Talk:Schools of Buddhism

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Is Bön a school?[edit]

Over and over again we read the claim that Bön was the shamanistic religion that predated Buddhism in Tibet. While this has an element of truth to it, neither the Bön nor the other sects of Tibetan Buddhism would say it accurately summarizes the situation. For one thing, the Bönpo claim they were Buddhists before the Indian saints brought the Buddhism to Tibet. Secondly, the Bön tradition was not surplanted by the other schools of Tibetan Buddhism, but has continously existed alongside them. Most significantly, the Bön school shares many characteristics with other Tibetan schools: they have lamas, they have a lineage, their monks live in monestaries (with 300+ active monasteries in China today), their tertons found termas, they are tantric, they recognize many of the same sutras, they use dzogchen. About 10% of Tibetans follow the Bön school. Yes there are some differences — their circumambulation is counter-clockwise, they practice spells and geomancy, they have many unique texts. But on balance they are clearly Vajrayana Buddhists. Find some primary sources on the web and you'll see what I'm talking about — Tibetans view Bön as another school, not as shamans outside Buddhism. For example, read this article from the Government of Tibet in Exile: The Bönpo Tradition. From time to time a half-truth gets into textbooks and is copied repeatedly without any verification back to the primary sources. The claim that Bön is non-Buddhist is just such a case. technopilgrim 18:26, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Interesting points. I've never heard this discussed. First of all, I would be cautious about making assumptions about the nature of a religious tradition that co-existed with Buddhism for such a long by looking at its modern practices.
It seems to me, from sites such as this one and this one, that Bon's history is poorly understood. I quote:
History has it that with the increasing royal patronage of Buddhism, Bön was discouraged, and faced persecution and banishment. Practically nothing is known about Bön during the period from the eighth to the early eleventh centuries.
It seems to me that the influence of Tibetan Buddhism on Bon in the last few centuries has been strong, with the tradition's only chance to survive being to co-exist with the dominant Buddhism. Thus I am unconvinced that it was originally a Buddhist tradition.
I think Bon deserves to be distinguished from truly Buddhist schools. Something like 'Tibet's original tradition: Bon' at the top of the Vajrayana list would make me happier than seeing it included as a fully-fledged 'Buddhist school' rather than its own tradition.
prat 22:41, 2004 Apr 8 (UTC)
More info here...
The Tsenpo kings initially ruled over pre-Buddhist society who believed in an animistic, shamanistic religion, practices of which varied from region to region, but which are considered today to have constituted original Bön religion (which has little in common with New Bön, which itself is almost entirely indistinguishable from Tibetan Buddhism).
This seems to sum it up...
prat 22:56, 2004 Apr 8 (UTC)
This is a very interesting site which presents a case for the origin of Bon as an Iranian-influenced 'hybrid' system of belief partly based on Buddhism. I still think it would be best to set Bon slightly apart, however.
prat 00:05, 2004 Apr 9 (UTC)

Thanks for the Berzin link, this is all very interesting. Searching around I found a credible website which actually delineates three forms of Bön:

  1. pre-historic and shamanistic/animistic Bön,
  2. Yangdrung Bön, which traces its origin to Tonpa Shenrab Miwo, said to be born 18,000 years ago in Shambhala. This is the Bön the kings of Tibet forced underground upon the arrival of Indian Buddhism. And finally,
  3. New Bön which was established in the 14th century and appears to be a synthesis of Bön and Gandhara/India-derived Buddhism.

