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    Buddhism PP Blyth Buddhism PP Blyth Presentation Transcript

    • Buddhism
    • Do not try to bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth… THERE IS NO SPOON Then you will see that it is not the spoon that bends... It is only yourself
    • Watch the clips from the film "Little Buddha" - Appendix i. LIFE OF THE BUDDHA (ORIGINS)
    • BUDDHISM SPREADS (HISTORY)
    • Buddhism Spreads (History) ●The Buddha’s ideals were spread by his disciples throughout India. ●By 390 BCE, there were two distinct groups within Buddhism: Theravada and Mahayana. ●297 BCE Buddhism became the state religion of a powerful empire in India; missionaries sent all over Asia. ●Between 320 and 600 CE Vajrayana Buddhism developed in Tibet. ●The spread of Islam and strengthening of Hinduism reduced the influence of Buddhism in India during the 11th – 15th centuries. ●Buddhism continued to thrive in other countries (ex. Western Buddhism).
    • THE SERMON AT DEER PARK Primary Source Reading - Read: Appendix ii:
    • BUDDHIST BELIEFS (CREED)
    • Buddhism vs. Hinduism ●Buddhism arose during the Upanishad period (c.560 BCE) so Buddhism shares many ideas with Hinduism. ●Hindus generally regard Buddhism as being a close relative of their own religion but the Buddha himself was in many ways reacting against the Hinduism of his day.
    • Similarities ●Cyclical timelines – both maintain that the universe is eternal with ages of creation and destruction following upon each other. Both are believed too be “eternal” religions (they have come to be and passed away over and over again). ●Many worlds exist among this cyclical time scheme. Various heavens are inhabited by Gods and Goddesses and hells are inhabited by demons. Between them are middle realms including those of animals and humans. ●Liberation (moksha or nirvana) from samsara (rebirth in one realm or another) is central to both.
    • Differences ●Hinduism is more speculative and focused on ritual while Buddhism is practical and focused on direct inward observation of the human condition ●Buddha taught that questions about the existence of God were for individuals to deal with on their own (for all official purposes there is no “God” in Buddhism). ●The Buddha rejected all systems of class or hierarchy (i.e. the caste system)instead he made everyone responsible for their own faith and salvation. ●Earliest sacred texts of Buddhism were written in Pali (a local dialect) vs. Sanskrit (the language of priests). ●The Buddha believed that through self effort Nirvana could be reached in one lifetime, regardless of one’s position in society.
    • Buddhism - Creed ●End Suffering – It is important, very important, to remember that the primary goal of Buddhism is to end suffering. This was the goal of the Buddha. ●Personal Responsibility – The Buddha did not leave specific instructions on how to reach Nirvana, but instead focused upon introspection. It is the personal responsibility of each person to look into one’s self in order to reach salvation. ●Samsara – Like Hindus, Buddhists also believe in reincarnation and the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. ●Dharma – Like Hindus, Buddhists are expected to follow the Dharma. HOWEVER, the KEY difference is that Dharma refers to the teachings of the Buddha, not duty. ●Women in Buddhism – In Buddhism there is no distinction
    • Three Marks of Existence
    • The Three Marks of Existence (Creed) ●Anicca (impermanence) – is the Buddhist idea that the world is in constant flux and that nothing stays the same. Impermanence can be applied to everything and everyone on the face of the earth and excludes nothing. ●Q: Are you the same person you were 10 years ago? 10 minutes ago?
    • The Three Marks of Existence (Creed) ●Anatta (no-self) – this is the philosophical Buddhist concept that there literally is “no self”. There is no permanent identity or existence. ●We cannot point to one thing in ourselves that we can say is “self.” Everyone is made of a variety of parts, all of which are impermanent and ultimately an illusion. ●Rather than finding Atman within, the Buddha found no self, no ultimate reality within, no essence underlying existence.
