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The Buddha Siddhartha Guatama is the one we have come to know as the supreme buddha, “enlightened” or “awakened” one. Siddhartha is born and lived.

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Presentation on theme: "The Buddha Siddhartha Guatama is the one we have come to know as the supreme buddha, “enlightened” or “awakened” one. Siddhartha is born and lived."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Buddha Siddhartha Guatama is the one we have come to know as the supreme buddha, “enlightened” or “awakened” one. Siddhartha is born and lived somewhere between the 6th and 5th centuries BCE Siddhartha means “one who achieves”

2 Siddhartha’s Birth The future Buddha, enters his mother’s womb through her side while she slept. The entering future buddha is often pictured in art as a white elephant which symbolizes purity and power Maya gave birth to Siddhartha in a garden of Lumbini in present-day Nepal He was born prince of the Sakya clan, a warrior class

3 The Princely Life of Siddhartha Guatama
At his birth, a sage predicted that Siddhartha was a Bodhisattva, or one destined to reach enlightenment and become a buddha. His father however wanted Siddhartha to be an earthly ruler, so he shelters him Siddhartha’s father wanted to shelter him from the pain and suffering of the world, so he wouldn’t try to take the spiritual path. He gave him every worldly possession, surrounding him with women and wealth

4 4 Signs Siddhartha, while traveling outside the kingdom was accompanied by 4 heavenly messengers who jolted him out of his illusion in the form of 4 signs or appearances. 1. Old Man 2. Sick Man 3. Corpse 4. Holy Man

5 Renunciation Siddhartha, after beholding the signs from the celestial beings, the illusions that led him to a deeper truth, knows he must leave. That very night, Sid decides to leave everything behind, including his wife and newborn son. At this point everything about that palace life repulses him. He rides his horse out of the palace grounds and looks back saying that he will not enter the city again until he has seen “the further shore of life and death.” With this, he rides into the forest and then gives his horse and his jewelry to his groomsman. Mara, the god of desire, tempts him out of fear that Siddhartha will in fact achieve enlightenment. He cuts off his hair as a sign of his renunciation and tells his servant to inform the King of his decision to enter into ascetic practice in order to destroy old age and death (he wants to destroy suffering). He sets out to seek different masters or gurus in search of the truth

6 The Journey 3 major events lead to his enlightenment:
First, he tries to free himself from the pain and suffering of the world by progressing through the highest levels of meditation. But even at the highest state he was not beyond birth and death. Second, for 6 years Siddhartha practices various asceticisms and austerities in the hopes of subduing the ego by disciplining the body. After becoming extremely emaciated and weakened, he realized that this was not going to freedom. Near the Indian town of Bodh Gaya, a young maiden offers him some rice pudding which, counter to his ascetic practice, and to the dismay of his fellow ascetics, he accepted. This nourishment leads him to the 3rd stage in his journey in which he goes and sits beneath the Bodhi tree and vows not to get up until he reaches enlightenment.

7 Siddhartha’s Awakening
Siddhartha begins his path towards enlightenment by contemplating compassion. As he contemplates compassion, the god of desire, Mara, is risen to anger and fear at the prospect of Siddhartha leading others to enlightenment. Siddhartha continues his contemplation through a night filled with Mara’s tricks and attacks Buddha meditating under the bodhi tree, 900AD

8 The Long Night: 4 Watches
1st watch of the night: Siddhartha remembers his past lives and perceives the 3 Marks of Existence. He sees the truth that the cycle of existence is without substance: the “self” is shifting, impermanent, and conditional 2nd watch: Siddhartha is filled with compassion for all beings because he sees the ways in which they suffer without escape in the endlessness of karma. Even those born in heaven are disturbed by sensual passion and fall from heaven; therefore, no state of existence is free from illusion and death. 3rd watch: Siddhartha understands the real nature of the world in the cycle of causation. He sees the world “as it is,” as a prisonhouse of desire, ignorance and hatred. One factor leads to another and causes the endless cycle of birth and death in suffering. Ignorance of this cycle is what traps us in repetition. (Doctrine or Interdependent Origination). 4th watch: He reaches “the stage which knows no alteration…the state of omniscience.” Freedom is achieved by removing the obstacles of desire. The earth sways, lotuses and water lilies fall from the sky and the world becomes peaceful. From the Watches, the Buddha comes to his understanding of the path to Enlightenment as the 4 Noble Truths and the 8-fold path.

