The gods of northern Buddhism

their history, iconography and progressive evolution through the northern Buddhist countries

by Alice Getty | 1914 | 98,662 words

Indispensable reference for art historians, scholars of Eastern philosophy and religion. Wealth of detailed scholarly information on names, attributes, symbolism, pictorial representations of virtually every major and minor divinity in Mahayana pantheon, as worshipped in Nepal, Tibet, China, Korea, Mongolia, and Japan. 185 black-and-white illustrat...

Introduction

General Survey Of Buddhism And Its Evolution

- Sub-Contents: (+ / -)

'Namo Buddhaya, namo Bharmaya, namo Sahghaya':

'I worship Buddha, I worship the Doctrine, I worship the Community'

— such is the formula which represents the quintessence of the Buddhist religion. It is uttered and repeated several times a day by numberless Buddhist monks and priests as well as by those of the laity who are at all instructed in their faith.

The others content themselves with murmuring ceaselessly the magic formula:

'Om, mani padme, tern'

('Oh, the jewel in the lotus!').

Now, to give a general idea of the great religion whose followers form a third part of the human species, it is sufficient to develop this formula of the three jewels (Triratna). First we shall examine the life of the sole and unique historical Buddha (enlightened one), Sakya-muni, founder of the faith; then we shall summarize briefly the doctrine preached by him, following its evolution across space and time, in order that we may see and understand the forms under which it has existed in the various countries to which it has penetrated; lastly we shall give a description of the constitution of the Buddhist clergy (especially the Lamaite), and sketch what may be called the material side of the religion.

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