Study Guide

The World's Religions - Study Guide Chapter III, Buddhism, Big Raft and Little, Summary & Analysis

Huston Smith
This Study Guide consists of approximately 51 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The World's Religions.
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Buddhist history parallels all other major religion in that hardly a century after the death of the Buddha it began to show signs of schism. Furthermore, the divisions arose over questions that have historically divided religious thinkers. Three of those questions relate to the independence or interdependence of man, how man relates to the universe, and whether man should be ruled by the head or the heart. Two major groups divided over such questions, both of the groups including the word yanas (with the literal meaning of "raft") in their identifications. The "rafts" symbolized that which carries one across the sea of life to the shores of enlightenment. Mahayana Buddhism stressed a cosmic grace that aided people in the journey and became the largest of the divisions as the...

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This section contains 461 words
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