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Introducing Buddhism

Designed for my Buddhism class at the University of Gloucestershire, by Dave Webster

David Webster

on 22 January 2014

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Transcript of Introducing Buddhism

Origins of Buddhism
The Historical Context
Life of the Buddha
Early Beliefs
Texts - the Pali Canon
The early tradition
Who was the Buddha? What do we know about him? Was he a man? Is he like a God? Did he create the Universe?
Key Early Teachings
Life of the Buddha
The Historical Context:
What the texts say
When did he live?
Key events
What is his status?
More info...
Web Links
This is the Life of the Buddha in the early texts

Buddha, the dates of.
There is great disagreement between the different Buddhist traditions as well as between historians about when the Buddha lived. The Theravada school using the ancient Sri Lankan chronicles fixes the Buddha's birth in the year 624 BC. The Mahayana tradition uses a variety of dates but most of them at least 300 years later than the Theravada one. Since the beginning of the century Western historians and scholars have considered 560-63 BC to be the most likely date of the Buddha's birth, in fact this has long been considered the first certain date in Indian history.

However at a recent international conference convened to discuss the issue, all previously known evidence and research as well as new findings in archaeology were reassessed and the conclusion was that this date can no longer be accepted. The general consensus now is that the Buddha lived his whole life during the 5th century BC and that the exact dates of his birth and death cannot be established. This lack of certainty in no way casts doubt on the Buddha's historicity but merely reflects the ancient Indians lack of concern about chronology.

H. Bechert, (Ed.) Dating the Historical Buddha. Gottinger Vol I, 1991; Vol II, 1993.
Types of Buddhism
Life of the Buddha
The Mahaparinibbana Sutta
Podcast on the Four Noble Truths...
The First Sermon - Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta - the Sutta which sets in motion the Dhamma Wheel
Kamma and rebirth
Four Noble Truths
Three marks - tilakkhanā
Conditioned Arising - paticcasamuppāda
Refuge in the Triple Gem
The Pali Canon:
Kamma and Rebirth
The Three Poisons
Greed, Hatred and Delusion
Greed, Hatred and Delusion
Full transcript