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Lecture and textbook notes on Buddhism

9 Pages
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Department
Religion
Course Code
RLGA01H3
Professor
Henry Shiu

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RLGA01H 2010-10-26 to 2010-11-09
BUDDHISM – WEEK 1
Schools of Buddhism
Three major schools of Buddhism:
1. Theravada (Hinayana): Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos
2. Mahayana: China, North/South Korean, Mongolia, Japan, Taiwain, Singapore, N Vietnam
3. Vajrayana: Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, Mongolia, (some also in China and Japan)
The Triple Gems
Also translated at the three jewelsthe three most important things in the practice of Buddhism
1. Buddha (the enlightened one)title given to those who have reached enlightenment
2. Dharma (buddhavacana: doctrine and vinaya)
3. Samgha (spiritual community)
Brief History of Buddhism
Buddhism originated in the religious context of the 6th cent. B.C. India as part of the sramana movement
Finding a way to achieve attainment without the needs of the priests
The word Buddha does not refer to anyone, it simply means the awakened/enlightened one
The historical Buddha, founder of Buddhism, was named Siddartha Gautama
Also originated as only an oral teaching – stayed this way for centuries
Men and women were created equalfemale disciples of the Buddha were said to have attained liberation
Innovations of Buddhism
Teaching of the impermanence of the human self or soul no eternal or independent soul (atman)
anatman = no self
Yet also belief in karma and reincarnation – no soul? What goes under transmigration?
Social egalitarianism (reacted to the oppressive nature of Hinduism or Brahmanical Hinduism)—asserting the
equality of all men
middle way” in the middle way, the Buddha says you will find the reality—your blissful liberation
The analogy is that right before the Buddha attained his enlightenment, he was sitting by a riverside and
saw someone on a boat before him—on this boat, there were two musicians tuning their instruments ...
the musicians find that if you tune the string too tight, the sound is hard to bear, if it is too loose you
cannot produce any sound must be in the middle to find the most beautiful sound
1
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RLGA01H 2010-10-26 to 2010-11-09
In the same way, the Buddha believed that perhaps the reality was to be found through the avoidance of
the extreme views
One side: absolute devotion and belief in souls, karma, and reincarnation
Other side: very materialistic with no belief in the above and said, Just life you life, you have one shot
Buddhism: belief in karma and reincarnation, but no soulavoiding permanence and materialism
Siddhartha Gautama
The founder Buddha lived around the 5th or 4th century BCE
A prince from a Kingdom of Southern Nepal, born in Lumbini of the clan of Sakya
Sakyamuni (sage of the Sakya clan)another honorary title he was given
Samyaksambuddha (perfect enlightenment)what he is believed to have attained
Before he attained perfect enlightenment, it is said that he tried many different kinds of Indian religions in an
attempt to attain enlightenmenthe practiced very hard in each religion, but found that none granted him the
total enlightenment he had expect/desire; created his own
At the time of his birth, a prophet came to his father and said that he would become either a great king or a great
religious leader
Father tried to keep him in the kingdom to make him a good king rather than a religious leadernever allowed
out of his palace, indulged in worldly riches
At the age of 29, allowed to go out into the city area for the first time, receiving his four sights (‘first time):
1. Seeing old age
According to the Buddhist writings, old individuals in the palace were quickly replaced
2. Seeing sickness
3. Seeing death/funeral
Perhaps not literal (many Buddhist writings were not supposed to be taken literally)
4. Seeing a monk
Began to question why someone would dedicate their lives to the attain some spiritual
attainment – profoundly influential foresight
When he got back to the palace, he was determined to become a religious practitioner to find enlightenment and
a way out of sickness, pain, and death (human conditions)
Came from the second class; access to the Vedic knowledge – unsatisfied with these teachings alone and tried to
find his own method of attained liberation Four Noble Truths
Never claimed to be greater than others or having attained liberation – simple informative
Foundational Buddhist Teachings
2
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RLGA01H 2010-10-26 to 2010-11-09
The Four Noble Truths (based on Duhkha (Suffering))
1. There is (psychological) suffering in samsara—perpetually unsatisfied
2. Suffering arises from desire; always wanting/in need of something
3. There can be an end to our suffering
4. The end of suffering can be attained through following the eightfold path
Whenever you are born in the samsara, you are subject to this kind of suffering; the only escape is liberation
These noble truths are very intricately tied to early foundations of karma and sufferings via reincarnation
The 2nd truth is the cause to the 1st truth and the 4th truth is the cause to the 3rd truth two causal relations
The Eightfold Path
1. Right Viewcorrect understanding of what constitutes the reality (they really are vs. as they appear)
2. Right Thoughta reflection of your right view; away from delusion of reality
3. Right Speech – trying to be honest in your speech
4. Right Conducttrying to be honest in your daily conduct and not burdening anyone
5. Right Livelihood – reflects the ideals of non-violence
6. Right Effortcorrect effort to attain liberation
7. Right Mindfulnessbe mindful of your right view and the experiences attained
8. Right Meditationsfocus on the correct meditation and experiences gained through it
Dependent-origination
All things are constantly changing: a process, a flux
These changes effect subsequent changes in other things: karma
Everything must have some causal factor in order to exist many conditions put together to create the
phenomena of existence and being
We usually see things as isolated, independent events/entities the problem; things are unrelated
Leads to theories of “conditioning-arising”
The Twelve Links of the Chain of Dependent-Origination
1. Ignorance
Belief in what doesnt existthe human soul
2. Karma formations
3. Consciousness
4. Body-Mind Complex
5. Six Senses
6. Sense Impressions (contacts)
7. Feelings
8. Craving
9. Grasping
10. Becoming (the drive to be reborn)
11. Rebirth
12. Old age and death
The Three Baskets (Tripitaka):
1. Sutra
3
www.notesolution.com

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Description
RLGA01H 2010-10-26 to 2010-11-09 BUDDHISM WEEK 1 Schools of Buddhism Three major schools of Buddhism: 1. Theravada (Hinayana): Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos 2. Mahayana: China, NorthSouth Korean, Mongolia, Japan, Taiwain, Singapore, N Vietnam 3. Vajrayana: Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, Mongolia, (some also in China and Japan) The Triple Gems Also translated at the three jewels the three most important things in the practice of Buddhism 1. Buddha (the enlightened one) title given to those who have reached enlightenment 2. Dharma (buddhavacana: doctrine and vinaya) 3. Samgha (spiritual community) Brief History of Buddhism th Buddhism originated in the religious context of the 6 cent. B.C. India as part of the sramana movement Finding a way to achieve attainment without the needs of the priests The word Buddha does not refer to anyone, it simply means the awakenedenlightened one The historical Buddha, founder of Buddhism, was named Siddartha Gautama Also originated as only an oral teaching stayed this way for centuries Men and women were created equal female disciples of the Buddha were said to have attained liberation Innovations of Buddhism Teaching of the impermanence of the human self or soul no eternal or independent soul (atman) anatman = no self Yet also belief in karma and reincarnation no soul? What goes under transmigration? Social egalitarianism (reacted to the oppressive nature of Hinduism or Brahmanical Hinduism)asserting the equality of all men middle way in the middle way, the Buddha says you will find the realityyour blissful liberation The analogy is that right before the Buddha attained his enlightenment, he was sitting by a riverside and saw someone on a boat before himon this boat, there were two musicians tuning their instruments ... the musicians find that if you tune the string too tight, the sound is hard to bear, if it is too loose you cannot produce any sound must be in the middle to find the most beautiful sound 1 www.notesolution.com
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