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Buddhism Part 2

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Religious Studies
RELS 223
Peter Campbell

Buddhism RELS 223 – 2 Tues Feb 26/13 Buddhism in Tibet  Tibet o Remote, land-locked, many mountain ranges o Most of the land is cold, snowy, inhospitable o Sparsely populated with villages and towns, population of settlers and nomads o Majority population lives in the valleys  Also location of main monastic institutions o Capital is Llasa  Potala – main monastery, where Dalai Lamas live  Monastic city o Country fairly inaccessible except through trade routes (Silk Road) to India, China, Nepal o Mountains as source of greatest Asian rivers o Tibetan language derived from Chinese, script derived from Sanskrit o Highest political office is the Dalai Lama (“Ocean of Wisdom”)  Spiritual and political leader  Monks engage in politics o Until 7 century, Tibet had a strong military  Spread and Development of Buddhism o Encounter with other cultures o Simple transplantation model to describe the introduction and establishment of Buddhism in different countries:  Contact  Primarily in the plateau  First Dispensation (did not take root) o 635 CE, King Songtsen Gampo marries a Chinese princess and a Nepalese princess, both of whom were Buddhist  Built a temple in Llasa for them and based his rule of law on Buddhist ethics  Sent scholars to India to learn about Buddhism and brought Buddhist practitioners from India to propagate the dharma of Vajrayana (tantra)  Gampo seen as incarnation of Avalokiteshvara, bodhisattva of compassion  “Om mani padme hum” o “The Jewel in the Lotus”  Gampo’s wives were personifies as Tara  Show with leg outstretched because she has one foot in samsara  Call upon her when in danger, is a bodhisattva of compassion  Second Dispensation o King Trisong Detsen (755-797) converted to Buddhism  Brought Indian scholars from Nalanda University to Tibet, brought texts from India and China to translate and study o Shantarakshita (705-788), abbot of Nalanda University, came to Tibet and presided over building of first monastery (Sam-ye)  Took 12 years to build  Advocate of “gradual path to enlightenment”  Advised Detsen to bring Padmasambhava to Tibet (to tame the local Bon gods and convert them to Buddhism)  Padmasambhava – “Guru Rinposhe”, most important figure in Tibetan Buddhism next to Sakyamuni Buddha  Founded the Nyingma-pa (“ancient school”)  Creates one of the first lineages  Confrontation or conflict  Under King Darma (836-832), Buddhism became unpopular and practitioners were persecuted o But ties with India and closed monasteries o Sangha became unpopular, went underground  Adaptation and reorientation  How it changes in reaction to the host culture  How do we get here? o Lineages  Complex schools of teachers and their teachings o Ritual  Based on Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism  Solidify one’s identity in the religious tradition o Belief in the dharmakaya  Belief that all individuals are seen as emanations of buddhas and/or bodhisattvas  E.g. king is an eternal emanation of Mannusri, the Dalai Lama is an emanation of Avalokitesvara th  In 10 century, King Yeshe-Od brings Atisha, an elder scholar from Nalanda, to Tibet o His teachings were a synthesis of Abhidarma (higher teachings of dharma from the Theravada tradition), the Vinaya (monastic codes), along with fresh insights into Mahayana and Vajrayana/ Tantra from India o Blend of Theravada monastic codes, Mahayana ides of awakening the bodhicitta (aspiration to attain enlightenment, also called Bodhi-mind), the Mahayana philosophies of Madhyamika and Yogacara  Bodhisattvas o Manjusri – carries a sword o Mantraya – future Buddha, lineage of compassion o Tara  Atisha (982-1054) and Atisha’s disciple Dromtonpa founded the Tibetan monastic order known as Kadam-pa (Kelsang Donsang’s tradition is the New Kadampla and they trace their lineage to Atisha)  Lineage holder of teachings of Manjusri (lineage of compassion from Asanga)  Kuluta Centre sees itself as New Kadampa  Kargu-pa school o “The Whispered Translation” o Founded by Marpa (1012-1097), the great translator  Example of how Tibetans brought Buddhism from India to Tibet  Went to India and studied with Naropa, head monk of Nalanada University  Naropa taught by Tilopa, wild yogi who broke down all his preconceptions of life o Most famous disciple is Milarepa (1040-1123)  One of the most beloved figures in Tibetan Buddhism  As a youth, learned black magic so that he could take revenge on his uncle who severely mistreated his family  After he destroyed his uncle, he met Marpa (his guru)  Marpa recognized Milarepa’s dark karma and accepted him as a disciple  Subjected to harsh testing over 6 years before was initiated into Tantric Buddhism  Marpa revealed the secrets of tantric practice to Milarepa, who became on the of the greatest