Template talk:Mahāyāna Buddhism

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This template was co-developed with User:TonyMPNS and User:Sacca. For more information, see Template_talk:Buddhism#Template:MahayanaBuddhism_prototype. Namaste, Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 22:10, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Don't the agama's belong in the section of scriptures, also?Greetings, Sacca 11:21, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Not really. They are not particularly important in Mahayana. The main article on Mahayana sutras ought to say Mahayana recognizes them, though. I'll check. Peter jackson 11:13, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

4th council is nothing to do with Mahayana. Peter jackson 13:54, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

It still shows up on the template, but I can't find it on the edit page to delete. Can someone explain this, and/or deal with it? Peter jackson (talk) 18:17, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

I think I see the source of the problem. I came here from the talk page for the Buddhism template, where the 4th council was included. I clicked edit there, but found the edit page for a different version of the template. This seems odd, & might cause problems in other cases, tho' here it seems OK. Peter jackson (talk) 18:22, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

color scheme[edit]

hmm... if it's meant to look like a ingot, it should be more consistent (ie: 2 pixels of varying shades of yellow on the borders). It uses white and blue, it should use light gold and dark gold...--Esteban Barahona (talk) 04:01, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Hola Esteban -
Thanks so much for taking this to the talk page. I very much appreciate your repeated kindness, in addition to your laudable aesthetic sense and sincere desire to improve WP.
I know I used the term "ingot" in my Edit Summary — perhaps I erred. With this template, I was trying to create a trompe l'oeil image (or, perhaps "simulation" is better?) with my limited HTML skills to suggest a piece of engraved gold. (The use of gold here, in a sense, in part, is also meant to be juxtaposed with Template:TheravadaBuddhism where [with User:Sacca's sage guidance] I attempted to suggest a trompe l'oeil image of a stone stele. Gold here, stone there. In my mind, this reflects a historical evolution in Buddhism, akin to that from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age — and I write this as a Theravadin practitioner ;-) ) The techniques I used to attempt to create in this simulation included:
  • Three surfaces/planes: The yellow square areas are meant to appear as if molded or carved out from the outer gold shape (headers and borders). The final "view * talk * edit" square at the bottom is meant to appear to be an intermediate plane between the closest plane of the headers and the farthest plane of the enumerated links.
  • Perspective: I attempted to use borders to create a sense of perspective (graphical) and a vanishing point. Thus, the header has a white border on top and bottom to suggest that the "vanishing point" is the lotus flower; then, the lower "reflective surface" is echoed in the top border of the lower headers ("Lands", "Doctrines", etc.). Moreover, the color weakens (turns from blue to pink) as one progresses downward, thus meaning to soften the light above.
  • Lustre/Sheen: By giving the inside borders various prismatic colors (blue, green, pink, etc.), I attempted to suggest the glow of light striking actual gold.
Thus, for me, each color and border is meant to add to this overall simulation. Sure it can be simplified (vastly!) and be made more consistent, but such would — in my mind — significantly detract from the overriding goal which is to embody the luminous aspects of Mahayana Buddhism. (Again, I write this as a Theravadin practitioner ;-) )
Also, admittedly, something greatly infusing my protectiveness of this template is that I created this template as a gift for User:TonyMPNS (see User_talk:TonyMPNS#Template:MahayanaBuddhism). Perhaps, if for no other reason then, I should let this go — in the spirit of WP? Well, at least I've further elaborated the story behind this. If you like, I'd be willing to disqualify myself from further comment here (and from reverts in this template's main space).
May you be well, Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 05:29, 4 September 2008 (UTC)


I've recently redesigned and reorganized the Mahayana Buddhism template. It now has a lighter look more reminiscent of a buddha's radiant golden light. I believe that this approach conveys the appearance of gold in a much clearer way, that has more of a connection with descriptions in the sutras and the great art of the past.

