How has the Buddha’s life and teachings influenced the various forms and expressions of Buddhism?

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Airbird

The Buddha life and teachings didn’t influence any styles of teaching, he only taught the Sutra’s i.e. Therevada. His greatest students however did go on to develop different styles – Mahayana, Tantra, Pureland, Chan. It’s all based on the eight fold path though, doesn’t matter what tradition or style, you’re learning the same thing. Only the aim of certain traditions is different to others, for example – some wish to attain full enlightenment and leave as Arhants. Others wish to come back and help the beings as Bodhisattva. Different paths, based on the same goal – ‘realizing the truth’.
Buddha taught the truth, no matter how you learn it, it is perceived the same. Some people are more attuned to following the path via one method or another. Some people must follow the Sutra’s (Pali for Stories) and other will follow via the Mahayanah/Trapiticia. Again, this is all learning the same thing. Although Buddha only taught Therevada, his students devised different methods suited to different people for the goal of enlightenment.
The Buddha did however teach a select few of is students the various paths and they also went on to teach others. But he did not do this publicly.
@Human Being Human – great work 🙂

42

Sounds like a homework question. Try doing your own work.

Human Being Human

If this is a homework question This link will not only help with this question but also with any future Buddhist questions too
http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/index.htm
The core teachings ie The four Noble Truths The Eight Fold Path etc are the same throughout Buddhism All the different Schools and Sects are different approaches
Lord Buddha knew we are all different with different levels of understanding Different capacities and the Dhamma was revealed to cater for this
Also for the different time periods too In Lord Buddhas time it is claimed it was relatively easy to achieve the goal of Buddhism which is great Bodhi Even within a single lifetime and many did Although we have different reasons Some wish to achieve this for their own benefit and others for the benefit of others This is reflected in the two Schools Theravada and Mahayana There is also Vajrayana which contains Tantric methods
These three Schools are further divided into many many different Sects many of which reflect local customs which have been included This Can be seen in the style of temples Colour of Monks and Nuns Robes etc
All phenomena is impermanent including the Dhamma Lord Buddha was the fourth to come to this world These times we now live in are the Dhamma ending age Eventually it disappears from the world and only the name of Amitabha will remain but as time moves on even this will disappear
It will not be until the fifth Buddha comes in a time far off will the Dhamma be revealed for the fifth time
In this Dhamma ending age corruption is everywhere especially in the west and the example set by Lord Buddha has very little influence
Profit Greed Pride Deception is the order of the day but more importantly are the downright lies propagated by self styled “teachers especially those based in America who tend to refer to themselves as western zen or American Buddhist It’s no more than a money making scam This is contrary to what Lord Buddha wanted All Dhamma is meant to be freely given Including books teachings retreats everything
Lord Buddha was no fool Knowing these times would come He left specific teachings Often termed Pure Land and for anyone with an interest can be found here
http://www.amitabha-gallery.org
It includes everything a person would ever need to make progress ..For free !!
It is Faith based invoking the direct help of Lord Buddha Amitabha
It is the largest School of Buddhism in the east where people understand Buddhism and know praying to Lord Buddha is part and parcel of Buddhism anyway
These character I have mentioned are not too keen on the truth being told and on this site I have my very own stalker who tends to make an appearance whenever I answer a Buddhist question Sometimes a character posing as a retired About will answer but only when it knows best answer is assured
Such are the times we now live in
Hope this helps

Sahil

While the Buddha was alive, Buddhism was an oral tradition and it was the predominant religion in India because it transcended the barriers of caste. However, although born in India, it was not destined to survive as a major religion in that country. One of the most important reasons for the decline of Buddhism in India was the influence of Hindu philosophy on the interpretation of Buddhism.
The Rise of Various Buddhist Schools
Five hundred monks held the First Buddhist Council three months after the Buddha’s death. The Council was led by the Buddha’s leading disciple, Maha Kashyappa, and the aim was to put into words the doctrine taught by the Buddha.
With the passage of time many sub-sects were formed, with different interpretations of the Buddhist ideology being adopted in various parts of the world.
The Second Council was held 100 years after the first one. The goal of this Council was to revise and confirm the teachings, thus discouraging the formation of sub-sects on the basis of differences in interpretations of Buddhist philosophy. It was during the Second Council that Buddhism was divided in two branches — the Theravada school and the Mahayana branch.
But things only got worse, as the Buddha had predicted, and the teachings got increasingly diluted and misinterpreted. The Third Council was held 236 years after the passing of the Buddha. King Ashoka the Great, Buddhism’s greatest patron in India, sponsored the Third Council, which decided to get rid of errant monks, preserve the teachings, and send missionaries out to other parts of the world.
However, things continued to degenerate and several splits resulted. Almost 20 schools and even more sub-schools rose from the initial two. None of the sub-schools survived the test of time.
The decline in the popularity of Buddhism in India began in the 12th century. Efforts by Emperor Ashoka led to the spread of Buddhism in other parts of the world.
To continue reading about the spread of Buddhism… http://www.buddhagroove.net/2009/04/the-evolution-of-buddhism-from-india-to-the-far-east.html

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