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Buddhism
Siddhartha Gautama
• Founder of Buddhism
• Was a prince, raised in luxury who’d never seen poverty,
sickness, or suffering
• One day his charioteer drove him around the city and for the
1st time he saw old age, sickness & death
• Shocked, he wanted to find out why people suffered and
how it could be ended
• He left his wife & newborn son and wandered throughout
India – Great Renunciation
• Lived as a hermit seeking truth through fasting & self-denial
• Saw a flash of light that gave him insight (had an epiphany)
• Because of this “enlightenment”, he was named Buddha, or
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“Enlightened One”
He rejected the Varna, or caste system
He determined that desire didn’t necessarily cause suffering
- One could be rich, as long as the wealth was gained
lawfully and was used well (shared with others)
Buddha gathered disciples teaching the Four Noble Truths,
and the Eightfold path
- After Buddha’s death, traveling monks carried on
the religion beyond India and around the
world
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Four Noble Truths
1. Life is suffering – dukkha
- Birth trauma
- Illness
- Old age
- Fear of approaching death
- Separation from what one loves
- Stuck with what one hates
2. The cause of suffering is desire – tanha
3. The cure for suffering is to remove desire
4. To remove desire, follow the eightfold path
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Eightfold Path
1. Right Knowledge – Understand the Four Noble Truths
2. Right Thinking – Decide to set a life on the correct path
3. Right Speech – Don’t lie; Don’t criticize others unjustly;
Don’t use harsh language; Don’t gossip
4. Right Conduct – Follow the Five Precepts
5. Right Livelihood – Earn a living that does not harm living things
6. Right Effort – Conquer all evil thoughts; Strive to maintain
good thoughts
7. Right Mindfulness – Become intensely aware of all the states in
body, feeling and mind
8. Right Concentration – Deep meditation to lead to a higher
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state of consciousness (enlightenment)
Five Precepts
1. Do not kill
2. Do not steal
3. Do not lie
4. Do not be unchaste
5. Do not take drugs or drink intoxicants
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