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Religion Buddhism And Jainism

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How is the cycle of Samsara different in Buddhism than Hinduism
Although Hinduism and Buddhism share the same concept of rebirth, their is one big difference. The doctrine of samsara in Hinduism involves one permanent soul or entity going to another body , In Hinduism the soul inhabits a given body but when you die the same soul leaves that body and goes to another body. For the soul of Hinduism we can give the example of an man wearing a suit, but the next day he takes off that suit and puts on a different one , the suit is different but the man is the same. Buddhism on the other hand says that the person is made up of thoughts, feelings and perceptions interacting with the body in a dynamic and constantly changing way. At death this stream of mental energy is re-established in a new body. So Buddhism is able to explain the continuity of the individual without recourse to the belief in an "eternal soul''. it is changing combination of components.
How did the 4 sights that the Buddha experiences change his perspective in life?
It was his first time out of the palace when he saw the four sights. Before he was living in total luxury where everything was perfect so the four sights that he saw ( old man, sick man, dead man and ascetic) it really shocked him. This observations affected him deeply and made him realize the suffering of all beings and it compelled him to begin his spiritual journey as a wandering ascetic. Which eventually led to his enlightment. When he saw the people suffering he realized that he himself could also be subject to suffering, but after he saw the wandering ascetic he learnt that there is a way he could overcome suffering in life after all, the tranquil detachment from the world.
Describe the middle way
The middle way is a way to end all suffering and lead to spiritual enlightment. The middle way found by Buddha who tried gaining spiritual enlightment through extreme asceticism and had a near death experience. So he found out that if one wants to leave samsara, neither luxury or extreme asceticism would will lead to it. He found a ''middle way'' in which the body is in reasonable comfort, but not over indulged has the mind of clarity and strength to meditate deeply and discover the truth. You live with what you need. To Practice the middle way one must follow the eight fold path, which consists of teachings of virtue, meditation and wisdom.
What are the three marks of existence in Buddhism? explain all 3
The first mark is anicca which means impermanence and that all things change and that change is constant. There is no permanent state because all things are dependant on other constantly changing things.

The second is Anatta or insubstantiality which means a person is not a distinct identity that is fixed , there is no one soul, each person exists as a process of changing aspects of being. (the aggregates).

The third is Dukkha or suffering. Because we all exist we all suffer in some ways. It doesn't just mean painful experiences it also means stress and no one can be totally satisfied. It refers to the fact of Anicca no single possession, life situation can ultimately bring us life lasting happiness, due to the constant change of state of change, nothing can satisfy us we always desire more.
Explain the four noble truths and three parts of the eight fold path.
1.) The noble truth of suffering: No living being can escape suffering. Physical or psychological.
2.) The noble truth of origin: suffering arises from craving and from excessive desire.
3.)The noble truth of cessation: suffering will cease when desire ceases.
4.) The noble truth of the eight fold path: It is possible to put an end to desire and hence suffering, by following the eight principles of self-improvement.

1.) Right understanding: Especially of the 4 noble truths
2.) Right thought: free of sensuous desire , ill will and cruelty.
3.) Right speech: No lying, abusive speech or speaking wrong about others.
How did King Ashoka's reign affect the spread of Buddhism in India?
Ashoka's dad was a great king who won many battles, When Ashoka was made king he was expected what his dad left off , he did just what he was expected and ruled many territories but there was one battle in particular that caught the eyes of Ashoka , he saw all the suffering that people went through cause of him so he felt remorse of what he had done. He then converted to Buddhism to get a spiritual transformation. Ashoka not only converted to Buddhism but he also applied Buddhist principles to the way he ruled his empire. He then ceased all military conquest and violence, he then went on pilgrimages to Buddhist holy sites and built hospitals, schools and wells for people he also made monuments in Buddha's honor at the holy sites he went to. He then sent emissaries across India to spread Buddhism.
Describe the difference between the "Arhat" and the "Bodhisattva" ideals and state which school of Buddhism ascribes to which system.
Arhat ideals state that disciples must isolate themselves from the distractions of the world with immense concentration on themselves to reach nirvana. In this sense Arhats are called selfish because they focus only on themselves, their own salvation and not on others. An Arhat is literally one who has conquered all lust, hatred and delusion and has freed himself from the cycle of desire, suffering and rebirth and is patiently awaiting nirvana. Theravada Buddhism ascribes to the system of the Arhat.