Here's another relevant link to an interview with Lopon Tenzin Namdak Rimpoche, "the most senior teacher of the Bonpo tradition"[1] who supports basically this same three-stage evolution. It is interesting that he seems to share your view that "it would be best to set Bon slightly apart" — despite the near-identical overlap of Nyingmapa and Bön beliefs and practices he always refers to Bön as a distinct tradition from Buddhism. Nonetheless if we take an empirical approach I think it's clear that an essentially Tibetan Buddhist school called Bön has existed for the last 700 years in Tibet and for that reason we should have it on the list in some way. ( User:Kukkurovaca must be watching our discussion as he has already modified the article to read New Bön). Let me add Yangdrung Bon as an earlier school (really early if we accept the 18,000 year claim!), and maybe some other folks can weigh in with their thoughts. technopilgrim 02:01, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Somewhat belated comment: Snellgrove (Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, Serindia Pubns, 1987?) suggests Bön was folk Buddhism (ie without clergy) that percolated into Tibet from the west before organized Buddhism arrived. Peter jackson 10:51, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Avataṃsaka school[edit]

Avataṃsaka school, whilst Sanskrit, actually seems to refer only to the east-asian Huayan-derived schools. The Huayan Jing is apparently a compilation of several shorter scriptures and first took off in China. Thus, I have moved 'Avataṃsaka' in to brackets following Huayan, rather than leaving it as a ghost parent. prat 16:50, 2004 Apr 9 (UTC)

Classification of Nichiren[edit]

After doing some more reading, I suppose that Nichiren should be seperated from Tiantai - it only shares a focus on the Lotus Sutra. I'll move it back up the tree... prat 01:58, 2004 Apr 16 (UTC)

Revamp of Early Buddhist schools[edit]

Okay, boys and girls, I have an offering in the form of a new and improved derivation tree for the eighteen (and then some) schools. I think I fit the three or four that were in the previous version into the new tree in the right places; if not, feel free to fix it and/or yell at me.

Here's the old version for reference:

Good work, you've added a lot of information. I think maybe to maintain readability we can move some of it to the school-specific pages, though. I'll try to do that now and paste your edit here to move the extra info from afterwards. prat 04:23, 2004 Apr 16 (UTC)
Looks good.कुक्कुरोवाच
OK I've reformatted the list and removed a lot of the information, trying to place of much of it implicitly in the 'tree' as possible. It's now much more readable, as begets a 'summary'. I will start to move the valuable information from your edit above in to the individual schools over the next 24 hours. Otherwise, anyone else is welcome to do it instead... I have to go to work shortly! prat 05:52, 2004 Apr 16 (UTC)

Belated response to April 16 edits[edit]

Hey, Prat, I'm not sure I understand why you switched the "Nikaya" category back to "Early Buddhist schools". It seems to make less sense. We're listing Theravada there, but Theravada is not just early but also current (and not terribly early, either). We also list Japanese schools like Ritsu that were founded in the latter part of the 1st millennium CE, much later than some of the schools in other categories. The reason that I had in mind for having a Nikaya Buddhism article was that it would provide an umbrella term linking Theravada to the other non-Maha-non-Vajrayana schools, regardless of vintage, and this seems like just the sort of situation that calls for it. I suppose we could have a separate category for "Early Indian schools", but the current set-up doesn't make a great deal of sense.

Then, in the text, it refers to these schools as Shravakayana, provides two links to Early Buddhist schools, and one to Nikaya Buddhism. So we have three different terms for roughly the same thing, none of which are the most common term that most people are familiar with, which is Hinayana. We can consider calling the whole thing Shravakayana instead of Nikaya, but I think there are downsides to that that should be discussed.

Also, we can keep that "EBS" text in there if you want, but I don't really see the point of it. None of the other schools has so much as a jot or tittle explaining their factions. Maybe we should keep this and add more jots and tittles elsewhere at a later date?

I think the reorganization of the section that has occurred since is great, good work, guys. I do think it seems kind of weird to have everything coming out of Sthaviravada here. Before the first schism, does it really make sense to talk about Sthavarivadans and Mahasamgikas? If not, then I would figure we should show them arising at same time. Also, what's with the Theravada forming 3 years before their parent sect? I'll fix that. - Nat Krause 16:47, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Sorry, must have missed this update, it's been ages since I've been spending much time with wikipedia now (a week!). From memory, I hadn't seen the phrase 'Nikaya schools' before, so did a web search. It turned up much less hits than Shravakayana in its myriad romanizations, so I was going to use that, but must have decided on something reasonable instead. Shravakayana is just a redirect to Early Buddhist Schools or vice versa anyway. I am against using Nikaya schools purely because I'd never read it until I got here and saw someone use it, and google turns up few uses - leading me to believe that it's not, actually, a commonly used phrase. We are all aware of the problems with the term 'Hinayana'. prat 23:35, 2004 Apr 28 (UTC)
Hey, I'm going to move this discussion to Talk:Buddhism because it affects multiple pages and I want to make sure that everyone sees it. - Nat Krause 03:10, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Nikaya/Mahayana division[edit]

