CRT 74-83 Reading Notes

CRT 74-83 Reading Notes - Assignment 3 CRT 74-83 - Buddhism...

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Assignment 3 CRT 74-83 - Buddhism emerged in 5 th century BCE current day Nepal (northeastern Indian subcontinent o Dominant religious tradition of the age was Brahmanism, the ancient form of Hinduism o Another class of religious specialists was the Sramanas Sramana Wandering Ascetics - practiced meditation and various austerities, such as fasting, in an attempt to achieve spiritual purification Karma : - Literally means “action” or “deed” - Every intentional action or deed has a natural effect that will be experienced by the doer of the deed at some later point o The effect of the past action is determined by the moral character of said deed Hence, “Doctrine of Moral Causality” Samsara : - “Cycle”; refers to the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth - In Brahmanism, everyone has an immortal soul, which after death is reborn in a new body o The new person is conditioned by our unresolved karma Every person will experience the effects of their deeds, even if its not in one lifetime (for example they have to be reborn first) Develops a religious theory of justice Six Levels At Which One Can Be Reborn: - Gods, demigods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts, demons Moksa “Liberation” from the cycle of samsara (in Brahmanism) - In Buddhism it is called: o Nirvana “Extinguishing” or “Snuffing Out” of Karma, the energy that drives the wheel of samsara, resulting in no longer being reborn Siddhartha: - Born son of king - Siddhartha Gautama of the Sakya Clan o With the help of a servant snuck out of the temple four (4) times, seeing terrible sights 3 of the 4: An extremely old man, a diseased man, a corpse o On the fourth night he sees a wandering holy person who seems to have transcended suffering He vows to follow the same path and becomes a wandering ascetic
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- After practicing extreme austerities for years he is left weakened and unable to continue practicing o Comes up with a compromise between his early life of indulgence and the life of extreme self-denial that he calls the Middle Path o After regaining strength he vows to sit under a tree until he has discovered the cause and solution to suffering Experiences Bodhi Enlightenment (literally “awakening) Now knows the truths of the causes and solution to suffering These truths became the core of his teachings o From this point on he was known as the Buddha, Sakyamuni (Sage of the Sakyas), or Sakyamuni Buddha After the tree he achieved nirvana (in the sense that he neutralized his previous karma but kept living); at age 80 when he died he achieved parinirvana Complete Nirvana – in the sense that he went out of existence to no longer be reborn - Buddha taught for 45 years, amassing many disciples whom he encouraged to spread his teachings o Buddhism was therefore the first missionary religion - Buddha’s community of disciples was known as the Sangha - During rainy seasons they would “retreat” to forest hermitages to practice
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course REL 135g taught by Professor Robertfordcampany during the Spring '08 term at USC.

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CRT 74-83 Reading Notes - Assignment 3 CRT 74-83 - Buddhism...

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