    • The 5 Aggregates (Creed) ●The Buddha believed that all a human being is, is a collection of FIVE AGGREGATES. ●These five things that combine to make a person are constantly changing. They are not things, they are processes. As a result, they are IMPERMANENT. ●If all the components of self are Impermanent, then how can there be a self? It must be an illusion. ●This can lead us to overcome hope & fear
    • The 5 Aggregates (Creed) Feeling (emotional response to situations). Will (habits) Form (raw materials like earth, water and fire). Consciousne ss (knowing) Perception or Awareness
    • The Three Marks of Existence (Creed) ●Dukkha (dissatisfaction) – the Buddhist concept that all humans and animals experience suffering. Physical and mental pain are extreme examples of this characteristic. The Buddha taught that there is no such thing as perpetual happiness on earth. This is why he set out to end suffering through reaching Nirvana.
    • Karma and Samsara ●Since Buddhism denies the existence of a self (atman does not reside within everyone) the question of what is reborn is critical. ●Buddhism’s response – rebirth is the transference of an every changing bundle of energy which is patterned according to ones Karma. ●When an individual dies his or her karma continues on its particular trajectory eventually bringing about rebirth. ●Buddhists understand karma as being directly related to intentions.
    • The Four Noble Truths (Creed) 1. To live is to Suffer (life is suffering) ●This is not meant to be a negative statement. To Buddhists we inevitably have to endure physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death. This is inevitable. In addition we will have to endure psychological suffering such as sadness, fear, frustration, disappointment, and depression. This noble truth does not negate the fact that life can also be filled with happiness – it just won’t last forever.
    • The Four Noble Truths (Creed) 2. The cause of suffering is desire (Tanha) and attachment to impermanent things ●The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things and the ignorance thereof. Transient things not only include the physical objects that surround us, but also ideas, and in a greater sense, all objects of our perception. ●Ignorance is the lack of understanding of how our mind is attached to impermanent things. The reasons for suffering are desire (Tanha), passion, pursuit of wealth and prestige, striving for fame and popularity, or in short: craving and clinging. Because the objects of our attachment are transient, their loss is inevitable, thus suffering will necessarily follow.
    • The Four Noble Truths (Creed) 3. Suffering can be brought to an end. ●The cessation of suffering can be attained through nirvana. Nirvana refers to the unmaking of sensual craving and conceptual attachment. The third noble truth expresses the idea that suffering can be ended by attaining dispassion. Nirvana extinguishes all forms of clinging and attachment. This means that suffering can be overcome through human activity, simply by removing the cause of suffering. This means freedom from all worries, troubles, complexes, fabrications and ideas.
    • The Four Noble Truths (Creed) 4. The solution to suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path ●There is a path to the end of suffering - a gradual path of self-improvement, which is described in the Eightfold Path. It is the middle way between the two extremes of excessive self-indulgence (hedonism) and excessive self-mortification (asceticism); and it leads to the end of the cycle of rebirth. The path to the end of suffering can extend over many lifetimes, throughout which every individual rebirth is subject to karmic conditioning.
    • A monk asked Kegon, "How does an enligthtened one return to the ordinary world?" Kegon replied, "A broken mirror never reflects again; fallen flowers never go back to the old branches."
    • Enlightenment ●To follow the 8 fold path to its end is to reach Nirvana. ●Final nirvana (parinirvana) awaits the death of the body. In the meantime the life of the arhat (the saint who has become awakened) is forever changed, having experienced a foretaste of the final nirvana. ●Having become awakened the Arhat is fully aware of the truth and is free of imprisonment by suffering, desire and selfish individualism. ●As a result the Arhat is perfectly compassionate, friendly and even minded towards all things.
    • Nirvana ●All Buddhists look forward to experiencing nirvana like the Buddha, however Buddhas are different from their followers in that they are able to awaken on their own (without a model or teacher). ●When the life of the Arhat ends, he or she enters the state of nirvana – the life energy of the Arhat is blown out. ●The Buddha refused to say if a person exists in nirvana he simply said it is the total cessation of suffering and thus absolute peace.
