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Part 1: Buddhism Part 2: Hinduism Theme: How religions adapt and change Lesson 13.

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Presentation on theme: "Part 1: Buddhism Part 2: Hinduism Theme: How religions adapt and change Lesson 13."— Presentation transcript:

1 Part 1: Buddhism Part 2: Hinduism Theme: How religions adapt and change Lesson 13

2 Part 1: Buddhism Lesson 13

3 Early Buddhism in India Founded by Siddhartha Gautama (born about 563 B.C.) According to legend, Gautama was raised in a pampered lifestyle but then he encountered an old man, a sick man, a corpse, and a monk –Gautama was impressed by the monk and himself determined to take up an ascetic, wandering life to help him understand the phenomenon of suffering

4 Siddhartha Gautama About 534 B. C., Gautama left his family to take up the existence of a holy man Intense meditation and extreme asceticism did not enlighten him sufficiently One day he resolved to sit under a large bo tree until he understood the problem of suffering For 49 days he withstood various temptations and threats from demons and finally received enlightenment –Thus Gautama became the Buddha– “the enlightened one” The Buddha by Odilon Redon

5 Buddhist Doctrine Buddha announced his doctrine publicly at the Deer Park of Sarnath in 528 B.C. Delivered the “Turning of the Wheel of Law” sermon which marked the beginning of Buddha’s quest to promulgate the law of righteousness Dhamekha Stupa is believed to mark the place of Buddha’s first sermon

6 Four Noble Truths All life involves suffering Desire is the cause of suffering Elimination of desire brings an end to suffering A disciplined life in accordance with the Noble Eightfold Path brings the elimination of desire

7 Noble Eightfold Path Lead a balanced and moderate life Reject both the devotion to luxury often found in human society and the regimes of extreme asceticism favored by hermits Right belief Right resolve Right speech Right behavior Right occupation Right effort Right contemplation Right meditation

8 Dharma Taken together, the teachings of the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path constitute dharma, the basic doctrine shared by all Buddhists 6 th Century Buddha sitting on a lotus blossom which symbolizes purity and strength because it is able to thrive and grow even in murky water

9 The Middle Path or Moderate Way Avoid extremes– either an overt pursuit of passionate worldly desire or extreme asceticism Live a moderate lifestyle characterized by quiet contemplation, thoughtful reflection, and disciplined self-control –Reduces desire for material goods and other worldly attractions –Eventually results in detachment from the world itself

10 Nirvana Living this lifestyle will lead to personal salvation– escape from the cycle of incarnation and the attainment of nirvana –Nirvana is the state of perfect spiritual independence The Wheel of Dharma symbolizes samsara, the continuous cycle of birth, life, and death. One is liberated from this endless cycle of rebirth when nirvana is achieved.

11 Buddhism’s Popularity in India Did not recognize social distinctions based on caste –Appealed strongly to members of lower castes Did not demand rigorous asceticism Popular with merchants who used Buddhist monasteries as inns Taught in vernacular language to reach a popular audience Holy sites and shrines facilitated pilgrimages

12 Buddhist Organization Organization proved efficient in spreading Buddhism and winning converts –Most highly motivated converts joined monastic communities –Pious lay supporters provided the monasteries with land, buildings, finances, and materials –The monks spent much of their time preaching

13 Monasteries Early Indian education was informal, mostly involving just a sage and his students Buddhists organized monasteries and began offering regular instruction and established educational institutions Most famous monastery was at Nalanda Ruins of monastery at Nalanda

14 Developments within Buddhism Between the 3 rd Century B.C. and the 1 st Century A.D., three new developments in Buddhist thought and practice reduced obligations of believers, opened new avenues to salvation, and brought explosive popularity to the faith –Nature of Buddha –Notion of boddhisatva –Appeal to the wealthy

15 Nature of Buddha Buddha had not considered himself divine, but some of his followers began to worship him as a god This gave Buddhism a devotional focus that helped converts channel their spiritual energies and identify more closely with the faith

16 Boddhisatvas Boddhisatvas (“an enlightened being”) were individuals who had reached spiritual perfection and merited the reward of nirvana, but intentionally delayed their entry in order to help others who were still struggling –Served as a source of inspiration and examples of spiritual excellence

17 Appeal to the Wealthy Monasteries began to accept gifts from wealthy individuals and consider them acts of generosity that merited salvation Now wealthy individuals could enjoy the comforts of the world and still ensure their salvation

18 Mahayana Buddhism These innovations opened the way for larger numbers of people so the faith was called Mahayana (“the greater vehicle” which could carry people to salvation) The old doctrine became known as Hinayana (“the lesser vehicle”) Mahayana Buddhism spread rapidly throughout India, largely because of educational institutions that promoted the faith

