MAHĀYĀNA AND HĪNAYĀNA BUDDHISM
Sunday, January 25, 1970
The difference between so-called-it Therāvada Buddhism and Sarvāstivādian or Hīnayāna and Mahāyāna is very important and directly, you know, concerned with our present problem. We are supposed [laughing] to be Mahāyāna Buddhist, but I think most of us are Hīnayāna, actually. There is not much Mahāyāna students. Almost all of us may be Hīnayāna or sectarian Buddhists because we study Buddhism as something which is already given to us, like Hīnayāna Buddhist thought Buddha already gave us—have given us—the wonderful teaching. So what we should do is to preserve his teaching as you like—as you put food in refrigerator [laughs]. That is Hīnayāna way. And to study, you know, Buddhism is to take out food from refrigerator. So wherever you want it, it is already there. That is Hīnayāna way of understanding.
But Mahāyāna students rather interested in how to produce food from the field—from the garden. So naturally Mahāyāna Buddhist, you know, put the emphasis on ground or garden which has nothing in it, you know, which you don’t see anything in it. You know, if you see the garden, you don’t see anything. But if you take care of seed, it will come out.
So we—Mahāyāna Buddhist make our effort to, you know, to see something come out from ground. And joy of the Mahāyāna Buddhist is joy of take care of the garden. That is Mahāyāna Buddhist. So we—Mahāyāna Buddhist—that is why Mahāyāna Buddhist, you know, put emphasis on emptiness. Emptiness is—is a garden where you cannot see anything. But it is, actually, mother of everything from which, you know, everything will come out.