    • The Triple Gem ●Buddhists seek refuge (assistance) in what are often referred to as the Triple Gem, Three Jewels or Triple Jewel. These are: ●The Buddha: Awakened one, enlightened one. The original nature of the heart; the attainment of Nirvana. ●The Dharma: The body of teachings expounded by the Buddha. The nature of reality. ●The Sangha: Community of monks and nuns who have become enlightened. Also could be translated as awakened community. ●It is impossible to escape one's karma. The one, who is seeking to become enlightened, commits by pursuing enlightenment and following in the footsteps of the people who have followed the path to enlightenment before.
    • BUDDHIST ETHICS (CODE)
    • The Eightfold Path & 5 Precepts (Handout) Using the eTextBook, fill out the attached worksheet on The Eightfold Path and Precepts - Appendix iii
    • Buddhist Values (Code) ●Self-determination ●Each person is responsible for following the 8-fold path on their own. ●Mindfulness ●Buddhists are to live in the present and not become distracted by the past or future. ●Compassion ●The ability to see and feel from another's point of view must lead to action. ●Loving-Kindness ●Extending goodwill, caring and warmth to others without expecting reward. ●Detachment ●Looking at all events without bias or emotion. “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful”
    • Ahinsa (Code) ●Ahinsa (Sanskrit = to do no harm) is an important tenet of the religions that originated in India ●Ahimsa prohibits the killing or injuring of living beings. It is connected with the notion that all kinds of violence entail negative karmic consequences. ●The earliest references to ahimsa are found in the texts of Hinduism, dated to 8th century BCE. ●Prominent figures of Indian spirituality such as Swami Vivekanada and Ghandi emphasized the importance of ahimsa. ●Violence in self-defense, criminal law, and war are accepted by Hindus and Jains. ●Ahimsa is not used as a technical term in Buddhism, but it condemns ritual sacrifice and violence, and moral codes emphasize the importance of not taking life.
    • ●June 11, 1963, Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk from Vietnam, burned himself to death at a busy intersection in downtown Saigon to bring attention to the repressive policies of the Catholic Diem regime that controlled the South Vietnamese government at the time. Buddhist monks asked the regime to lift its ban on flying the traditional Buddhist flag, to grant Buddhism the same rights as Catholicism, to stop detaining Buddhists and to give Buddhist monks and nuns the right to practice and spread their religion. While burning Thich Quang Duc never moved a muscle.
    • Discussion Questions: ●How does this image represent the efforts of Buddhists to address situations of global injustice while still following their particular moral codes? ●How does this differ from contemporary culture’s response to problems? ●Do you believe non-violence is an effective means of solving world problems? ●Do you think non-violence is a realistic method of dealing with problems in a world where others do not share your views on violence?
    • The Three Pure Precepts I vow to cease from evil. I vow to do only good. I vow to do good for others.
    • The Coconut Monk Read of the children's book "The Coconut Monk" - Appendix iv. What does this book tell you/reinforce for you about Buddhist ethics?
    • Sacred Writings ●The Triptaka (three baskets) which includes: ●The Vinaya-Pitaka (basket of discipline) addresses the rule of monastic life and codes of conduct. ●The Sutta-Pitaka (basket of discourses) contains the teachings of the Buddha and the Jatakas, a collection of birth stories about the previous lives of the Buddha meant to illustrate morality. ●The Abhidamma-Pitaka (basket of furthur teachings) discusses the nature of consciousness and includes the Dhammapada, a collection of 424 versus on ethics. ●This is considered by most to be the most accurate record of the Buddha’s teachings.
