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Midterm 2 Notes

by: Megan Costello

Midterm 2 Notes REL 134

Marketplace > Religion > REL 134 > Midterm 2 Notes
Megan Costello
GPA 3.6

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Updated till 3/6, will be posting weekly!
Intro to Buddhism
Lai, Rongdao
Class Notes
Buddhism, religion, Lecture Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Megan Costello on Wednesday February 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to REL 134 at a university taught by Lai, Rongdao in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 16 views.


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Date Created: 02/17/16
Buddhism Notes for Midterm 2: Buddha set off the wheel of dharma during the first sermon. The Mahayana was the second turning of the wheel of the dharma. These sutras are more than philosophical text, you internalize the teaching and recreate the scene of the teaching in that particular sutra. These texts are also often thought to have magical powers, like enumerable merit, protection. The Ways to Attain Enlightenment: 1. Sravaka: Arhat “listener/hearer” 2. Pratyekabuddha: perfection of wisdom, genre of literature. Shifts of Mahayana Buddhism. Essential teaching is emptiness(sūnyata). Non- teaching/lone Buddha. Ex: Diamond and heart sutra. 3. Bodhisattva: Great emphasis placed on bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism, goal is to attain Buddhahood. “enlightened being”. bodhicitta: thought of enlightenment. Anything can take the vows to become a bodhisattva but you need this special thought of enlightenment(bodhicitta) that you need to start your path towards Buddhism. Thought arises over conversation, rituals, or meditations. Svabava:(essence to something) mistakenly. “Thingness”, don’t want to do this. Tathata-Thus Suchness or Tathāgata: Thusness, has come/has departed. Another way of taking of emptiness, perfect understanding of the world. The Heart Sutra: form is emptiness, emptiness is form. The heart sutra negates not just the congenital world that we experience. Five Skandhas “In emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no discrimination (perception), no conditioning factors (mental formation), no consciousness.” Even though the five aggregates make up a person, they are empty of intrinsic nature. 18 dhātus  No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind;  No form, sound, odor, taste, object of touch, phenomena;  No eye constituent up to and including no mental consciousness constituent. Conditional Arising (12 Links) No ignorance, no extinction of ignorance, no aging and death up to and including extinction of aging and death. Four Noble Truth  No suffering, origin, cessation, path;  No wisdom, no attainment, no non-attainment. Pajnaparamita is a direct response to texts to clarify what Buddha’s literature was trying to teach. Can be protection. Can literally chant the words and recreate the teaching, and some of the literature from the sutras are put into stupas. You can wear the sutras. Goddess/mother of wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. In Mahayana: Upaya: self-identity Diamond and Heart Sutras: Both teachings on Emptiness. Diamond sutra is an important text, earliest text. Form & Emptiness Form Emptiness Samsara Nirvana Duality Non-Dual -Lack a permanent and unchanging intrinsic nature. Svabhava: own being, do not depend on conditions Emptiness: Nothing is permanent and this makes everything possible. dependent co-arising, including all phenomenon. Arise dependently, simultaneously. That is the middle way. Two schools that are disliking each other, however they have so much in common in their project. At the end of the day this is a project for enlightenment in Buddhahood. Pure consciousness or sūnyata. Nogārjuna-Madhyamika: Literal meaning-dragon tree. Buddhism school. Systemizing the concept of emptiness. Emptiness is a view and just another way of looking at reality. Madhyamika: this is the middle path school, Nogārjuna’s school. Emphasis on emptiness. Was trying to get back to the basic teachings of the Buddha. Everything is emptiness, samsara is nirvana. From Nogārjuna’s perspective. Good idea of conventional truth versus ultimate truth. Yogacara or Cittamitra: Important schools in Buddhism, another skew on emptiness. Not debating on whether things are empty, but really after a person attains