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Unformatted text preview: April 4, 2007 Problem with texts about Buddhism is that they are text specific, and may tend to generalize things No theological language The Buddha isnt thought of as a CREATOR, not necessarily a God Heterogeneous tradition; more than one form of Buddhism Some institutionalization, but a fair amount of decentralized religiosity in the culture Originates in India- Buddha dies around 480 or 380 BCE- Asoka first north Indian prince to unify India as a single empire o Dies around 260 BCE o Building of stupas (architecture shaped like a Buddha) Reaches China along the silk trade routes- 2 century CE (~ 180 CE) Daoism - dharma the way you are supposed to live, translated as dao in Chinese- Zen and Pureland Buddhism 400-600 CE o Significantly different from monastic Buddhism o 600-800 CE Buddhism to Japan (Zen here called Chan) o 1100-1300 CE Indigenous in Japan and Tibet Mahayana Buddhism traditions Today, Early Canonical Buddhism (Theravadan), Chan, Zen, Tibetan, and regional (Korea) Buddhism exist It would be really nice if we could go back to an original Buddhism, but we cant. As early as we see Buddhism, there is a split between the Mahayana culture and that of the Early Canon Tradition. Buddha supposedly lived 40 years after his enlightenment experience. At this time, India is just beginning to become literate. Most of learning was oral at the time. There was not a normative body of texts until about 50 CE when the king of Sri Lanka called a meeting of monks to come together and create a canon (Pali Canon). No historical evidence that people got together right after the Buddhas death to come up with the Canon; it is a proxy for the council process itself in Sri Lanka. The claim of the Canon is that they are the words of the Buddha. Buddhism has survived and prospered through patronage. Gethin describes the Canon Buddhism, later gets into Mahayana Four Noble Truths (of the Buddha) 1. Suffering a. Suffering b. If it exists, its impermanent (the nice meal gets eaten, is never as good again) April 6, 2007 5 Skandhas 1. Body/Appearing Form (rupa) 2. Feelings 3. Perceptions 4. Ideas/intentions/compositional factors 5. Awareness/consciousness (vijnana) Language of Awareness- citta- manas- jnana to know, etymologically connected, attainted through meditation o vijnana knowing that continually separates and analyzes and never stops analyzing o prajna to get right at something, to get it directly Surrogate Buddhas- stupa- monk/Upagupta- sutra/canon- relic/trace/image- Maitreya Canon Genres- Sutra- Vinaya...
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- Spring '08