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Lecture 20

Buddhism terms from text and lecture 2011-2012.pdf

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York University
HIST 2500
William Wicken

BUDDHISM y We must go back to the time of the SRAMANA o The intellectually stimulated point in history of Vedic tradition wandering o Jainism emerged from this aesthetically o Buddhism emerges as well 2500 years ago y Buddhism is a missionary tradition o Spreads through belief declaration of belief y Spread all over the world 3 main regions that has thrived historically before coming to the West include Southern BuddhismTheravada Vietnam Eastern Buddhism include areas of China which is Mahayana and Northern is the youngest called Tantric encompasses Tibet y Two major ones are Eastern and Southern y Buddhism is centered around the experiences and teachings around one central figure named Siddhartha Gautama who is better known as The Buddhasomeone who is enlightened and aware y Buddhism really developed based on him y We do not know much about him historically y We have a great deal of Hagiographyinfo based on faith on him y Developed a narrative based on him yGrew up in 563483 BC contemporary of MAHVIRA y Use these dates with caution y This is a period in which politically speaking the eastern part of India the Buddha was a son of a chief of a certain republic at the time it was divided by chiefs y SAKYA clan o Sakyamuni sage of the sakya o The clan that Buddha was a part well Siddhartha Buddha y The story picks up when the Buddha is born y As the tradition was the sage was summoned to give blessings y One sage utters a prophecy based on the marks on his body this child will accomplish great things either an emperor or in other ways like a world renouncer y Parents were happy about world leader not renouncer y So put him on a path towards the path of emperor y So the only way to avoid renouncer Siddhartha could not see suffering or experience it y And bring him up with all the pleasures and comfort one could have y Grows up In lab of luxury y Up till when he gets married and is expecting a child and develops a moment of curiosity and wants to see whats outside the world he has not been exposed to y His father okays it and tells the rest of the city old sick and homeless to stay in and arranges the route for him to take to avoid suffering y So he goes and on the first excursion but see 3 things that move him deeply and that give him the reason to leave home 1 Sees a man in pain suffering with a cane a sick man when he asks chariot driver tells him he is sick and that everyone gets sick 2 Sees another sight a very advanced in years and unable to move aged moving very slowly when he asks he tells him he is getting old we all do 3 He sees a funeral procession when he asks he explains that the person is dead death is a part of life y He goes back to palace where everyone is happy and is outraged and perplexed asking how can you be happy when you know whats coming y Which develops the question how do we live today when we know what is coming y He cant find the answers to his questions y His son is born he realizes that his destiny is to be a father and experience death and suffering y He tells his dad he wants to leave his dad locks him up y He escapes y He wanders into the wilderness y Becomes a SRAMANA and seeks answers to his questions as a bald with rags y Joins different groups and teachers looking for answers y Excels in all techniques by these teachers yogic and meditative y But these questions have not gone away y Abandons all the techniques y And tries extreme eating 3 grains of rice every couple of weeks and is so extreme that he is on the verge of death y A young woman nurses him back to health y Abandons that technique ySits on the base of tree y And thinks when he was totally happy y And thinks about a moment in his childhood when he was spontaneously at peace y He decides he is not leaving the tree till he experiences it again y Tradition holds that he stayed there y TreeBodhitree where he achieves tranquility and peace y He achieves enlightenment at 40 y Has been transplanted all over the world y After sits there for many days and weeks just calmly absorbing his experience
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