Interessante. A diferença entre o Budismo Mahaiana e o Teravada parece ser maior do que entre o Judaismo e o Cristianismo. E as diferenças de ênfase são similares. Acredito que poderia ter ocorrido um sincretismo entre budismo e cristianismo durante o I século EC, via rota da seda, com centro no império Kushan (séculos I-III EC). Tanto o budismo pode ter afetado o cristianismo (especialmente o Joanino) via o gnosticismo, como o contrário pode ter ocorrido, consolidando a ruptura Mahaiana. Existe uma lenda de que o apóstolo Tomé e seus discípulos teriam viajado para a Índia, via rota da seda, no século I EC, para evangelizar comunidades judaicas e gregas que lá existiam.
Although the Mahayana movement traces its origin to Gautama Buddha, scholars believe that it originated inIndia in the 1st century CE,
Scholar Andrew Skilton summarizes the prevailing view of the Mahāyāna sutras:
These texts are considered by Mahāyāna tradition to be buddhavacana, and therefore the legitimate word of the historical Buddha. The śrāvaka tradition, according to some Mahāyāna sutras themselves, rejected these texts as authentic buddhavacana, saying that they were merely inventions, the product of the religious imagination of the Mahāyānist monks who were their fellows. Western scholarship does not go so far as to impugn the religious authority of Mahāyāna sutras, but it tends to assume that they are not the literal word of the historical Śākyamuni Buddha. Unlike the śrāvaka critics just cited, we have no possibility of knowing just who composed and compiled these texts, and for us, removed from the time of their authors by up to two millenia, they are effectively an anonymous literature. It is widely accepted that Mahāyāna sutras constitute a body of literature that began to appear from as early as the 1st century BCE, although the evidence for this date is circumstantial. The concrete evidence for dating any part of this literature is to be found in dated Chinese translations, amongst which we find a body of ten Mahāyāna sutras translated by Lokaksema before 186 C.E. – and these constitute our earliest objectively dated Mahāyāna texts. This picture may be qualified by the analysis of very early manuscripts recently coming out of Afghanistan, but for the meantime this is speculation. In effect we have a vast body of anonymous but relatively coherent literature, of which individual items can only be dated firmly when they were translated into another language at a known date.
Comparison of the Theravadan & Mahayanan traditions:
|Intense, dedicated and time-consuming effort required to attain enlightenment.||Enlightenment is achieved through a normal life with varying degrees of spiritual involvement.|
|Reaching Nirvana is the ultimate goal of the Theravada Buddhist.||Vow to be reborn in order to help all other sentient beings reach Nirvanafirst.|
|Strives for wisdom first .||Compassion is the highest virtue.|
|Centers on meditation, and requires major personal dedication such as being a monk or nun.||Encourages practice in the world and among the general community.|
|Followed as a teaching or Philosophy.||Followed with reference to higher beings, more like a religion.|
|Moved primarily South and West covering Indochina and Ceylon (Sri-Lanka).||Moved Primarily North and West, covering China, Korea, Japan, and Tibet.|
|Early work written in Pali (e.g. kamma, dhamma).||Early texts are in Sanskrit (e.g. karma, dharma)|
|Emphasizes rules and education||Emphasizes intuition and practice|
|Politically conservative||Politically liberal|