Buddhism

From H.P.Blavatsky - Teopedia
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Buddhism. Buddhism is now split into two distinct Churches : the Southern and the Northern Church. The former is said to be the purer form, as having preserved more religiously the original teachings of the Lord Buddha. It is the religion of Ceylon, Siam, Burmah and other places, while Northern Buddhism is confined to Tibet, China and Nepaul. Such a distinction, however, is incorrect. If the Southern Church is nearer, in that it has not departed, except perhaps in some trifling dogmas due to the many councils held after the death of the Master, from the public or exoteric teachings of Sâkyamuni—the Northern Church is the outcome of Siddhârta Buddha’s esoteric teachings which he confined to his elect Bhikshus and Arhats. In fact, Buddhism in the present age, cannot he justly judged either by one or the other of its exoteric popular forms. Real Buddhism can be appreciated only by blending the philosophy of the Southern Church and the metaphysics of the Northern Schools. If one seems too iconoclastic and stero:, and the other too metaphysical and transcendental, even to being overgrown with the weeds of Indian exotericism—many of the gods of its Pantheon having been transplanted under new names to Tibetan soil—it is entirely due to the popular expression of Buddhism in both Churches. Correspondentially they stand in their relation to each other as Protestantism to Roman Catholicism. Both err by an excess of zeal and erroneous interpretations, though neither the Southern nor the Northern Buddhist clergy have ever departed from truth consciously, still less have they acted under the dictates of priestocracy, ambition, or with an eye to personal gain and power, as the two Christian Churches have.

Source: H.P.Blavatsky - The Theosophical Glossary


Buddhism 'is the religious philosophy taught by Gautama Buddha. It is now split into two distinct churches: the Southern and Northern. The former is said to be the purer, as having preserved more religiously the original teachings of the Lord Buddha. The Northern Buddhism is confined to Thibet, China, and Nepaul. But this distinction is incorrect. If the Southern Church is nearer, and has not, in fact, departed, except perhaps in trifling dogmas, due to the many councils held after the death of the MASTER from the public or exoteric teachings of Sakyamuni, the Northern Church is the outcome of Siddharta Buddha's esoteric teachings which he confined to his elect Bikshus and Arhats. Buddhism, in fact, cannot be justly judged in our age either by one or the other of its exoteric popular forms. Real Buddhism can be appreciated only by blending the philosophy of the Southern Church and the metaphysics of the Northern Schools. If one seems too iconoclastic and stern, and the other too metaphysical and transcendental, events being overcharged with the weeds of Indian exotericism — many of the gods of its Pantheon having been transplanted under new names into Thibetan soil — it is due to the popular expression of Buddhism in both churches. Correspondentially, they stand in their relation to each other as Protestantism to Roman Catholicism. Both err by an excess of zeal and erroneous interpretations, though neither the Southern nor the Northern Buddhist clergy have ever departed from Truth consciously, still less have they acted under the dictates of priestocracy, ambition, or an eye to personal gain and power, as the later churches have.

Source: H.P.Blavatsky - The Key to Theosophy, The theosophical glossary