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LECTURE 2: The Buddhist Universe (9/15)

by: Lara Notetaker

LECTURE 2: The Buddhist Universe (9/15) Asian 230

Marketplace > University of Michigan > Asian > Asian 230 > LECTURE 2 The Buddhist Universe 9 15
Lara Notetaker

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About this Document

These notes cover the creation myth and the Buddhist Universe
Intro to Buddhism
Donald Lopez
Class Notes
Buddhism, Buddha, creation
25 ?




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lara Notetaker on Tuesday October 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Asian 230 at University of Michigan taught by Donald Lopez in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Intro to Buddhism in Asian at University of Michigan.


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Date Created: 10/04/16
LECTURE 2 (9/15)  Samsara­ “wandering”­cyclic existence  The cycle of rebirth has no beginning, there is no creator god in Buddhism  Creation theory: o Wind rises in empty space, breeze blows faster & faster in a circle, wind turns  into water, then turns into earth,  o They believe the earth is flat like a disc (mountains on outskirts, water in middle,  Mount Meru in the center) o Mount Meru: flat sides & flat top   We live on “Jambudvipa”   The sky is blue because the lapis on top reflect   Creation: o The first humans in the universe could fly, they are naturally luminous, they have  no gender o There is no sun or moon needed because the humans emit light o One human picks up a drop of cool whip substance on his right pinky, he eats it  and they all continue to eat it until they get fat & they can’t fly anymore o They lose their light so the sun and moon are created o They need to excrete the cool whip stuff so they get sex organs o With the sex organs, a couple decides to use them and get rocks thrown at them so they build a house  o They need to cultivate the cool whip because they are running out, they then  create rice o They need a government and leadership so no one steals the rice  6 different places of rebirth: (we wander/samsara among 6 places) o gods, demigods, human, animal, ghost, hell beings o there is no evolution through the stages: it works through karma  Hell beings: o There are 8 hot hells, 8 cold, 4 neighboring  o Hot hells: 1. Reviving hell: born as fully grown adult with a weapon, hand to hand combat  until all are dead, all revive after they all die and this happens repeatedly for  7000 years 2. Blackline hell: demons are created by own karma, hack up lines for thousands  of years 3. Crushing hell: big room, walls smash in 4. Crying hell: too hot so they all cry 5. Great crying hell: same with door which keeps leading to a hotter room w/  more crying 6. Hot hell: molten lead 7. Very hot: same with body wrapped in metal rings and a pitchfork up your ass 8. Incessant hot hell/avici: body is made of fire o 5 deeds of immediate retribution  1. Kill father 2. Kill mother 3. Kill arhat 4. Wound Buddha 5. Cause dissent in the community o Cold hells  Cattena teeth  Achoo hell  Red lotus  Blue lotus o Neighboring hells  Dirt: Burning ashes  River: swamp of corpses  field: field of needles  forest: row of swords  tree: lover at top, tree is cheese grater  GHOSTS o Born in hell for actions motivated by hatred o Here they are motivated by freed “hungry ghosts” o Lack of food & drink o “preta”=ghost o there is no family to feed them in human life (we always pay respect to dead with  funerals for this reason)  ANIMALS o Insects, fish, etc. o They have a particular suffering since they are killed for the taste of their flesh  o They are doomed to always be looking for food without becoming food   HUMANS o Self­explanatory (goes into detail later)  DEMIGODS o Live on upper side of Mount Meru o Constantly at war w/ gods who live above them because fighting for fruit o Created by jealousy  Gods o Live on heaven on upper Meru,  o They are the kings of the compass (NSEW) o Powerful  o People pray to them if they want something o Still in Samsara o There is the Heaven of the 33 at the top, 4 more above that  o Meditation theory: more subtle states of mind, the previous place they were in  was gross o They are born as a result of karma, not babies o sex exists in 6 heavens  normal at Meru st  1  heaven in sky: hugging  2  holding hands  3  smiling th  4  eye contact  o Suffering: when a god’s life is about to end they receive signs: their palace  becomes dusty, their throne becomes uncomfortable, their servants become  standoffish, they receive a vision of their rebirth  This is the worst suffering (knowing you’re going down)


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