Asana meditation on 42 This is sometimes called the second Buddhist council, though if one accepts that his followers held a council immediately after his death it was the third. At this council the Sangha split into two groups: the sthaviras/theras (elders) and the mahasanghikas (great community). The sthaviras were divided into eleven major sub-sects and the mahasanghikas seven. These comprise what are often known as the 18 schools of Hdnayana (lesser vehicle) Buddhism. The term Hmayana was coined by Mahayanists and is clearly evaluative. Modern scholars have not yet reached a consensus about a more neutral term for referring to these schools collectively, but Sravakayana (the Way of the Hearers) would seem to be an appropriate one as it is reasonably accurate and descriptive rather than evaluative. Scholars working in the first six or seven decades of the twentieth century tended to regard the Pataliputra council as decisive for the emergence of the Mahayana and looked to the Mahasanghika tradition for its origins with, perhaps, some streams of influence from outside of Buddhism. Asana meditation 2016.
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