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4. Wednesday, October 6, 2010

4. Wednesday, October 6, 2010 - RLG206 Wednesday October 6...

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RLG206 - Wednesday, October 6, 2010 Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta - Etymology Dhamma (skt. Dharma) = ‘Teachings’ cakka (skt, cakra) = ‘wheel’ Dhammacakka = ‘wheel of dharma’, the Buddhists teachings pavattana = setting in motion - this is the Buddhas first sermon after becoming enlightened - it was taught to five ascetics who became the first members of the Buddha’s sangha (community) Buddha’s biography - born in town called Lumbini, near the capital of the kingdom of Kapilavastu (Nepal-Indian Border region) - prince of the Sakya clan - father was a Suddhodana (member of the Kshatriya class), a king (or perhaps lesser ruler) - mother was Queen dreamt of white elephant entering her womb gave birth standing up holding onto a tree what Gautama was born, he took seven steps to the North and said “I am chief in the world, I am best in the world, I am first in the world. This is my last birth. There will be no furthre rebirth” - in Buddha story, the turning point was the imermanence - a seer named Asite predicted he would become a Mahapurusha - a Buddha or cakravartin (based on the presence of 32 marks) - Lived and sheltered in extreme luxury - he was shielded from the world behind palace walls by his father - this represents the extreme of luxury and the illusion of premanence - the “four signs” old man, sick man, dead man, wanderer in some texts he saw insects being cut up by plows - the first three signs represent the actual nature of (cyclic) existence and the fourth, only represents the escape - the turning point viewing the sleeping women of his harem; and he was deeply repulsed by their ugliness - represents the impermanence of beauty (or all phenomena) and that all phenomena are a result of causes and conditions - all this contributed to disillusionment with pleasures of life - Buddha left his father, wife and son (in some texts) at the age of 29 The Six Year Quest - cut his hair - put on robes - studied with various teachers ex: Arada Kalama (learnt their systems of meditation, but couldn’t solve the problem of suffering) studied with five older ascetics in the forest and engaged in extreme ascetic practises and almost died sat under a rose apple tree (jambu tree) because of a memory of his youth a woman sujata brought him a bowl of rice
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the “middle way” between two extremes The Buddha’s Enlightenment Quest - he sat under a pipal tree (ficus religiosa) - became known as the Bodhi Tree, “tree of enlightenment” in Bodhgaya - some accounts of the story feature the arrival of Mara and his daughters The Enlightenment Experience (according to the Samghabhedavatsu) - The three watches - the three things that the Buddha “perceived” (saw and understood) the karmic deeds of the Buddha in past lives - what J. Strong calls “karmalogical” - one can recall all
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