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Religon Compass 3 (2009): 19, 10.1111/j.1749-8171.2009.00193.

Early Indian Mah  ayana Buddhism II: New Perspectives


David Drewes*
University of Manitoba

Abstract

Part 1 of this article surveyed and appraised recent developments in the study of early Indian Mah ana. Part 2 continues by presenting a number of new perspectives on the nature of ay this movement, the practices it advocated, and the preachers, known as dharmabh nakas, that seem a _ ay to have been its primary agents. An appendix discusses the use of terms such as Mah ana, Therav ada, Hnay ana, and Mainstream Buddhism.

If the leading new theories on early Mah ana are inadequate, as I suggested in part 1 of ay this article, where does this leave us? Will even a basic framework for making sense of early Indian Mah ana forever elude us? If any solution is to be found, the rst thing that ay must be done is to decide what exactly we are trying to account for. This, I believe, can only properly be the nature of the movement that produced Mah ana stras. Scholars ay u have long often identied the problem as uncovering the origin of the bodhisattva ideal, but this misses the mark. Mah ana stras are what we have actually got. The reason that ay u scholars have searched for the origin of the bodhisattva ideal is that Mah ana stras ay u advocate it. To raise the question of the origin of the bodhisattva ideal above the question of the origin of Mah ana stras, or to conate the two questions, as is often done, ay u is to presuppose that the adoption of the bodhisattva ideal was the primary factor motivating the composition of these texts, and there is no reason to believe that this was the case. As we saw in part 1, early Mah ana stras often present their teachings as useful ay u not only to people who wish to become Buddhas, but to those who wish to attain arhatship or pratyekabuddhahood as well. The old idea that the Mah ana began with the rejecay tion of the arhat ideal in favor of that of the bodhisattva is thus clearly incorrect. Mah ana stras have several characteristics that distinguish them from earlier or more ay u traditional stras, including expanded cosmologies and mythical histories, ideas of pure u lands and great, celestial Buddhas and bodhisattvas, descriptions of powerful new religious practices, new ideas on the nature of the Buddha, and a range of new philosophical perspectives. The bodhisattva ideal is just one of several new elements and there is no reason to identify it as the cause of the others. Mah ana authors never denied the facticity of the early Buddhist world; rather, they ay expanded on it to the point where it became largely irrelevant, left with little more than a toehold in a vast new universe. The primary importance of the bodhisattva ideal seems to be that it provided them with a framework for doing this. A fair amount of material in early Buddhist stra literature suggested that the Buddha knew far more than he u revealed there. In a sutta in the P Samyutta Nik ali aya, for example, the Buddha holds up a _ handful of leaves and tells the monks that the things he has told them are like the leaves in his hand, while the things he knows but has not told them are like the leaves in the forest. The idea of the bodhisattva is found in early Buddhists texts, and dates as far back
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in Buddhist history as we can see, but early texts provide little information about bodhisattvas besides depicting them as heroic strivers for what Nattier (2003) calls the highest achievement that the Buddhist repertoire had to offer. As bodhisattvas were training to become Buddhas, who were believed to be omniscient, however, it would be reasonable to suppose that they would need to learn many things that arhats did not. Mah ana stra ay u authors took advantage of this broad lacuna and presented their new ideas in texts which they claimed were special stras that the Buddha delivered for bodhisattvas. This enabled u them to plausibly introduce a full range of ideas and practices that differed signicantly from those found in early Buddhist texts and simultaneously induce people to adopt them. It seems that some people already identied as bodhisattvas before the development of Mah ana stras, though many of them rejected these texts when they rst emerged ay u (Fujita 2009). People probably began to identify themselves or others as bodhisattvas in an occasional and irregular manner as soon as the idea of the bodhisattva developed, just as they do in Therav countries today. Teachings intended specically for bodhisattvas ada certainly would have appealed to at least some of these people as well as to others who may have found the possibility