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The Awakened OnesPhenomenology of Visionary Experience$
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Gananath Obeyesekere

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153621

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153621.001.0001

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Salvific Emptiness, Fullness of Vision

(p.75) Book 2 Mahāyāna
The Awakened Ones

Gananath Obeyesekere

Columbia University Press

This chapter considers Mahāyāna Buddhism, or “the great vehicle,” which downgraded the Theravāda and other early schools. While not denying the validity of the early schools, the Mahāyāna texts affirm their limitations, especially their doctrine of arahants or saint-virtuosos who realize nirvana for their own (selfish) ends. They rejected the associated idea of minor Buddhas, who, though awakened into full nirvana-realization, are only interested in their own salvation rather than the goal of true Buddhahood, which is the salvation of all beings. The Mahāyāna's salvific goal is also the realization of emptiness.

Keywords:   Buddha, Buddhism, Mahāyāna Buddism, emptiness, salvific doctrine, nirvana

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