold the correct teachings and discipline. It was relatively sober and the monks were not supposed to go to public festivals (number 7 of the ten precepts), and were expected to refrain from activities such as playing and dancing. They were also not allowed to use or receive money, in order to lead a simple life of contentment.
In the beginning the order of monks (Sangha) did not have any monasteries, but already in its first year the Buddha allowed these to be given, after being asked to do so by King Bimbisara. Many of the these monasteries were based in parks or forests, for example Veluvana, Jetavana and Nigrodharama. One of the buildings given was a very well-furnished building, comparable to a palace, called the Migaramatupasada.
The Buddha, as the leader and main teacher, was the one who decided on the rules to be followed, but the executive power lay with the monastic community as a whole. Buddha forbade the monastic community to make their own rules and gave instructions for the monks to still follow his teaching (doctrine and discipline) after his death. Thus, He did not appoint a successor  to have legislative power over the Sangha and the monks. He gave limited powers to the Sangha to unanimously agree to not follow the 'lesser and minor' rules.
After the Buddha's paranirvana
At the first Buddhist council the Sangha unanimously agreed to continue following all the rules laid down by Buddha, to prevent any major rules (pacittiya or higher) to be classified as a minor rule and thus be put aside.
The second Buddhist council took place about 100 years after the Parinibbana of the Buddha. It was convened to decide on the subject of discipline or Vinaya, and dealt with whether it was allowed to follow adapted rules, thus disregarding the instructions of Gautama Buddha. The adapted rules were integrated within the larger framework of correct procedures, and the offending monks refused to acknowledge their fault. For this reason a council was convened, in which the issue was satisfactorily dealt with, in that the offending monks abandoned their old habits.
Shortly after the second Buddhist council the first long-lasting schisms occurred in the Sangha. The second Buddhist council is sometimes considered to be the origin of these schisms, but no direct evidence for this is apparent. The first post-schismatic groups are often stated to be the Sthaviravada and the Mahasanghika.
Later elaborations on the original teachings
After the Sangha split into the various early Buddhist schools and the Mahayana, various new doctrines, scriptures and practices arose, composed and developed by monks, concerning issues deemed important at the time. During the time of Pre-sectarian Buddhism, these later elaborations on the teachings had not yet come into existence, and were not part of the established teaching and practice of Buddhism.
In later times, the arguments between the various schools were based in these newly introduced teachings, practices and beliefs, and monks sought to validate these newly introduced teachings and concepts by referring to the older texts (Sutta-pitaka and Vinaya-pitaka). Most often, the various new Abhidhamma and Mahayana teachings were bases for arguments between sects.
Newly composed scriptures
Some scholars state that unintentional literalism was a major force for change in the early doctrinal history of Buddhism. This means that texts were interpreted paying too much attention to the precise words used and not enough to the speaker's intention, the spirit of the text. Some later doctrinal developments in the early Buddhist schools show scholastic literalism, which is a tendency to take the words and phrases of earlier texts (maybe the Buddha's own words) in such a way as to read in distinctions which it was never intended to make.
The following (later) Buddhist scriptures were not existent, or in a very early (insignificant) stage of development:
As the last major division of the canon, the Abhidhamma Pitaka has had a checkered history. It was not accepted as canonical by the Mahasanghika school and several other schools. Another school included most of the Khuddaka Nikaya within the Abhidhamma Pitaka. Also, the Pali version of the Abhidhamma is a strictly Theravada collection, and has little in common with the Abhidhamma works recognized by other Buddhist schools. The various Abhidhamma philosophies of the various early schools have no agreement on doctrine and belong to the period of 'Divided Buddhism' (as opposed to Undivided Buddhism). The earliest texts of the Pali Canon (the Sutta Nipata and parts of the Jataka), together with the first four (and early) Nikayas of the Suttapitaka, have no mention of (the texts of) the Abhidhamma Pitaka. The Abhidhamma is also not mentioned at the report of the First Buddhist Council, directly after the death of the Buddha. This report of the first council does mention the existence of the Vinaya and the five Nikayas (of the Suttapitaka).
Although the literature of the various Abhidhamma Pitakas begun as a kind of commentarial supplement upon the earlier teachings in the Suttapitaka, it soon led to new doctrinal and textual developments and became the focus of a new form of scholarly monastic life. The various Abhidhamma works were starting to be composed from about 200 years after the passing away of the Buddha.