yogi of Tibetan Buddhism  Always shown clad in white  Lives in highest areas of the Himalayas wearing very little o Practice of dummo, generates heat in the body  Sometimes shown holding his ear, hearing the sounds of enlightenment o Disciples of Milarepa became to record o Naropa depicted blowing a horn  Sakya-Pa o School founded in 1073 by Drokmi, a contemporary of Atisha o Leadership is hierarchy (passed from father to son)  Gelug-Pa o Founded by Tsongkha-pa (1357-1419) o Monasteries founded near the capital of Llasa and went on to become the most prominent of the 4 schools of Tibetan Buddhism o Ritual has much pomp and ceremony o Distinguished by wearing yellow hats o Dalai Lama is the head of the Gelug-pa  Nyingma-pa’s main practice is called Dzogchen o Doing nothing o Founded by Padmasambhava  Kadam-pa o Atisa imported the Tara cult  Practice of Tara became one of the most wide-spread practices in Tibet  Tsongkha-pa founded Ganden monastery (1409) o Called his order New Kadam (related to Kuluta and Kelsang Donsang’s tradition) o Became known as Gelupa, teaches primarily Lam Rim, or the “graduated path”  Not sudden enlightenment, move toward it progressively and deeply  Kagyu-pa founded by Tilopa, passed on to Naropa, passed on to Marpa, passed on to Milarepa, passed on to Gampopa, who systematized the teachings o Main practice is Mahamudra  The Great Gesture or Great Seal o 2 important branches:  Drikung  Karma  Innovative self-development  Begins to influence the host culture  Thangka – meditation through art o Shows the lineages of the school  Architecture is indigenous to the culture o Very bright, vibrant, ornate  Gelug-pa and the Dalai Lama o Founded by Je Tsongkhapa (1357-1419) Tues March 5/13 Buddhism in China and Japan  Meditation journal o Do not need to buy into world view of Kadampa school  Can critique or analyze western Buddhism  E.g. paradox between discourse on scientific and language of karma o As if karma and past lives are scientific o Think about, reflect, do not re-describe o 2 pages per session, 4 pages in total  Central themes in transplantation of a religion in a new country: o Step 1: Contact/ encounter  Travelled along Silk Road  First texts brought to China and transplanted by a translation bureau headed by Kumarajiva  Translation very important, allows spread of texts  Language of scripture not considered sacred o Translation provides valid means to convey central doctrines or teachings (dharma) in a foreign land o In China, initially used the language of Daoism for key concepts  Daoist philosophy resonated more closely than Confucianism with many Buddhist ideas  First contact through texts and statues o Step 2: Differences/ Conflict  Indian monks shave heads, begged for alms, did not work, supported by laity, renounced families, changed family names, practiced celibacy  China valued filial piety and ancestor worship above all else  Indian Buddhist practices considered controversial and immoral  Sangha was independent from political realm  Reparation did not work well in a Confucian setting o Buddhists viewed as parasites  However, monks repaid society by teaching dharma  Resonated with Daoism o Also liked pantheon of buddhas and bodhisattvas  Mahayana Buddhism  Text says Buddhism found favour in China because it was a foreign religion o Questionable o Legend that Lao Tzu left China and travelled West  In China, “Buddha” was initially aligned with Lao Tzu rd  Monasteries built, mthks and nun initiated, Buddhism became viable 3 religion in China o However, by 9 century, monasteries charged with corruption and first persecution occurred (more persecution under Communist China)  Property confiscated, ordination outlawed, old monks forced to work  Step 3: Assimilation or the Sinification of Buddhism o Phase one: Texts  First stage reflects the importance of translation and proliferation of texts  Buddhism became “sectarian”  Organized itself into “classical” schools or groups o E.g. great translator Kumarajiva founded Sanlun school (Madhyamika) o E.g. Xuanzang founded Faxiang (Yogacara) o Huayan founded Tian-tai (Avatamsaka or Flower Garland Sutra) o Bodhidharma founded Chan o Tan Luan founded Jingtu or Pureland  Early scholastic of philosophical schools were organized around the translation of a specific text translated from Sanskrit (indicating Mahayana) into Chinese o Theravada teachings came too, but Mahayana took root  Sanlun (Three Treatises) was based on Kumarajiva’s translations of texts by Nagarjuna from the Madhyamika school of Mahayana philosophy  However, inaccessible, too intellectual, scholastic  Faxiang organized by Xuanzang (596-664) was based on a translation of texts vby Asanga and Vasubandhu  Corresponds to the Indian Yogacara school and teaches basic Yogacara thought o Including idea that mind is the architect of experience and the ides of alaya-vijnana (storehouse consciousness)  These so-called “scholastic schools” of Chinese Buddhism, based on Indian schools, texts and antecedents, were imported to Japan during the Nara period  Translated from Indian to Chinese to Japanese  Statues begin to look like the people from the country o Phase Two: Original and indigenous thought, rather than simply direct translation of texts from India  Tian-tai  Chinese school of Buddhism developed by Zhiyi  Response to the proliferation of Buddhist texts and practices  Like other schools of Chinese Buddhism is largely organised around a text called the Lotus Sutra o Pinnacle of the Buddha’s teachings  “Why are there so many different teachings of only one dharma?”  