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Carolan Wood

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RLG206 Sept. 15th, 2010
Buddhism, Buddhist, Buddha
Sanskrit root: “Budh” + “Ta“.
“the awakened one”
Proper name: Gautama
Sakyamuni - “sage of the sakyas”
Siddhartha - “the one who has accomplished the goal”
The Buddha - “the awakened one”
13th - 18th centuries
“buddoo”, “Bouddha”, “Boudhou”
European contact with asian customs created the above terms and references.
The concept of Buddhism was found, leading to the understanding of Dharma (teachings)
Buddhism in itself is established through european creation
Spence hardy
Created a book with a negative view of Buddhism, inferior to Christianity.
Not seen as par with Christianity
Later, Buddhism was seen as a religion (The light of asia (london))
Sanskrit and pali
Overview of the Sanskrit language - history of sanskrit
Indo euopean language family
One of the largest languages families in the world
(includes most of the languages of europe)
Proto indo-European
The European discovery“ of Sanskrit
Began in the 1600s
The pali canon
The 3 baskets (pitaka)
Vinaya pitaka
Rules for the monastic community (samgha)
Rules are preceded by stories about their origins
Sutta pitaka
Between the Buddha and a disciple
Sutta (pali) / Sutra (sanskrit)
Abhidharmma pitaka
“beyond the dhamma” = pali / (sanskrit = dharma)
Systematic philosophical expositions on mind, cognition, cosmos, liberation, karma, etc.
Three characteristics of existence:
1. Transitoriness (anitya) of all phenomena
1. Suffering (duhkha): a pervasive experience
1. Insubstantiality (anatman): there is no permanent soul or substance, no universals.

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These are the main ideas and concepts found in Buddhist text which became popular.
Through reading Buddhist text, there was an interest in these new traditions that were compared
between philosophical and a scientific thought to a worshiping thought of religion.
Europeans felt that they should be protectors or curators of the Buddhism tradition.
Themes in the course
“The study of Buddhism”
The search for origins, purity, historical reality, cohesiveness
The diversity of Buddhism or Buddhism(s)
Sept 22
Who or what is a Buddhist?
“Native” VS ”convert” VS “night-table” Buddhists
Native - born with the religion
Convert - becoming or calling themselves Buddhist through conversion or through a new interest
of the religion
Night-table - people who have an interest in Buddhism but aren’t converted
“Scholars” VS “practitioners” VS scholar-practitioners
Scholars - non Buddhist who practices
Practitioner - convert or believer who practices
Critics VS Apologists
To “ambiguate” or disambiguate
Studying Buddhism
Boundaries - India (Hinduism, Jainism, etc)
As a topic within the humanities/social sciences / sciences
Critical approaches vs. “proving buddhism”
Sept 29 - No lecture notes.
Oct 6th
Dhammacakkappavattana : Setting the wheel of Dhamma in Motion
Dhamma (skt. dharma) = teachings.
Cakka (skt ckra) = wheel
Dhammacakka - wheel od dharma (eg the Buddha‘s teachings)
Pavattana (skt. )
This is the Buddha’s first sermon after becoming enlightened. It is taught to five ascetics who become
the first members of the Buddha’s community (sangha)
Common bio. Details
Born in a town called lumbini near the capital of the kingdom of kapilavastu
A prince of the sakya clan
His father was suddhodana (member of the kshatriya class), a king. (or perhaps lesser rulers)

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Mother was queen mayadevi - dreamt of the white elephant - vison.
Baby Buddha’s body was looked at by a seer - saying that he’d become a special person -
mahapurusha - Buddha or a cakravartin - 32 special attributes and markers (iskshana-s) showing this.
He was shielded from the world behind the palace walls by his father - represenets the etreme of luxury
and the illusion of permanence
The four signs:
Old man
Sick man
Dead man
Monk or a wanderer (in some texts)
Some pre signs -
Small insects cut up by ploughs
Small insects killed
The first three represent the nature of existence
The fourth (monk) unaffected with these represents the escape
Sleeping women, repulsed by their ugliness, represents the impermanence of beauty and that all
phenomena are a result on causes and conditions
All this contributed to some sense of disillusionment with the pleasures of life
The Buddha left his father, palace wife and son at the age of 29.
6 year long quest
He cut his hair
Put on robes
Studied with various teachers
Arada kalama - systems of meditation but didn’t solve the problem of suffering
5 older ascetics - almost died to the extreme ascetic practice
Sat under a rose apple tree (jambu tree) because of a memory from his youth
One moman called sujata brought him a bowl of rice
Conditions for the middle - belief in permanence and turning away from luxury.
Buddha’s enlightened experience
He sat under a papal tree - became known as the Bodhi tree “tree of enlightenment” in bodhgaya
Some accounts of the story feature the arrival of mara and his daughters.
“enlightenment obtained” - samghabhedavastu FINAL EXAM.
The Buddha’s enlightenment experience
The 3 watched - the 3 things that he Buddha perceived (saw and understood)
The karmic deeds of the Buddha in his past lives - karmalogical
“I will not uncross my lefts until the destruction of defilements have been attained”
Through that he remembers his past lives - hundreds of thousands
The various realms of rebirth in the cosmos - cosmological
Wandering in samsara
Seeing beings in all times and places becoming reborn according to their actions
The doctrines in Buddhism - dharma logical
dharma = phenomena (lowercase d)
Through meditations realized the concept of suffering
Understood and obtained enlightenment
He realized the 4 noble truths.
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