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Buddhism - Presentation #1

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John Crow

on 7 November 2011

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Transcript of Buddhism - Presentation #1

Its Founding and Spread
The Story of Prince
Siddhartha Gautama
Prophesy at birth
Great political leader
Great spiritual leader
Prince protected from
outside world
Marries and has a child
Asks to tour kingdom
Wife: Yaśodharā
Son: Rahula
The Four Sights
Sickness (a Diseased Man)

Aging (An Old Man)

Death (Decaying Corpse)

Ascetic (Mendicant/Religious Beggar)
Renouncing the World
Renounces world in order
to alleviate suffering
Becomes an ascetic
Abandons asceticism after 5 to 7 years
Attains Enlightenment
Sits under a tree (pipal tree – fig tree) and vows not to move until becoming enlightened
After many trials by
delusion (Mara),
he becomes enlightened
Begins to teach the ultimate truth to former peers
Origins of Buddhism
Northern India (modern Nepal)
Approximately 2500 years ago (dates vary)
Was a rejection of the caste system and authority of Brahmin
Originally only for men, generally of high caste
Women’s order added later
Spread of Buddhism
First to southeastern Asian areas
Then to China, Korea, Japan
Simultaneously to parts of the modern Middle East (Afghanistan)
Later it was established in Tibetan region
Became extinct in India
Was reinserted into Vedic tradition
Three Forms of Buddhism

Theravada (Hinayana?)
India, Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka
China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam
Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan
The Three Turnings of the Wheel
Closest to how Buddhism was practiced during Buddha’s life
Early scriptures of Buddhism in Pali: Tripitaka
Tripitaka composed of

Highest attainment is to be an arhat
Today primarily a male monastic order
Monks = Bhikkhu (Bhikshu in Sanskrit) – 227/250
Nuns = Bhikkhuni (Bhikshuni in Sanskrit) – 311/348
Suttas (teachings of the Buddha)
Thus I have heard…
Vinaya (monastic rules of conduct)
Abhidharma (sutta commentaries)
Madhyamika: Nagarjuna
Yogacara: Asanga & Vasubandhu
Innovations to practice of Buddhism
Made provisions for lay membership
Innovated philosophical basis
Made highest attainment a bodhisattva
Incorporated local traditions and deities
Introduced new scriptures
Nuns took more active role
Lay membership becomes important
Buddhism becomes active in community
Lay members take active role in monastery
New philosophical traditions
A form of Mahayana
Came to Tibet around 5th century CE
Name means diamond (cutter) way
Incorporates Indiantantric practicesand local Bon beliefs
Vajrayana associated with Tibetian government
Has four main traditions
Gelug-pa – Yellow Hats
Nyingma-pa – Ancient way
Kagyu-pa – Oral lineage
Sakya-pa – Red Hats
Mahayana - Other Innovations
Bodhisattvas and the bodhisattva vow
Local deities become reassigned to bodhisattvas
Vow: not obtain total enlightenment until all other sentient beings obtain enlightenment
New Scriptures "Found" and Written
Amida (Pure Land) sutras
New scriptures are made (platform sutra)

Mahayana - Other Innovations
Jakucho Setouchi
Nuns take active role in monastery and community
Write scriptures, poetry and commentaries
Take leadership positions
Become incorporated in legends and stories
Deemed worthy to achieve enlightenment
Vajrayana - Tantra
Tantric practice
Focused on energy transfer and manipulation
Highest levels can include male/female copulation
Involved with visualization
Main tantric practices - the "Four Purities"
Vajrayana - Tantra
The Four Purities
Seeing one's body as the body of the deity
Seeing one's environment as the pure land or mandala of the deity
Perceiving one's enjoyments as bliss of the deity, free from attachment
Performing one's actions only for the benefit of others
Vajrayana - Mandala
Full transcript