Traditionally, it is believed (in Theravadin culture) that the Abhidhamma was taught by Buddha to his late mother who was living in Tusita heaven. However, this is rejected by scholars, who believe that only small parts of the Abhidhamma literature may have been existent in a very early form. Some schools of Buddhism had important disagreements on subjects of Abhidhamma, while having a largely similar Sutta-pitaka and Vinaya-pitaka. The arguments and conflicts between them were thus often on matters of philosophical Abhidhammic origin, not on matters concerning the actual words and teachings of Buddha.
One impetus for composing new scriptures like the Adhidhammas of the various schools, according to some scholars, was that Buddha left no clear statement about the ontological status of the world - about what really exists. Subsequently, later Buddhists have themselves defined what exists and what not (in the Abhidhammic scriptures), leading to disagreements.
Parts of the Khuddaka Nikaya
Oliver Abeynayake has the following to say on the dating of the various books in the Khuddaka Nikaya:
- ‘The Khuddaka Nikaya can easily be divided into two strata, one being early and the other late. The texts Sutta Nipata, Itivuttaka, Dhammapada, Therigatha (Theragatha), Udana, and Jataka tales belong to the early stratum. The texts Khuddakapatha, Vimanavatthu, Petavatthu, Niddesa, Patisambhidamagga, Apadana, Buddhavamsa and Cariyapitaka can be categorized in the later stratum.’
The texts in the early stratum date from before the second council (earlier than 100 years after Buddha’s parinibbana), while the later stratum is from after the second council, which means they are definitely later additions to the Sutta Pitaka, and that they might not have been the original teachings by the Buddha, but later compositions by disciples.
The following books of the Khuddaka Nikaya can thus be regarded as later additions:
- the Khuddakapatha
- the Vimanavatthu
- the Petavatthu
- the Niddesa
- the Patisambhidamagga
- the Apadana
- the Buddhavamsa
- the Cariyapitaka
and the following three which are included in the Burmese Canon
- the Milindapanha
- the Nettippakarana
- the Petakopadesa
The original verses of the Jatakas are recognized as being amongst the earliest part of the Canon, but the accompanying (and more famous) Jataka Stories are purely commentarial, an obvious later addition.
Other later writings
- all literature of the Mahayana (the Mahayana Sutras).
- all commentarial works (atthakatha) of Theravada and other early Buddhist schools.
Newly introduced concepts
Some Buddhist concepts that were not existent in the time of pre-sectarian Buddhism are:
- the concept of 'building paramis' or paramitas. The ten paramis are described in Theravadin texts of late origin, while the (Mahayana) paramitas are found in the Mahayana Sutras such as the Dasabhumika Sutra and the Surangama Sutra, also of late origin.
- the concept of the Bodhisattva vows, which is only found in the Mahayana Sutras.
- ^ for example: ... stressed that the written canon in Buddhism is sectarian from the outset, and that presectarian Buddhism must be deduced from the writings as they now exist). Scripture of the Lotus Blossom of the Fine Dharma, Leon Kurvitz, 1976, Columbia University Press (quote via Google Scholar search-engine)
- ^ sectsandsectarianism - Conclusion
- ^ The Earliest Buddhism,’’ How Buddhism Began, Richard F. Gombrich, Munshiram Manoharlal, 1997, p. 11 -12
- ^ It would be hypocritical to assert that nothing can be said about the doctrine of earliest Buddhism ... the basic ideas of Buddhism found in the canonical writings could very well have been proclaimed by him [the Buddha], transmitted and developed by his disciples and, finally, codified in fixed formulas. J.W. De Jong, 1993: The Beginnings of Buddhism, in The Eastern Buddhist, vol. 26, no. 2, p. 25
- ^ a reconstruction of the original Buddhism presupposed by the traditions of the different schools known to us. AK Warder, Indian Buddhism, 1999, 3rd edition.
- ^ This kernel of doctrine is presumably common Buddhism of the period "before the schisms of the fourth and third centuries BC. It may be substantially the Buddhism of the Buddha himself, A. K. Warder, Indian Buddhism, 1999, 3rd edition.
