01:840:211 Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Gautama Buddha, Dharma, Arhat
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- Preservation of sacred law (Damma)
-The oldest form of Buddhism
-Preserve the teachings of Gotama Buddha in the Pali canon
-The Pāli Canon is the only complete Buddhist canon which survives in a classical Indian
language, Pāli, which serves as both sacred language and lingua franca of Theravāda Buddhism
Those motivated by the wish for individual nirvāṇa, who attain arhatship (i.e. Theravāda
● Buddhas are thought to perish and appear in the world only at certain historical moments to
reinstate the dharma (Pali, dhamma) after it has disappeared.
● In Theravāda Buddhism, Gotama’s sāsana is thought to exist in the world for only 5000
years, after which time it will completely disappear.
● The dhamma will appear again in the world when the next Buddha, Metteyya, appears in
hundreds of thousands of years from now.
● The immediate aim for the vast majority of Theravada Buddhists in history was not
Nibbana or Buddhahood but rather the improvement of one’s individual socioeconomic
condition and cosmic status through MERIT.
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