9 Through contemplation, Siddhartha, whom the sage once proclaimed a bodhisattva, recognizes that there is great suffering in the world. He recognizes, or becomes aware that craving/desire/attachment, are the causes of this suffering for both the mind and the body. When he realizes this, he overcomes the ignorance that keeps people from becoming enlightened. In this wisdom he breaks the chains of suffering that bind us to the samsara, and realizes nirvana. Nirvana is the ultimate experience of the nothingness or emptiness that lies beyond the realm of illusions that are the source of our suffering. For 7 weeks after attaining enlightenment, he remains under the Bodhi tree and contemplates the truths of his awakening and considers whether or not he could share his dharma, or teachings that led him to enlightenment, with others. Brahma convinces him to share his path, to teach the dharma to others for the benefit of all beings. Out of compassion for the suffering of others, the Buddha begins to teach.

10 Setting the Wheel of the Dharma in motion
Buddha’s Teachings Setting the Wheel of the Dharma in motion

11 The Dharma: Buddha’s teachings
Buddha begins teaching at Sarnath, a deer park just outside of Benares, India. Buddha’s first audience is comprised of the 5 ascetics with whom he had been on his spiritual journey. These 5 form the first sangha, or community of people practicing the dharma.

12 In the first sermon, the Buddha presented the 4 Noble Truths and the Middle Way. The first 2 noble truths are diagnose the problem of exsistence and the 2nd two suggest a cure. He elaborates on the “three marks” which are suffering (duhka), impermanence (anitya) and ‘no- self’ (anātman)

13 4 Noble Truths 1: Life is suffering (duhkha). this means that there is unhappiness or unsatisfactoriness. Suffering is the symptom. 2: This symptom of “suffering” is caused by attachments and craving. We will always be disappointed by our attachment to impermanent things. 3: You can overcome suffering by understanding that the cause of suffering is desire; it is possible to determine a cure to end suffering 4: There is a treatment or path for overcoming desire’s hold on you by following the middle way, given in the eightfold path. This path focuses on moral discipline, mindfulness and wisdom. Mindfulness and awareness of desires allow us to overcome them and hence allow us to overcome suffering.

14 The 3 Marks 1. Suffering (dukkha) is an inherent part of human existence. Dukkha is also a subtle uneasiness or sense of lack associated with clinging to the world. 2. Impermanence (anitya): Nothing escapes the change of the wheel of time of the samsara. Human nature cannot provide a permanent foundation for happiness because the individual is made up of constantly shifting feelings, perceptions, mental formations, consciousness, and material forms 3. No-self (anatman): The above notions of suffering and impermanence are based on a notion of the human as without a self. Because everything changes, we have no permanent, autonomous soul or self.

15 No-Self In Buddhism, the human subject is both spiritual and material. However, this subject is impermanent. Therefore, rather than having a static or permanent self, the human subject is constantly changing and developing. This is why we must not be attached to those things that comprise our sense of self (atman). The Buddha makes no mention of a soul or a self in the sense of an eternal and unchangeable spiritual essence. This stood in stark contrast to orthodox indigenous Indian traditions like Brahmanism as well as the teachings of many of Buddha’s spiritual contemporaries. Clinging to an idea of a particular self, of a notion of “who we are,” is an attachment to illusory existence.

16 What is a No-Self? The doctrine of ‘no-self’ does not deny the particularities of the individual (remember the dharma is constantly invoking both ascent and descent). No-self is simply an emphasis on the fact that the human condition can be described without appealing to a concept of an immutable, eternal soul. Humans can be understood entirely in terms of the 5 aggregates called skandhas (material form, feeling/emotions, cognition/perception, mental formations/conditioned tendencies of thought, and consciousness/state(s) of mind)

17 The Skandhas The skandhas don’t suggest that we are nothing but that we are nothing permanent. There is nothing about us that does not change and therefore no unchanging cosmic self or soul that moves from one body to another in reincarnation. On the middle path, we are, by our elements between nothingness and eternity without being either. Once we realize that we are a mutable bunch of elements or attributes, we accept that we are without self, and this makes it easier to act selflessly and follow the 8- fold path.