of easily attaining the glory of a Buddha to be attractive. For people who sought arhatship and pratyekabuddhahood, the claim was that stras for u bodhisattvas were especially powerful and could propel them toward these goals more quickly than more traditional stras. u So what sort of movement produced Mah ana stras? The knee jerk reaction has ay u always been that it must have been some sort of school or sect. The rst scholar to notice ` a distinction between Mah ana stras and more traditional ones was Eugene Burnouf ay u (1844) and he immediately suggested that they were the product of a distinct school (ecole). Other scholars followed his lead and set about trying to gure out what sort of school it was and how it came into existence. The fact that several leading scholars of the late 19th and early 20th centuries concluded that the Mah ana was not distinct from ay the nik ayas, as Silk has shown, did little to check this trend. Scholars started talking of the Mah ana as a school again almost immediately, apparently for no other reason than that ay they found it difcult to think of it in any other way. Once the fact that Mah ana was ay not a separate school resurfaced in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the fact that early Mah ana left virtually no evidence for its existence apart from its stras became clear, a ay u similar move was made again with the development of the forest hypothesis. Mah ana ay once again became the product of a particular group or groups of Buddhists living apart from others, devoted to a distinct form of practice. With the forest hypothesis now seeming implausible, the new sect approach has perhaps come to the end of the line. So we have literally hundreds of Mah ana stras but no school or sect to connect ay u them to. How can this be? The answer is likely very simple. There was probably simply not much to early Mah ana apart from these texts. What the evidence collected over ay the last century and a half suggests is that early Indian Mah ana was primarily a textual ay movement, focused on the revelation, preaching, and dissemination of Mah ana stras, ay u that developed within, and never really departed from, traditional Buddhist social and institutional structures. Apart from the fact that no evidence suggesting that the Mah ana was more than a ay textual phenomenon has yet come to light, and that no attempt to envision it as such has held up, Mah ana stras themselves contain a signicant amount of material to support ay u this view. As mentioned in part 1 of this article, many Mah ana stras advocate the use ay u of Mah ana stras as a group. Early stras do not call them Mah ana, but use the ay u u ay terms vaipulya (extensive) stras, gambhra (profound) stras, and a few other names. Many u u Mah ana stras, including such well known texts as the Astas ay u ahasrik Pratyutpanna, larger a, __
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Early Indian Mah ana Buddhism II ay

Sukh vyuha, Vimalakrtinirdesa, and Bhadrakalpika, present a revelatory scenario in avat which the Buddha entrusts this corpus of stras to certain bodhisattvas who vow to u sojourn in heavens or other Buddhaelds after the Buddhas death and then return to this world ve hundred years later to preach, teach, and study them. Paul Harrison (1990), commenting specically on the passages in the Pratyutpanna, argues that the authors of this text presented themselves as reincarnations of the bodhisattvas to whom the Buddha originally entrusted it in order to vindicate themselves and legitimate their stra. Since u they depict the future revelation of multiple stras, however, the authors of the Pratyutpu anna and stras like it are clearly not attempting to provide legitimation for just their u own texts, but for a broader Mah ana phenomenon. Passages advocating the use of ay multiple Mah ana stras in fact seem to be the only passages in Mah ana stras that ay u ay u reect an awareness of a Mah ana movement coalescing around more than individual ay texts. It seems that we may see in them a rare glimpse of the early Mah ana movements ay self-understanding, a eeting reection of the movement in the mirror of its attempts to justify itself. Key to notice is that what these passages try to justify is not any sort of splinter group, any new doctrine or special practice, or the bodhisattva ideal, but simply a new textual revelation. Also important to consider are the practices advocated by Mah ana stras. Attempting ay u to gure out the religious practices of early Mah anists has been a central preoccupation ay of scholars in the eld almost from the start. As we saw in part 1, scholars have variously claimed that Mah anists were compassionate do-gooders, celestial bodhisattva and ay Buddha