Buddhism Third universalizing religion 400 million adherents Mainly

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Buddhism

Buddhism

 • Third universalizing religion • 400 million adherents • Mainly located in China

• Third universalizing religion • 400 million adherents • Mainly located in China and SE Asia

Foundations • Four Noble Truths: – All living things must endure suffering – Suffering,

Foundations • Four Noble Truths: – All living things must endure suffering – Suffering, which is caused by desire to live, leads to reincarnation – Goal of all existence is to escape from suffering and the endless cycle of reincarnation into Nirvana – Nirvana is attained through an Eight-fold path, which included rightness of belief, resolve, speech, action, livelihood, effort, thought, and meditation

Eightfold Path • Right Views: knowledge of the 4 Noble Truths • Right Aspirations:

Eightfold Path • Right Views: knowledge of the 4 Noble Truths • Right Aspirations: discard desire and avoid hurting others • Right Speech: telling the truth • Right Conduct: not stealing or cheating • Right Livelihood: earning a living in a way that does not harm or cause bloodshed to others • Right Effort: thinking positively • Right Mindfulness: being aware of the effects of thoughts and actions • Right Meditation: allowing a peaceful state of mind

Branches • Main branches: – Mahayana : 56% mainly in China, Japan and Korea

Branches • Main branches: – Mahayana : 56% mainly in China, Japan and Korea – Theravada : 38% mainly in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand – Tantrayana: 6% mainly found in Tibet and Mongolia • Split over interpretation of Buddha’s statements

 • Religious functions performed by monks, not in general public • Even though

• Religious functions performed by monks, not in general public • Even though it’s a universalizing religion differs from western “formal” religions • Can be both Buddhist and believer of other Eastern religions • Most Buddhists in Japan and China also believe in ethnic religions

Origins • • Founder: Siddhartha Gautama Born: 563 B. C. in Lumbini, Nepal Son

Origins • • Founder: Siddhartha Gautama Born: 563 B. C. in Lumbini, Nepal Son of a lord, led privileged life Life changed after series of four trips – Encountered an old man, a diseased man, a corpse, and finally a monk – Felt he could no longer enjoy life – Monk taught him how to withdrawal from the world

 • At age 29 he left his home and lived in the forest

• At age 29 he left his home and lived in the forest for 6 years meditating – Called the Great Renunciation • Emerged as the Buddha or “enlightened one” • Spent 45 years preaching his views across India • Trained monks, established orders and preached to the public

Literature • Buddha’s teachings transmitted orally from one monk to another and eventually written

Literature • Buddha’s teachings transmitted orally from one monk to another and eventually written down on palm leaf manuscripts • Dhammapada, called Pali Cannon • Popular in Theravada and Mahayana • Gathered into the “three baskets”

Meditation • Calms emotions, strengthens nerves, and even lowers blood pressure • Most important

Meditation • Calms emotions, strengthens nerves, and even lowers blood pressure • Most important act in Buddhism • How Buddha reached enlightenment • Samadhi means total self-collectedness – Necessity for moksha • Can be done standing, sitting, walking • Goal is always enlightenmenti

Theravada • • • Older of two largest branches “way of elders” Original approach

Theravada • • • Older of two largest branches “way of elders” Original approach Full-time occupation To be a good Buddhist, you must be a monk Focus on Buddha’s life of self-help and solitary introspection • Cite his wisdom

Mahayana • Split from Theravada 2000 years ago • “bigger ferry” • Claim can

Mahayana • Split from Theravada 2000 years ago • “bigger ferry” • Claim can help more people because it is less demanding and all-encompassing • Emphasize Buddha’s life of teaching and helping others • Cite his compassion

Tibetan Buddhism • Dalai Lama dies, spirit enters body of a child • Death

Tibetan Buddhism • Dalai Lama dies, spirit enters body of a child • Death described as the science of dying – Rituals in Tibetan Book of the Dead

Diffusion of Buddhism • Did not diffuse rapidly from its point of origin in

Diffusion of Buddhism • Did not diffuse rapidly from its point of origin in northeastern India • Asoka, emperor if Magadha Empire, spread Buddhism throughout his empire (273 - 232 B. C. ) • Formed the nucleus of several powerful kingdoms in South Asia • Council organized by Asoka sent out missionaries to spread Buddhism

 • 1 st century A. D. merchants along trading routes introduced Buddhism into

• 1 st century A. D. merchants along trading routes introduced Buddhism into China • Chinese receptive to missionaries and text translated into Chinese • Further diffused into Korea in the 4 th century A. D. and Japan in the 6 th century A. D.

Holy Places • Shrines – Eight places are holy to Buddhists because they were

Holy Places • Shrines – Eight places are holy to Buddhists because they were locations of events in Buddha’s life • • Lumini: birth of Buddha Bodh Gaya: attained enlightenment Rajagrha: tamed wild elephant Kusinagara: attained enlightenment Sarnath: sermon at Deer Park (1 st) Sravasti: created multiple images of himself Vaisali: announced impending death Samkasya: ascended heaven and returned to earth

Birthplace of Buddha

Birthplace of Buddha

Enlightenment and Nirvana

Enlightenment and Nirvana

Buddhist Holidays • Holidays include: – – – Buddha’s birth Buddha’s enlightenment Buddha’s death

Buddhist Holidays • Holidays include: – – – Buddha’s birth Buddha’s enlightenment Buddha’s death Not all observed on the same days Theravadist Buddhist celebrate all three on the same day

Buddhist Pagodas • Elaborate and delicate in appearance • Tall, many-sided towers arranged in

Buddhist Pagodas • Elaborate and delicate in appearance • Tall, many-sided towers arranged in tiers • Contain relics that Buddhists believe to be a portion of Buddha’s body or clothing • Not designed for congregational worship • Prayer takes place in monastery or home

Conflict • Vietnam War – Destroyed Buddhist shrines – Not sympathetic to Buddhists –

Conflict • Vietnam War – Destroyed Buddhist shrines – Not sympathetic to Buddhists – Buddhists burned themselves to protest policies of South Vietnamese government • Current Communist governments in Southeast Asia have discouraged religious activities and permitted monuments to decay – Example: Angkor Wat