18 Eightfold Path: 1 - Right Understanding/View: see the truths of dukkha, causation, and dependent co-arising/Interdependent Origination 2 - Right Thought/Resolve-cultivate a commitment to achieving Enlightenment 3 - Right Speech-speak with kindness and intention 4 - Right Action-act with kindness, and abstain from killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct 5 - Right Livelihood-live a life that engenders these other qualities; “harm no one, benefiting all” 6 - Right Effort-intentially cultivate the qualties that allow one to see the truth of existence clearly 7 - Right Mindfulness-be aware of one’s body, feelings, and mind—witnessing one’s own actions clearly and without attachment. 8 - Right Concentration-establish equanimity with regard to sensual and mental sensations and thoughts--leads to the Cessation of Suffering. The Middle Way -The Middle way is the path between extremes. It is neither extreme self-austerity/mortification of the flesh nor is it total self-indulgence. -After 60 of his followers, or disciples, become enlightened, the Buddha sends them out to share the path with others, working for others’ well-being. -The path of the Buddha is often explained in terms of an approach towards life involving ethics, mental formation, and wisdom.

19 Pancasila and Vinayas The early Buddhist lay practitioners followed an ethical code of conduct based on keeping 5 vows or “5 Precepts,” the pancasila The pancasila is as follows:1)abstain from taking life 2) abstain from taking that which is not given 3) abstain from sexual misconduct 4) abstain from false speech 5) abstain from intoxicating substances The Vinaya Literature refers to the elaborate codes of conduct established for governing the lives of monks and nuns of the sangha.

20 45 Years of the Buddha’s teachings
Buddha teaches for 45 years, and sangha spreads Buddha’s teachings.

21 Buddha’s death In Kusinigari, Buddha, at 80 years old, eats spoiled food and becomes ill. But he reminds his followers that his death is another opportunity for them to think about their task of becoming awakened. “With the light of perfect wisdom, illuminate the darkness of ignorance. Subject to decay are all conditioned things. Strive on with diligence.”

22 Buddha’s death At around 80 years old, the Buddha’s health is failing. Some say the Buddha eats spoiled food and becomes ill. At Kusinara (Kushnigara), the Buddha lies down between two sala trees his body gives up its life, the trees bloom and the earth shakes, and a funeral pyre bursts into flames

23 Enlightenment and Dharma
The Dharma is meant to assist us on our path to enlightenment, like a guide. Enlightenment is neither existence nor non- existence. It is an awakening to something entirely beyond our typical consciousness

24 What is Enlightenment? We reach enlightenment when we are rid of all desires and attachments and therefore awakened to the ignorance that is our suffering. Specifically we overcome the “5 fetters”: craving for life in the physical realm, craving for life in a nonphysical realm, pride, restlessness, and ignorance. Once someone reaches enlightenment, they will no longer be reincarnated when they die. Buddhists have long speculated on questions about nirvana.

25 Nirvana Nirvana literally means a “blowing out.” It is the notion of a blowing out of the suffering of being attached to the things in the world. Nirvana, however, is not a goal. If it were a goal, that would imply desire and the ego. You must turn to the self in order to see that the self is not there. The self does not exist.

26 Sutras Sutra: a preaching of the Buddha that has been recorded either in oral memory or in written documents. Prajnaparamita are the earliest Mahayana scriptures. These were written in Sanskrit around 100 B.C.E. Sutras are believed to be the Buddha’s own words and teachings.

27 Themes in the dharma Wisdom and Compassion
Ascent and Descent: movement towards wisdom and negation of existence but also affirm the reality of everyday life and the particularity of ourselves and other beings.

28 3 Turnings of the Wheel of the Dharma
1) 4 Noble Truths set in motion in Sarnath 2) Emptiness: Set in motion in Bihar and given in the Wisdom sutras 3) Buddha nature: Practical insight into how things exist-skillful means for understanding and acting in the world

29 The early sangha The early sangha was already a time in which there were various and sometimes competing understandings of the Dharma Individual sanghas have autonomy; and could promote their particular understanding of the Dharma. This combination of autonomy and lack of consensus among the entirety of the sangha gave rise to pluralism in Buddhism from the early stages of its development--a diversity of tradition that continues today.

