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RLG280Y1 Lecture Notes - Vajrayana, Han Dynasty, Mahayana

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Walid Saleh

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Feb 04/13
Buddhism/ Hinduism
o Buddhism is against the Vedic tradition and it originated in India
Buddhism went from Indochina to Han china and then to Japan
o Mahavira established the central tenets of Jainism
Jainism is radical because non-violence was a central vow
o All three religions Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism believe in suffering, however,
Buddhism goes beyond uncovering the suffering as a central aspect
o Both Jainism and Hinduism believe in a soul (atman)
o Both Buddhism and Jainism started with a man
o The Buddha has four sides to him: disease?, death, illness and renunciant
o When the Buddha is awakened he comes up with the noble truths and as well comes to
teach which is known as the wheel of dharma
o Four noble truths: Dhukka, Annita, anatman (no-self), Noble path (has 8 sections)
o Five aggregates in Buddhism constitute what a human being is (found in the no-self
o Cycle of samsara is fed through a continuum existence: dhukka, impermanence and no
o The 4th noble truth has three sections to get out of suffering: wisdom, morality and
meditation (only wants us to know 3 out of the 8)
o The Buddhist concept asserts that we don’t know ourselves whereas in the western
tradition it asserts we don’t know who god is.
o 3 major traditions in Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana
Theravada follows the pali canon which branched outwards to Sri Lanka;
also called Southern Buddhism
Mahayana looks at Theravada as irrational and sees the Buddha as a
quasi-figure that transcends reality. The Buddha is seen as eternal,
reincarnated and spiritual. Practiced in China and Japan; also called
Eastern Buddhism
Vajrayana is practiced by Tibetans; also called Northern Buddhism
Zen Buddhism arose in China. Zen’s believe that enlightenment will hit
you as an instantaneous awakening compared to waiting/achieving
o Religion physically changes in different geographical settings
o Buddhism is nonexclusive ex. You could be Buddhist and Christian (does not exclude
you from being anything else), however, you cannot be Christian and Buddhist
o There is no origin for Hinduism; it is a massive culture
o Did not reject the Vedas; they kept it and reconfigured it
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