- ^ Indian Buddhism, Japan, 1980, reprinted Motilal, Delhi, 1987, 1989, table of contents
- ^ a b History of Indian Buddhism, volume 1, Shinjūsha, Tokyo, 1974, English translation Hawai'i University Press, Honolulu, 1990,
- ^ a b Virtually all later sources agree that the first schism within the early Buddhist community occurred with the separation of the Mahasamghika school, or “those of the great community,” from the remaining monks referred to as Sthaviras, or the “elders.”, MacMillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 502
- ^ History of Indian Buddhism, volume 1, Shinjūsha, Tokyo, 1974, English translation Hawai'i University Press, Honolulu, 1990, page 94: Thus serious disputes arose within the early Buddhist order's monks before Aśoka's reign, but the order did not actually split into schools until after Aśoka's death.
- ^ Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XVI, page 105: ...almost everything "church historians" and sociologists have discovered: if uniformity is ever achieved it is achieved over more or less long periods of time through a complex process ... that works on originally discrete and competing groups and voices.
- ^ Prof. Ronald Davidson states, "most scholars agree that there was a rough body of sacred literature (disputed) that a relatively early community (disputed) maintained and transmitted." Davidson, Ronald M. Indian Esoteric Buddhism. pg 147. Columbia University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-231-12618-2.
- ^ It may be substantially the Buddhism of the Buddha himself, although this cannot be proved: at any rate it is a Buddhism presupposed by the schools as 'existing about a hundred years after the parinirvana of the Buddha, and there is no evidence to suggest that it was formulated by anyone else than the Buddha and his immediate followers, AK Warder, Indian Buddhism, 1999, 3rd edition, inside flap.
- ^ Prof. Ronald Davidson states, "we have little confidence that much, if any, of surviving Buddhist scripture is actually the word of the historical Buddha'" Davidson, Ronald M. Indian Esoteric Buddhism. pg 147. Columbia University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-231-12618-2.
- ^ ‘’ When we examine the Tripitakas of the eighteen schools, so far as they are extant, we find an agreement which is substantial, though not complete. 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. These make up the greater part of the Sutra Pitaka.’’ AK Warder, Indian Buddhism, 1999, 3rd edition, p.5
- ^ On the basis of the available sources it is possible to reconstruct a fairly reliable biography of the man who was to become the Buddha. The sources are the canonical texts of the Theravada, the Sarvastivada, Mulasarvastivada, and the Dharmaguptaka traditions., MacMillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 82; however, some scholars hold a diametrically opposed view: we know next to nothing about the Buddha as a person, Gombrich, Theravada Buddhism, Routledge, London, 1988, page 20
- ^ This proves that 'the earliest Buddhism' has interesting features which we can uncover but which the later Buddhist tradition had forgotten about’’, How Buddhism Began, Richard F. Gombrich, Munshiram Manoharlal, 1997, p. 12
- ^ I have the greatest difficulty in accepting that the main edifice is not the work of a single genius. By 'the main edifice' I mean the collections of the main body of sermons, the four Nikāyas, and of the main body of monastic rules, Gombrich, loc. cit.
- ^ See Nakamura, Indian Buddhism, originally published in Japan, 1980, reprinted by Motilal Vanarsidass, Delhi, for one such theory: it has been made clear that some poem (Gāthā) portions and some phrases represent earlier layers ... Based upon these portions of the scriptures we can construe aspects of original Buddhism ... Buddhism as appears in earlier portions of the scriptures is fairly different from what is explained by many scholars as earlier Buddhism or primitive Buddhism, page 57
- ^ The original teachings of the historical Buddha are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to recover or reconstruct, Lopez, Buddhism in Practice, Princeton University Press, 1995, page 4
- ^ ‘’in the name of that extreme caution which some suppose to be the hallmark of the sound academic, some scholars have claimed that we do not know what the Buddha taught and cannot now find out.’’ AK Warder, Indian Buddhism, 1999, 3rd edition, preface to 1st edition.
- ^ the Buddha did not set out a full code at once. Instead, he formulated rules one at a time, in response to events., Introduction: Dhamma-Vinaya, The Buddhist Monastic Code I, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, 1994.
- ^ the Buddha speaks in high praise of Ven. Upali, the foremost of his bhikkhu disciples in terms of his knowledge of Vinaya, who was responsible for teaching the rules to the other bhikkhus and who was largely responsible for the shape of the Vinaya as we now have it., Introduction: Dhamma-Vinaya, The Buddhist Monastic Code I, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, 1994.
