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Chapter 8

Study Guide Chapter 8 - Buddhism.pdf

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York University
HIST 2500
William Wicken

CHAPTER EIGHT THE BUDDHIST TRADITIONOverview 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 AsiaN 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 OriginsReligious 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 nonbrahmin 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 traditionN Each camp had its spiritual master who laid down a discipline vinaya and a set of teachings dharmaN 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 monasteriesN 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 wwwnotesolutioncom
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