    • BRANCHES OF BUDDHISM THREEPATHSTOCROSSTHE RIVER
    • Theravada (Way of the Elders) Mahayana (Great Vehicle) Vajrayana (Tantric Buddhism) Origins Believed to be from the original followers of Buddha. 200 BCE Mahayana (a more liberal school) emerges. 750 CE Buddhism spread to Tibet and mixed with local religion. Areas of Practice Southeast Asian countries (i.e. Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, South Vietnam) China, Korea and Japan Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. Focus Cultivation of wisdom through knowledge of the 4 noble truths and practice of the 8-fold path (especially meditation). Emphasis on monastic life resulting in a religious hierarchy. The Sanga consists of monks/nuns and only they can achieve enlightenment. Lay people support the monks/nuns and can gain merit by following the Buddha. Guidelines for monks/nuns include: chastity, begging for good, giving up possessions, meditating and pacifism. Buddhism for the masses – emphasizes compassion for all living things (particularly fellow humans) as the supreme virtue. Does not hold to monasticism as the only legitimate path (more inclusive). Focuses on the Buddha himself, celebrates him as a divine saviour. Fighting fire with fire – harness the sensual energies of life and turn them against themselves. Practices used to achieve this are: mandalas, mudras, mantras, and in rare cases ritualized (tantric) sex. All of which can only be learned through study with a master. Together these practices invoke sound, movement and sight, capitalizing on sensual energies as ways to enhance spiritual energies.
    • Theravada (Way of the Elders) Mahayana (Great Vehicle) Vajrayana (Tantric Buddhism) View of the Buddha A human who experienced enlightenment and then taught others how to do the same. Buddha is forever beyond human reach as he has passed into the eternal peace of nirvana. The Buddha’s teachings, not the figure of the Buddha are central. Buddha is more than one historical person. Buddhas existed before and well exist after Gautama and are considered divine beings. Buddhahood is everlasting and creates new Buddhas from its power. Every person is a potential Buddha. A human who experienced enlightenment and then taught others how to do the same. Important Individuals Ultimate goal is to become an Arhat (worthy one, saint who has achieved Nirvana). Arhats are the ideal types that all strive to imitate. Reject the idea of heavenly figures etc. helping followers. Believe in Bodhisattvas (persons who have reached enlightenment bust refuse to enter Nirvana until everyone has achieved enlightenment) who answer prayers and aid people (guides). These individuals are Buddhas in the making and can dwell on earth or in one of the Buddhist heavens from where they offer divine assistance (transference of their Karma) to those who worship them. Lamas are important religious leaders who reincarnate to continue leading out of compassion. Dali Lama is the current leader of Tibet (the 14th in a direct line of succession through re-birth).
    • Theravada (Way of the Elders) Mahayana (Great Vehicle) Vajrayana (Tantric Buddhism) Scriptures Follows the early texts and teachings of the Buddha. Scriptures = Tripitaka (“Three Baskets”) recorded sayings of the Buddha or historical Buddha documents. The Tripitakas are worthy scriptures but there are others including “secret” teachings of the Buddha and later Chinese & Tibetan writings. In English it is also known as Tantric Buddhism, due to its reliance on sacred texts called Tantras. End Goal Liberation from the world = enlightenment achieved through individual effort (meditation, NOT worship). Believes in compassion and liberation for everyone. Salvation is offered through the grace and compassion of the Buddha. Wisdom is attained through meditation, devotion to a bodhisattva, ritual and spiritual exercises. ***To reach Nirvana in a single lifetime – rather than passing through countless lives before achieving salvation. In Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, followers hope to gain enough merit in this life to reincarnate into the next with better Karma - thereby moving one step closer to Nirvana.
    • VAJRAYANA BUDDHISM (7 YEARS IN TIBET) OPTIONAL: You may be interested in watching the film “7 Years in Tibet” for more information on Vajrayana Buddhism, but this is NOT a course requirement.
    • BUDDHIST WORSHIP (CULT )
    • F.Y.I. Tibetan Prayer Flags ●Yellow = Earth ●Red = Fire ●Green = Water ●Blue = Sky/Space ●White = Air/Cloud Tibetan Buddhists string cloth flags in front of homes and from mountaintop to mountaintop. The flag colours represent the five elements of the faith and the flags have Buddhist prayers, mantras and symbols written on them so that the wind will spread goodwill and compassion everywhere.
