Religion of India-Mahasanghikas

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Mahasanghikas: 4th Century BC

  • Forerunners of Mahayana

  • Believes in Sutra, Vinaya, Abhidharma, Dharanis

  • First book of Vinaya Pitaka of Lokattaravadin of Mahasanghikas School

  • Original work Mahavastu

  • They were further divided into 5 schools :

  • Bahusrutiya,

  • Kukkutika (Gokulika),

  • Lokkattaravada,

  • Ekavy-varika, and

  • Prajnaptivada

  • Karle cave was a gift to the Mahasanghikas

  • Main opponent was Theravadins

  • Kathvatu, Mahavastu and works of Vasumitra, Bhavaya, and Vinitadeva

Lesser Vehicle: Hinayana

  • They are called Sravaka

  • Sthaviravadin or theravada or the teachings of the elders canon written in Ceylon

  • Believed in Sunyata (voidness)

  • Believed in Tripitaka, Sutta vighanga - a commentary on all the three Pitakas

  • Believed in all the teachings of Gautama Buddha


  • Believed in Dharmachakraparivartana Sutta, Sermon of thee turning of the wheel of the Law, which included 4 noble truth and 8 fold path

4 Noble Truth

  1. Dukkha is inherent in ordinary life;

  2. It is due to the Tanha, desire

  3. Stop desire, the level os sorrow will decrease

  4. To get salvation : 8 Fold Path

8 Fold Path

  1. Right Faith

  2. Right Resove

  3. Right Speech

  4. Right Action

  5. Right Diving

  6. Right Effort

  7. Right Thought

  8. Right Concentration

Causes of Sufferings

  • Everywhere suffering: death, old age, disease, and mendicant

  • World is momentary and always changing, therefore, nothing has an absolute existence

  • Only Nirvana is the way out

  • Cessation of birth and death cycle

Triple Formulae

  1. Sila (Right Conduct)

  2. Prajna (Right Knowledge)

  3. Samadhi (Right Concentration)

Triratna: (Thres Jewels)

  1. Buddha

  2. Dharma

  3. Sangha

Chain of Dependent Origination

  • Paticca Samuppada Ignorance leads to imagination leads to self consciousness leads to name and form leads to six senses - contact, feeling, craving, attachment and becoming rebirth


  • Dukha, Annica (it is transient),

  • Anatta (it is souless) Therefore,

  • the Hinayanist is souless, without Gods,

  • only stable entity is Sthavirvadin Buddhism i.e, Nirvana and becoming Arhat - Parninirvana ( Final Blowing Out).

Other Hinayana Sect

  1. Sarvastavadin

  2. Sutrantikas

  3. Sammityas

Hinayana developed a cosmological scheme a cyclic Mahakalpa is divided into 4 Asankheyas, which have Buddha cycles, wee have a Buddha cycle and four Buddha has come and the fifth one has yet to come :

Four Buddha

  1. Karakkuchanda

  2. Kankamuni

  3. Kashyapa

  4. Sakyamuni and fifth one has yet to come : Maitreya

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