worshippers, stpa worshippers, book shrine worshippers, and ascetic mediators. u All of these claims have been based primarily on speculation, with little or no supporting evidence from Mah ana stras themselves. In fact, Mah ana stras that seem likely to be ay u ay u early almost never advocate anything like social service, apparently never advocate the worship of celestial bodhisattvas, hardly ever advocate the worship of pure land Buddhas, never mention book shrines, advocate stpa worship only from time to time and with little u urgency, and rarely encourage ascetic practice or meditation, and then usually indifferently. The practices that Mah ana stras recommend most frequently and enthusiastically ay u are creatively conceived methods that they depict as making it possible to attain Buddhahood quickly and easily. Dozens of stras, for instance, present easy practices, such as u hearing the names of certain Buddhas or bodhisattvas, maintaining Buddhist precepts, and listening to, memorizing, and copying stras, that they claim can enable rebirth in the pure u lands Abhirati and Sukh , where it is said to be possible to easily acquire the merit and avat knowledge necessary to become a Buddha in as little as one lifetime. Another commonly and enthusiastically recommended practice is that of anumodan or rejoicing, in the a, collected meritorious actions of all previous Buddhas and other beings. This practice is predicated on the very old Buddhist idea that it is possible to gain merit equal to the merit gained by the giver of a gift by rejoicing in that persons act of giving, and is said to be extremely powerful, enabling one to immediately gain more merit than the total amount of merit possessed by all beings. The practices that Mah ana stras recommend far and ay u away more frequently than all others, however, and promise by far the greatest rewards for in terms of the acquisition of merit and rapid progress toward Buddhahood, are ones involving the use of Mah ana stras themselves. Again and again almost continuously ay u in many stras we are told that if we listen to Mah ana stras, memorize them, recite u ay u them, preach them, copy them, or worship them we will make more merit than if we lled worlds full of jewels and gave them to Buddhas, caused worlds full of people to perform Buddhist practices, and so forth. Scholars have generally ignored these passages, or dismissed them as simply cult of the book related material. Often they have read them as
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tricky devices for encouraging people to preserve Mah ana stras, but as otherwise having ay u little to do with the concerns of these texts or the Mah ana movement. A more straightay forward interpretation would be that Mah ana authors recommend stra-oriented ay u practices more often and more enthusiastically than all others simply because these were the main practices that the movement wanted to encourage. Part of the problem with imagining this to be so is that Westerners have long tended to ignore the importance of Buddhist textual practices, especially those connected with memorization, recitation, and preaching, imagining true Buddhism to be primarily a matter of meditation and philosophy. In fact, composing, memorizing, reciting, preaching, listening to, and copying texts a vast labor of extending Buddhist narrative seem always to have been signicantly more important than philosophy and meditation in South and Southeast Asian Buddhism, in both theory and practice. In P suttas people ali are depicted as attaining various stages of liberation signicantly more often from listening to the Buddha preach than from practicing meditation. Listening to the dharma preached by a Buddha has always been understood as the standard context for the attainment of arhatship. Buddhist monastics devoted their careers to the memorization of texts for centuries, despite the presence of written texts, and many still do today. Along with making ritual offerings to monastics and venerating relics and Buddha images, listening to the ritual recitation and preaching of the dharma is the central religious practice of contemporary Therav laity. Anthropologist Jane Bunnag (1973) comments that in central Thai ada Buddhism in ideal terms, the primary purpose behind any mans renunciation of the lay world is that of improving his understanding of the Word of the Buddha as set out in the [Tripitaka] and reports that of the bhikkhus of Ayutthaya [that she interviewed]direct _ questioning as to their reasons for becoming ordained almost invariably provoked a response in these terms. Skilled preachers are generally the most highly regarded monks in contemporary Therav countries. Evidence provided by Chinese pilgrims suggests ada that