STUDY GUIDE. - RG ST 31 Tibetan Religions Karma law of...

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RG ST 31: Tibetan Religions Karma- law of moral cause and effect Rebirth- Three Poisons- the three negative emotions of bewilderment, attachment, and aversion. Three Jewels: 1. Buddha The “Buddha” can refer to the historical Buddha Sakyamuni or Buddha nature- the ideal or highest spiritual potential that exists within all beings Tradition holds the historical Buddha was perfectly enlightenment & a supreme teacher to gods and humans The Buddha is the example of someone who has overcome suffering and rebirth, and this is fit to emulate He is like a doctor who diagnoses the ills of living beings and offers a prescription to cure them His teaching and realization are reliable and stable. 2. Dharma The Dharma refers to Buddha’s teachings, i.e., his techniques for escaping cyclic existence and attaining enlightenment Refuge in the Dharma includes not only to the words of the Buddha, but to the living experience of realization and teachings of realized practitioners The Dharma is often represented as an 8-spoked wheel symbolizing the 8-fold Noble Path Buddhist scriptures also symbolize the Dharma or the speech of Buddha The Dharma teaching is the “medicine” that ultimately “cures” the ills of samsara. 3. Sangha The Sangha refers to the community of those who have attained enlightenment Can also refer to ordained followers of the Buddha (i.e., monks and nuns) Also used more broadly to refer to the community of practicing Buddhists who are using the same methods and working towards the same goal These various spiritual communities help practicing Buddhists on their paths Figuratively, the Sangha is sometimes describes as “nurses” who assist the “physician” (Buddha) administer the “medicine” (Dharma). Three Roots: Guru In Vajrayana (tantric Buddhism) the guru is perceived as the way itself The guru is not an individual but the person’s own Buddha-nature reflected in the personality of the guru The disciple shows devotion to the guru, who they regard as a Bodhisattva. A guru is the one who has not only mastered the words of the tradition, but who has an intense personal relationship with the student. Yidam The 2nd root is the meditational deity or yidam Yidams may be “peaceful, “ “wrathful” or in-between, depending on the practitioners’ RG ST 31 1 Final Review Sheet
own nature The yidam represents awakening; its appearance reflects whatever is required by the practitioner to awaken The guru guides the student to the yidamn appropriate for them, then gives them initiation into the mandala of the yidamn (Dharma) Protector: The 3rd root is the protector, root of enlightened activity In the Nyingma school the protector is the dakini (female “sky-dancer”) In the Sarma schools, the protectors may be a dakini.

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