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RLGA01 Lecture 07 Notes.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Henry Shiu

1 RLGA01 Lecture 07  Quiz postponed to Nov 20  Bodhisattvas  Meaning of compassion in Buddhism is to practice it for the better of others rather than for themselves, selfless prayers  Bodhisattvas don’t mind coming back and repeating samsara; reincarnation is voluntary  The purity of the heart is seen as a state of nirvana  Popular worships (sort of like deities for Bodhisattvas):  Bhaisajyaguru (medicine Buddha): usually in blue; holding a medicine plant on his right hand; in his left hand is a bowl with lotus flower floating on some magical ingredient; there are 3 fruits in the plant that can cure all types of disease; represents our immunity system; the idea that the closer you are to Buddha, you are closer to curing yourself (?)  Avalokitesvara (compassion): has 1000 arms; each palm of the hands have an eye; has 11 heads in 4 layers; conveys the idea of compassion, the arms represent the idea of helping hands, and the heads are looking at different locations to see where help is needed  Manjusri (wisdom): depicted in yellow (the body), right hand holding a sword, has a flame or fire on the tip of the sword to cut loose our attachment and desires, on the lotus there is the religious scriptures  Amitabha Buddha: popular deity, in most temples now; attained his enlightenment a long time; and made a vow that whoever has faith in him, he will catch the consciousness of that person once they pass away and bring it to a “pure land” or “land of bliss”, and they’ll be able to be reborn on this pure land;  Pure land Buddhism:  translation of the word the Sanskrit work sukhavati (sukha = bliss and vati = land)  no hatred or ignorance  sounds like fundamental Christianity (how the believing in Jesus will lead you straight into heaven)  but it has to do with the Yogacara teaching of “consciousness-only”  ultimate goal is to cultivate the mind and transform the mind to a pure state so that the world you are seeing will be transformed into this pure state  Theravada rituals practiced today: merit-making rituals, almsgiving, Dana (donation, supporting the monks), Buddha day festival (Vesak/Wesak) (day when Buddha is commemorated; in May or early June; includes his birthday, day of enlightenment, and his death day) and death rituals; (commercialised practices)  The idea of donating money for the building of a Buddha temple and this will return to you as a 7 fold; this can also be applied for someone you love, so donating money will better your friend’s health (for example) [however there is a lot of controversy about this][assuming this is either merit-making or almsgiving]  Vajrayana:  thing that is strong that is not capable of breaking (almost mythical);  translated it as “Diamond” or “Thunderbolt” vehicle;  symbolically representing our spiritual mind; specialised practice  Also known as Mantrayana – something that is seen very taboo in our society 2 RLGA01 Lecture 07  Takes out spiritual mind to a
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