30 Becoming a World Religion
Flourishing under the ruler Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE -supports efforts to establish monasteries throughout his empire -suggests that everyone can live a life in accordance with the Dharma, even if not to the extent of the monastics -supports missionary activity But by the 4th century, without a central spiritual authority, Buddhism, which was now widespread, had also become increasingly sectarian and fragmented -Buddhism continues to spread in many forms, but declines in South and Central Asia, nearly disappearing entirely from India by the 15thC

31 The Great Schism-300BCE Disagreement between the Great/Universal Community and the Elders. The 18 sects that emerge evolve into 2 major classifications: Mahayana and Theravada. Mahayana expand the sangha to all Buddhist practitioners, not just the monastics. Everyone has the potential to become enlightened. Theravada (dubbed Hinayana or “lesser vehicle” by the Mahayana “greater vehicle”) becomes known as the way of the elders. The notion of “vehicles” refers to “vehicles” for enlightenment.

32 Theravada Theravada is the way of the elders, meaning it is the more traditional Buddhist school of thought It tends to adhere to the teachings of Buddha more literally and strictly as outlined, governed, and lived by the monastic community. The path to enlightenment is that of the arhat. Veneration and worship primarily oriented towards Gautama Buddha. Strongholds in Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia

33 The Three Baskets of Buddhism: Tripitaka
Canon of the Theravada tradition has sacred texts written by a group of monks in the Pali language of N. India while other Buddhist schools recorded the canon in Sanskrit. The eternal truth of the dharma, as manifested in the particular form of the Buddha, is transmitted in human language in the Three Baskets Vinaya Pitaka: The Basket of Discipline Bhikkhus (monks) and bhikkunis (nuns); also tells stories of how/why regulations emerged Sutta Pitaka: The Basket of Threads (Sutras) Teachings that “sew” together the meaning of life Sayings said to be the Buddha’s Dhammapada—ethical maxims: inner peace, compassion, selfless giving Jataka Tales: Stories about the Buddha’s former lives (only the oldest are canonical). These tales are often depicted in shrines and images. Abhidhamma Pitaka: The Basket of Higher teaching Latest addition, not spoken by Buddha, but for advancement of his teachings Dense philosophical reflection on earlier doctrine/highly advanced form of Buddha’s teachings; systematizes the sutra basket. Baskets because manuscripts were written on palm leaves in ancient times and stored in baskets.

34 Mahayana The arhat achieves a limited nirvana because it is individual. The greater vehicle or path to enlightenment is that of the bodhisattva (“future Buddha”) who puts off his/her own final enlightenment for the sake of others. Pantheons of gods, buddhas and bodhisattvas More meditation and practice focused than doctrine focused.

35 Writings of Mahayana Perfection of Wisdom Sutra (Prajnaparamita Sutra) 1st Century BCE Lotus Sutra The Lotus Sutra (100-0BCE) claims that the historical Buddha appeared to live and die like an ordinary man, but in reality he had bee enlightened from time immemorial. In this sutra, Siddhartha’s journey was an elaborate and skillful means of teaching the people of his time in order to reveal his teachings in a way that they would be best understood. It was only over time that the full depth of the dharma could be understood which is why the Mahayana considered itself a significant improvement over earlier forms of Buddhism. Authorship: Though composed anonymously and by many authors are regarded as visionary and inspired and they represent a key phase in the development of dharma. Because the Mahayana cosmology suggests that the Buddha as bodhisattva is still looking out for us, these later texts are considered to be the products of the Buddha’s spiritual authorship even though they are not directly his words. CE Diamond Sutra and Heart Sutra—Elaborate on the intention to achieve awakening or buddhahood (bodhicitta), intention to achieve enlightenment on behalf of others, and the “6 perfections (giving, morality, patience, vigor, meditation, and wisdom)” (Brodd-170). Yoga Sutras 6th-7th Centuries CE—sutras of Vajrayana

36 Mahayana Prajñāpāramitā: Wisdom sutras of Nagarjuna, who also founds Madhyamika, involves a philosophy on the perfection of insight and wisdom by focusing on the emptiness (shunyata) or no-thing-ness, unlimitedness, of all categories. These are the earliest sutras specific to Mahayana schools of Buddhism. The Wisdom sutras and this teaching on emptiness is associated with the second turning of the wheel of the Dharma.

