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Buddhism

The life of Siddharta
Born in Shakya Clan
Great prophesies at his birth; either become Great Monarch of India or enlightened one
Father fearful he would choose religious life and kept him within the palace
passed through 550 existences as man and animal before he could fulfil his rol
Deep distress and crisis
Spent 6 years as ascetic monk and found dissatisfaction
Bodh-gaya: fig tree he sat under to attain enlightenment
pattern of meditation
As he meditates God of desire and death tempted him
The answer is “desire is the cause of misery”
From here on Called Buddha
Nirvana and Parinivana
fires of desire extinguished, general inner quiet
end of a cycle of lives of suffering
Buddha’s temptation:
live in seclusion

The four passing sights
Old Age
Sickness
Death
An ascetic monk

The content of the Four Noble truths
Problem=suffering
Source of problem=craving
problem can be extinguished
how to extinguish it (eightfold middle path)

The eight-fold path
Right view
Right intentions
Right Speech
Right action
Right livelihood
Right effort
Right concentration
Right mindfulness

The three jewels of Buddhism
The Three confessions of faith::
Refuge in Buddha
Dharma: religion
Sangha: community

The Buddhist monastic order:
Sangha-first five converts. Buddha’s original ascetic companions later became disciples
The Vinaya Pitaka contains the monastic rules which include:
– no killing,
– no unchastity,
– no alcohol
– no lying or stealing
– no eating between meals,
– no secular entertainment,
– no adorning of the body,
– no high or wide beds,
– no accepting money, etc.
They eat what is given to them by lay people, study to achieve enlightenment and meditate (4 stages of meditation).
Rules help member of the order to avoid harming other, practice moderation and purify their minds.

The five constituents of human beings
Body
perception
feelings
instincts
reasoning

The chain of dependent origination:
Nothing is permanent or absolute.
Everything is interconnected and meaning
everything is affected by everything else.

The beliefs of original Buddhism:
Salvation as self-effort and self-discipline
enlightenment unrelated to caste
practical rather than metaphysical concern
Chain of dependent origination

Ashoka
The Buddhist Indian emperor:

Hinayana
Another name for Theravada Buddhism

The nature of Theravada Buddhism
Individual ticket to salvation. Don’t worry about anyone else
Closest to original Buddhism

The nature of the Tripitaka
A scripture.
Just after Buddha’s death 500 monks chanted it

The content of the Tripitaka
Canon of Buddhist teachings that contains the three baskets.
– Vinaya Pitaka (contains the monastic rules for the Sangha, the Buddhist order)
– Sutta Pitaka (the discourses that contain the teachings of the Buddha, MOST IMPORTANT PART)
– Abhidhamma Pitaka (supplement to the doctrines that contains esoteric teachings.)

The definition of Vassa
monks and lay people
3 month retreat

The vows of Buddhist monks
no eating between meal
no secular entertainment
no adorning of body
no high or wide beds
no accepting of money
No killing
No stealing
No unchastity
No lying
No alcohol

The first five are monks only. The last five are everyone.

The beliefs of Mahayana Buddhism
– Devotional literature based on the view that Buddhas and – – -Bodhisattvas were sources of merit
– believe in a more deified Buddha and additional buddhas who are gods of wide-ranging power.
– Acceptance of savior beings who provide assurance
– Buddhas
– Have achieved parinirvana after human experience
– can’t be reached through prayer
– devotion to them increases merit
– achieve nirvana in heaven
– ‘contemplative Buddhas’ or Tathagatas
– There are at least 5 tathagatas (sun, N, S, E, W.)
– The Buddha of the west is especially significant–he presides over Western Paradise or Pure Land where Nirvana is guaranteed
– he confers merits for salvation to those who have faith in him. Bodhisattvas have taken human form, come to earth, and achieved nirvana yet they have postponed parinirvana out of compassion for humanity.
– Bodhisattvas
– Have taken human form
– postponed parinirvana out of compassion for humanity
– can come to earth in human form
– someone destined to be a Buddha
– everyone should vow to be a Bodhisattva
– Avalokita
– Most popular Bodhisattva
– divine compassion

The identity of Maitreya
can be manifest as either a bodhisattva or a savior buddha of the future.
he has been preparing himself in heaven to descend to this world and rescue humanity.
he is the bodhisattva that the Buddha prophesied would return to earth as another buddha to redeem an iniquitous world at the last day.

