RELIGIOUS STUDIES 101B Lecture Notes March 5
influences can be found in EAST ASIA
introduced into china in the 8th C. enjoyed brief popularity.
still practices in Japan today. introd in 9th C.
still practiced in TIBET: popular for DALAI LAMA
establishment of vajrayana attributed to RINPOCHE, meaning
"precious teacher", who is best known for comining dharma and
magic practices (which we don't see elsewhere).
the indiginous religion of Tibet was BON. scholars argue that
this added to Vajrayana. ie vaj claim that bhuddism originated
in tazig, a place of great importance to the bon.
the most popular one is GELUPA.
with regards to the chinese claim that tibet belongs to china.
there were old tibetan ties with china and mongolia. that's why
there is still conflict there today. don't need to know that but
tb tells more about it.
popular tibetan bhuddism is known for two reasons:
1. Dalai Lama
2. chinese claim to tibet PRACTICE
the buddha outright disproved of rituals conducted by the
brahmins, especially the animal sacrfices.
he hated it beyond the reason of violence, but because people
become dependent on rituals and practices. they should not
become a type of burden.
despite his warnings, all bhuddist practices developed rituals
of their own with distinct differences.
- no life cycle rituals!
- blessing rituals that center on the chanting of texts were
- most common is the BUDDHA-PUJA. placing flowers near the stupa
or bodhi tree in a buddhist temple.
- they chant worship at the foot of the buddha and proclaiming
their dedication to the five precepts:
1. taking life
2. taking that which is not given
3. sexual misconduct
4. wrong speech
- merit making rituals designed to produce good karma. an
example is ALMSGIVING
- they do have death rituals. cremation not rquired but often
- perform a simple form of meditations called VIPASSANA. requires a certain posture and focused breathing. to focus the
- man of the practices of mahayana focus on bodhisattvas and
their ability to share merit.
- practices also center on practitioners who take on the
bodhisattva vows where they dedicate themselves to the SALVATION
of ALL BEINGS.
- they dedicate themselves to help others obtain liberation
- veneration of the bodhisattvas for assistance
- the chantings of pure land mahayana
- meditation with the goal of a pure mind known as buddha mind
- use of KOANS to get those moments of awakening: being beaten,
shown a lotus flower, cutting your arm off.
- use MANDALAS and MANTRAS. best known mantra is "OM MANI PADME
HUM." to evoke cosmic harmony.
- despite the fact that this is only four words long, there are
endless interpretatiosn of this mantra.
- expected to evoke a cosmic harmony. same for all
interpreations, this end is always the same.
- tibetan buddhists use the BARDO THODOL (THE TIBETAN BOOK OF
THE DEAD). to help with liberation between death and rebirth.
- during transition they would see a light. if they recognize
the light as the full on theological buddha. if they notice
this, they will obtain liberation.
- the search for the DALAI LAMA. this ritual is very complex. interesting movie about this.the search is specific to the
tibetan sect, GELUPA. each Dalai Lama is believed to be a
manifestation of AVALOKITESHVARA. testing of intellect, personal
characteristics, recognition of belongings, state oracle. they
can be from anywhere. the current Dalai Lama has been one for a
long time. when he dies, the next one is supposed to be the
same, so they put out the last one's things and see who
STUPAS and PAGODAS: after parinirvana, many kings wanted to
enshrine the Buddha's body. his body was divided into seven
portions to share. urn and cloth were also given relic status.
as there were only nine and buddhism spread, more relics were
wanted, so disciples and scriptures were used in lieu.
- buddha himself said he wants his remains buried in a STUPA, a
memorial mound. other words for it: east asia: PAGODA, meanign
womb. use of this term correlates with the notion that burial is
a forerunner of rebirth. regardless of what one calls it, every
temple has one.
- the building of a stupa earns an individual merit. it is the
purification of mind they achieve while building that provides
the merit, not just the act.
built out oof the need for monks to not be outside during rainy
seasons. over time they became more lavish and the temple
aestetic took shape. have grounds with bodhi tree, monastery,
refectory, ornamental hall, stupa, library, etc.
similarities and differences are in text book, won't be tested on them.
first image of buddha created about 500 years after the
parinirvana (his death, when his flame was blown out, he exits
cycle of samsara). initially they didn't believe he should be
depicted. originally they were represented by symbols:
footprint, wheel, bodhi tree, lotus. first depictions were made
of stone and wood depicting life stuf.
first icon created in 1st century by mahayana devotees. postures
and hand gestures were popular motifs.
great deal of buddhist art illustrates previous lives of the
buddha told in the JATAKA COLLECTIONS. temple walls are also
often lined with depictions of buddha's life. local distinct
varieties. cultures developed their own individual iconographies.
INTERACTION AND ADAPTION
CHINA: there was a reciprocal relationship betwen buddhist
ideas, daoism and folk-culture. the example of the "happy
KOREA: new buddhist groups emerged in korea.