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RLG100Y1 (54)
Chapter 8

Study Guide Chapter 8 - Buddhism

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Andre Maintenay

CHAPTER EIGHT: THE BUDDHIST TRADITION Overview N The Buddha passed into everlasting nirvana some 2500 years ago N After a deep enlightenement experience at the age of 35, he spent the remaining 45 years of his life teaching that all worldy things are transient phenomena N Set the wheel of dharma (teaching) in motion, established a community (sangha) of disciples and charged his followers to carry the dharma to all regions of the world. N Buddhism is the dominant religion in many parts of East, South, and Southeast Asia. N Buddhism has three main traditions or vehicles. N The earliest is Thereavada also known as Hinayana, which spread to Southeast Asia. N The Second is Mahayana, which became the principal school in East Asia, and the third is Vajrayana, which developed out of Mahayana and became closely associated with the Himalayan region. N Buddhists say they take refuge in the triple gem: (1) the Buddha, (2) the dharma, and (3) the sangha. Origins Religious life in Ancient India N Perhaps the most important cultural tension was religious, between the Hinduism of the Brahmins and the indigenous religious traditions of the region, out of which Buddhism and Jainism developed. N It would not be accurate to say that Buddhism developed out of Hinduism in the same way that Christianity developed out of Judaism. N Buddhism explicitly rejected the authority of the Brahmin scriptures (the Vedas) and the hereditary authority of the Brahmin class. N A more accurate way to understand its relationship with Hinduism is to recognize that both evolved out of ancient Indian spirituality; Hinduism from the Brahmin tradition and Buddhism from the non-brahmin ascetic tradition that flourished in the region of the Ganges. N There were camps that served as centres for the study of the various religious tradition. N Each camp had its spiritual master, who laid down a discipline (vinaya) and a set of teachings (dharma). N Rival masters competed for followers, while students shopped around for the teacher who seemed most advanced spiritually. N These religious training camps were the forerunners of Buddhist monasteries. N Students were required to take a vow of celibacy. There were also dietary restrictions. N Most masters required their disciples to rise early and spend part of the day doing physical work to sustain the camp, in addition to studying and meditating. www.notesolution.com
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