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February 28 Notes.docx

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Angela Brkich

RELIGIOUS STUDIES 101B Lecture Notes February 28 People join religious for non-religious reasons all the time. Mahayana call the Theravada the lesser vehicle. They think it is a stepping stone to their tradition, which is the higher vehicle. MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THERAVADA & MAHAYANA - personal effort only for salvation in theravada - you can pray to the bhodisattva for help with the mahayana - bhodisattvas focused on compassion - theravada ONLY use the Tripitaka, the polycanon. the mahayana has a variety of others in surplus of this, especially the LOTUS SUTRA. - theravada have only one conception of buddha, the historic buddha. the mahayana have the three bodies: APPARITION BODY - historical. exceptional man. same as theravada. BODY OF BLISS - half man half deity DHARMA BODY - dharma body is full on deity, only at point of nirvana can you see the buddha as such. for this reason, mahayana becomes more of a theology. mahayana moves away from theravada, the buddha is now a deity not just an individual. MOVIE CLIP remember this for test THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS ARE HOW TO FREE ONESELF FROM ONE'S SUFFERING IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT MAN'S WISH IS TO FREE ONESELF FROM ALL KINDS OF SUFFERING, PAIN AND DISSATISFACTION. 1. NOBLE TRUTH OF SUFFERING to understand the problem. that is the first step twoards the solution of the problem. it is not say that life is suffering, it is that there is suffering in life. 2. THE CAUSES OF SUFFERING if you want to get out of the suffering in the world, its not possible to get rid of everything in the world. tat would make us unhappy or create problems. that would bring disturbance to my mind. the only way to deal with the problems is to change our own way of understanding things and recating things. understand our own emotions and reactions and habits. so the causes of suffering are WITHIN US. our own habits and emotions and paradigms and then our actions motivated by those wrong paradigms. therefor the causes of suffering are NEGATIVE EMOTIONS and karma, the ACTIONS that come out of those emotions. 3. THE CESSATION OF SUFFERING it is possible to change our emotion. when a person learns how to act with compassion and wisdom, then one can experience in a different way, with kindness, with peace, with joy. that is is our primordial state of consciousness. when one can transform our negative emotions and way of reacting into a positive way with compassion, love, understanding, then it is possible to change our way of being and bring a true peace and joy and satisfaction in ourselves. therefore, it is somethign that every human being can do. once you find this POSSIBILITY, there must be a way to develop this new way of being. 4. THE EIGHTFOLD PATH 1. how to look at things, how to see things in a clear and right way. how to dispel of confusion and ignorance and look at things with reason, without any kind of ignorance. 2, 3, 4. right conduct of body speech and mind. right thoughts, right speech, right action. use them in a positive way. 5. right livelihood. we learn how to earn our lviing and spend our life with a profession that is positive and good and beneficient to ourselves and others. 6. right effort. how to practice in the right way. not too much strugle. not too much pushing of ourselves, but generating joy in doing positive things. 7. right mindfulness. try to become more clear, more conscious, more mindful about how we live, think, speak, act. this leads into 8. meditation. working on bringing peace traquility and wisdom to your mind. wisdom is how to deal with any situation. this video was a tibetan buddhist master and abbot of a monestary. THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS AND EIGHT FOLD PATH ARE IMPORTANT FOR AAAAALL OF THE DIFFERENT BUDDHIST GROUPS MAHAYANA CONTINUED BHODISATTVAS in Theravada, tehre were no supernatural beings that could help you acculate karma. this is not the case for Mahayana buddhism. KARUNA can be translated as compassion and is important for all tradtitions, BUT in Mahayana KARUNA is developed much further, it is one of the driving forces of bhodisattva religious practices - the name bhodisattvas was given to ANYONE who was dedicated to PERFECT ENLIGHTENMENT - enlightement no longer a path one had to make alone, the bhoddisattvas can transfer merti to people. - bodhisattvas or "enlightented ones" offered grance and could transfer merit. - all people who take the vow are BODHISATTVAS. they suspend their own personal salvation in compassion for others. they willingly be reborn on earth to help others achieve it. - some bodhisattvas are known for special skills. - the bodhisattvas you pray to are not the ones on earth anymore though, they are in a special land, where they can help people from. - in theravada only use the term bodhisattva for the buddha when he was on the earth. - bhodisattvas are not reaching nirvana, they are in a special land out of compassion, to help more people get there. if you take this vow, you aren't trying to get enlightenment for yoruself, you want to become a bhodisattva too to be one of the people that you can pray to and become one as well and then when everyone is enlightened, they all achieve nirvana too. - the mahayana believe in many bodhisattvas in many individual realms/heavens. the path to nirvana was no longer one that an individual had to make on their own. MAHAYANA SCHOOLS there are different mahayana schools. diversity should not come as a surprise. INDIA 1. Madhyamika-Mahayana philosophers emphasized PRAJNA. Texts which consider PRAJNA focus on SHUNYATA (
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