Dhammapada – collection of poems from various discourses given by Buddha (favorite text of Buddhists) Triple Gem of Buddhism –-consists of the Buddha, the dharma and Samgha or Order of Disciples, common core among Buddhist to follow Samgha is the community of ordained Buddhist nuns and monks Women and Men are equal – men provide for the family & women care for the family (maintain convent) Emperor Asoka – under his rule Buddhism reached its height in India in the 3 rd century BC, thru his promotion of dharma subsequently became the model for later Buddhist rulers Emperor Asoka converted to Buddhism after seeing horrible carnage of bloody way and devoted himself to dharma conquest in place of his former Military role. Asoka sent missionaries around to Syria, Egypt, Cyrene and Greece Buddhism –characteristic of non-violent political thinking, ideal Buddhist ruler does not fight wars, maintains police and army for defense only (often release caged animals into the wild in Buddhist festivals) Theravada Buddhism – Pejoratively Hinayana – conservative form a Buddhism dedicated to preserve original form. Remains strongest in Sri Lanka, and other Southeast Asia Dana Ritual – “giving” ritual is characterized by Buddhists bhiksus visiting family homes to conduct chants and culminates with a ceremony performed for the transfer of merit (good karma) Other examples: include almsgiving and Buddha day festival - common in Theravada Buddhism Stupas – hemispherical mounds to memorialize a Buddhist relic, over time these stupas were added to or developed into elaborate forms called Pagodas
Mahayana Buddhism – branch of Buddhism whose name translates “Greater Vehicle”, this branch believes that Enlightenment or salvation is accessible to everyone. Unlike - Theravada Buddhism which requires a strict monastic lifestyle is required for Enlightenment Mahayana Buddhism encourages followers to take the Bodhisattva vows – During this ritual – one vows to become a Buddha one day, but after Enlightenment to remain dedicated to the salvation of all living beings. San-lun school is the Chinese extension of the Indian Mahayana philosophy known as Madhyamika meaning “Middle Way” Mahayana Buddhism – spread from Korea to Japan in the 6 th century, Japan still offers the broadest surviving range of varieties Mahayana Buddhism no fixed corpus of sacred text, scriptures were translated by Kumarajiva, until his death in 413 Kumarajiva – legendary Chinese translator who lay the groundwork for the formation of the Chinese Buddhist canon Bodhisattvas are an innumerable company of supernatural beings who hear prays and provide help for people struggling with the problems of life. Bodhisattvas sometimes called future Buddha’s Pure Land Buddhism – developed in India –in the 1 st century India – became a leading movement in China and Japan.