I added a division between the eighteen original schools and their descendents and the mahayana schools. Not sure why this wasn't there before. Also, at some point someone should try to figure out the proper chronology for the Mahayana schools to match the proper chronology of the eighteen. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 21:55, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

This was discussed on Talk:Buddhism recently. Certain individuals, who shall remain somewhat nameless, object to the concept of a distinction between "Nikaya" and "Mahayana" schools. So, as an experiment, I removed those categories from this article. Our co-conspirator Pratyeka, it now appears, also objects to the distinction between sutric and tantric schools. This leaves open the question: how best, then, to organize this article? - Nat Krause 12:01, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)
My opinion is that a heirarchy whereby schools are grouped by primary influence, such as we had some time ago, was the best system. This is because the relationships between schools are complex, and the useful information that we can convey in a nested list is sort of limited. At least if we use 'primary influence' as a basis for a list, most of the time we are showing some sort of useful relationship. Breaking the list in to parts achieves little, I believe that such lists belong on 'Sutric Buddhism', 'Tantric Buddhism', 'Theravada' and 'Mahayana' pages. prat 13:57, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Wait, what are "primary influences"? Also, while I don't see the utility of the sutric/tantric division (I don't see that Mahayana and Nikaya are that much more like each other than they are like tantric buddhism), the Nikaya/Mahayana one is very important, as it reflects a watershed in terms of methodology, rhetoric, linguistics, metaphysics, etc. It's true that there are complex relationships, and even that some Nikaya/whatever schools have close genetic ties with the Mahayana, and it's also true that there are some Mahayana schools/thinkers with possibly closer ties to the canonical literature than the Mahayana sutras (Nagarjuna, say), that complexity can and should be explained in words, rather than represented by smushing all the schools together. (Someday, Wikipedia will have an inbuilt markup for flow charts and family trees, and that will, of course, open up whole new avenues of exploration) More information is much better than less information. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 19:47, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)
An attempt to revive this discussion: basically, I agree with Kukkurovaca's points. What are "primary influences" as distinct from concepts like Mahayana, the Nikayas, Vajrayanic tantrism, etc.? If we can come up with a better lay-out for this page, great, let's do it. So far, I think the (more-or-less standard) Nikaya (vulgarly a.k.a. Hinayana)-Mahayana-Vajrayana division is preferably to any suggestions I've seen so far. - Nat Krause 13:57, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Should not Kagyu, or perhaps Kagupa be listed under Tantric Schools: Tibetan Buddhism, with Nyingmapa, Kadampa etc? I am no expert so correct me if I am wrong. Billlion 19:29, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I think the way you have it is fine. Although, shouldn't it be Kagyupa, not Kagupa? - Nat Krause 11:41, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
You are right, fixed Billlion 08:39, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I support your classification. To be entirely precise, Kagyu is Tibetan Buddhism, it can be called a Tantric school (let's see by vehicles: Hinayana aka Theravada, Mahayana and Tantra). Kagyu teaches the Vajrayana doctrine, whether you list it under Vajrayana or under Tantrayana depends on how you view the vehicles: Tantrayana embraces both Tantra and Vajrayana, so you could group both Nyingma and Kagyu under Tantrayana. But Vajrayana is different from Tantra in methods (Tantra uses the attractiveness and pleasure derived from the so-called worldly desires for disciple to experience them and overcome the attachment, Vajrayana uses sufferings arising of unability to satisfy the desires for the disciple to experience the suffering behing the joy and also overcome the attachment. As a result, Kargyu followers used to be more ascetic than followers of Nyingma). P.S. I added 'Aum Shinrikyo' under Tantrayana/Japanese. In fact, Vajrayana/Japanese would fit better, but Aum Shinrikyo is new religion at the same time. Can we add a 'new religious movements' group as a subsection? I would very much welcome it, just to distinguish the traditions that are at least several ages old from new ones, like Nichiren (aka Soka Gakkai) and Aum Shinrikyo.