    • Monasticism (Cult) Monastic Life (Burma and Thailand) ●Young men spend several months in a monastery ●Initiation includes a ceremony where their heads are shaved and new names are given ●Yellow robes and begging bowls are also given at this time ●A man will not marry until he has served as a monk (initiation into adulthood) and may return to this life when he is older ●Monks and nuns may choose re-enter society at any time
    • Zen Buddhism (Cult) ●Buddhism spread into Japan from China. ●When Buddhism entered Japan in the 12th Century C.E., the Samurai were especially drawn to it due to Buddhism’s emphasis on overcoming the fear of death and the training in right mindfulness. ●Samurai training in martial arts advanced this principle. ●Zen Buddhism is popular in Japan today. ●Today activities range from dance (movement) to calligraphy to tea ceremonies to poetry.
    • Bodhisattva Vow (Beastie Boys) As I Develop The Awakening Mind I Praise The Buddha As They Shine I Bow Before You As I Travel My Path To Join Your Ranks, I Make My Full Time Task For The Sake Of All Beings I Seek The Enlightened Mind That I Know I'll Reap Respect To Shantideva And All The Others Who Brought Down The Dharma For Sisters And Brothers I Give Thanks For This World As A Place To Learn And For This Human Body That I'm Glad To Have Earned And My Deepest Thanks To All Sentient Beings For Without Them There Would Be No Place To Learn What I'm Seeing There's Nothing Here That's Not Been Said Before But I Put It Down Now So I'll Be Sure To Solidify My Own Views And I'll Be Glad If It Helps Anyone Else Out Too If Others Disrespect Me Or Give Me Flack I'll Stop And Think Before I React = Knowing That They're Going Through Insecure Stages I'll Take The Opportunity To Exercise Patience I'll See It As A Chance To Help The Other Person Nip It In The Bud Before It Can Worsen A Change For Me To Be Strong And Sure As I Think On The Buddhas Who Have Come Before As I Praise And Respect The Good They've Done Knowing Only Love Can Conquer In Every Situation We Need Other People In Order To Create The Circumstances For The Learning That We're Here To Generate Situations That Bring Up Our Deepest Fears So We Can Work To Release Them Until They're Cleared Therefore, It Only Makes Sense To Thank Our Enemies Despite Their Intent The Bodhisattva Path Is One Of Power And Strength A Strength From Within To Go The Length Seeing Others Are As Important As Myself I Strive For A Happiness Of Mental Wealth With The Interconnectedness That We Share As One Every Action That We Take Affects Everyone So In Deciding For What A Situation Calls There Is A Path For The Good For All I Try To Make My Every Action For That Highest Good With The Altruistic Wish To Achieve Buddhahood So I Pledge Here Before Everyone Who's Listening To Try To Make My Every Action For The Good Of All Beings For The Rest Of My Lifetimes And Even Beyond I Vow To Do My Best To Do No Harm And In Times Of Doubt I Can Think On The Dharma And The Enlightened Ones Who've Graduated Samsara Listen to the song for the Beastie Boys' "Bodhisattva Vow" - appendix v
    • Worship and Practices (Cult) ●Bowing ●This is performed on many occasions. ● A lay person bows before monks and nuns to show respect. ●Monks and nuns bow before any member of the sangha. ●Buddhists bow before sacred objects (i.e.. Images of the Buddha) three times to honour the three refuges.
    • Worship and Practices (Cult) ●Offerings ●Offerings are performed with appropriate chanting and can help a Buddhist get closer to enlightenment, show respect for the three jewels or give material support so the monks can live. ●The most common offering is flowers because as they fade and wilt they demonstrate impermanence (Anicca). ●Incense sticks burn in the home to symbolize the Buddha’s “odour of sanctity.” ●Another common offering (the light of a candle) represents the Buddha’s enlightenment.
