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RLGA01H3 Lecture Notes - Abstinence, Abhidharma, Mahayana Sutras

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Henry Shiu

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RLGA01 Lecture 06
Diverse religion in terms of practice, rituals and demographics
Many other people from different ethics practice this religion
Yana = the vehicle that takes the people from one side to another, a symbolic representation,
The 3 vehicles:
Theravada = small vehicle; practices in south east asia
Mahayana = average size
Vajrayana = a substance that is much stronger that cannot be destroyed, compared to diamond
Theravada is practiced in:
Sri Lanka
Myanmar (Burma)
Mahayana is practiced in:
North and South Korea
Vajrayana is practiced in:
(some forms of tantric Buddhism are also practiced in Japan and China)
These are the things Buddhists take very seriously
Three most important aspects of buddhism
Buddha is merely a title, not necessarily God or such, an inner thing
Dharma is seen as the teachings, from the words of Buddha (teachings from him), how to do
vinaya = codes of behaviour, what is appropriate and inappropriate for the followers, to stay on
the path to see the enlightment
Samgha = spiritual community
Sramana movement = Path to attain perfect enlightenment
Believed in karma, final stage of liberation
They thought we don’t have a soul, its all an illusion; the continuation of the same person
(anatman = no self)
Physical body, feeling, volition, perception, consciousness: these are the only 5 things we have
(not a soul) and these are constantly changing; can be divided into physical (the first one) and
mental (last four)
There shouldn’t be any selfish act or ego
Once you’re inside the Buddhist community, everyone and everything is equal regardless of
caste and gender (= social egalitarianism)
“middle way” = you shouldn’t got to either side of the extremes; don’t have practices there are
too many restriction (i.e. Jainism) and not to take everything lightly (i.e. materialistic)
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RLGA01 Lecture 06
People challenged/questioned how they could believe in reincarnation when they state there’s
no such thing as a soul
Siddhartha Gautama
DOB of Siddhartha Gautama (born king of a small place) is unknown
Siddhartha Gautama was the first/one of the first that achieved complete enlightenment
called the “Samyaksambudhha”
This is the age (29) he gained inspiration
During his childhood, an older person did come and predict he’ll either become a successful
king or a religious leader
A well rounded person
Got married at the age of 15 and had a son
Before the age of 29, he was not allowed to leave his palace so he was oblivious to all the
corrupted things happening in the world
And after 29 he was allowed to leave the palace and was shocked to see the corruption
He saw old age, sick person, a death ritual, and then saw a monk…and this all seemed new
to him and was shocked by all this; believed that the first 3 were felt by his heart and not
head which could be the main reason for the impact
He felt that he wanted to find a way to stop this
Left his family and spent 6 years trying different spiritual practices and at the end he found
a way to achieve enlightenment
Duhkha = suffering = The Four Noble Truths
We are not being punished but we are creating these sufferings in our daily life
Continuous craving is a main cause to our sufferings [2]
There could be an end to our sufferings [3]
The end can be attained through following the eightfold path [4]
Not about physical suffering but refers to a mental and emotional suffering
The eight fold path (the right):
The eight fold path is to end all sufferings
The last 3 refer to meditation and controlling our minds
Foundation Teachings of the Buddha:
Four Noble Truths
Dependent Origination
All things are conditioned by a lot of different factors and other factors and so on and
because of this all things are constantly changing
All things are interconnected; in a dynamic relation
These changes effect subsequent changes in other things: karma
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