RELI 2732 Lecture Notes - Asara
March 1, 2012 – Lecture 8
Talks about the Midterm mark
We been speaking about the idea of a “person” in Hinduism- the essential person is that of the
soul or the Atman, which is eternally transmigrating from body to body until liberation is
attained and there is no further rebirth- the Hindu view of the personality , unchanging,
undying , unborn atman that transmigrated and associated with form after form and life after
life until liberation is attained and no further rebirth.
In Buddhism: ideas of death and afterlife – it becomes hard to explain and understand
Map: (Indian subcontinent) it developed in Nepal and Tibet was ruled by the kingdom of
Magadha. The Buddha was born in Lumbini, enlightenment at Bodhgya, first sermon at Sarnam
and his death at Kusinagara. These are the major places pilgrimage in the Buddhist world. It is
important that Buddhism develop in the context of the Brumatic religion – which the religion of
The common principle between Hinduism and Buddhism:
The cyclical concept of time - the idea of time is cyclical – the universe comes to being
(develops and grows ) and devolves (devolution)
The personality is not bounded by this one birth or death just like the universe dying
and borning through time – Samasara – idea of “rebirth – the wheel/ cycle of rebirth
( Hinduism and Buddhism shares this) Idea of Karma and rebirth where the principle
order of the universe extends to the moral spear - where morally good actions = good
results and morally bad actions = negative results. Once rebirth is tied to the karma
(action to the world) = negative or positive circumstances.
Things that Buddhism does not accept:
In Buddhism- does not accept (peculiar in world religion: P) the idea eternal or
unchanging soul essence because for them the universe is radically impermanent,
therefore the entire personality is not permanent and constantly changes.
They also do not accept the idea of “un-cause cause “ in other words – does not accept
the idea universal uncaused entity/being, just like in Judeo-Christian idea of God and
Braman in Hinduism as the bring about everything else but the idea of itself is uncaused
(you don’t know how it come to be or exist). In Buddhist theory, if something is said to
exist then it must exist dependent of the cause and condition that brought it to being,
because without the cause and condition there is no basis for such existence to arise.
*there are many interpretations of God, Brama and Nirvana *
Teaches that all things come to existence based on the cause and conditions. If you
want to say that God exist then He must exist upon a cause and a condition.
Buddhism accepts the existence of gods but they are impermanent and caused.
They also accept that many types beings (human being, animal beings..) populate
the universe and all of which comes to being and passed away. They do not accept a
God that causes the universe but god himself is uncaused. * Children have problem
with this concept of the existence of God or who made him.* Buddhist - like science
caused it supports the idea of cause& effect.
(Talks about his son coming home from India --- & dealing with bullies-Why are we
Buddha’s name is Gautama (family name), 480-400 BCE (according to later
Buddha is a title, meaning the “awakened one” and comes from the word
“Budd” meaning knowledge – the idea is only when your awake is where you
have knowledge, therefore, when you are asleep = no knowledge.
Buddha’s many names:
Siddhartha- “boyhood name” – he who has accomplished his goals
Shakyamuni – the sage (muni) of the Shakya ( Shakya is the name of the tribe he belong
After his enlightenment: Tathagata- does come or does gone ( he who comes and goes
in accordance to the things are) .*Gata ( coming or going) and tatha ( just so/does so)*
More about Buddha:
He was born to the chief of the Shakya .The Shakya are one of the tribal republic in the
foothill of the Himalayas. In the Himalayas was not really assorted into kingdoms but
tribes, therefore it is inaccurate to say that the Buddha is the son of a King
As a child he was told that if he stays in the world =he will be a great ruler but if he
leaves the world he becomes a great renounciate?? , which is called Samana or striver.
They were a lot of this people who left the household life and live in the forest to seek
for truth – a counter-culture, a counter to the orthodox-brumatic system. Those semana
are ascetics (severe) who punishes the self or the body in order to free the soul, such as
flagellating oneself is an aspect of their practice of punishment of the body. Other
example, in the summer life – they will create fire to make them feel extremely hot or
vice versa in the winter and sleeps in the nails.
Buddha’s dad raised him in the life of luxury and away from the ugliness of the outside
world= to become a great ruler and not turn away from the household life.
His curiosity was brought him outside of the palace – even though he was raised from
luxury he suffered from depression, it wasn’t enough.
There are many version of this stories:
1. He persuaded his charioteer to take him in an elicit journey outside of the
palace because he was not allowed to leave the palace.
2. His father arranged a pleasure tour to cheer him up- and he has the whole village
to take out all he beggars so that it would not disturb Siddharta’s mind to think
in leaving the household.
However he encountered certain things that disturbed his mind. He
encountered four sights
1. Old man: this old man –bend with age, drooling and weightless.. The prince asked the
charioteer what’s wrong with the picture because the prince should not experience old
age. And asked, If it happens to all. And by then, loses his pride on his youth and felt
depress about it.
2. Sick man: a person with a leper and someone who hardly looks human and once again
asked his charioteer.. ... and he loses pride in his health
3. Dead man: corpse is carried.... and asked the charioteer again. He become more
depressed because he encountered the true human condition his mind was
completely disturbed because he does not get how anybody can live happily or
The four sights = turns people ‘s mind to a spiritual life
4. Ascetics/Semana: A cleared eye semana – and said to the charioteer how come this one
is calm because his is enlightenment due to he found truth, therefore Siddartha leaves
the palace in the adventure to find the truth and joins the ascetics and learn all kinds of
mediation but it does not end the mental suffering involve in the human condition and
also to enlightenment – and he thought that maybe he did not practice asceticism as
much, therefore starved himself but still did not work.
Therefore, he went to another route – in the night of the full moon meditating under the
tree- knowledge and insight come to him – he understand clearly the nature the suffering ,
how it ceases and how to attained enlightenment/liberation/ Nirvana.
He teaches for many years and died – his death is a pari-nirvana – the enlightened one you
do not get reborn – nothing remaining but the body which eventually disintegrate. But a
person who does not attained enlightenment and when they die they will have to go