19 Establishment of Buddhism in China Buddhist merchants visited China as early as the 2 nd Century B.C. but made little headway against Confucianism With the demise of the Han Dynasty, Confucianism suffered a loss of credibility –The purpose of Confucianism was to maintain public order and provide honest, effective government –In the age of warlords and nomadic invasions, Confucianism appeared to have failed

20 Establishment of Buddhism Originally Buddhism took root in the oases along the trade routes By the 4 th Century A.D., a sizeable Buddhist community had emerged at Dunhuang in western China –At Dunhuang two branches of the Silk Road join together

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22 Dunhuang Between 600 and 1000 A.D., Buddhists built hundreds of cave temples around Dunhuang depicting scenes of Buddha Assembled libraries of religious literature Supported missionaries which spread Buddhism throughout China Boddhisattva Avalokitesvara, south wall, Cave 45

23 Buddhism in China Buddhism attracted Chinese because of its high standards of morality, its intellectual sophistication, and its promise of salvation Buddhists monasteries became important elements of the local economies –Monasteries became sizeable estates due to contributions of wealthy converts –Cultivated lands extensively and distributed a portion of the harvest in times of drought, famine, or other hardship

24 Buddhism in China In some ways, Buddhism posed a challenge to Chinese cultural and social traditions –Buddhist morality encouraged serious Buddhists to follow a celibate, monastic lifestyle –Chinese morality centered on the family unit and obligations of filial piety It strongly encouraged procreation so that new generations could venerate family ancestors Buddhism was also seen as economically harmful because the monasteries did not pay taxes and suspicious because of its foreign origin

25 Buddhism and Daoism To alleviate the tension, Buddhist missionaries tried to tailor their message to Chinese audiences –They explained Buddhist concepts in familiar Chinese vocabulary, particularly Daoism –Continued to encourage monasteries and celibacies but also reaffirmed the validity of family life Taught that one son in the monastery would bring salvation to ten generations of his kin

26 Chan Buddhism The result was a Buddhism with Chinese characteristics The most popular school of Buddhism in China was Chan (Zen in Japanese) –Deemphasized written texts and instead focused on intuition and sudden flashes of insight in the search for spiritual enlightenment (like Daoists) Xuanzang and other pilgrims traveled to India to visit the holy places and returned to expand Buddhism’s popularity in China Xuanzang

27 Hostility Daoists resented Buddhism’s encroachment on their following Confucians objected to Buddhism’s exaltation of celibacy and condemned Buddhist monasteries as wasteful and unproductive burdens on society Tang emperors ordered the closure of monasteries but the measure was not thoroughly implemented Buddhism maintained its popularity Buddha from the mid-Tang Dynasty ( )

28 Buddhism and Confucianism Song emperors did not persecute Buddhists, but they actively supported native Chinese cultural traditions in order to limit the influence of foreign religions –Contributed particularly to the Confucians Song Confucians found much to admire in Buddhism and became influenced by it –The result was called neo-Confucianism which rejected Buddhism as a faith but adapted Buddhist themes and reasoning to Confucian interests and values

29 Part 2: Hinduism Lesson 13

30 Hinduism While Buddhism was growing and evolving in China, Hinduism gradually displaced Buddhism as the most popular religion in India Like Mahayana Buddhism, Hinduism experienced changes in doctrine and practices to more effectively address the interests and needs of ordinary people

31 Roots of Hinduism: The Vedas The Vedas (“Wisdom”) were collections of prayers and hymns of the Indo-European Aryans who migrated into India around 1500 B.C. –Reflect the knowledge that priests needed to carry out their functions The Aryans developed a social structure with sharp distinctions between individuals and groups according to the occupations and roles in society –These distinctions became the basis of the caste system –Brahmins (priests) were at the top of the caste system Fanciful depiction of the Indo- Aryans entering India

32 Roots of Hinduism: The Vedas The Vedas required ritual sacrifices by which the Aryans hoped to win favor of the gods –Gods required constant attention –Proper honor for the gods required households to have brahmins perform no less than five sacrifices per day –As time passed, many Aryans, to include the brahmins became dissatisfied with the sacrificial cults of the Vedas, viewing them as sterile rituals rather than genuine means of communicating with the gods –Sought something to satisfy their spiritual longings

33 Roots of Hinduism: The Dravidians Beginning about 800 B.C., many individuals retreated into the forests of the Ganges Valley, lived as hermits, and contemplated on the relationships between human beings, the world, and the gods They drew inspiration from the Dravidians who believed human souls took on new physical forms after the death of their bodily hosts –Transmigration and reincarnation: An individual soul could depart one body at death and become associated with another body through a new birth Idyllic representation of the Dravidians before the arrival of the Indo-Aryans

