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Riven by LustIncest and Schism in Indian Buddhist Legend and Historiography$
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Jonathan A. Silk

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824830908

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824830908.001.0001

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The Creation of Sects in Early Buddhism

The Creation of Sects in Early Buddhism

(p.12) 2 The Creation of Sects in Early Buddhism
Riven by Lust

Jonathan A. Silk

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter introduces the historical situation of early Indian Buddhist sectarianism and the explicit polemical context within which the story of Mahādeva is related in an important scholastic text, the Abhidharma Mahāvibhāṣā (Great Commentary on the Abhidharma; henceforth Vibhāṣā). It details the separation of the Buddhist community into two branches, following the death of Buddha, each of which went on to produce further subdivisions. All subsequent sectarian evolutions of Indian Buddhism may be traced back to this fundamental split into two branches. It has long been maintained, in both traditional lore and upon that basis in most modern scholarship, that the break between these two basic groups arose over a disagreement concerning the Five Theses or Points of Mahādeva, the pañca-vastūni. These are the allegedly heretical theses he is said to have propounded.

Keywords:   Indian Buddhism, Indian Buddhist, sectarianism, Mahādeva, Abhidharma Mahāvibhāṣā

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