Lecture 15 - Buddhsim

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14 Mar 2011
RLG 100/280 - LECTURE 15
BUDDHISM (part 1)
• cultural context of Buddhism – Vedic society in 6
-century BCE India
• importance of concept of impermanence (anitya)
Siddartha Gautama born c. 563 BCE into ksatriya caste (also called Shakyamuni, sage of
the Shakyas)
• life story: isolation in palace; 4 sights; Great Renunciation (becoming a shramana); extreme
asceticism then realization of the Middle Way; Awakening (or Enlightenment) after the three
watches under the Bodhi Tree
title: the Buddha (“Awakened One) or Tathagata (“thus-gone one)
• first teaching: setting in motion of theWheel of Dharma
dharma – “teaching in Buddhism
• rejection of caste system
• notion of anatman (“no-self”) and the five skandhas
• notion of pratitya-samutpada (“dependent origination) and Wheel of Samsara
• accumulation of karma binds us in samsara
three marks of existence: anitya, anatman, and duhkha (“suffering”)
• no creator God
Four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path
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