Would you please explain some of the Theravada and Mahasamghika?

发布日期:2019-02-01   字体大小:   


First, pertaining to the interpretation of dhamma (all things). Before dealing with the issue, two terms should be defined. ⑴ Conditioned Dhamma (Sankhata Dahamma): Anything that comes into being, or ceases from being, by causes and conditions is called Conditioned Dhamma. ⑵ Unconditioned Dhamma (Asankhata Dhamma): Items that do not depend on other causes and conditions for their existence, which exist in and of themselves without arising and cessation are Unconditioned Dhammas, such as Nibbana and Space (Akasa). (Everything arises and ceases within space, while space itself exists bearing the nature of infinity, free from hetu-paccaya.) Both Sarvastivada and Mahasamghika held that Unconditioned Dhammas exist. As to the Conditioned Dhammas, Mahasamghika believed that the Conditioned Dhammas arise and cease depending on causes and conditions that the past has no real existence since it has ceased, nor has the future, as it is yet to be born, and that only the present dhammas existing in an instant have real existence and function. Sarvastivada believed that all Conditioned Dhammas, if they have not arisen and existed, can not arise at all even given necessary conditions, just as the tortoise can not grow hair and the rabbit can not grow horns. Therefore, the ultimate essence of every Dhamma constantly exists, and only the manifestations vary: those functions which have not yet manifested are called the future, those functions which have already manifested are the past, those which are functioning are the present. So this sect holds that the essence of the dhammas exists at all times (past, present and future), the dhamms of the three times really exist. Although the essence of dhamma is there, the arising of its function depends on the aggregation of various dhammas as well as their casual relations (hetu-paccaya), and it is by no means able to function independently. Inasmuch as the self-essence of dhammas can not function by itself, there is no “ego” (atta) as a permanent dominator. This is the theory of non-substantiality of ego and substantiality of dhamma, while the Mahasamghikas held a theory close to non-substantiality of both ego and dhamma.

Secondly, pertaining to the conception of the Buddha, the Mahasamghika held the view that what was born, lived and died in the human world was Sakyamuni Buddha’s phenomenal body rather than his noumenal body, the Buddha’s noumenal body came into being with the accumulation of merits over a very prolonged period; that the Buddha’s body, length of life and power were boundless, the Buddha tirelessly teaches and rescues all beings, all of his words are teachings in a modified form, by the Buddha’s every utterance is a sermon covering all dhammas. The Sarvativada, on the other hand, denied the thesis that Sakyamuni was the temporal body of the eternal Buddha, asserting that not all words of the Buddha were teachings and that the Buddha didn’t preach all dhammas with every utterance.

Thirdly, in their conceptions of the Savaka and the Bodhisatta, the Mahasamghika stressed the Bodhisatta’s power of metta-karuna to enlighten sentient beings, and attached less importance to the Savakas. The Sarvastivada did not believe there was any difference between the liberation attained through the Buddha and that attained through Savakas and the Pacceka-buddhas, though they admitted the differences in the capability and path of cultivation among them.

Besides the above, there were differences in their perceptions of certain problems and on the method of cultivation, which I shall not enumerate here. (From Essentials of Buddhism: Questions and Answers)


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