Lecture on Indic Traditions-January 10th

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5 Aug 2010
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January 10th
- all Indic traditions emerge from movement of dissent and critique ±
Jainism/Buddhism/Hinduism (roots)
- rebel against Vedic tradition ± seek answers
- all have slightly different answers
- same basic sets of concerns and questions ± seeking answers to the SAME questions
o 3. SAMSARA ± SURFHVVRIFRQVWDQWFKDQJHµQHYHUHQGLQJPRYHPHQWRIWLme and
VSDFH¶± basic presupposition of Indic tradition ± inherently unsatisfactory ± the fact
that everything is always changing Æ source of anxiety and stress (generates) ±
anticipate change = leads to sentiment that the Earth is an unsatisfying place to be ±
nothing is permanent, everything changes ± religious seeking ± does not provide
lasting peace and contentment
o 4. PUNARJANMA ± µUHELUWK¶± born again ± everything in the world is eternal ± you
and I are integral to the process; we keep/experience the ZRUOG¶VHWHUQDOLW\ ± through
our actions push the world along, we keep experiencing the world in new and
different forms ± theory of transmigration ± just like everything else in the world, we
follow the same cycle ± born, growth, mature, die ± after we die, we take on birth in a
new form (going through the same cycle) ± the contention: this cycle has existed for a
long time
take on new physical forms ± wear new bodies, certain span of time,
bodies eventually become old/worn out
How do we know what body we will take on next?
4 basic forms:
1) Human
2) Gods
3) Animals (Jainism ± include plants)
4) ³hell-beings´
What determines what forms we take on next?
- moral quality of actions
- perform mostly good, selfless actions, - reborn as a human being
- really good over the course of many lifetimes ± reborn as god in a space called heaven
- mean, cruel, selfish ± reborn as an animal
- really selfish and bad over the course of many lifetimes ± reborn as a hell being
- all forms are temporary/expire ± wears out and reborn again
- the vast majority are not aware of previous lifetimes ± only especially gifted individuals
- all good things come to an end
- individuals are all the same but in different forms
o 5. KARMA ± µaction¶± actions that one performs
1. actions are of various kinds ± literal, physical, mental (thoughts that we
think, ideas), verbal, emotional ± cumulative event of all actions = Karma
we are always performing actions
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