Two branches of Buddhism • Theravada: Buddha as a teacher, the old way, gods are not as important • Mahayana: Buddha as a god, bodhisattvas are people that have postponed enlightenment to help others • When Buddha is thought of as a god, Buddhism is monotheistic Gods
Centered on the individual's enlightenment • Nonviolence and moderation • When fully enlightened, a person reached nirvana and did not reincarnate again • “Four Noble Truths” • True nature of reality as discovered by Buddha Basic Beliefs
Self-discipline and meditation • Worshiped in monasteries or in the home • Stupas: large earthen mounds built in honor of Buddha symbolizing the universe “Love is the absence of judgment.” ― Dalai Lama XIV Practicing Buddhism
Holidays are based on the lunar calendar. • Vesak also known as Buddha day is the birthday of Buddha and most important festival. The first full moon in May is when it occurs. It is the most important festival. They bring offerings to temples, meditate and light candles. Washing baby Buddha is the most important ritual. Tea or water is poured over a small statue of Buddha to represent when he was born and took 7 steps and said that he would unite heaven and earth. • Ancestor Day also known, as Ulambana is the day the dead are unleashed and their spirits can go to the world for 15 days. Offerings are made and people visit cemeteries to visit their departed loved ones. • The New Yearis celebrated with much joy and often prayers and offerings are made to Buddha. Candles are lit in the temples to show their love. People try to identify their past mistakes. Fireworks are used and a feast is eaten. Holidays
In ancient India, they were always with an escort. They were only supposed to maintain the house and provide children. Women were not educated and could not practice religion freely. The family prayed that they would have a son because women were burdens. • Buddha sees women as important as men in the universe. Buddha believes the wife should be a good wife and the husband should treat her with respect. They have equal responsibilities. Buddha also allows religious freedoms. Women were allowed to join the Order if they could be truthful and preach the Dhamma. Women in Buddhism
The major texts of Buddhism areTripitaka. It is the earliest collection of teachings. Tripitaka means 3 baskets and the text was originally written on leaves, sewn together and placed into 3 baskets. It is used by Theravada Buddhists more commonly. • The Mahayana Sutras were written when Mahayana Buddhism developed. The lotus Sutra and the heart Sutra are the most important to most branches of the Mahayana. Major Texts
Buddhism missionary/Outreach work until 600 C.E. • Missionary efforts spread Buddhism; Buddhist missionaries used the Silk Road trade route to diffuse their beliefs and religious practices across the network of exchange. This allowed Buddhism to travel to China, and kept the religion from ceasing to exist as a resurgence of Hinduism in India pushed Buddhism away. The Untouchables at the caste system of Hinduism wished to convert to this religion because it promoted equality.
Buddhism originated in northern India in the 5th century B.C.E • Prince Siddhartha Gautama, or “Buddha”, founded this religion. • Buddhism spread throughout India and into central, southeast, and east Asia. Much of its diffusion was a result of practicing Buddhists travelling along the Silk Road. • This religion gained popularity after Buddha died because his followers continued to practice it. Origin/diffusion of the Buddhism until 600 C.E.
Major Contacts with other religions until 600 C.E. • Hinduism and Buddhism pre-600 C.E. were the two most popular religions in south east Asia. This influence is very prominent today and both religions are practiced by a large portion of the Indian society. Since their religions originated in similar areas, the main religion Buddhism has come into contact with since it began is Hinduism. Many of the religious beliefs and practices of Hinduism and Buddhism overlap, and their religions are based off of the same basic concepts such as peacefulness. In history, as the popularity of Hinduism rises, the popularity of Buddhism declines and vise versa. • Buddhism also came in contact with an ethnic religion, Jainism, quite frequently. Jainism adopted a concept of nuns and monks based off of the Buddhist religion, but Jainism has also had a strong influence on Buddhist beliefs. The continued contact of these two religions in ancient societies caused both of them to form a similar set of beliefs. For example, both religions believe in reincarnation of the soul and advise their followers against a materialistic life.
Similarities and Differences With Other Religions Hinduism- Both religions put a strong emphasis on karma and peaceful ways. Another similarity is the belief that desire causes suffering and in reincarnation. Hinduism states that Atman is the Supreme Creator (much like God), whereas there is none in Buddhism. Christianity-Share belief in afterlife, but Buddhists believe in rebirth, whereas Christians believe in only having one life. Some traditions in Buddhism involve prayer. “You only lose what you cling to.” ― Gautama Buddha Judaism- Both are ethnic religions, but similarities don’t go much further than that. They do not actively seek converts and are concentrated in one area for the most part. The Jews are in North America and Israel, whereas Nepal and India is the home of Buddhists. Statues are commonly used by Buddhists, but they are forbidden to be worshipped in the Jewish religion.
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