I guess the issue is whether provenance has anything to do with it - both Kargyud and Gelugpa schools claim to be derived from the earlier Kadampas. The Kadampas do not really exist as a separate school (the NKT are not cognate with the Kadampa) anymore - more like a movement within the Geluk/Kargyud. (20040302)

Classification question[edit]

How would Bukkyō be classified? [[User:Rhymeless|Rhymeless | (Methyl Remiss)]] 03:55, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Bukkyō ... isn't that the Japanese word for Buddhism? You want to know how Buddhism would be classified? - Nat Krause
I saw it classified as an "esoteric form of Buddhism". [[User:Rhymeless|Rhymeless | (Methyl Remiss)]] 05:28, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Mikkyo is the Japanese term for esoteric Buddhism. Perhaps your source had Mikkyo and Bukkyo confused. - Nat Krause
Could you be kind enough to check my entry on Fudo-Myoo so I can be sure I have everything correctly then? [[User:Rhymeless|Rhymeless | (Methyl Remiss)]] 06:05, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Well, I don't know much about Shingon Buddhism, really, and also there is already an entry on Fudo Myoo at Acala. You may want to merge your article into that. - Nat Krause 07:02, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

edit query[edit]

The first sentence of the article on Jodo Shinshu seems to have become corrupted. Can anyone work out what it is supposed to say? Shantavira 17:00, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Removed some material[edit]

I took out the alternative classification of Mahayana schools as either Yogacara or Madhyamika. For one thing, it failed to actually classify everything, despite claiming that they could be classified. The source cited was Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, not exactly a widely-respected Buddhist scholar. - Nat Krause 04:28, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

June 20 edits[edit]

Some comments on edits to the additions of an anonymous contributor lately. Essentially, I think it's good to have a listing of the different groupings within Theravada, although I have no strong feelings about whether those are listed here or on the Theravada page (note that there are a lot of subgroupings of every school and subschool, not all of which can be included here). I do think we should draw a clear line to avoid listing personal movements associated with one figure (such as "tradition of Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta"); that's just too much information.

In any event, Theravada definitely falls under the rubric of "Nikaya schools" as we are using the term here, so it should not be its own section. Also, I suspect Theravadins themselves would be somewhat offended at the idea of Theravada "schools", since they see themselves as all one school ("orthodoxy"). I have made it "Theravada orders" and turned it into a subsection.

I also restored the East Asian Vinaya, Jojitsu, and Kusha schools that were removed by anonymous with the explanation "These schools were not nikaya schools; much later and outside India. thus: removed." I realize that there are different definitions of what "Nikaya schools" means, but the usage that has so far been standard on Wikipedia has nothing to do with being early or being in India. Modern Theravada isn't early or in India either, but it's still a Nikaya school.

I removed the numbers that anonymous added to the Nikaya schools. This seems like an uncomfortable shoehorn to try to use on the article, since there are supposed to be 18 schools, but we actually list 22 Indian schools and 5 East Asian ones. I also removed the notes about the "later names" of Sthaviravāda—I don't think it is kosher to identify Sthaviravāda with Theravada and Vibhajyavāda. Likewise, for the identification of Pudgalavada and Sammitiya (although, I don't really know much about that, so somebody correct me if I'm wrong).

