BuddhismNotes - Portia Mellott December 1, 2008 Intro to...

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Portia Mellott December 1, 2008 Intro to World Religions Chapter 5: Buddhism “He will deliver by the boat of knowledge the distressed world” I. Buddhism a. The Buddha taught about earthly suffering and its cure. b. Early Buddhism held that liberation from suffering depends on our own efforts. c. The Buddha taught that by understanding how we create suffering for ourselves, we could become free. d. The Life and Legend of the Buddha i. The one who became the Buddha (meaning “Awakened One”) was born at the border between India and Nepal. ii. Siddhartha Gautam was Buddha’s original name. iii. He is portrayed as the reincarnation of a great being who had been bon many times before and took birth on earth once again out of compassion for all suffering beings. iv. Legend of the Four Sights 1. Bent old man 2. Sick person 3. Dead person 4. Mendicant seeking lasting happiness rather than temporal pleasure. 5. As a result of seeing the four sights, Siddhartha at 29 renounced his wealth, left his wife and newborn son, shaved his head, and donned the coarse robe of a wandering ascetic. 6. His goal was to find the way to total liberation from suffering. v. Underwent 6 years of extreme self-denial attempts 1. Nakedness 2. Exposure to great heat and cold 3. Breath retention 4. Bed of brambles 5. Severe fasting 6. This did not lead to enlightenment. vi. Six months practicing the rejection of self-indulgence and self- denial. 1. In deep meditation beneath a tree, Siddhartha experienced supreme awakening. 2. Tempted by Mara (evil) 3. Dharma a. The Four Noble Truths b. The Noble Eightfold Path
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c. The Three Marks of Existence d. Other guidelines for achieving liberation from suffering. vii. Bhikshus - male monks who emulated their life of poverty and spiritual dedications. viii. Sangha - the monastic order that developed from the Buddha’s early disciples—accepted people from all castes and levels of society. ix. Bhikshunis - members of the order of nuns that the Buddha founded. x. Eight special rules that subordinate nuns to the order of monks, regardless of seniority. 1. A woman could not lead to renunciate life and could achieve spiritual salvation only through personal devotion, especially devotion to her husband. xi. Buddha’s death 1. He designated no successor and appointed no one to lead the order. 2. Died from poisonous mushrooms or perhaps spoiled park by a meal served by a blacksmith. e. The Dharma i. Buddhism is a nontheistic religion 1. Buddhism is a religion of wisdom, enlightenment, and compassion. ii. Nirvana - liberation, which is the goal of spiritual effort iii. The Four Noble Truths 1. Life inevitably involves suffering, is imperfect, and unsatisfactory. a.
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2009 for the course REL 109 taught by Professor Lucas during the Fall '08 term at Stetson.

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BuddhismNotes - Portia Mellott December 1, 2008 Intro to...

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