Buddhism By Autumn Beckstead LE1360 May Term May 15, 2014
History of Buddhism • Most historians agree that Buddhism originated in northern India in the 5th century B.C.E. • It was founded by Siddhartha Gautama: The Buddha
Beliefs • Their religion is based on The Four Noble Truths, Karma, and the Cycle of Rebirth. • The Four Noble Truths are the basic teachings of the Buddha. They embody action and have the potential to guide you toward a radical transformation. These teachings revolutionized the spiritual and later political landscape of ancient India.
Noble Truths • The First Truth • Identifies the presence of suffering. • Goes beyond the obvious forms of suffering of aging, sickness, and death. It also refers to a pervasive dissatisfaction that colors every moment of life.
Noble Truths • The Second Truth • Seeks to determine the cause of suffering • Desire and ignorance lie at the root of suffering • Desiring pleasure, material goods, and immortality only bring suffering • Ignorance is not seeing the world as it actually is • Greed, envy, hatred, and anger come from this ignorance.
Noble Truths • The Third Truth • The end of suffering • Has dual meaning, suggesting either the end of suffering in this life, on earth, or in the spiritual life, through achieving Nirvana. • Nirvana • Transcendent state free from suffering and our worldly cycle of birth and rebirth
Noble Truths • The Forth Truth • Charts the method for attaining the end of suffering • Known to Buddhists as the Noble Eightfold Path
The Noble Eightfold Path • Right Speech • Right Action • Right Livelihood • Right Effort • Right Mindfulness • Right Concentration • Right View • Right Resolve These are divided into 3 categories • Mortality • Meditation • Wisdom The eight steps are not meant to be done sequentially but are to be practiced all the time, simultaneously, each and every one. Every day is an opportunity to practice.
Karma • Buddhist interpretation of Karma does not refer to preordained fate • Refers to good or bad actions a person takes during their lifetime • Good actions, which involve either the absence of bad actions, or actual positive acts, such as generosity, righteousness, and meditation, bring about happiness in the long run • Bad actions, such as lying, stealing or killing, bring about unhappiness in the long run • Neutral karma, which derives from acts such as breathing, eating or sleeping • Neutral karma has no benefits or costs
The Cycle of Rebirth • Karma plays out in the Buddhism cycle of rebirth • Six separate planes into which any living being can be reborn • Three fortunate realms and three unfortunate realms • Those with favorable, positive Karma are reborn into one of the fortunate realms • The realm of man is considered the highest realm of rebirth • The realm of man also offers one other aspect lacking in the other five planes, an opportunity to achieve enlightenment, or Nirvana
Who They Worship and Printed Books and Doctrine • They worship Buddha • There is no one authority on Buddhism—there is no pope, no president, no leader of the Buddhist people. There is no central office, no definitive source. Buddhism is alive in many forms, with many voices today. • Buddhism is not based on one central text, such as the Bible, Koran, or Torah. • There was nothing written for 400 years • Teachings were passed down through oral recitation. • Over the years, a lot of guidelines for practice came into being and Buddhism became diversified
The Three Main Branches • Mahayana Buddhists • Claims to be based on texts attributable to the Buddha that are not in the Pali Canon and were not discovered until centuries after the death of the Buddha. • Largest branch of the three
The Three Main Branches • Theravada Buddhists • Claim that they have adhered to the Buddha’s original teachings • Established the Pali Canon, the teachings that were passed down orally for 400 years.
The Three Main Branches • Vajrayana Buddhists • Believe the Buddha taught these practices through special texts called tantras • Believe their teachings can be directly linked to the Buddha • Believe they practice the purest form of Buddhism • Smallest of the three branches
Statistics • Buddhism is found all over the world. • In the United States, there are approximately 3 to 4 million proclaimed Buddhists • Total population of approximately 300 million people. • There are somewhere between 500 and 800 Buddhist centers in the United States
Citations Photos • www.wisdomportal.com • www.What-buddha-said.net • www.zimbio.com • www.truthforsaints.com Written • Kozak, A. (2011). The Everything Buddhism Book : A Complete Introduction to the History, Traditions, and Beliefs of Buddhism, Past and Present. Avon, Mass: Adams Media. • Prebish, C. S., & Keown, D. (2010). Buddhism : The Ebook: an Online Introduction. [S.l.]: Journal of Buddist Ethics Online Books. • http://www.pbs.org/edens/thailand/buddhism.htm • www.patheos.com/Library/Buddhism.html