Zhiyi explained this discrepancies by saying that the Buddha taught to different disciples based on their capacity o “Eka-yana”, the “one vehicle”  The three schools or turnings of the wheel of dharma differ only in a “conventional” or “relative” sense o Way to explain the apparent contradictions in the various Buddhist texts imported from India to China  Tian-tai is known as Tendai in Japan  Hua-yen  Organized around the Flower Ornament Sutra (Avatamsaka Sutra from India)  Founded by Du-shun, organized by Fazang  Died out after the 845 CE persecution  Known as Kegon in Japan  Important for assimilation, introduced “Chinese terms” to explain Indian Buddhist ideas o E.g. used the word “li” (principle) to translate “shunyata” (emptiness)  Stage 4: innovation and final assimilation o Chan School  Zen in Japan  Named from the Sanskrit word “Dhyana”, meditation, the central focus  Origins in legendary Indian meditation master named Bodhidharma  First patriarch of Chan Buddhism in China o Chan as patriarchal system o Leadership passed on through lineages  2 stories concerning Bodhidharma and early Chan o Bodhidharma (arrived in China ca. 520) was meditating on a mountain and cut off his eyelids so he would not fall asleep  Wall meditation  While meditating, a monk came by and asked him to teach him to meditate  Bodhidharma did not move  The monk cut off his arm to show he was serious o Competition, whoever could write the poem that best describes enlightenment would be patriarch  Illiterate Hui-neng won  Sudden insightfulness into the dharma  Completely new innovation  No Zen or Chan school in India  Idea of sudden enlightenment  Developed in reaction against proliferation of texts  Became iconoclastic and maintained that scriptures can be an obstacle to enlightenment  Maintains strong master-student relationship  Classic encounters or the records between masters and students are preserved (gongan) and presented as riddles (koans in Japanese) for students to meditate on  Also uses abrupt and shocking techniques to more practitioner to enlightenment  Mahayana school, emphasizes teachings on emptiness, Buddha nature, possibility of universal awakening/ enlightenment (wu)  Of 5 historical divisions, only two survived o Linji (sudden enlightenment school, called Rinzai in Japan) o Caodong (gradual enlightenment school, Soto in Japan) o Both teach a strict and formulaic practice of sitting meditation (wall meditation) and Rinzai uses koan  Words not necessary to communicate o Examples of Buddha’s disciple Maha-Kasyapa o Primary texts are the Platform Sutra and the Lankavatara Sutra  “One who attains enlightenment, no longer sees duality”  Chan is a fully-integrated Chinese-identified school of Buddhism (no Indian counterpart) and one of the most enduring  Clearly reflects the stage of innovative self-development and is original in its understanding of Buddha dharma  In China, Avalokitesvara, bodhisattva of compassion, becomes Kuan Yin, female deity  Pureland o Jingtu, the foremost school of Buddhism in China, corresponds to Jodo Shu in Japan, developed by Honen (1133-1212) and established by Hiuyuan (344-416) o Focuses on the practice of faith in Amitabha (the cosmic Buddha of light, called AMita in Chinese and Amida in Japanese) o Differs from Zen/Chan and most other schools because of its emphasis on devotion/faith o Tanluan (476-542) introduced the practice of mantra or recitation, nianfo (“namo Amituofo”) as a way to receive/generate the transfer of merit from the cosmic Buddha of the Western Paradise known as Amitabha  Amitabha bestows “grace” upon the practitioner (or merit transfer) o Central text is the Pureland Sutra  Some call this an “easy path”  Emphasis on another (Amitabha) to save you (called tariki) out of love and compassion  Gained wide acceptance and was much more accessible to the masses/ laity o Most popular school in China where it merged with Chan o Remained independent school in Japan  The Kamakure Period o 1192-1338, Japan o Japan under the rule of the Shogun and the samurai  In response to this, rise of several school with a mass appeal, particularly the school from China called Pureland (Jodo Shu
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