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Early Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism

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University of Toronto St. George
Andre Maintenay

World Religions January 26 -February 7 , 2011. Early Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism Reading: Ch. 8 The Buddhist Tradition, pp. 377-404 Sramana found in 3 major cultural regions: South and South East Asian Buddhism (Theravada School) e.g. Sri Lanka Northern Buddhism e.g. Tibet, Mongolia, Himalayian Eastern Buddhism e.g. China, Korea, Japan Sidhartha The Buddha Buddhism centered around insights, experience, and teachings of its founding figure Sidhartha born into Gantama, part of Sakya clan After religious experiences, came to be called The Buddha (one who is spiritually aware, spiritually awaken) Sidhartha was not the first Buddha More specifically known by the name Sakyamuni Sakyamuni set 563 to 438 BCE Everything we know about Buddha comes from hagiographies (biography written from faith perspective, someone who practices the faithreligion) Hagiographies recount miraculous religious events in his life Born into aristocratic family, father was chief of Sakya clan When born, Sidhartha was examined and was said to be someone of great renown Prophecy made that he will either be universal emperor or very special figure in another way, e.g. world renouncer Therefore either deeply invested in material world or reject material world all together and become sagely important figure Father sheltered him to be a world renouncer through life of enjoyment so he will be so immersed in a luxury life that he cannot comprehend existence outside of it Raises son sheltered from outside world, confined within space of sizeable palace, surrounded by youthful people only Buddha grows up highly accomplished in various ways, father desired his attachment to life of luxury, roughly age of 16 Buddha gets married to beautiful princess However develops curiosity of the outside world what does it look like? Asks father what it looks like and states he would like to visit and travel world Father arranges an outing for his son and tradition holds this outing is transformative experience for The Buddha Goes off into streets on his chariot pulled by driver and city streets have been cleaned up for his visit all old people, less attractive people have been told to stay off the streets because his father does not want him to encounter anything outside of his experience n life Famously speaking, Buddha encounters 3 experiences, which leave him a bit shaken in the process:
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