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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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Schism Accounts in Buddhist Doxographies

Schism Accounts in Buddhist Doxographies

(p.58) 6 Schism Accounts in Buddhist Doxographies
Riven by Lust

Jonathan A. Silk

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter considers depictions of the schism narrative that parallel the Mahādeva story. It argues that “historical” accounts of the schism seem on the whole to reflect the same basic situation as that depicted in the Vibhāṣā and allied sources, which blame Mahādeva for the split. That sources as important as Bhāviveka's Tarkajvālā transmit an account of this schism that omits any mention of the story of murder and incest is significant. But this text does allude to the very bad character of an individual it names Bhadra, labeling him nothing less than an incarnation of Māra, the Buddhist Satan. Evidence such as this raises the question of whether the Vibhāṣā's authors did not meld together some less specific outlines of the initial Sthavira-Mahāsāṁghika schism with an otherwise unrelated narrative in an effort to assign responsibility for the community's division.

Keywords:   Mahādeva, schism narrative, Indian Buddhism

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