The Bodhisattva can be characterized as one who is on the way to enlightenment or Buddhahood but has not yet achieved it, denies self interest and refuses nirvana for the sake of helping others achieve it. Bodhisattva is cherished by the Mahayana, which restored, rituals and prayers.
Explain the main philosophical tenets of the Madhyamika School and be sure to comment on the concept of Shunyata or emptiness
The Madhyamika school proclaims a middle way that rejects belief in the existence of an eternal self and inherently existent phenomena as well as the belief that such selves and phenomena do not exist at all. This school reinterprets the teaching of (dependent origination) to mean that because various causes and conditions produce phenomena, all are empty of any inherent existence. Shunyata (emptiness) means that no phenomena and no persons are unoriginated and unrelated. Emptiness itself is empty. Since everything is empty, there is no real difference between good and bad, pure and impure, or samsara and Nirvana.
How is Pure Land Buddhism different from most other schools of Buddhism?
Its different because the central teaching of Pure Land Buddhism is that nirvana is no longer practical nor possible to attain in our present day. Instead, one should focus on devotion to Amida Buddha, Who is portrayed as a deity, which will gain one enough karmic merit to go to the Pure Land (a Heaven or Paradise). The Pure Land is not an eternal destination, but a pleasant place in which all karma disappears and nirvana is simple to attain. They are different because they have belief in a single deity and they don't believe that Nirvana is possible to attain.
How do the Southern and Northern Chinese schools of Zen Buddhism differ in their understanding of enlightenment?
Northern: They believed that enlightenment takes lifetime to achieve.The "gradual" school, on the other hand, saw enlightenment as something separate from most of us that must be acquired or ripened through practice

Southern: They believed that enlightenment occurs suddenly .The "sudden" school insisted that enlightenment is not something separate from us that must be obtained. Instead, we are all already enlightened; enlightenment is our fundamental nature. However, because of our greed, anger, ignorance and other defilements we do not experience ourselves as enlightened, so practice is required. And note that although we are all already enlightened, if we practice realization of enlightenment may not happen all at once
What is Vajrayana Buddhism? Who is the spiritual leader in this school?
Vajrayana is the third school of Buddhism , Vajrayanists feel that the best way to achieve the goal of overcoming desire, and to work towards enlightenment, may be to experience desire. They use tantric rituals such as sexual acts, mantras which are special ritual phrases , these help clear their mind and help connect the practitioner to the spiritual.
Many parts of the Mahayana tradition are also recognized in Vajrayana Buddhism. These include:
Most of the important Mahayana sutras (Buddhist scriptures that include teachings by the Buddha),
The Mahayana concept of bodhisattvas. That is, one's personal goal is not to achieve Nirvana. It is to almost achieve enlightenment, but to make the decision to return to the world in their next reincarnation in order to help others reach enlightenment. The spiritual leader in this school is the Dalai Lama.
Describe the Buddhism ritual of ''Dana''. Explain it's significance in relation to karma.
Dana is a giving ritual, in which Theravada families present gifts of food, at their homes or a temple, to bhikshus who conduct rituals including chanting and merit transfer. Dana is a ''merit masking'' ritual specifically designed to produce good karma , so if you practice Dana, you basically get good Karma.
How do monastic vows differ from the moral guidelines set out for the laity?
Their different in terms of purity, and level of strictness.
The view of the monastics is a person who has left the household life to practice the teaching of the Buddha and to help to sustain the teaching, to keep it alive in the world. They are generally more pure, they do not have jobs, they dedicate their lives to teach spiritual enlightenment. They also have restrictions like no food unless given to them by laity and no relationships. If a laity is showing respect the monastic in return is to teach the ways to spiritual enlightenment to the laity.

