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Buddhism. Goals. Review life of Siddhartha Gautama Examine principal tenets of Buddhism Provide background necessary to understand syncretism as discussed in Old World Encounters. Life of Siddhartha Gotama. ca 563-483 BCE Prince in northern India Lived life of luxury, sheltered from pain

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Goals

  • Review life of Siddhartha Gautama

  • Examine principal tenets of Buddhism

  • Provide background necessary to understand syncretism as discussed in Old World Encounters


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Life of Siddhartha Gotama

  • ca 563-483 BCE

  • Prince in northern India

  • Lived life of luxury, sheltered from pain

  • At age 29 ventured from palace and discovered suffering of world

  • Began six-year ascetic life

  • Found no peace or wisdom


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Night of Power

  • Sat under Bodhi tree until he received enlightenment

  • Saw all his former lives pass before him

  • Discovered “Dhamma” (universal truth)

  • Realized that everything is conditional

  • Individuals have no self or soul

  • Believing they do causes desire

  • Became the Buddha, the enlightened one


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Four Noble Truths

  • Life is filled with suffering.

  • Suffering is caused by desire.

  • To end suffering, cease desire.

  • To cease desire, follow the eight-fold path

    Goal is to end the cycle of samsarsa to achieve nirvana (“extinguishing”), no being


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Eight-fold Path

  • 1. Right knowledge

  • 2. Right intention

  • 3. Right speech

  • 4. Right conduct

  • 5. Right livelihood

  • 6. Right effort

  • 7. Right mindfulness

  • 8. Right meditation


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Unique characteristics of Buddhism

  • Non-theistic religion, practically

  • Reform movement within Hinduism

  • Rejected ritual, prayers, caste system

  • Not particularly successful in India

  • Great expansion abroad

  • Had to be adapted to local situations and existing belief systems


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Five Precepts

  • 1. Do not kill

  • 2. Do not take what is not freely given

  • 3. Do not commit unchaste acts

  • 4. Do not lie

  • 5. Do not drink intoxicants


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Thervada

South and southeast Asia

Buddha as mortal

Provides example

Religion of self-reliant works

Emphasize wisdom as enlightenment

Mahayana

North and east Asia

Buddha as semi-divine

Nirvana is paradise

Bodhisattvas

Emphasize compassion

Two branches of Buddhism


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Conclusion

  • Buddhism has roots in Hinduism

  • Goal is to escape samsarsa

  • Based on presumption that life is suffering

  • Emphasis on mediation and spiritual discipline as means to enlightenment

  • Complemented indigenous religions in lands where it was planted


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