RELG 335 Buddhism Study Guide Midterm
RELG 335 Buddhism Study Guide Midterm RELG 335
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This 5 page Study Guide was uploaded by Rachel Sharp on Thursday July 7, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to RELG 335 at Winthrop University taught by Dr. Kristen Kiblinger in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 60 views. For similar materials see Buddhism in Philosophy & Religion at Winthrop University.
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Date Created: 07/07/16
RELG 335 – Buddhism – Test Study Guide Chapter 1 & Presentation 1 India is Buddhism’s land of origin. Sanskrit and Pali were the original languages used in early Buddhism. Emperor Asoka was the 3 emperor of the Mauryan Empire, largest empire of the Indian subcontinent, and was a critical help to the spread of Buddhism in the 200’s BCE Theravada Buddhism is a strain of Hinayana Buddhism (“Lesser Vehicle”) and is the more conservative of the 2 major traditions (the other being Mahayana), referred to as the “way of the elders,” developed between 5000 CE, presently practiced heavily in Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. Mahayana Buddhism is the more liberal tradition whose name means “Greater Vehicle,” gained precedence as a separate school between 100 BCE and 100 CE, presently practiced st heavily in China (since the 1 c CE), Vietnam, Japan, and Korea. Tantric Buddhism is the 3 of the 3 “vehicles” to enlightenment and is also called Vajrayana, encourages ritual and meditational practices that promise an expedited path to enlightenment, developed between 5001000 CE. Three Refuges are also deemed the Three Jewels, made up of the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha (Buddhist community), “I go to the Buddha for refuge. I go to the Dharma for refuge. I go to the Sangha for refuge.” Dharma is a concept with multiple meanings, but is primarily understood as the Truth, or the teachings of the Buddha. Decline of Buddhism in India (its land of origin) can be attributed to many circumstances, but was mainly due to the resurgence of Hinduism and the advances of Islam onto Indian territory, by 12 13 century Buddhism had died out (institutionally, but many of its religious and philosophical influences remained). Communism impacted Asia and had negative repercussions for Buddhist practice, suppression of Buddhism in 20 century. Ambedkar’s NeoBuddhism was a push for the lower class to convert to Buddhism in an attempt to extinguish the caste system. Buddhism is the 4 largest religion today. Chapter 2 & Presentations 12 Brahmanism was the early form of Hinduism which was prevalent in India and to which Buddhism was a reaction to. Sramana Movement was the reaction against Brahmanism which was made up of ascetic wanderers who practiced mortification and extreme fasting and meditational lifestyles in order to reach an enlightened state. Middle Way is a Buddhist philosophy that the Buddha constructed after trying both the ritualistic Brahmanism and the extreme ascetic Sramanism, Buddhism offered a Middle Way that was neither ritual based nor extreme and was accessible to the masses. Time is cyclical rather than linear in Buddhist thought, the cycle of rebirth is a microcosm of this, worlds and universes also die and are reborn continually, space is infinite Rebirth Realms (6)(also called realms of samsara) include the realm of Hell Beings (lower hell), Pretas/hungry ghosts (higher hell, characterized by craving and insatiable desire), Animals (lower earthly), Humans (higher earthly and seen as the most fortunate rebirth realm due to the perfect balance of suffering and pleasure), Asuras (lower heavenly, impetus demigods characterized by constant arguing/fighting), and Devas (higher heavenly, characterized as overly pleasurable and therefore doesn’t stir its occupants to pursue enlightenment). Samsara is the cycle of rebirth or suffering from which enlightenment allows one to escape Nirvana is reached when a person becomes fully enlightened and escapes samsara permanently Bhavacakra refers to the wheel of samsara or wheel of existence which depicts the 3 poisons (delusion, greed, hatred), karma’s effect on spiritual progression/regression, the 6 realms of samsara, the 12 links (pratitya samutpada, dependent origination), and the creature of impermanence (Mara) holding the wheel; outside of the wheel the Buddha points to the moon (liberation) signifying the path to enlightenment. Mara is the creature portrayed holding the wheel of samsara and symbolizes impermanence and all of the things that inhibit enlightenment and spiritual progression, the Buddha was tempted by Mara but withstood temptation and did not concede. Karma is the collective positivity/negativity collected throughout existence in samsara, good karma is created by the Buddhist 8fold path of rightness while bad karma is created by wrong doing in these same areas, karma travels through each rebirth and is collected until enough good karma is created to reach enlightenment. Atman is the Brahman or Hindu ideal of the “self,” the purpose of one’s life is to discover this true nature of the self (in Hindu tradition) Chapter 3 & Presentations 24 Siddhartha Guatama is also referred to as Sakyamuni Buddha because he was born into the royal Sakya family, born a prince, became a buddha (enlightened one) after being exposed to sickness, age, and death and experimenting with several religious paths, developed the Middle Way of Buddhism, lived in India 560s480s BCE Tathagata is another title (honorific) for a buddha Maitreya refers to the prophecied “next buddha” who will be born in the future and supersede Siddhartha Guatama Gods are not perceived as divine by Buddhists, but merely beings who have achieved an extreme amount of good karma and exist within the pleasurable heavenly realms, gods are not seen as better than humans because the pleasurable heavenly realms can blind them into complacency and cause a lack in motivation for pursuing enlightenment. Jataka Tales are the stories of the past lives of the Buddha that normally work to convey some enlightening message Siddhartha was conceived through a dream his mother Maya had in which a white elephant descended from heaven and entered her womb, the Buddha was not born naturally but sprung from his mother’s right side (symbolizing purity), he was born walking and talking and it was declared that he would either become a powerful military ruler or a prominent religious figure, his