- ^ But when the Community has become large, ... possesses great material gains ... great status ... has a large body of learning ... is long-standing, then there are cases where the conditions that offer a foothold for the effluents arise in the Community, and the Teacher then lays down a training rule for his disciples so as to counteract those very conditions..., Buddha, in the Bhaddali Sutta, Majjhima Nikaya 65. quoted in: Introduction: Dhamma Vinaya, Buddhist Monastic Code I, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, 1996
- ^ There are three things, O Bhikkhus, which when they characterize a Bhikkhu, the Sangha, if it likes, should carry out the Act of Banishment against him; (that is to say), when he is characterized by frivolity of action - when he is characterized by frivolity of speech - when he is characterized by frivolity both of action and of speech. These are the three things, O Bhikkhus (&c., as before, down to) against him. Chapter 14, First Khandhaka, Cullavagga, Vinaya Pitaka.
- ^ for example: Pacittiya 53 of Theravadin Patimokkha
- ^ for a list of various unacceptable kinds of behavior for monks (including dancing), see Chapter 13, First Khandhaka, Cullavagga, Vinaya Pitaka
- ^ Nissaggiya Pacittiyas 18, 19 and 20 of the Theravadin Patimokkha. Similar rules exists in all known Patimokkhas.
- ^ (Vin.i.39f)
- ^ see DhA.i.413
- ^ and the Teacher then lays down a training rule for his disciples so as to counteract those very conditions..., Buddha, in the Bhaddali Sutta, Majjhima Nikaya 65.
- ^ If, O Bhikkhus, an act is lawful and performed by a complete congregation - such an act, O Bhikkhus, is unobjectionable and valid on account of its lawfulness and of the completeness (of the congregation). Such an act, O Bhikkhus, ought to be performed, and such an act is allowed by me. 'Therefore, O Bhikkhus, you ought to train yourselves thus: "Lawful acts which are performed by complete congregations--such acts will we perform." - Buddha, concerning decisions made by the Sangha, which should be made with every monk present (or having sent his consent), and according to the instructions or rules laid down by Buddha (lawfulness). Chapter 2, 9th Khandhaka, Cullavagga, Vinaya Pitaka
- ^ see the account of Upasena, who was praised by Buddha after defying a pacittiya offence newly made by the local Sangha: Vin.iii.230ff
- ^ "Ānanda, it may be that you would think: ‘Gone is the Teacher’s word! We have no teacher.’ It should not be seen thus, Ānanda, for the Dhamma [the Teaching] and the Vinaya [the Discipline] that I have taught and explained to you, will, at my passing, be your teacher..., Buddha, Mahaparinibbana Sutta, Digha Nikaya 16
- ^ Not even to Sariputta or Moggallana would I hand over the Order, Buddha, Vin.ii.188
- ^ Buddhist Sects in India, Nalinaksha Dutt, Motilal Banararsidass Publishers (Delhi), 2nd Edition, 1978, Page 39-40.
- ^ Pali Dictionary of Proper Names, by Malalasekera, entry on ‘Vassakara’.
- ^ An original source can be found, amongst others, in the Gopaka Moggallána Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya, Sutta Pitaka).
- ^ Ānanda, after my passing, the order may, if it wishes, abrogate the lesser and minor rules. Buddha, Mahaparinibbana Sutta, Digha Nikaya 16
- ^ If the time seems appropriate to the Sangha, not ordaining what has not been ordained, and not revoking what has been ordained, let it take upon itself and ever direct itself in the precepts according as they have been laid down. This is the resolution. Maha Kassapa, during the First Buddhist Council at Rajagaha, 11th Khandhaka of the Cullavagga, Vinaya Pitaka.
