Allow me to ask a question about Buddhism.
I had the chance to meet with my previous teaching monks and nuns. They informed me that they follow the Theravadan tradition. When I inquired whether or not it belongs to Hinayana, they answered that it is not. I am still unsatisfied about that answer and that is why I have to ask for your input.
I just watched your TV program called Pure Land Mahayana in which the co-host, Mr. Thien Giac and you were explaining about repaying kindness.
1. Is there any difference in practice between the Theravada tradition and Hinayana?
2. Is there any difference in practice between the Vietnamese Pure Land Mahayana and Chinese Pure Land Mahayana?
I am grateful to you for helping understand more about Buddhism [through your TV programs and web sites].
I wish you peace and bliss in bringing Mahayana to living beings.
As far as I know, the Theravadan tradition is just another name for Hinayana.
- As far as practices go, they are based on Hinayana sacred scriptures which were originally recorded in Pali. People can say all they want, if they use Pali based scriptures, then it’s Hinayana.
- Right now, I see little differences in practice between the Vietnamese and Chinese Pure Land Mahayana because both are basically based on Chinese Pure Land Buddhism. Unfortunately, it has evolved a very narrow interpretation of Pure Land Buddhism.
I feel that Pure Land Buddhism as it is practiced right now could be improved so as to maximize the rebirth chances of its believers. That is why we call our approach Pure Land Mahayana.