The contemplative Buddhas
Those who have achieved nirvana in heaven (having never taken human form) are ‘contemplative Buddhas’ or Tathagatas.
They postpone parinirvana to minister to our needs

The definition of Sunyata
the doctrine of emptiness (Nagarjuna).
everything is empty of identity or of permanence.
Everything is interrelated and in constant flux.
everything is fully self-sufficient or independent.

The definition of Trikaya
3 Bodies of Buddha
1. Body of absolute Buddha
2. Body of spiritual bliss
3. Body of earthly form

The principal Mahayana denominations
Mahayana schools of thought
– Pure land (Amidism): emphasis on faith
– Zen: emphasis on personal effort, zazen
a) wear down the intellect with impossible problems
b) a gradual process of enlightenment (analyzing, categorizing, reasoning, are big obstacles)
– Tendai: rationalist school (meditation plus knowledge)
– Nichiren : Japanese with emphasis on sociopolitical activism and Lotus Sutra

The nature of Amidism
Pure Land
Emphasis on Faith

The classifications of Buddhism
Theravada
Mahayana
Vajaryana

Japanese forms of Buddhism
Shingon (Vajaryana)
– Requiring tutoring by a master through ten spiritual degrees depicted on a mandala
– It intermixed easily with Shinto, thus Shinto and Buddhism were practiced together in Japan for over a millennium
Nichiran (Mahayana)
Amidism (Pure land)

The union of male and female elements
from page 65, right column, bottom paragraph: “…at the most fundamental level, in most Buddhist traditions both men and women are expected to nullify all lust and sexual desire through meditation and thus to acquire a beautiful and fresh body. The single major exception to this view of sexuality is the Tantric tradition, in which the union of male and female is considered a source of creative spiritual power and both genders consequently bear equal importance.”

Tibetan (tantric) (last slide of buddhism)

The definition of a mantra
p.70 “chant used in meditation and other spiritual disciplines to draw the worshiper closer to the ultimtate.”

The name for hand positions
~mudras~

The role of the Dalai Lama
– reincarnated God of divine compassion
– Leader of Tibetan Buddhism
– Currently lives in exile
– the incarnation of the Avalokitesvara (see below). He is the – nearest thing to an unofficial “spokesperson” for Buddhism, – but that is more a tribute to his personality and character – — than to any designated authoritative role within Buddhism.

– Religious and political importance: The Dalai Lama is a high lama in the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The name is a combination of the Mongolian word далай (dalai)meaning “Ocean” and the Tibetan word བླ་མ་ bla-ma (with a silent “b”) meaning “teacher”. According to the current Dalai Lama, the Tibetan word “lama” corresponds precisely to the better known Sanskrit word “guru”.
– In religious terms, the Dalai Lama is believed by his devotees to be the rebirth of a long line of tulkus who are considered to be manifestations of the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteśvara. Traditionally, the Dalai Lama is thought of as the latest reincarnation of a series of spiritual leaders who have chosen to be reborn in order to enlighten others. The Dalai Lama is often thought to be the leader of the Gelug School, but this position belongs officially to the Ganden Tripa, which is a temporary position appointed by the Dalai Lama who, in practice, exerts much influence. The line of Dalai Lamas began as a lineage of spiritual teachers; the 5th Dalai Lama assumed political authority over Tibet.
– Political Issues: For certain periods of time between the 17th century and 1959, the Dalai Lamas sometimes directed the Tibetan government, which administered portions of Tibet from Lhasa. The 14th (and current) Dalai Lama remained the head of state for the Central Tibetan Administration (“Tibetan government in exile”) until his retirement on March 14, 2011. He has indicated that the institution of the Dalai Lama may be abolished in the future, and also that the next Dalai Lama may be found outside Tibet and may be female. The Chinese communist government was very quick to reject this and claimed that only they have the authority to select the next Dalai Lama, despite being an officially atheist nation.

The significance of Nath
– Internal search for God
– (in Sikhism) (p.82 and 73). A Hindu tradition focusing on the interior search for God through the practice of Hatha yoga and other disciplines so that the spirit may ascend to mystical bliss. In this tradition, religion was interior. Through following the Sant tradition, focusing on meditation instead of yoga, Nanak was influenced by meditation, an inward search for God, and the mystical ascent to bliss.

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