RLG206H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Gautama Buddha, Upanishads, Dukkha

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Published on 17 Apr 2013
School
UTM
Department
Religion
Course
RLG206H5
BUDDHISM: Introduction
- “One could point out that only in recent centuries has the term Buddhism been
used to name this religion. This name was coined by Western scholars and
eventually became accepted by Buddhists themselves. Previously, the religion
was often referred to as the teaching or message and the Buddha‟s way of path of
attainment.” – pg 1
- “Central importance of doctrine and practice” – pg2
- “Fundamental to the variety of Buddhist traditions is the classical opinion that to
be a Buddhist means to take the Three Refuges or to take refuge in the Three
Jewels: the Buddha, the dharma and the Sangha”. – pg 2
- Dharma teaching … Sangha – community
- “The emphasis on Indian Buddhism is important because it is the root experience
from which all other forms of Buddhism have grown.” – pg 3
- “We will also see that as Buddhism traveled outside of India, it adapted to
different Asian cultures. For example, Theravada spread into Sri Lanka and parts
of Southeast Asia, preserving a classic brand of Indian Buddhism.” – pg 3
- „Southern Buddhism‟ “is not pure Theravada, but includes worship and rites
associated with both pre-Buddhist spirit religiosity and Hinduism.” – pg3
- „Northern Buddhism‟ “took shape in Tibet based on the Mahayana teachings
and Tantric traditions of India” – pg3
- „Eastern Buddhism‟ “is the product of inculturation influenced by Confucian
and Taoist strains of classical Chinese culture.” -3
- „Western Buddhism‟ “beginning to take shape as more westerners seek
enlightenment by adopting and adapting Asian forms of Buddhism. As this new
phenomenon is taking place, Asian Buddhusm is also chaning in order to engage
the modern world that in Asia is so influenced by Westernization” – 3
The Life of Gautama Buddha
- Siddhārtha Gautama, Buddha, the “Awakened One”, “sixth century BCE was a
time of social and religious change.” -pg 9
- “Was born during a historical epoch when the Indian culture was open to his
religious message of enlightenment, compassion and peace.” – pg9
- In the questioning intellectual environment, numerous schools of religious
thought and practice emerged.
- Religious leaders were turning to the recently mystical composed ideas of the
Upanisads rather than the ritual practices of the older Vedic tradition.
- The Vedic tradition was a product of the Aryans who began to invade the Indian
subcontinent around 2000 BCE.
- The Vedas contained hymns to the Gods (devas), emphasizing the ritual worship
of many Gods.
- Upanisads: mystical belief in a universal and unitary spiritual Reality, called
Brahman: the true essence, or Atman (self) of all things.
1. Personal realization of this divine essence through insight and meditiation
would lead to spiritual liberation, moksa - liberation, salvation or
emancipation of soul from karma and rebirth.
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Document Summary

One could point out that only in recent centuries has the term buddhism been used to name this religion. This name was coined by western scholars and eventually became accepted by buddhists themselves. Previously, the religion was often referred to as the teaching or message and the buddha s way of path of attainment. pg 1. Central importance of doctrine and practice pg2. Fundamental to the variety of buddhist traditions is the classical opinion that to be a buddhist means to take the three refuges or to take refuge in the three. Jewels: the buddha, the dharma and the sangha . Dharma teaching sangha community. The emphasis on indian buddhism is important because it is the root experience from which all other forms of buddhism have grown. pg 3. We will also see that as buddhism traveled outside of india, it adapted to different asian cultures.

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