Buddhism "The Middle Way"
Terms in this set (34)
Indian reaction against mainstream Hinduism.
North East India
practitioners of yoga and spiritual exercises and severe austerities aimed at achieving goals outside of the Vedic or Hindu scriptures; many were atheistic
The Life of the Buddha
Born Siddhartha Gautama (c. 560-480 BCE).Father King Shuddodhana shields Siddhartha from the ugliness and pain of life.
Siddhartha marries at age 19 and has a son. Experiences Four Sights, trips outside the palace compound in which he discovers sickness, old age, death, and renunciation. Siddhartha becomes disgusted with material existence, and vows to renounce the world in search of a solution to the problem of perpetual suffering and death. Siddhartha leaves home, wife, and son to find answers to life's miseries.
Studies philosophy with many gurus in the forest, leaving unsatisfied. Quits asceticism and meditates under a fig tree (Bo tree). Achieves mindfulness and enlightenment (Nirvana) at Bodhgaya. Becomes the Buddha (Enlightened One)
Vision shows him that life is nothing but an endless cycle of life and death because of tanha (thirst or desire).
Buddha's Religious Mission
Finds five former fellow monks in Deer Park. Preaches Middle Way in his First Sermon on the Four Noble Truths. Forms the Sangha - Buddhist Monastic Order.
Buddha teaches that all people can be enlightened.
Serious followers shave heads, wear coarse yellow robes, possess only a begging bowl
He dies at 80, probable cause: eating spoiled pork curry.
Followers organize a new religion after the Buddha's disappearance by formalizing his critique of Hinduism.
Buddhism teaches the Middle Way between radical asceticism and indulgent worldliness.
Buddhism becomes a missionary religion in Asia and gradually diminishes in India. Taught Enlightenment possible for all castes.
Opposed the brahmin system of worship and sacrifice.
Rejected the authority of the Vedas. Believed that people ought to find their own Enlightenment, not depend on Gods. The "self" is actually a combination of body, feelings, understanding, will, and consciousness that is perceived as an undying, unchanging entity, which it is not
Anatta (anatman) -
the individual soul does not exist. People are actually living in a state of non-soulness.
everything, including the illusion of a self, is transient and bound to change
The Four Noble Truths
1. All of life is Dukkha, painful and unsatisfactory.
2. Dukkha is caused by craving and desire, which leads to endless cycles of miserable rebirths.
3. Detachment from all desire—even the desire to exist—is the Way to release from pain and rebirth
4. The path leading to release is called the Noble ("Aryan") Eightfold Path
Three Jewels of Buddhism: Triple Refuge recited by all monks every day
I take refuge in the Buddha - teacher
I take refuge in the Dharma - teaching
I take refuge in the Sangha - community
Enlightenment : to become totally selfless and full of mindfulness. Extinguishment of desire. An Arhat (saint) is an advanced monk who has reached Nirvana
is an advanced monk who has reached Nirvana
The Development of Buddhism
A religion for self-disciplined, intelligent individuals.
First Council of Buddhist monks was held one year ofter Buddha's death to determine the true meaning of his teachings.Conservative Minority: Exclusive Way (Hinayana). Liberal Majority: Inclusive or Expansive Way (Mahayana). Indian Emperor Asoka coverts to Buddhism. Asoka uses the Imperial Throne to support the Sangha (Buddhist community). Asoka's efforts guarantee the survival of Buddhism after it virtually ceases to exist in India. Hinduism absorbs Buddhism by teaching that the Buddha was an avatara (incarnation) of the Hindu god Vishnu. The presence of Islam in India further erodes the Buddhist presence
Dominant sect among conservative minority Hinayana.
Considers itself closest to the original teachings of the Buddha. People must achieve Nirvana for themselves without reliance on gods or external forces. The begging monk is the ideal Buddhist (Arhat), most likely to attain Nirvana. Lay Buddhists should support the monastic Sangha. Belief that the Buddha was a unique individual who can be emulated but not duplicated.
The Jataka Tales of Siddhartha's provided common themes in Theravada art, preaching, and writings.
The Theravada wat: A complex of religious buildings.
The stupas or pagodas: originate as relic mounds, and used today as worship and festival centers.
Sammata and Vipsana are two types of Theravada Meditation.
