Chapter 3

Shin Buddhism in Modern Culture

Chapter 3 – The Mahayana Background: The Sword of Wisdom

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Multiple Choice Questions

  • 1. Shinran’s teachings are based on which of the following?
  • 2. The aim of the teachings and practices of the Buddha was to:
  • 3. The self-renewing principle of Buddhism is:
  • 4. Early Buddhism criticized our attachments to:
  • 5. All Buddhist Mahayana schools try to trace their lineage through:
  • 6. The story of the father who saves his children from the burning house portrays the Principle of:
  • 7. By calling Buddhism — Mahayana Buddhism, in particular — a “reforming tradition,” we mean that:
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Thought Questions

1. The title of this chapter is The Mahayana Background: The Sword of Wisdom. In what ways can this aspect of Buddhism be applied to the problems in religion and society that we face today?

2. Why is it important to continuously cut through our illusions, to continuously seek deeper truths? What is it that makes Buddhism such an ongoing process of realization?

3. The Buddhist leaders that came out of the Kamakura Era challenged the status quo and reformed the traditions of the past. What happens if people do not continue to challenge their religious traditions? What happens when people do not, from time to time, question and revise/reform their traditions?