this was true in ancient India as well. Perhaps the most revealing material in Mah ana stra literature, which has gone all but ay u neglected in scholarship, concerns a group of textual specialists called dharmabh nakas, or a _ preachers of dharma. In pre- and non-Mah ana Buddhism, specialized monastics who ay memorized, transmitted, and preached stras were known as bh nakas or dharmakathikas u a _ (e.g., Adikaram 1946; Norman 1983, 1997). Preachers called dharmabh nakas are mena tioned signicantly more frequently in Mah ana stra literature than bh nakas or dharmaay u a_ kathikas are mentioned in any genre of non-Mah ana text. To give just _a few examples, ay the standard Sanskrit edition of the Astas ahasrik refers to dharmabh nakas by name 37 a a __ _ times; the Pratyutpanna, eleven; the surviving Sanskrit portion of the K asyapaparivarta, eight; the standard Sanskrit edition of the Saddharmapundarka, or Lotus, 61; and the Gilgit __ Sam aja, 49. Although not all Mah ana stras mention dharmabh nakas so frequently, adhir ay u a most that I am familiar with, even relatively late ones, mention them _ least a few times. at The term dharmabh naka is not known to occur in non-Mah ana Indian Buddhist texts, a ay _ which strongly suggests that this type of preacher was peculiar to the Mah ana. ay As we would expect, Mah ana texts depict dharmabh nakas as people who memorize ay a _ texts, recite them, and teach them to students who travel with them. They also depict them as people who preach stras to assemblies in monasteries and towns and in private u homes. In their preaching they are depicted as taking questions from audiences, responding to hostile objections, and making an effort to speak in a dynamic, inspiring manner. They are often identied specically as monks, but some passages obliquely suggest that they may sometimes have been nuns or laypeople. In scenarios predicting that Mah ana ay stras will be revealed ve hundred years after the Buddhas death, the future revealers of u
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stras are often identied as dharmabh nakas, suggesting that they were often, perhaps typu a _ ically, the authors of these texts. Dharmabh nakas are commonly depicted as choosing to a _ be reborn in this world out of compassion for beings. Mah ana stras typically attribute ay u the status of irreversible bodhisattvas to them, and the D abhmika Stra, Bodhisattas u u vabhmi, and Ratnagotravibh each state that bodhisattvas become dharmabh nakas on the u aga a ninth bodhisattva bhmi. Many stras contain j u u atakas and avad anas that depict _well known akyamuni, D pamkara, Aksobhya, Amit Buddhas and bodhisattvas, including S ayus, and _ Manjusr , as having been powerful dharmabh nakas in former _ a lives. Very frequently, _ a Mah ana stras enjoin slavish devotion to dharmabh nakas. The Astas ay u ahasrik for instance, a, _ _ enjoins its listeners to follow dharmabh nakas, treat them as if they _were Buddhas, and give a _ them all of their property. The Pratyutpanna recommends following dharmabh nakas for a a _ period of up to 10 years, or even an entire lifetime, treating them as if they were Buddhas, giving them all of ones property, obeying them, and serving them as a slave serves his lord. Several stras even recommend making offerings to dharmabh nakas of ones own u a _ esh, blood, and life. Material of this sort occurs widely in Mah ana stra literature. Apart ay u from Buddhas and celestial bodhisattvas, Mah ana stras do not glorify any other gures ay u in this way. Overall, this material strongly suggests that dharmabh nakas were the primary a _ agents of the Mah ana movement. ay Finally, it should be noted that Mah ana  ay sastra authors indentify the Mah ana very ay closely with Mah ana stras. From studies that have been done on  ay u sastric apologetics for the Mah ana, it seems that when Mah ana  ay ay sastra authors attempt to establish the legitimacy of the Mah ana all they are concerned to defend is the authenticity of Mah ana ay ay stras in general qua buddhavacana, or word of the Buddha. Signicantly, the legitimacy u of the bodhisattva path seems never to be an issue. Non-Mah ana opponents are in fact ay typically depicted as accepting this path and claiming that it is taught in non-Mah ana ay texts (Cabezon 1992; Davidson 1990; Fujita 2009; Jaini 2002). Attempting to draw all of this into a roughly coherent picture, it seems that the venerable enterprise of trying to link the rise of the Mah ana to powerful tensions inherent in ay Buddhist communities or the pursuit of a particular lifestyle or doctrinal agenda by a particular group or groups of people has been misguided. What seems more likely is that early Indian Mah ana was, at root, a textual movement