nirvana, there is a pure consciousness which is empty. According to Yogacara people, we can speak of this consciousness stream, for an enlightened person it is pure, clear as a mirror, light and bright. Thinks Nogārjuna’s belief was falling into nihilism. Don’t deny emptiness, but it is pure and untainted. Conventional and ultimate truth: Things are conventionally true when we experience them. This is why it is so hard to not believe it. But ultimately, it’s emptiness. Again, conventional truth allows the ultimate truth to be taught. We are trying to discuss emptiness, ultimately emptiness just is. Ultimate truth is how an enlightened mind perceives the conventional world. When you try to characterize the ultimate truth, it becomes conventional. Trisvabhava: Three essence. According to Yogacara can be used to understand constructed nature-marked by subject/object duality thought to have intrinsic nature, and dependent nature-flow of perception a condition stream of experience. Constructed nature is generated by dependent nature, and projected back onto reality. Lastly, perfected nature which equals ultimate truth, the nature of things and the way they really are discovered or uncovered and things seen correctly, with non duality. Perfected nature is enlightenment, a non dual mind seeing emptiness in everything. According to Yogacara this really exists, subjects and objects don’t exist but this non- dual pure perfect nature mind does. 1. Constructed nature-marked by subject/object duality 2. Dependent nature 3. Perfected nature Tathāgata-garbha: Doctrine that is very unique and important. Tathāgata means thus come, or thus gone. Garbha means embryo, womb or seed. Really means Buddha nature. A seed or embryo that all sentient beings have. All beings have within them the virtue and wisdom of the Tathāgata but it is hidden by defilement and has to be uncovered for its potential to be realized. All beings have the same seed or embryo within them, and have the potential to attain Buddhahood or in some traditions all beings are already enlightened. Tathāgata and Dharmakaya are pure and non-dual. An untainted Tathāgata is non other than a Dharmakaya. We all have this essence or nature that is tainted and needs to be purified. Central to Mahayana since they believe we should all be on this path to Buddhahood and we already have this within us. Isn’t a competing school, and can exist alongside both of the schools but belongs to Yogacara. Trijaka -Three “bodies” of the Buddha: 1. Nirmanakaya: Transformation Body (aged and died, the physical body) 2. Sambhogakaya: Enjoyment Body (only other Buddha’s or advanced bodhisattva’s can see/enjoy) 3. Dharmakaya: Metaphysical Body (most important, non-dual, pure, underlying, all pervasive, perfect body-principal, for ALL reality/entire universe) *all Buddha in the cosmos*  Perfect or enlightened Buddha is said to have all three types of bodies. Body is more of a principal than simply the skin we think of. Vairocana: statue of the Buddha, not trying to make it a thing but made a statue in Japan. Also very often understood to be the metaphysical Buddha Dharmakaya. Cosmic Buddha’s-Buddha Amitabha: Buddha’s in other parts of the universe, far far away, that are currently residing in their own lands or fields that are currently teaching. They are actively responding to cries for help from sentient beings. Mahayana ultimate good is to become a Buddha, this is like a boot-camp to become a Buddha. Accelerates a person’s path to Buddhahood. The Dali Lama. Beings in this world have an accelerated path, in the pure Buddha land. Bodhisattva  “enlightened being”.  bodhicitta: thought of enlightenment Bodhisattva vows: 1. However innumerable sentient beings are, I vow to enlighten them all. 2. However endless afflictions are, I vow to eradicate them all. 3. However immeasurable the Dharma Gates are, I vow to cultivate them all. 4. However incomparable Buddhahood is, I vow to attain it by all means. Six pāramitās (perfections 1. Dāna (Generosity) 2. Śila (Morality) 3. Ksānti (Patience) Upaya: Compassion/Skillful Means 4. Vīrya (Vigor) 5. Dhyāna (Meditation) 6. Prajńa (wisdom)- Stands alone. Earlier pāramitās have to be guided by wisdom. Compassion is equal to skillful means. Upaya-Kansalya: Ability to teach, help, or save sentient beings in appropriate ways. You have to be really compassionate.


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