The view of the laity is sort of like a normal householder person in which they have jobs earn money for their family and do not have much restrictions like the monastics but they should show respect to the monastics by giving them food and material needs.
How do Jains attain spiritual enlightenment?
Jains follow a path of renunciation and purification designed to liberate one from the shackles of karma, allowing one to enter into a state of eternal liberation from rebirth, or kevala, which is roughly equivalent to the Buddhist concept of nirvana. The primary method of attaining this ultimate state requires a careful observance of nonviolent behavior. Jainism emphasizes nonviolence, or ahimsa, as the only true path that leads to liberation and prescribes following scrupulous rules for the protection of life in all forms.
How is the Jain understanding of karma different from Buddhism?
Karma in Jainism is a physical substance present throughout the universe. The soul, called the jiva, carries these karma particles around from one life to the next until people remove them, or until they expire after they have caused the intended harm. Karma in Jainism is not because of someone's actions but its a particle that becomes attached to each soul and they have to remove it. Jains seek liberation by freeing themselves from the rebirth cycle by ridding all karma attached to the jiva. They do so by following Jainism vows and living in the correct mental state. Bad karma attracts other bad karma, so a person who commits bad acts will likely commit more. Karma exists on its own; no deity doles it out.

In Buddhism, Karma is a process, a consequence of ones desire ridden actions that cling to the personality of the being as an impression of its past and determines it's future. (Karma gets attached cause of the bad/good actions someone commits).
Why is Jainism paradoxical in terms of their understanding of the universe and the human relationship to that universe?
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How do Jains interpret the concept of ahimsa? How does this affect their daily life?
Concept of Ahimsa Is a crucial part of Jainism.They use Ahimsa as a way for liberation. It affects their daily life because the ascetics of Jainism have crazy dietary restrictions like no boiling water or eating anything that even has particles that are alive. They depend on the Householders to make them food because they cannot harm anything by eating. They also do not do sacrifice rituals like the Vedic animal sacrifice because it will bring harm to the animal. It also affects what they do and where they go, for example they cannot step on grass because the grass will be harmed. They interpret the concept of ahimsa by vegetarianism, and non violent practices and rituals.
Describe the main differences between the Digambara and Svetambara sects in Jainism.
Digambaras stress the practice of nudity as an absolute pre-requisite to the mendicant's path and to the attainment of salvation. But the Svetambaras assert that the practice of complete nudity is not essential to attain liberation. They wear white.

Digambaras believe that a woman lacks the adamantine body and rigid will necessary to attain moksa, i.e., liberation: hence she must be reborn as a man before such an attainment is possible. But the Svetambaras hold the contrary view and maintain that women are capable in the present life time, of the same spiritual accomplishments as men.
Explain the Jain system of cosmology, specifically commenting on the nature of the soul matter and non-soul matter.
Jīva i.e. Living Substances :Jīva i.e. Souls - Soul (Jīva) exists as a reality, having a separate existence from the body that houses it. It is characterised by consciousness and knowledge and perception. Though the soul experiences both birth and death, it is neither really destroyed nor created. Decay and origin refer respectively to the disappearing of one state of soul and appearing of another state, these being merely the modes of the soul.


Ajīva i.e. or Non-Living Substances :
. Matter : Matter is classified as solid, liquid, gaseous, energy, fine Karmic materials and extra-fine matter i.e. ultimate particles. Ultimate particle (atoms) is the basic building block of all matter. One of the qualities of the Paramānu and Pudgala is that of permanence and indestructibility. It combines and changes its modes but its basic qualities remain the same. According to Jainism, it cannot be created nor destroyed.

Nothing in the universe is ever destroyed or created, they simply change from one form to another. Jain believe that the universe has always existed and will always exist. It is regulated by cosmic laws and kept going by its own energy processes. This concept of the universe is compatible with modern scientific thinking.
What are the three gems in Jainism? Which is the most important and why?
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