34 Roots of Hinduism: The Upanishads Aryan and Dravidian values began to blend The Upanishads were Indian reflections and dialogues from around B.C. that reflected basic Hindu concepts –Upanishads means “a sitting in front of” and refers to the practice of disciples gathering before a sage for discussion of religious issues

35 Roots of Hinduism: The Upanishads Upanishads taught that appearances are deceiving, that individual human beings are not separate and autonomous creatures –Instead, each person participates in a larger cosmic order and forms a small part of a universal soul (Brahman) The physical world is a theater of change instability, and illusion The Brahman is an external, unchanging, permanent foundation of all things that exist– the only genuine reality

36 Roots of Hinduism: The Upanishads Individuals souls were born into the physical world not once, but many times Souls appear most often as humans, but sometimes as animals, plants, or other vegetable matter The highest goal of the individual soul is to escape this cycle of birth and rebirth and enter into permanent union with Brahman

37 Roots of Hinduism: Teachings of the Upanishads Samsara –Upon death, individual souls go temporarily to the World of the Fathers and then return in new incarnation Karma –“Now as a man is like this or like that, according as he acts and according as he behaves, so will he be: a man of good acts will become good, a man of bad acts, bad. He becomes pure by pure deeds, bad by bad deeds.” Brhadaranyaka Upanishad

38 Roots of Hinduism: Teachings of the Upanishads Mosksha –The goal (escaping the cycle of rebirth) –A deep, dreamless sleep that came with permanent liberation from physical incarnation –Obtained by asceticism and meditation Separation from the physical world to merge with Brahman Shiva: The Lord of Yoga meditating on Mount Kailasa in the Himalayas

39 The Emergence of Popular Hinduism Bhagavad Gita –Short poem finalized around 400 A.D. which represented the new Hindu ethical teaching that promised salvation to those who participated actively in the world and met their caste responsibilities Contrast with the Upanishads that taught that individuals could escape the cycle of incarnation only through renunciation and detachment from the world

40 The Emergence of Popular Hinduism Bhagavad Gita and other new teachings made life easier for the lay classes Individuals should meet their responsibilities in a detached fashion without striving for reward or recognition Perform your duties faithfully, concentrating on your actions alone, with no thought of the consequences

41 Four Principal Aims of Human Life Dharma –Obedience to religious and moral laws Artha –The pursuit of economic well-being and honest prosperity Kama –The enjoyment of social, physical, and sexual pleasure Moksha –The salvation of the soul A proper balance of dharma, artha, and kama would help an individual attain moksha

42 Popularity Spreads As devotional Hinduism evolved and became increasingly distinct from the Upanishads and the brahmins, its appeal spread across Indian society Hinduism gradually displaced Buddhism as the most popular religion in India Buddhist monks began to confine themselves to their monasteries rather than actively seeking to spread their message

43 Major World Religions Source: About, Inc ReligionMembers Christianity 2 Billion Islam1.2 Billion Hinduism785 Million Buddhism360 Million Judaism17 Million Sikhism16 Million Baha‘i5 Million Confucianism5 Million Jainism4 Million Shintoism3 Million Wicca.7 Million Zoroastrianism.2 Million

44 Religion Today in China and India China is officially atheist. –The CIA World Factbook estimates Daoists, Buddhists, and Muslims make up 1%-2% of China’s population and Christians make up 3%-4% –Population of 1,330,044,544 The CIA World Factbook reports India is –81.3% Hindu –12% Muslim –2.3% Christian –1.9% Sikh –2.5% other groups including Buddhist, Jain, Parsi

45 Distribution of Buddhists Today Source: Country% Thailand 95 Cambodia90 Myanmar88 Bhutan75 Sri Lanka70 Tibet 65 Laos60 Vietnam55 Japan 50 Macau45 Taiwan43 CountryNumber of Buddhists China102,000,000 Japan89,650,000 Thailand55,480,000 Vietnam49,690,000 Myanmar41,610,000 Sri Lanka12,540,000 South Korea10,920,000 Taiwan9,150,000 Cambodia9,130,000 India7,000,000

46 Buddhism Today: the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso is the 14th Dalai Lama –His followers consider him a living Buddha, the incarnation of the Buddha of Compassion Unsuccessfully tried to protect Tibet’s rights after China invaded –Ultimately fled to Dharamsala, India where he currently leads Tibet’s government in exile –Won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 In 2007 China made it illegal for the Dalai Lama to reincarnate without government permission!

47 Next Judaism and Christianity


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