It also has a bit more organization behind the links and categories. I tried to focus on making a template that would really be representative of Mahayana Buddhism and give every major tradition a nod by focusing on the most common and essential elements of Mahayana. I have also added a box for the different major schools of Mahayana Buddhism, past and present. My reasoning for them:

  • Madhyamaka: The first major systematic school of Mahayana Buddhism, Nagarjuna's from India.
  • Yogacara: The Consciousness-only teachings of Maitreya Buddha, Asanga, and Vasubandhu. Very important for many Mahayana schools such as Zen and Esoteric Buddhism, not to mention historical analogs in the Far East (Weishi, Hosso, etc.).
  • Esoteric Buddhism: The beginning of the late period of Indian Buddhism, using esoteric methods and Yogacara theory. I chose the term "Esoteric Buddhism" because very similar terms are used throughout Himalayan countries as well as in China and Japan (where they also have esoteric practices with the Mahavairocana Sutra, Vajrasekhara Sutra, Mahacundi Dharani Sutra, etc.).
  • Pure Land: The most popular school in East Asia, an obvious choice.
  • Zen: Very important throughout China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, etc. I chose the Japanese term as it is the one most familiar to English speakers. I stuck it next to Pure Land because they are often practiced together as complementary methods.
  • Tiantai: The original lotus school, I chose the original Chinese name because it is the original name, and because the article covers the Japanese branch as well. Also, Japanese Tendai includes esoteric teachings that are not in the original Chinese Tiantai school (which focuses on the Lotus Sutra, the Prajnaparamita Sutra, Zhiyi's works on shamatha and vipashyana, etc.).
  • Nichiren Buddhism: The last major branch of Buddhism not covered previously, and uniquely Japanese. I put it with Tiantai since they are both schools based around the primacy of the Lotus Sutra.

Also, under the sutras category, I believe that the following sutras are absolutely essential to Mahayana:

  • Prajnaparamita Sutras: Contain the earliest Mahayana sutras, they practically define Mahayana and the bodhisattva path.
  • The Lotus Sutra: Very important for the development of Mahayana Buddhism in India and especially the Far East.
  • Sandhinirmocana Sutra: The original Consciousness-only sutra that spawned the Yogacara school.

Under the history category, Nagarjuna, Asanga, and Vasubandhu are the essentials in my opinion. Without them, Mahayana would not be what it is today in any of the countries linked to. Tengu800 (talk) 06:26, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

It would be helpful if we had the show/hide function at the top. I haven't figured out how to add it to this template; so, if someone knows how, could they add it please? Fastslack (talk) 02:46, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Collapsible sidebar[edit]

I've changed the sidebar to a collapsible version, since some Buddhism-pages were quite overloaded with sidebar-space. I took the idea from Template:Tibetan Buddhism sidebar, and the collapsible categories from Template:Methodism. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 08:12, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Should Esoteric Buddhism Really Be Included Here?[edit]


I am extremely far from knowlagble on this subject; however the link for "Esoteric Buddhism" on this template redirects to "Vajrayana Buddhism." The problem I see is that the Vajrayana page says that it is a third main branch of Buddhism, therefore not a sub-branch of Mahayana Buddhism.

I won't change anything, as I couldn't even begin to know which is correct (if scholars even know for that matter), but I think some sort of note or correction should be made to the appropriate page/template or pages/templates. (talk) 22:36, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Early traditions of esoteric Buddhism were not considered a third branch of Buddhism, but rather part of Mahayana Buddhism. Later, terms were invented such as "Vajrayana" and "Mantrayana" attempt to characterize esoteric tradition as a separate "third vehicle." This is not true for early traditions, though, and is also not recognized within Mahayana traditions, which retain the older view that esoteric Buddhist practices form either a "path" or a "school" but not a separate vehicle. Shingon is one tradition that is esoteric Buddhism but traditionally does not use the term "Vajrayana" for itself. Tengu800 05:02, 29 April 2014 (UTC)