One additional thing: I noticed that, all along, we've been listing several schools, including the Dharmaguptaka, as subdivisions of Theravada. I could be wrong, but this seems fishy. So, until someone wants to change it back, I moved the affected schools up one notch, making them subdivisions of Vibhajyavāda instead. - Nat Krause 06:33, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Comments on june 20 edits[edit]

Hello, Actually, the grouping of the 'Nikaya schools' as a group was started by the (then) new Mahayana movement, for purposes of positioning their own new movement and ideology. Doing that, they actually disregarded some common elements they shared with, or inherited from, those very same schools. Theravada doesn't regard itself as a 'Nikaya school' but just as Theravada itself; a living tradition in its own right. From that perspective, and for purpose of making a distinction between dead and living traditions, it would be more appropriate to put Theravada on its own. Not doing that also gives (to me) a 'Mahayana' feel to the list.

Also, Sthavira is sanskrit for Thera. Sthavira was thus the name for Theravada in the Mahayana movement which wrote in Sanskrit. At the time of Asoka there was a restructuring and purification of the different groups that excisted at the time. Since then the name of Vibhajyavāda came into being, which was used for a while, after which they went back to using Theravada.

Concerning the ID between puggalavada with sammitiya I was wrong: I meant the Vatsiputriya. You can find more info there. (I'm not 100% sure it's correct, though I suppose so)

The tradition of Ajahn Chah is actually a seperate entity in the (Thai) buddhist Theravada world, with its own monasteries and its own customs and ways of doing things. It refers to itself as the Tradition of Ajahn Chah. The Tradition of Ajahn Mun can (llosly) be identified with the Thai Forest Tradition as a whole. Compare also to the Franciscans and the Dominican Order, whose names are based on the founder.

I notice some inconsistency in that the name of 'Nikaya schools' is used in the article, but then it says: see also: early buddhist schools. I do feel the inclusion of chinese and japanese schools is strange and out of place. They are from a totally different setting, society and culture, and don't share the common history of the early buddhist schools. I suspect those schools just use (parts of) the Vinaya from one of the early schools, but use the Mahayana scriptures, teachings and conventions. At least they should be removed from in between the early buddhist schools.

This article 'Schools in Buddhism' should relate to Dhamma-vinaya, as far as I am concerned. This was also the name used by the Buddha on many occasions. If the Dhamma of the various Theravada nikayas is similar, but for some reason those nikayas have difficulties between each other in terms of different interpretations (or levels of strictness) of Vinaya, then a case can surely be made to call them schools. Take for example Sthaviravada (as I have reason to believe the early Theravada was called by the Mahayana) and Mahasamghika; what caused the split was Vinaya, not Dhamma (issues at that time were for example the usage of salt and money and the authority of teachers to 'change' or disregard vinaya). Since those two are regarded as schools, it seems appropriate to apply the same principle to the different nikayas which exist nowadays. Disregarding the vinaya, and just focusing on Dhamma seems nice, but is not the actual reality.

With metta, -- 12:45, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

For more info on Theravada/Sthaviravada see Theravada or follow this link: [2]. Since no comments were made for two days I implemented the comments mentioned above.

