Enlightenment: Dharma: Siddhartha Gautama

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1 Notebook: Buddhism 09/17/2013 Belief System? Philosophy? Religion? 4 th Largest Religion ( million followers) Siddhartha Gautama Born a prince. Became disillusioned with palace life. Asked himself, How can I enjoy a life of pleasure when there is so much suffering in the world? Became a wondering monk, shaved his head, and went in search of enlightenment. Enlightenment: Wisdom. Tried many methods to find enlightenment. Finally he realized the cause of suffering and removed it. He became the Buddha, meaning the enlightened one. Dharma: Teachings spread by Buddha. Helped everyone along the way. Asked others to observe his teachings and decide for themselves. Set in motion the wheel of the dharma -Said during his first sermon. -The wheel symbolizes his teaching. 1

2 Four Noble Truths: First Noble Truth Everything in life is suffering and sorrow. Second Noble Truth The cause of all suffering is people s selfish desire for the temporary pleasures of this world. Third Noble Truth The way to end all suffering is to end all desires. Fourth Noble Truth The way to overcome such desires and attain enlightenment is to follow the Eightfold Path, which is called the Middle Way between desires and self-denial. Eightfold Path: Like a staircase those seeking enlightenment had to master one step at a time. Most often this would occur over many lifetimes. By following the Eightfold Path, anyone could reach nirvana. Nirvana release from selfishness and pain. 1. Right View The right way to think about life is to see the world through the eyes of the Buddha - with wisdom and compassion. 2. Right Thought We are what we think. Clear and kind thoughts build good, strong characters. 3. Right Speech By speaking kind and helpful words, we are respected and trusted by everyone. 4. Right Conduct No matter what we say, others know us from the way we behave. Before we criticize others, we should first see what we do ourselves. 5. Right Livelihood This means choosing a job that does not hurt others. The Buddha said, "Do not earn your living by harming others. Do not seek happiness by making others unhappy." 6. Right Effort A worthwhile life means doing our best at all times and having good will toward others. This also means not wasting effort on things that harm ourselves and others. 7. Right Mindfulness This means being aware of our thoughts, words, and deeds. 8. Right Concentration Focus on one thought or object at a time. By doing this, we can be quiet and attain true peace of mind. Triple Jewel: The Buddha is the guide. The Dharma is the path. The Sangha are the teachers or companions along the way. I go to the Buddha for refuge. I go to the Dharma for refuge. I go to the Sangha for refuge. Buddhism Sects: Missionaries and traders spread Buddhism. Split into two major subgroups. Theravada closely followed original teachings, spread to Sri Lanka and SE Asia. Mahayana easier to follow, saw Buddha as a compassionate god. Nirvana seen as the afterlife. Spread to China, Tibet, Korea, and Japan. 2

3 Connections to Hinduism: Both accepted the idea of reincarnation. Both believed that life was cyclical and the world would be created and destroyed over and over again. Buddha rejected the many gods of Hinduism. He taught only the way to enlightenment. Moksha and Nirvana are similar perfect state of understanding break free from the chain of reincarnation. The Buddha was a great storyteller and often told stories to get his message across. Stories were also told about the Buddha by his followers both to explain and understand the Dharma. These stories have been passed down to the present day and the most popular ones are the Jataka tales, a collection of hundreds of tales about the Buddha's past lives. They show the kind of life one should lead to become a Buddha one day. In many of these stories, the Buddha appears as an animal to teach the value of qualities such as kindness, compassion, and giving. The Monkey King There was once a kingdom of monkeys in the forest. The King of the Monkeys was very, very large, and was very kind and wise. One day, the King was strolling and he noticed mango trees along the side of a river. He also noticed a human castle downstream. He then ordered the monkeys to remove all the mangos from these trees, "or there would be disaster". The monkeys did not understand the King's intention, but they did as told anyway. All the mangos were taken off these trees except one. This one was hidden behind a nest. One day, this mango was ripe and fell into the river. It flowed downstream where the human King was having a bath. He noticed the mango and asked the Prime Minister what it was. The Prime Minister told him it was a "mango", a fruit of wonderful taste. The King then ordered that the mango be cut into small pieces and he gave a small piece to each of his ministers. When satisfied that the mango was not poisonous, he ate the rest of it and realized how tasty it was. He craved for more. The next day, the human king, with his troops, went upstream to search for more of these fruits. There were lots of mango trees, but also lots of monkeys. The human king doesn't want to share the mangos with the monkeys, so he ordered all of them to be killed. A massacre started. 3

4 When the news reached the wise Monkey King, he commented, "The day has finally arrived". The thousands of monkeys were chased all the way to the edge of the forest. There was a deep cliff at the edge of the forest, and a bamboo forest at the other side of the cliff. The Monkey King saw that if his subjects could cross over to the bamboo forest, they will be saved. With his huge body, he formed a bridge over the cliff and thousands of monkeys trampled over him to reach the safety of the bamboo forest. He endured all the pain. One monkey did not like the King and he saw this as an opportunity to get even. As he was crossing over the King's body, he pierced a spear through the King's heart. The King screamed in pain but endured the pain until all his subjects were safely across. Then he collapsed. The human king witnessed the whole thing. He was so touched that he ordered the Monkey King be saved. When the Monkey King recovered his consciousness, the human king asked him, "You are their King, why did you bother to die for them?". The Monkey King replied, "Because I am their King". With that, he died. The human king was so touched that he decided to be a good king from that day and he ordered that the monkeys in the bamboo forest be protected from harm forever. The stories show the kind of life one should lead to become a Buddha. In many of these stories, the Buddha appears as an animal to teach the value of qualities such as kindness, compassion, and giving. 4

5 5

6 Daoism Confucianism 6

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