    • Worship and Practices (Cult) ●Meditation ●Buddhists pray through meditation. ●Meditation quiets the mind so that one can enter more fully into the spiritual world. ●Meditation brings insights into compassion and humility and can also improve confidence and lead to better general mental and physical health.
    • Worship and Practices (Cult) ●Chanting Mantras ●Mantras are symbolic phrases that are chanted to help Buddhists keep in touch with their spiritual nature. They can also serve to enhance meditation.
    • TEMPLES AND SYMBOLS (CULT)
    • Ritual and Temples (Cult) Temple Life: ●Lay people can choose to visit temples for instruction, meditation and private devotions to Buddha - however most Buddhist devotions are performed in the home. ●There are monthly holy days and other festivals that draw people to the temple. ●Buddhism has very little common ritual
    • Ritual and Temples (Cult) Symbols and Temple Art: ●In the early days, Buddha was not represented as it was seen as impossible and inappropriate. Instead images of his disciples, the Bodhi tree, or his footprints were depicted as symbols of Buddha’s disappearance into Nirvana ●Later art shows depictions of Buddha in the form of giant statues. Buddha is typically shown in one of 3 positions: ●(a) sitting, representing his enlightenment ●(b) standing or walking, representing followers of his teachings ●(c) lying down, representing his passage into Nirvana ●The portrayal of the Buddha differs depending on the part of the world where the image is found.
    • F.Y.I: Images of the Buddha T he Buddha in the Lotus Position: ●This Buddha sits on the lotus which represents purity. The Lotus position is a position of meditation. His hands are in the teaching position which again, is another meditation technique The Emmaciated Sidhartha Gautama: ●This Buddha image represents the Buddha as a starving ascetic. In this position the Buddha can be seen as striving for enlightenment
    • F.Y.I Images of the Buddha Amida Buddha of Immeasurable Light/Life: ●This image of the Buddha developed out of PURE LAND Buddhism- a form of Mahayana. The Amida Buddha was a previous incarnation of the Buddha who refused to reach complete enlightenment. He is sitting in a Lotus Buddha, Standing Dressed as a Monk: ●This Buddha is primarily found in Japanese Buddhism. The standing position is another popular position for the Buddha (along with reclining and sitting)
    • Ritual and Temples (Cult) Theravada Temples: ●Single statue of Buddha or a relic found in a stupa (shrine) Mahayana Temples: ●Many statues of Buddha or bodhisattvas (male and female)
    • Symbols (Cult) ●Mudras ●These hand gestures which appear in images of Hindu deities are important Buddhist icons. ●Often used in meditation or seen on Buddha images. ●There are many mudras and they symbolize different states of mind – the belief is that since we can often tell someone’s state of mind by looking at their gestures, we can also generate a specific state of mind by making certain gestures.
    • Symbols (Cult) Wheel of Life ●Complete visual representation of samsara – this image shows all the different levels and the beings that inhabit them. ●Believed to have been designed by the Buddha.
    • Symbols (Cult) ●Stupa ●Dome shaped mounds that were built to house the relics of the Buddha or other holy figures. ●Almost every Buddhist temple has one. Lay people walk around it 3 times when making their devotions. ●The inside may be decorated with paintings or carvings illustrating the life of the Buddha. ●A pilgrimage to a stupa and the construction of small stupas are considered merit-gaining activities by some Buddhists.
    • Symbols (Cult) ●Buddhapada ●These representations of the Buddha’s footprints, are revered in all Buddhist countries. ●The footprints are usually carved in stone and feature signs of the Buddha on the soles.
    • FESTIVALS AND MILESTONES (CULT)
    • Milestones (Cult) Early Life: ●When a baby boy reaches one month of age, the parents invite monks to their house or take the baby to the temple so his head can be shaved. ●Sometimes parents will take their children to stay with the monks for an extended period of time. When a boy is brought into the temple he comes as a novice, or a monk in training. The novice participates in all of the activities of becoming a monk. ●In some countries men can enter monkhood for a limited period of time.
