Buddhism Alan D. DeSantis Introduction Buddhism was started by a man named Siddhrtha Gautama (563-483 B.C.) in India He was a Hindu Siddhartha was a social reformer of sorts He taught that anybody might achieve higher enlightenment
Buddhism, with about 708 million adherents, is the fourth-largest religion in the world Buddhas Life Siddhrtha's father was the ruler of the city of Patliputra. Under strict instruction of his father, Siddhrtha was never exposed to suffering or pain At the age of 29, he came across what has become known as the Four Passing Sights:
He decided to abandon his worldly life, leaving behind his privileges, rank, caste, and his wife and child Buddhas Life He decided that if he continued on his path of poverty, he would die without reaching any understanding
After six years, Siddhrtha (now 35), sitting under a pipal tree, attained Enlightenment and became a Buddha. For the remaining 45 years of his life, Buddha traveled northeastern India, teaching to all from nobles to outcaste street sweepers The Four Noble Truths The Buddha taught that life was inherently suffering, that it is caused by craving, but that this condition was curable
1) Suffering: 2) The origin of suffering: 3) The cessation of suffering: 4) The way leading to the cessation of suffering: Or . . . To put it another way . . . 1 Life's a bitch. 2 The reason life's a bitch is that people are attached to material things. 3 Life doesn't always have to be a bitch. You can achieve nirvana.
4 The way to achieve nirvana is by following the eightfold path. The Noble Eightfold Path The Noble Eightfold Path is a progressive series of stages through which the practitioner moves
1 Right View - Realizing the Four Noble Truths 2 Right Intention - Commitment to mental and Ethical growth 3 Right Speech - One speaks in a non hurtful, not exaggerated, truthful way 4 Right Action - Wholesome action, avoiding action that would hurt others 5 Right Livelihood - One's job does not harm in any way oneself or others; directly or indirectly (weapon maker, drug dealer, etc.) 6 Right Effort - One makes an effort to improve 7 Right Mindfulness - Once you've beaten your physical self into submission, you have to start working on your mental state, seeking
the ability to think clearly and see things as they really are. 8 Right Concentration - Focus, focus, focus! (and meditate)! The path is only complete when you have refined your mind into a state of total focus on reality Some Important Concepts
The Middle Path The Middle Way or Middle Path is often described as the practice of non-extremism; a path of moderation away from the extremes of self-indulgence and opposing self-mortification. Meditation Meditation helps one's mind become calm, tranquil, and luminous. Some Important Concepts Karma and Reincarnation
You remember them from Hinduism, right? No Caste No Gods Buddhist denounced god-worship Addressing the God Question (from Bhridatta Jataka) If the creator of the world entire
They call God, of every being be the Lord Why does he order such misfortune And not create concord? If the creator of the world entire They call God, of every being be the Lord Why prevail deceit, lies and ignorance And he such inequity and injustice create?
If the creator of the world entire They call God, of every being be the Lord Then an evil master is he, Knowing what's right did let wrong prevail! Some Important Concepts Nirvana (heaven and hell) Nirvana is the end of suffering while you're alive, and the end of rebirth after you die.
Heaven: Everything is just the way you want it to be. You are ultimately happy. Hell: In the hell realm, the worst place, you find the most suffering. One day you might be walking through a forest, when all the leaves on a tree turn into razor blades and fall, cutting you into a million pieces. You cry out in pain, and your hell body resurrects, so you can be killed over and over again. Buddhist scriptures
Buddhist scriptures and other texts exist in great variety. Different schools of Buddhism place varying levels of value on them. Buddhism Schools: the three main Today, Buddhism is divided primarily into three traditions:
Each branch sees itself as representing a true, original teachings of the Buddha Just like Christian denominations The Theravada school (Southern school) The Theravada school bases its practice and doctrine exclusively on
the Pali Canon. Theravada Buddhism are viewed as elitists and selfishness The Mahayana School
The biggest and most popular (with many off-shoots) Emphasizes universal compassion and the selfless ideal of the bodhisattva. Recognize all the scriptures that were put in writing around 1 CE. The way of the Mahayana, in contrast to the more conservative and austere Theravada school, can be characterized by Zen Buddhism is a branch of Mahayana Buddhism A popular American branch since the 1960s
The Vajrayana School Found primarily in Tibet Like Mahayana Buddhism, but with additional practices: These profound states are used as a path to Buddhahood Vajrayana School The End . . .
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