that developed in Buddhist ay preaching circles and centered on the production and use of Mah ana stras. At some ay u point, drawing on a range of ideas and theoretical perspectives that had been developing for some time, and also developing many new ideas of their own, certain preachers began to compose a new type of text stras containing profound teachings intended for bou dhisattvas which came to be commonly depicted as belonging to a new revelation that the Buddha arranged to take place ve hundred years after his death. Who these preachers were is not fully clear, but a fair guess would be that the rst of them may have begun as preachers of more traditional texts. Mah ana preachers gave their imaginations ay free rein to expand the old Buddhist world and locate it within an innitely more vast and glorious Buddhist universe with new religious possibilities for all. They attributed great power to their texts and preached that they could enable people not only to quickly attain arhatship, but Buddhahood as well. In time, the new movement came to identify itself exclusively with the pursuit of Buddhahood and denigrate the pursuit of lower religious goals. Although the new preachers faced frequent criticism and rejection, they clearly were able to nd audiences for their texts. Along with dharmabh nakas and their a _ students, we can consider the more regular or committed members of these audiences to be early Mah anists. At some point the movement gathered steam, leading to an exploay sion of Mah ana stras in the rst centuries CE. ay u
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The nature of early Mah ana ritual practice is not clear. Fairly certainly Mah anists ay ay would have continued to participate in many non-Mah ana rituals, including monastic ay rituals, uposadha observances, offerings to monastics, festivals, and the veneration of stpas, u relics, and _images. Some of the main distinctly Mah ana rituals mentioned in Mah ana ay ay stras, such as the veneration of dharmabh nakas, dharmabh nakas preaching thrones, and u a a _ _ written copies of stras, were likely typically performed in the context of preaching rituu als. Mah ana texts also mention the practice of enshrining written copies of stras in ay u ones home, or reciting them or having others do so, for protective purposes. The practice of anumodan mentioned above, may have been done privately or in group contexts. a, Organized devotion to distinctly Mah ana Buddhas or bodhisattvas seems unlikely to ay have existed in the early period, but there are admonitions to call on, listen to the names of, think of, or venerate certain Buddhas or bodhisattvas in order to obtain certain benets, such as various sorts of protection or future rebirth in a pure land. It is fairly clear that everyone involved in the movement continued to live and move within the established Buddhist world of their day. There in fact seems to be no reason to believe that the Mah ana was a reaction against anything. Rather than reactionaries, we ay may perhaps imagine early Mah anists as people who were simply continuing the extenay sion of Buddhist narrative in much the same manner as other Buddhist authors, but in a way, or to a point, that certain Buddhists felt that they had crossed a line. The rst historical reaction was thus likely against the Mah ana, rather than the other way around. ay A few Mah ana authors do criticize others for moral laxity, but this is unusual and in all ay cases of which I am aware they explicitly direct their attacks at least partially against other Mah anists, making it clear that this was not a Mah ana versus non-Mah ana issue. ay ay ay In time, different people got involved and began to compose erudite Mah ana  ay sastras and other texts in Sanskrit, instead of the vernacular or vehicular languages in which Mah ana stras were originally composed. The precise relationship between these new ay u Mah ana authors and early and later Mah ana dharmabh nakas is something that requires ay ay a _ additional study, but it seems unlikely that it was very close. There is no known case in which a  sastra author refers to himself, or is referred to by anyone else, as a dharmabh naka. In a recent publication, Florin Deleanu (2006) argues that the Bodhisatta vabhmi, a_ central early Yog ara  u ac sastra, represents the work of authors from an originally non-Mah ana background who accepted the legitimacy of Mah ana stras, but rejected ay ay u or aggressively reinterpreted many of their perspectives in favor of their own predetermined views. Although my own familiarity with  sastra literature is limited, it seems fairly clear that the religious world of Madhyamaka and Yog ara  ac sastras has little in common with that of Mah ana stras. ay u