Welcome to the York University Anderson World Religions WikiEdit
This wiki is intended for key terms and is accessible to all students in Gordon's tutorial. Please contribute to the WIKI by adding,editing, or correcting the following terms.
Definition: A Bodhisattva is a person who holds off acheives enlightenment but holds off their own nirvana in order to help other relieve their suffering. The idea seperates the ideology behind Mayahana buddhism and Therevada buddhism. In therevada Buddhism the purpose is for one to acheive their own enlightenment and become an arhat. Therefore the only person considered to be a bodhisattva in Therevada Buddhism is Guatama, because he showed all the qualities of a bodhisattva; self-sacrifice, wisdom and morality. However Mayahana buddhists, a more reformed type of buddhism that does not stick completely with the original buddhist texts, believe that the idea of Therevada buddhists, to just become Arhats, but to not go as far as Buddhism is considered selfish. Therefore the goal for Mahayana Buddhists is Buddhahood, which is one step further than Arhats. The number of bodhisattvas are limitless, many different Buddhist kings and teachers have received the title.
Significance: This is significant because it clearly shows a crucial difference that causes the diveregence between the two main strains of Buddhism
(Jen) Happy studying! :)
Definition: Therevada is the most orthodox type of Buddhism. It is considered the teaching of the elders. The purpose of Therevada Buddhism is to become an Arhat, a person who has acheived enlightenment. It's spiritual inspiration comes from the Tipitaka (Pali Canon). It has been most prominent in the Southeast of Asia; Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Laos, as well as Sri Lanka. They dont believe in the concept of a supreme creator or G-d. They believe in the "awakened one" - siddharta Guatama. They use meditation for awakening. The ideal road to Buddhism is to live a monastatic life (life as a monk or a nun) in order to acheive enlightenment. The key teachings in Therevada Buddhism are the four noble truths (Somebody else defined these- see that page for more details) The philosophy of this school is subject to three characterisitcs - transient, nothing substantial, and impermanence.