37 Mahayana meditation The Mahayana was the “Greater Vehicle” for understanding the teachings of the Buddha given in the first turning of the wheel of the dharma. It marked a view of the teachings of the Buddha in ways that revived “archaic contemplative modes and reorder[ed]...religious priorities. Meditation became about the immanent, about the here and now. It was a call to action and concern rather than a practice based on peace and tranquility of the transcendent, divorced from the world. There are 3 general techniques that came out of the Mahayana movement and that are now associated with Mahayana:

38 Forms of Meditation in Mahayana schools
1) Like the early Buddhist meditations, Mahayana emphasizes calm and insight, but with a new twist. Practices of calm (shamatha) and insight (vipassana) which were already part of the typical structure of meditation such as walking, sitting, yoga, etc, only this time relating that calm and insight to Buddhist ethics, and the “basis for moral action for the world” (ibid 149) 2) Reclaiming the archaic techniques often associated with magic power...like visions and ecstaties. For instance-fixating on a particular object; drinking “soma” to initiate a visual experience of an alternate reality to visionary exercises like those practicing the Pure Land tradition...in which the meditator visualizes the realm of the Amita Buddha in which one seeks rebirth. 3)Techniques that emphasized the possibility of spontaneously achieving an experience of freedom and enlightenment at a given moment, uniting with the divine within, in the midsts of a different “public reality” (149). These techniques are predominantly psychological (156).

39 Mahayana continued Several schools of thought develop out of Mahayana’s doctrinal differences that lead to the split from Theravada. Madhyamaka:founded by Nagarjuna and based on his Wisdom Sutras which focus on emptiness/nothingness, even emptiness of Buddhist categories Consciousness-Only (Cittamatra): spiritual transformation occurs within human consciousness. This school is the 3rd turning of the wheel of the Dharma and based on practical description of how the religious path works which leads to a focus on meditation or yoga practice (Yogacara) Buddha-Nature: Nir.vana is inseparable from samsara Pure Land: celestial paradises created by bodhisattvas to provide the conditions for enlightenment; associated with the Amida/Amitahba Buddha (associated with the Land of Bliss Sutras of 2nd Century CE) Meditation School (Ch’an in China, or Zen in Japan): recitation of koans (“cases”) or seemingly paradoxical statements that could lead to awakenings and wisdom, and even to nirvana.-doctrine is obstacle Thunderbolt Vehicle (Vajrayana)/Tantric Buddhism: commune with a celestial Buddha through human body and mind using esoteric techniques given in the tantras (weavings). Emerges in the 7thC

40 Rituals: Though the Buddha resisted the formalization of practices, rituals are important to Buddhism today. For Laity, reciting the Pancasila and the 3 refuges/Jewels (and for Mahayana announcing their bodhisattva vow The most prominent ritual is the honoring of the Buddha or the Buddhapuja. This ritual, which can occur at a home shrine or a temple involves making a small offering such as a lamplight, food, or money. Daily rituals of monastic life include the “Buddhapuja (honoring the Buddha), preaching, chanting, meditation, and the donation of” food to monks by laypersons (ibid 129). Because many Buddhist traditions recognize multiple Buddhas, they have puja to Buddhas other than Sakyamuni Buddha. Ex: Lama Chopa Puja Reciting mantras (ritual incantations) are an important element of puja and meditation. Mandala Pilgrimage: pilgrimage is a ritual behavior that involves veneration at particular holy sites such as stupas (domes). Buddhist pilgrimage sites exist throughout Asia. Life Cycle Rituals: Death

41 Ethics and Buddhism Today
Thich Nhat Hanh Political Buddhism The Dalai Lama Myanmar Monks Shaolin Fighting Monks Shambala Meditation Environmental Activism Women: Interview with Tenzin Palmo Women in Buddhism


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