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Theravada BuddhismThe View of the Elders$
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Asanga Tilakaratne

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835965

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835965.001.0001

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The Traditional Theravada Practice

The Traditional Theravada Practice

(p.92) Chapter 7 The Traditional Theravada Practice
Theravada Buddhism

Asanga Tilakaratne

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter focuses on Theravada practices that have traditionally been a major influence on the cultures of the Theravada countries. It specifically looks at the varied forms of “merit acquiring,” social welfare activism, and the central role of the Buddhist monk in the whole process. It has been claimed that there are two forms of Theravada practice: Kammatic and Nibbanic. Kammatic Buddhism included all types of religious behavior intended to generate “merit,” which are believed to further one's interests and ambitions in the samsaric existence—that is, the cycle of existence that includes past, present, and countless future lives. Nibbanic Buddhism, on the other hand, is the path followed by those who do not have samsaric aspirations or ambitions but wish to bring to an end samsara as soon as possible.

Keywords:   Theravada practices, Theravada countries, social welfare activism, Buddhist monk, Kammatic Buddhism, Nibbanic Buddhism, samsaric existence

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