- ^ Twelfth Khandaka, Cullavagga, Vinaya Pitaka
- ^ The Mahasamghika school is believed to have emerged from the first major schism in the Buddhist order, at a council held in the fourth century B.C.E., more than a century after Gautama’s death. The name, from mahasamgha, “great(er) community,” supposedly reflects the Mahasamghikas’ superior numbers, the Sthaviras being the minority party to the dispute., MacMillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 490
- ^ the actual circumstances for the first schism remain obscure and tied to other roughly contemporaneous events that later traditions connect with possibly three additional early councils., MacMillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 502
- ^ By several centuries after the death of the Buddha, the itinerant mendicants following his way had formed settled communities and had changed irrevocably their received methods of both teaching and praxis. These changes were inevitable, a consequence of the growth and geographic dispersion of the practicing communities. Confronted with new challenges and opportunities in an increasingly organized institutional setting, monks expanded and elaborated both doctrine and disciplinary codes, created new textual genres, developed new forms of religious praxis, and eventually divided into numerous sects or schools., MacMillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 501
- ^ ‘’I would also argue that unintentional literalism has been a major force for change in the early doctrinal history of Buddhism. Texts have been interpreted with too much attention to the precise words used and not enough to the speaker's intention, the spirit of the text. In particular I see in some doctrinal developments what I call scholastic literalism, which is a tendency to take the words and phrases of earlier texts (maybe the Buddha's own words) in such a way as to read in distinctions which it was never intended to make.’’ How Buddhism Began, Richard F. Gombrich, Munshiram Manoharlal, 1997, p. 21-22
- ^ a b "Abhidhamma Pitaka." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008.
- ^ Buddhist Sects in India, Nalinaksha Dutt, 1978, page 58
- ^ several schools rejected the authority of abhidharma and claimed that abhidharma treatises were composed by fallible, human teachers. in: Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism (2004), page 2. (A similar statement can be found on pages 112 and 756.)
- ^ "Buddhism." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008.
- ^ a b Kanai Lal Hazra, Pali Language and Literature - A Systematic Survey and Historical Survey, 1994, Vol. 1, page 415
- ^ a b Kanai Lal Hazra, Pali Language and Literature - A Systematic Survey and Historical Survey, 1994, Vol. 1, page 412
- ^ I.B. Horner, Book of the Discipline, Volume 5, page 398
- ^ The Mahisasaka Account of the First Council mentions the four agamas here. see http://santifm1.0.googlepages.com/thefirstcouncil(mahisasakaversion)
- ^ Although begun as a pragmatic method of elaborating the received teachings, this scholastic enterprise soon led to new doctrinal and textual developments and became the focus of a new form of scholarly monastic life., MacMillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 1
- ^ Independent abhidharma treatises were composed over a period of at least seven hundred years (ca. third or second centuries B.C.E. to fifth century C.E.)., MacMillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 2
- ^ These similarities (between the Abhidhammas of the various schools) suggest either contact among the groups who composed and transmitted these texts, or a common ground of doctrinal exegesis and even textual material predating the emergence of the separate schools., MacMillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 2
- ^ ‘’ If I am right in thinking that the Buddha left no clear statement about the ontological status of the world - about what 'really' exists - this would explain how later Buddhists could disagree about this question.’’ How Buddhism Began, Richard F. Gombrich, Munshiram Manoharlal, 1997, p. 34
- ^ A textual and Historical Analysis of the Khuddaka Nikaya – Oliver Abeynayake Ph.D. , Colombo, First Edition – 1984, p. 113.
- ^ This work (the Parivara) is in fact a very much later composition, and probably the work of a Ceylonese Thera. from: Book of the Discipline, volume VI, page ix (translators' introduction)
- ^ would throw the earliest phase of this literature (the Mahayana Sutras) back to about the beginning of the common era., Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 493
- ^ Theravada Buddhism, in texts such as Cariyapitaka, Buddhavamsa, and Dhammapadatthakatha, postulates the following ten perfections, Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, page 632
- ^ ‘It is evident that the Hinayanists, either to popularize their religion or to interest the laity more in it, incorporated in their doctrines the conception of Bodhisattva and the practice of paramitas. This was effected by the production of new literature: the Jatakas and Avadanas.' Buddhist Sects in India, Nalinaksha Dutt, Motilal Banararsidass Publishers (Delhi), 2nd Edition, 1978, p. 251. The term 'Semi-Mahayana' occurs here as a subtitle.
- Encyclopedia of Buddhism. Macmillan. 2004.
- Thanissaro, Bhikkhu (1996). online The Buddhist Monastic Code I]. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/bmc1/index.html online].
- Thanissaro, Bhikkhu (2002). The Buddhist Monastic Code II.
- "Sects & Sectarianism: The origins of Buddhist Schools" (2006), by Ven. Sujato (downloadable PDF). Sujato suggests the following fourfold scheme: Integrated Pre-sectarian Buddhism (0-100 AN [After-Nibbana]); Disintegrating Pre-sectarian Buddhism (100-200 AN); Emerging Sectarian Buddhism (200-300 AN); and, Sectarian Buddhism (300+ AN).
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