Types of Theravada Meditation: Sammatta and Vipsana
Sammatta: Intense concentration to attain the proper spiritual state on the path toward Enlightenment
Vipassana: Effort to gain the intuitive realization of mindfulness and other Buddhist truths, as Siddhartha had under the Bo Tree
Pali Canon (Three Baskets) (Tripitika)
The authentic early scriptures accepted by Theravada Buddhists 1. Sutta - sermons of the Buddha. 2. Vinaya - monastic rules and codes of conduct. 3 Abhidharma - philosophy, literature, anecdotes, etc
Aside from the materials in the Pali Canon, Mahayana Buddhist claims that the Buddha taught secret teachings to a select few disciples (and Bodhisattvas) for dissemination at a later time. These teachings were recorded in Sanskrit. Known as the Mahayana Sutras.
Mahayana originally taught that the Buddha was more than human. The physical Siddhartha was the lower tier of the Trikaya, known as the "Three Bodies of the Buddha". The top Buddha was eternal and existed throughout the cosmos, manifesting in countless forms known as bodhisattvas. Siddhartha Gautama was not only the Buddha to whom people could appeal, but only one of many Buddhas. The rise of Buddhist saints known as Bodhisattvas postpone their own Nirvana in order to spend time aid the living. Liberal doctrines embraced all castes as eligible for attaining Nirvana in one lifetime. One need not become a monk or an Arhat to achieve Nirvana.
The Spread of Mahayana Buddhism
Mahayana spreads into China then to Korea then to Japan.
Intuitive Sect in China and Japan
Recall that the Buddha failed to attain Enlightenment
Enlightenment comes suddenly, intuitively
The Indian monk Bodhidharma brought this teaching to China. In China, Bodhidharma's meditative form of Buddhism became known as "Ch'an" and in Japan is known as Zen. Basic Principles of Ch'an, Zen: Enlightenment is a sudden flash of insight. Enlightenment is an individual matter and thus other people cannot aid the process.Reason is distrusted.
Koans: verbal riddles or problems that are meant to confuse reason in the disciples and thus make Enlightenment possible
Zen Buddhism flourished in Japan, and shaped much of its culture.
Pure Land Buddhism
In China and Japan. The most popular and widespread.
Goal is a life after death in a deathless land of bliss (Pure Land). Cosmic Bodhisattvas preside over heaven-like Buddha-lands. Amitabha: Popular Pure Land Bodhisattva who presides over a Paradise called the "Pure Land"
Rationalist Sect in China and Japan, originates in China.
Uses reason and rational study of scriptures to attain Enlightenment. Founded by monk Chih-I. Known as T'ien-t'ai in China, Tendai in Japan.
Socio-political Sect in Japan. Japanese founder Nichiren.
Nichiren decides all the current Japanese versions of Buddhism are perversions of the true Buddhist teachings. Emphasizes the primacy of the Lotus Sutra.
Vajrayana - Tibetan Buddhism
Buddhism was introduced into Tibet in the 7th Century.
Belief in magical words and formulas as a means to achieve goals deeply influences Tibetan Buddhism.
Native Tibetan religion relied on incantations and spells to protect people from dark spirits
Folk Buddhism in Tibet based more on native Tibetan religion than Buddha's Doctrine of Enlightenment
Tibetan Buddhist manuals (Tantras) teach magical words and spells
Lamas (Gurus, Superior Ones). Originated in the 9th century CE as wealthy and powerful monastic leaders.
The Lamas displace kings, rule theocratic Tibet by 14th Century CE
Yellow Hat School
Led by Dalai Lama. Dalai Lama is reincarnation of previous Dalai Lamas. Dalai Lama was the theocratic ruler of Tibet until China's 1950 invasion
Red Hat School
Scriptural Book: Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Thodol)
The Bardo: near-death and/or post-death state which one either moves on to Nirvana or is reborn
Ritual practices designed to help dying move through Bardo to Nirvana
New Year Festival
Characterized by a carnival atmosphere.
Flower festivals common:
washing of infant Buddha statues is common, children dress up like little Buddha.
celebrated on April 8th and last day in May
The Festival of Souls (Ullambana):
purgatory opened and the souls of the Dead wander earth. Families leave gifts of food for wandering Spirits. Priests perform rituals to provide souls of the Dead comfort.
The Robe Offering:
Celebration of Emperor Asoka's sending of the first Buddhist missionaries. Laity present new yellow robes to monks. Public feast and display of robes on a Wishing Tree make up the ceremony. Season ends with the presentation of Great Robe (Mahakathina) to Commemorate Act of the Buddha's Mother weaving him a mendicant robe in one night
Factors contributing to the Buddhist Revival: Christian missionaries translate Buddhist texts, some convert, and cause fascination with Buddhism in the West. The rise of Asian nationalism leads to the rise of Theravada Buddhism. Renewal of Buddhist missionary societies.
Mahayana still big for Japanese and Koreans. Currently 324 million Buddhists in the world.