Buddhism

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BUDDHISM
CONTEXT
By the time Buddhism developed, Aryan
invaders had been in India for 500
years
The caste system was well established
Suffering, poverty, and inequality were
widespread
This was justified by the Brahmins as the
result of karma
SIDDHARTHA GAUTAMA
Born 563 BC into the Kshatriya (warrior)
caste
He lived in luxury and never saw
suffering because he was isolated in a
palace by his father
Gautama began to question his father
and the teachings of the Brahmins
THE GREAT AWAKENING
Gautama secretly left the palace grounds
for a chariot ride
He saw what are now known as the “Four
Signs”




A sick man
An old man
A dead man
A holy man
Gautama, stunned by the suffering in the
world, renounced his old life and pursued
wisdom
One day, he achieved enlightenment, and
became known as Buddha, the enlightened
one
BUDDHA’S TEACHINGS
Buddha spent the rest of his life teaching
followers
His teachings begin with the four noble
truths
 All existence is dukkha, unsatisfactory and filled
with suffering
 Dukkha arises from tanha, craving or clinging,
the desire to find something permanent
 Dukkha can cease totally-this is nirvana
 Nirvana can be achieved by following the
Eightfold Path
ACHIEVING NIRVANA
Buddhists believe in samsara, the cycle of
death and rebirth
Unlike Hindus, they do not believe in a
soul-only a rebirth of karma. There is
nothing truly permanent to Buddhists.
This cycle of suffering can be escaped
by following the Eightfold Path and
achieving nirvana
The steps must be followed in order
THE EIGHTFOLD PATH
THE LOTUS FLOWER
The Lotus is an important symbol in
Buddhism
A lotus rising out of mud represents
Buddha achieving a state of
enlightenment, despite the pain and
suffering in the world around him
THE THREE CARDINAL FAULTS
Buddha taught that the three cardinal
faults of humans are greed, hatred, and
delusion
These are represented by the pig, the
snake, and the rooster
“Consumed by craving, enraged by
hatred, blinded by delusion,
overwhelmed and despairing, man
contemplates his own downfall, that of
others, and both together.”-Buddha
GODS IN BUDDHISM
Buddhists do not deny the existence of
gods; however, while gods exist in a
form above humans, they are not equal
to the wisdom of Buddha
There are a number of demons, such as
Yama and Mara, who tested the Buddha
throughout his lifetime
BUDDHIST WORSHIP
In Buddhism, there are two groups
 Bhikkhu, or monks
 Sangha, or laypeople
There is a tradition of the laypeople
offering support to the monks
Monks often reside in monasteries, where
they contemplate Buddha’s dhamma, or
teachings
The “Three Jewels of Buddhism” are
Buddha, his teachings, and the monks
FORMS OF BUDDHISM
Buddhism has spread across Asia, and
developed its own unique practices in
Tibet, China, and Japan
The two main branches are Mahayana
Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism
Mahayana-Emphasizes compassion,
many people can achieve nirvana
through the teachings of bodhisattvas
Theravada-Emphasizes wisdom,
relatively few can achieve nirvana

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