    • Milestones Becoming a Monk: ●Stage 1 – at 7 or 8 a boy enters the monastery as a novice. He undertakes the 10 precepts and usually acts as an attendant to a senior monk. This monk must teach the novice Buddhist rituals, philosophy and scripture. ●Stage 2 – ordination at age 20 once the man can read, write and chant simple texts. Once ordained a monk must shave his head (a sign of rejecting vanity), take a religious name and wear appropriate robes. Upon ordination Buddhist monks renounce their possessions and keep only what is necessary .
    • Milestones Marriage: ●The bride and groom go to the monastery to feed the monks in order to receive a blessing, but the monks never attend the wedding itself. ●For other important events, people go to the temple to seek a blessing or to gain merit, but monks are never involved in the ceremonies.
    • Milestones Death: ●Elaborate and ritualized ceremony based on the cremation customs of India. ●Generally the ceremony consists of: ●A procession (the body is placed into a funeral pyre so it is hidden from view) ●Prayers (monks perform a short funeral service that includes chants and prayers, everyone recites the triple refuge and the five precepts) ●Water-pouring rituals (while a prayer is chanted holy water is poured on the body by family members and friends) ●Cremation (the pyre is lit, often by the eldest son) ●Final prayers ●A shared meal
    • Festivals and Holy Days The next few slides show images for several Buddhist festivals and holy days. Using the eTextbook and /or the internet, briefly research each.
    • Wesak (Buddha Day)
    • Dharma DayDharma Day
    • Magha Puja Day (Sanhga Day)
    • Songkran
    • Loy Krathong
    • THE MATRIX OPTIONAL: You may wish to watch the film "The Matrix" on your own. It covers several key Buddhist concepts which you can research on your own, or contact me about for more information)
    • Primary Source: OPTIONAL: This is not required reading but an interesting look at the relationship between Pope John Paul II and His Holiness the Dali Lama. Appendix vi.
    • Key Question: What are the similarities and differences between Buddhism and Hinduism?
    • Similarities ●Both emphasize the illusory nature of the world and the role of karma in keeping men bound to this world and the cycle of births and deaths. ●Both believe in the transmigration of souls and the cycle of births and deaths for each soul. ●Both emphasize compassion and non violence towards all living beings. ●Both believe in certain spiritual practices like meditation, concentration, cultivation of certain bhavas or states of mind.
    • Similarities ●Both believe in detachment, renunciation of worldly life as a precondition to enter to spiritual life. Both consider desire as the chief cause of suffering. ●Buddhism and Hinduism have their own versions of Tantra. ●Both originated and evolved on the Indian soil. The found of Buddhism was a Hindu who became the Buddha. Hindu’s believe the Buddha to be an incarnation of Vishnu.
    • Differences: ●Hinduism is not founded by any particular prophet. Buddhism was founded by the Buddha. ●Hinduism believes in the efficacy and supremacy of the Vedas. Buddhists do not believe in the Vedas. ●Buddhism does not believe in the existence of souls or in the first cause, whom we generally call God. Hinduism believes in the existence of Atman, that is the individual soul and Brahman, the supreme creator. ●Hinduism accepts the Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu, one of the God’s of the Hindu trinity. Buddhists do not accept this.
    • Differences: ●The original Buddhism as taught by the Buddha is known as Theravada Buddhism or Hinayana Buddhism. Followers of this do not worship images of the Buddha nor believe in the Bodhisattvas. The Mahayana sect considers the Buddha as the supreme soul or the highest being, akin to the Brahman of Hinduism and worship him in the form of images and icons. ●Buddhists consider the world to be full of sorrow and regard ending the sorrow as the chief aim of human life. ●Hindus consider that there are four chief aims (arthas) in life which every being should pursue. They are dharma (religious duty), artha (wealth or material possessions), Kama (desires and passions) and moksha (salvation). ●Hindus also believe in the four ashramas or stages in life. This is not followed in Buddhism. People can join the Order any time depending upon their spiritual preparedness.