Religions of South Asia

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1

2 Religions of South Asia

3 Buddhism in the Subcontinent

4 The essence of Buddhism The middle way of wisdom and compassion. 2,500 year old tradition. The 3 jewels of Buddhism: Buddha, the teacher. Dharma, the teachings. Sangha, the community.

5 Siddhartha Gautama ( BCE) Born in NE India (Nepal). Raised in great luxury to be a king. At 29 he rejected his luxurious life to seek enlightenment and the source of suffering. Lived a strict, ascetic life for 6 yrs. Slept in lotus position and fought against Mara (personification of death, change, and evil) Rejecting this extreme, sat in meditation, and found nirvana. Became The Enlightened One, at 35.

6 What is the fundamental cause of all suffering? Desire! Therefore, extinguish the self, don t obsess about oneself.

7 Four Noble Truths 1. There is suffering in the world. To live is to suffer. (Dukkha) The Buddha found this out when he was young and experienced suffering and death in others.

8 Four Noble Truths 2. The cause of suffering is selfcentered desire and attachments. (Tanha)

9 Four Noble Truths 3. The solution is to eliminate desire and attachments. (Nirvana = extinction )

10 Four Noble Truths 4. To reach nirvana, one must follow the Eightfold Path.

11 Eightfold Path Nirvana The union with the ultimate spiritual reality. Escape from the cycle of rebirth.

12

13 Samsara The cycle of life and death

14 Renunciation The letting go of the craving or desire for a life that doesn t really exist. Letting go = Real meaning of life

15 Reincarnation Similar to Hinduism when it comes to karma. How the Buddhist lived out their previous life determines where they will be placed.

16 More Buddhas Siddhartha Gautama is the first Buddha but others are capable of becoming Buddhas.

17 Triatna: the Three Jewels of Buddhism 1. Buddha: He found enlightenment and taught it to others 2. Dharma: Teaching of the true way of things 3. Sangha: Community of monks, nuns, and laypeople who promote dharma.

18

19 Challenging Hindu Ideas Ancient Ways Changing Society Caste System The Buddha taught that following the Vedic texts was unnecessary. Challenged the authority of Hindu priests A more individualistic approach to enlightenment Rebirth as a means to evolve Opposed caste system The Eightfold Path could lead any individual to nirvana. The Buddha s teachings reached all classes.

20 Buddhism began in India and then became a major religion. Buddhism branches out Asoka, one of the most powerful kings in India, became a Buddhist and spread Buddhism in India and foreign lands. Buddhist missionaries traveled the world to teach enlightenment.

21 Early Spread of Buddhism

22 Buddha 19c Thailand

23 Buddha s head : 2c Pakistan

24 Mandala: Wheel of Life Motif

25 Mandala: Wheel of Life Motif

26 Buddhist Altar

27 Types of Buddhism Therevada Buddhism Mahayana Buddhism Tibetan Buddhism Zen Buddhism

28 Theravada Buddhism The oldest school of Buddhism. The Way of the Elders or the Small Vehicle. Found in southern Asia. The monastic life is the best way to achieve nirvana. Focus on wisdom and meditation. Goal is to become a Buddha, or Enlightened One. Over 100,000,000 followers today.

29 Theravada Buddhism

30 Mahayana Buddhism The Great Vehicle. Founded in northern Asia (China, Japan). Buddhism for the masses. Seek guidance from Bodhisattvas, wise beings Bodhisattvas- (A person how is a Buddha to be ). Goal: Not just individual escape from the wheel, but the salvation of all humanity through self-sacrifice of those enlightened few.

31 Different types of Bodhisattvas King-like Bodhicitta - to aspire to become a buddha first in order to then help sentient beings Boatman-like bodhicitta - to aspire to become a buddha at the same time as other sentient beings Shepherd-like bodhicitta - to aspire to become a buddha only after all other sentient beings have done so

32 Mahayana Buddhism

33 Seated Boddhisatva 16c Bhutan

34 boddhisatva

35 Tibetan Buddhism The Diamond Vehicle. [Vajrayana] Developed in Tibet in the 7c CE. A mix of Theravada and Mahayana. Boddhisatvas include Lamas, like the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan Book of the Dead [Bardo Thodol].

36 The Dalai Lama

37 zen Buddhism The Meditation School. Seeks sudden enlightenment [satori] through meditation, arriving at emptiness [sunyata]. Use of meditation masters [Roshi]. Beauty, art, and aesthetics: Gardens. Archery. Tea ceremony. Calligraphy.

38 Buddhism in America (1999)

39 Distribution of Buddhism Centers in the US, 2001

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