As time went on, Mah ana became more inuential and by the late fourth and early ay fth century Fa-hsien was able to report the existence of certain monasteries in which all of the inmates accepted Mah ana teachings. Others rejected Mah ana teachings or, ay ay apparently, had both Mah ana and non-Mah ana inmates. Even the existence of ay ay Mah ana monasteries, however, does not indicate that the Mah ana had become instiay ay tutionally distinct. Such monasteries were likely simply places where Mah ana texts and ay practices were accepted and anti-Mah ana polemic was unwelcome. The Mah ana in ay ay fact seems never to have taken on a distinct institutional identity in India. The idea that there was a distinct Mah ana Buddhism over and above Mah ana texts, ideas, and ay ay practices probably would not have made sense to ancient Indian Buddhists of any period. Very recently, scholars have announced the discovery of two important, surprisingly early, Mah ana stra manuscripts, a stra similar to the Aksobhyavyha, dated ay u u u paleographically to the rst or second century CE, and portions of _ two chapters of an
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early version of the Astas ahasrik radiocarbon dated to the rst century CE (Falk 2008; a, __ Strauch 2007). Fragments of the Mah ana *Sucitti Stra, dated linguistically and paleoay u graphically to the rst two centuries CE or before, have also been discovered (Salomon & Allon forthcoming). These discoveries are especially interesting because recent scholars have tended to date the beginning of the Mah ana to the rst century CE, estimating a ay century or so of development to have preceded the rst Chinese translations. Applying the same reasoning to the one or more rst century texts we now possess would suggest that the Mah ana developed in the rst century BCE. Although this is of course guessay work, it nevertheless suggests that the Mah ana was in existence for two centuries before ay the second century Chinese translations, a fact that makes it less clear that we can regard a texts inclusion in this corpus as evidence for its being especially early. The publication of the recently discovered manuscripts is eagerly awaited. Appendix Taxonomic Terms for Indian Buddhism Over the years, a range of terms has been used to distinguish Mah ana from the remainay der of Buddhism. In the past, and still sometimes now in textbooks and other general treatments, authors commonly depicted Indian Buddhism as being divisible into Mah ana and H nay or Mah ana and Therav ay ana ay ada. Both of these schemes are now seen as untenable. Dividing Buddhism into Therav and Mah ana makes sense only ada ay when discussing Buddhism after the disappearance of Buddhism in India. Sri Lankan and South East Asian Buddhists currently identify as Therav adins and East Asian and Tibetan Buddhists currently identify as Mah anists. The Therav nik ay ada aya, or more properly group of nik ayas, seems rst to have come into existence as a self-conscious group in Sri Lanka around the second or third century CE, claiming, like all Buddhist nik ayas, to faithfully transmit the original traditions of Buddhism. The Mah ana came into existence ay before this. It seems that early Therav adins accepted Mah ana teachings and that it was ay not until the tenth century that a reform movement led the lineage to become xedly anti-Mah ana (Cousins 2001; Walters 1997). Many people during this period were thus ay simultaneously Mah anists and Therav ay adins. In addition, before the disappearance of Buddhism in India, there were several nik ayas other than the Therav ada, many members of which rejected Mah ana texts. Until this point there were thus monastics who were ay neither Therav adins nor Mah anists. ay The Mah ana H nay ay ana division was popular when scholars understood the term H nay to refer collectively to the various nik ana ayas. Scholars who adopted this basic taxonomy often used it with the disclaimer that H nay is a pejorative term developed by ana Mah anists. In order to avoid using a pejorative term, some scholars used terms such as ay Nik Buddhism or Sectarian Buddhism. Since it is now clear that Mah anists did not aya ay use the term H nay to refer to the nik ana ayas, and were not against the nik ayas per se, none of these terms are now considered appropriate designations for non-Mah ana. ay Since the publication of Harrisons Searching for the Origins of Mah ana in 1995, ay the term Mainstream Buddhism has become popular. The term seems originally to have been coined by Eric Cheetham in the 1980s to refer to a collection of the earliest Buddhist teachings on which the substance of Indian Buddhism is based or to the whole spectrum of early (i.e., pre-Mah ana) Buddhism in India and Sri Lanka (Cheetham ay 1994). Harrison (1995) uses the term to refer to non-Mah ana, writing that the term ay Nik or Sectarian Buddhism (Japanese: buha bukky) seems to me less than apt for nonaya o Mah ana, since it must surely be the case that the Mah ana was pervaded by so-called ay ay Nik Buddhism. Other scholars, however, have used the term to refer to the nik aya ayas,