father Suddhodana did everything he could to ensure the former because he wanted to raise a strong heir to his throne, Maya died shortly after giving birth. Prajapati was the Buddha’s aunt and stepmother who both raised him and convinced him to allow the ordination of women into the monastic lifestyle. Yasodhara was the wife of the Buddha with whom he bore his son Rahula, later left his family to pursue his religious journey and break the ties that withheld him. Devadatta was the cousin and brotherinlaw of the Buddha who joined the monastic community and became one of Sakyamuni’s followers, he attempted to convince the Buddha to name him successor of the Buddha’s power but this worried the Buddha and cause him to warn the other monks of his regression, Devadatta hired mercenaries to kill the Buddha but they were instead converted after encountering him, Devadatta then attempted to kill the Buddha himself several times with no avail and later fell into Hell for his actions. The 4 Sights were witnessed by the Buddha when he was a prince, he asked to go out into the town and saw an old man, a sick man, a dead man, and then a sramanic ascetic man on consecutive trips, stirring him to find a way out of these types of earthly suffering and to pursue the sramanic existence. The Great Renunciation occurred when the Buddha renounced his life as a prince and chose to embark on a spiritual journey to find the answer to suffering and samsara. Buddha reached enlightenment after several years of spiritual and meditational practice, went to Bodhgaya India and vowed to meditate under the Bodhi tree until he reached enlightenment, defeated the temptations of Mara and his demons, continued in his meditative trance and reached enlightenment by dawn. Earth Witness Gesture is a mudra (hand pose) in which the Buddha’s hand is extended toward the ground beneath him, this mudra represents his temptation by Mara when he stated that the earth was a witness to his overcoming temptation. Siddhartha Guatama died around the age of 80 from food poisoning he contracted through rancid alms. Chapter 4 & Presentations 45 The Four Noble Truths: 1) there is suffering/unsatisfactoriness (dukkha) 2) It is caused by craving/thirst 3) Thirst/craving can be extinguished 4) The way is the 8fold path (Buddhist practice) Anatman is the Buddhist concept of “no self,” a reaction against the Brahman “atman,” nd explained by the Buddha in his 2 sermon and claimed to be the reason for rebirth and samsara, asserts that the existence of an impermanent self is a hindrance to enlightenment and causes all perceptions to be filtered through the aspect of self which is distorting/selfreferential, Buddha considered the physical, mental, and conscious but found nothing that was permanent or unchanging and so disproved the concept of atman. The 5 Skandhas are 5 aggregates which make up every person: material form/physical world, feeling or sensations, perception, mental formations, consciousness. 3 Marks of Samsaric Existence are anitya (impermanence), dukkha (suffering), and anatman. Svabhava refers to “ownbeing,” as opposed to being relative to others/ conditioned/ interdependent. The chariot analogy explains dependent origination (dependence on a set of causes and conditions) as a chariot that is broken into parts and strewn across a dump, assembling the parts does not then give the chariot and essence of “chariotness,” it exists as a collection of causes and conditions. Chapter 5 & Presentation 5 Pratitya Samutpada is the concept of dependent origination in which all things exist as a set of causes and conditions, everything arises from causes and conditioning factors, makes up the outermost ring of the wheel of samsara and is composed of 12 links. Chapter 6 & Dhamma Brothers Film Meditative techniques included complete isolation for 10 days and total silence for 9, seated meditations for 10 hours per day, practiced vipassana meditation which aims to reveal the true nature of reality and help to see things as they really are, program took place in Donaldson Correctional Facility Alabama Chapter 7 & Presentation 6 Morality plays a major part in Buddhist practice, starts with the mind because that is where the deeds spring from, so the goal is to develop a morally right mind. 5 Precepts of the Buddhist path include the abstention from 1) the destruction of life 2) taking what is not given 3) sexual misconduct 4) false speech 5) wines, liquor and intoxicants which are a basis for negligence Nonclinging love is (1) selfless, concerned with others rather than oneself and (2) non differentiating or nondiscriminatory, meaning that love is distributed equally to both friend and foe, love that discriminates proves to be selfish love because it is awarded on a scale of how much reward the person loving gets from the person being loved (filtered through the self first). Nearenemy is a concept in which every good thing has a counterpart which is easily misconstrued as the good thing, a nearenemy is not a complete opposite (as love’s enemy would be hate because it is in total opposition) but is close enough that it can appear to be good (a near enemy of love is greed). Chapter 8 & Presentation 7 Sangha is a term that broadly refers to the Buddhist community as a whole, yet narrowly refers to strictly the Buddhist monastic community, it is one of the 3 refuges/jewels. The Nun’s Order was established after the aunt of Siddhartha Guatama (Prajapati) was able to reason the Buddha into agreeing that woman could reach enlightenment too, he approved the ordination of females and the nun’s order was created. Vinaya is the second part of the Buddha’s teachings known as the discipline (the first being the Dharma=doctrine) which is used as a framework of rules and guidelines for the monastic community, monks and nuns live on alms rounds and only consume solid food before noon, they live in celibacy and practice meditation, study the teachings of the Buddha and devote themselves to a morally good mind and the achievement of enlightenment. Therevada Nun’s Order died out and so no direct lineage exists today, the Tibetan nuns are working to gain approval to ordain a new generation of women to carry on the Therevada Nun’s Order but a having great difficulty and receiving obstinance from other male orders who could be of help, they are currently working to bring in officially ordained nuns from other orders to help ordain them so that they can be officially recognized.
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