Sorry—I lost track of this convo for a couple days. A few comments: you say, "the grouping of the 'Nikaya schools' as a group was started by the (then) new Mahayana movement". Don't you mean, the grouping of Hinayana schools was started in that way? As far as I can tell, the concept of Nikaya Schools was created quite recently by a Harvard professor. It should not necessarily be regarded as a synonym for Hinayana—which has a complicated range of meanings anyway. The fact that Theravada doesn't describe itself as a "Nikaya School" doesn't mean that we can't describe its relationship to other schools, and I don't see what it's being "a living tradition in its own right" has to do with the matter.
You are right, I did indeed mean Hinayana, but the grouping itself of the early schools as a seperate group was still started by Mahayana, although nowadays the used name is Nikaya buddhism. I am not familiar with the strictly academic use of the term, so I cannot somment on that. The main groups in Buddhism nowadays are Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana, and I think that for that reason Theravada should be on the same 'line' as the other 2.
It's quite true that Sthaviravada and Theravada mean the same thing in slightly different languages, but they are apparently used by modern scholars in English to distinguish to different concepts. If Vibhajyavāda is really synonymous with Theravada, then we should remove the former from the list; however, the way the list is currently arranged (see my comments above), it implies that there were several schools that came out of Vibhajyavāda, which means that it, too, is a distinct concept from Theravada.
I just received a copy of the book 'Buddist Religions' by Thanissaro Bhikkhu and two academic writers, and they don't include a list like we have here because (they say) not enough is known about the relationships between them. They say all groups claimed to have a straight line back to the buddha, so that's what we have then.
With regard to the Tradition of Ajahn Chah, I didn't necessarily mean to say that it is part of some other school, or even to say hard and fast that it should not be listed—your information that it forms a separate group under that name is interesting. The point that I was making was that we should be very careful about starting to include minor subgroupings, as this page would then eventually become a huge category of different subsubschools and sitting groups. I think we should keep our focus on a bird's eye view of the different branches of Buddhist thought.
That's true, but the Ajahn Chah group is a mayor one in western Buddhism, so I believe it's OK to list it here.
So far, on Wikipedia, we've been defining "Nikaya schools" solely on the basis of their Sutra Pitaka. I can see where a link to early Buddhist schools can be misleading; the purpose, I believe, was simply out of practicality, because the large majority of the Nikaya schools, but not all of them, were indeed fairly early schools. The East Asian schools are included because, if I understand them correctly, they do not use Mahayana scriptues. If you are correct in your suspicion that they "use[d] the Mahayana scriptures, teachings and conventions", then they should definitely be moved to the Mahayana section.
I will try to do some research on that. It is just that I have never heard of any other schools than Mahayana subschools (with or without Vinaya) in East Asia .
I still don't think that it's appropriate to refer to "Theravada schools". Dharma and vinaya are both important, but all Theravadins have, in their own eyes, identical sutras and vinaya. They recognize each other as orthodox, non-schismatic Buddhists. That they are merely emphasising different aspects, coupled with the fact that they see themselves as one school, leads me to believe that we should be talking about "subschools" or "orders" or just "nikayas".
OK, subschools would do fine too (Nikaya is too unfamiliar for western readers). But the part about non-schismatic is not true. The best example is the attitude of some Thammayut monks towards the Maha Nikaya. It's getting a bit less nowadays but it's still happening frequently. Some Thammayut monks say for example that all Maha Nikaya monks are not monks, but just samaneras, because their lineage or ordination-procedure is not proper. And also about orthodox is not true, Dhammakaya for example is heavily criticized by the foremost (No 1) Thai scholor-monk P.A. Payutto (and others) for teaching wrong views, influenced by Mahayana concepts.
If that's what Thammayut say about Maha Nikaya, they're confused: if their ordination is invalid, they're not even samaneras,who have to be ordained by monks. Peter jackson 11:03, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
By the way, I'd love to read the Britannica article, but I wouldn't love to pay for it, so I'm unable. I do think, that we don't necessarily want to emulate everything about Britannica's treatment. I fear that it might tend to be a little too conservative in retaining prejudices from outdated Buddhology that have been reconsidered more recently. - Nat Krause 10:20, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
greetings, -- 17:19, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC) (For now I don't want to get too involved)


Mikkyo doesn't count as a school of Buddhism, I should think. It's more a general term than anything particularly Buddhism-related. Even if we understand it to refer specifically to Shingon or Tendai, those are already listed. It seems redundant.

Theli 93 07:03, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

I think the reason for the presence of Mikkyo on the list (which I might have added, I can't remember) is to have a general category to include both Shingon and Tendai under Vajrayana (Shingon, by the way, is not listed elsewhere). I do agree that the current arrangement is problematic, though, because Shingon, at least, is not exclusively a Japanese phenomenon, but emerges from earlier Chinese Vajrayana. - Nat Krause 03:58, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Please find home for this puppy[edit]

Orphaned description of school which I can't place anywhere in this page.

