The Foundations of Buddhism - Chapter 2, The Word of the Buddha, Buddhist Scriptures and Schools Summary & Analysis

Rupert Gethin
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Chapter 2, The Word of the Buddha, Buddhist Scriptures and Schools Summary and Analysis

The Buddha wrote nothing, nor did his disciples write down his teachings. As a result, Buddhism cannot be reduced to a philosophical system of thought; Dharma is its central organizing concept. It is reality and the way we should act, so it has a descriptive and a prescriptive aspect. The Buddha saw Dharma as profound, hard to see and sublime and unable to be be acquired through reading or direct information. This is partly why knowledge of Dharma was not written down. Instead, the Buddhist tradition points to the succession of teachers and pupils to communicate dogma. Thus, the Sangha mediated its transmission. Though, Dharma is also a textual tradition created by writing down later disciples' teaching.

A generally accepted ancient tradition is...

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This section contains 588 words
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