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or to Buddhist communities in general. Schopen (2000), for instance, refers to the mainstream monastic orders that he believes certain early Mah anists were at odds with and ay Nattier (2003) refers to the Mainstream Buddhist community comprised of nonMah anists and early Mah anists. Daniel Boucher (2008) uses the term to refer to Buday ay dhists who did not pursue the bodhisattva path and also refers to the Mainstream monastic establishment. As the term has come to be used in so many different ways, it is now highly ambiguous. For the sake of clarity it should probably no longer be used. When applied to people, the term Mah ana should be used to refer to any person or ay group that accepted or accepts the authenticity of Mah ana stras. Although the term ay u may in principle be used to refer to people who identify as bodhisattvas, doing so quickly leads to confusion. Within a few centuries of their emergence it seems that virtually everyone who accepted the legitimacy of Mah ana stras self-identied as a bodhisattva, ay u but many people who rejected them also did so. Even today, many people in Therav ada countries think of themselves or others as bodhisattvas but reject Mah ana texts and ay would bristle at being called Mah anists. The application of the term Mah ana to texts ay ay or ideas is a more complicated issue, though one that is infrequently problematic in practice. Silk (2002) suggests as a starting point that texts can be considered Mah an if ay a they are identied by tradition, for instance in the Tibetan and Chinese canonical collections, as Mah ana, and this is surely right. There are cases in which there is room for ay dispute, but the issues involved are too complicated to enter into here. The clearest term for people or groups who did not accept Mah ana stras in ancient ay u South Asian Buddhism is probably simply non-Mah ana. If a more positive term is ay desired, something like traditional can be used, though it should be kept in mind that it is unclear that such a term is applicable to anything about these people or groups besides their rejection of Mah ana stras. At the time the Mah ana developed all Buddhist ay u ay traditions had undergone processes of development and all accepted late texts as buddhavacana. Buddhism before the development of Mah ana can be called pre-Mah ana, or ay ay something more neutral, such as early Buddhism, though some scholars will prefer to restrict this term to pre-canonical Buddhism, or Buddhism before the formation of the rst nik ayas. From time to time scholars suggest using the terms Northern and Southern to distinguish Mah ana and non-Mah ana. This basic division was rst used by George ay ay Turnour (1837) and was adopted and popularized by Burnouf (1844). It is thus signicantly older than the H nay Mah ana division. Turnour and Burnouf used the terms ana ay primarily to refer to two groups of texts, Northern Nepalese Sanskrit texts and Southern P texts. Burnouf and other early scholars saw the splitting off of the Mah ana school ali ay as a development distinct from this basically linguistic split. As Mah ana is now known ay to have been active for centuries as far south as Sri Lanka, using these terms to distinguish Mah ana and non-Mah ana is only applicable to recent centuries. If one wishes to use ay ay geographical terms to speak of divisions in contemporary Asian Buddhism, it would make better sense to speak of Tibetan, East Asian, and South Southeast Asian Buddhism as three main types. Acknowledgements I would like to thank Peter Skilling and Jonathan Silk for making valuable suggestions on a draft of this paper and Richard Salomon for very kindly permitting me to cite one of his forthcoming articles.

2009 The Author Journal Compilation 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

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Short Biography David Drewes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba. He received his PhD from the University of Virginia in 2006. His research is focused primarily on early Mah ana and early Buddhism. ay Note
* Correspondence address: David Drewes, 328 Fletcher Argue Bldg., Department of Religion, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T5V5. E-mail: dddrewes@gmail.com.

Works Cited
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