"Bāhya-Pratyakshavāda of the Vaibhāshikas: this was another Theravada school based on the conclusions of an ancient Buddhist conference in Kashmir; Bāhya-Pratyakshavāda also believed in the existence of both consciousness and material objects, composed of atoms. They believed that external objects are known through direct perception (i.e., direct realism)."

I suspect that it is just another name for Vibhajjavāda, which is listed here but I'm not sure. Please find this lost proper name and retun/add the content to apporpriate home (article). :) FWBOarticle


I plan to go through and double check the accuracy of our "family tree" of schools using Charles Muller's Digital Dictionary of Buddhism as my main source. Fair warning. - Nat Krause(Talk!) 23:48, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

A chart[edit]

It would be easyer to navigate this page if it had a chart similar to that of the table in the Christian denomination page. -- 20:31, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

I've created a Word chart of major living branches of Buddhism. Unfortunately, Wikipedia doesn't seem to be able to upload anything as elementary as Word, & I don't seem to have the facilities for anything more complicated. If anyone's interested in translating or adapting it, I can email it. Peter jackson (talk) 15:22, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Vijñānavāda = Yogācāra?[edit]

The German WP redirects from de:Yogacara to de:Vijnanavada and says Vijñānavāda is also called Yogācāra, whereas this English WP's article lists them separately.

If they are indeed the same thing, the German de:Vijnanavada and the English Yogacara should have interlanguage links to each other, and this list should be changed. Wikipeditor 11:05, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Humanistic Buddhism Mahayana School[edit] Dhammapal (talk) 08:25, 12 March 2008 (UTC)


User:Kemrin added the following today:

Atteroterra Buddhism: A diminutive school of Buddhism born in America in 2008. Originally referring to persons who become Buddhist, but have no available Sangha or Buddhist role models, and so pour over the teachings of Buddhism mostly on their own, grasping for whatever enlightenment they can manage. This school was created by one such person who after years of studying Buddhism independently, found that they didn't fit into any school of Buddhism, and so created this school to describe their own personal beliefs. Atteroterra means wasteland, the name Wasteland Buddhist was chosen because the original member felt as though they were wandering through a spiritual wasteland when they was searching for a Buddhist community to join.

Just to give it the benefit of the doubt, given that it has no citaions, I googled "atteroterra" and found zero matches. So, uncited, unknown, this material will be deleted momentarily. If someone has a serious citation for this (e.g., per WP:RS) or can otherwise prove its appropriateness for this WP article (see WP:NOTE), please add such information here before (or at least in tandem with) re-instating this material. Thanks so much, Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 23:59, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

New Buddhist movements[edit]

What is the definition of this? Most of those listed are new denominations, which isn't a problem, but some are movements within existing denominations. How is it decided what to include here? Many, if not most, scholars would classify all modernized/Westernized forms of Buddhism, including the entirety of Western Buddhism, as new movements. Peter jackson (talk) 10:05, 29 September 2008 (UTC)


Is anyone able to add some information on the major differences that distinguish the schools of Buddhism? Is it particular beliefs? Practices? Purely organisational/administrative? Were they produced by historic schisms, or merely by modern attempts of classification? Cesiumfrog (talk) 05:00, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Removed the qualification "pseudo"...[edit]

...from the phrase "culturally-dynamic pseudo-psychological method of self-improvement". Actually this whole phrase seems to be a sneer but the "pseudo" took it over the top. -- (talk) 17:45, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Clarification please -- Mahayana ?[edit]

Could someone review and clarify the last sentence of the second paragraph. It currently reads:

"The most common classification among scholars is threefold, with Mahāyāna itself between the traditional Mahāyāna teachings, and the Vajrayāna teachings which emphasize esotericism"

What exactly is meant by the fragment "...with Mahayana itself between..."?

Is it something like "...with Mahayana itself sitting between..." or "...with Mahayana itself occupying a position between..."? If that is indeed the intended sense then the comma after "...Mahayana teachings" is inappropriate. If that is *not* the intended sense, then what is?