LESSON 83 Level I Introduction to Buddhism 09 11 2010 FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY
Traditionally the are 84,000 Dharma Doors - 84,000 ways to get Awakeness. Maybe so; certainly the Buddha taught a large number of practices that lead to Awakeness. This web page attempts to catalogue those found in the Pali Suttas (DN, MN, SN, AN, Ud & Sn 1). There are 3 sections:
The discourses of Buddha are divided into 84,000, as to separate addresses. The division includes all that was spoken by Buddha.”I received from Buddha,” said Ananda, “82,000 Khandas, and from the priests 2000; these are 84,000 Khandas maintained by me.” They are divided into 275,250, as to the stanzas of the original text, and into 361,550, as to the stanzas of the commentary. All the discourses including both those of Buddha and those of the commentator, are divided into 2,547 banawaras, containing 737,000 stanzas, and 29,368,000 separate letters.
A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering. - Buddha< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
BUDDHA (EDUCATE)! DHAMMA (MEDITATE)! SANGHA (ORGANISE)!
WISDOM IS POWER
Awakened One Shows the Path to Attain Ultimate Bliss
COMPUTER IS AN ENTERTAINMENT INSTRUMENT!
TO BE MOST APPROPRIATE!
Using such an instrument
The Free ONLINE e-Nālandā Research and Practice University has been re-organized to function through the following Schools of Learning :
Buddha’s Sangha Practiced His Dhamma Free of cost, hence the Free- e-Nālandā Research and Practice University follows suit
As the Original Nālandā University did not offer any Degree, so also the Free e-Nālandā Research and Practice University.
The teachings of Buddha are eternal, but even then Buddha did not proclaim them to be infallible. The religion of Buddha has the capacity to change according to times, a quality which no other religion can claim to have…Now what is the basis of Buddhism? If you study carefully, you will see that Buddhism is based on reason. There is an element of flexibility inherent in it, which is not found in any other religion.
§ Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar , Indian scholar, philosopher and architect of Constitution of India, in his writing and speeches
Level I: Introduction to Buddhism
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Level IV: Once - Returner
Level V: Non-Returner
Level VI: Arhat
Jambudvipa, i.e, PraBuddha Bharath scientific thought in
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Business Management in relation to Public Policy and Development Studies;
Languages and Literature;
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Level I: Introduction to Buddhism
An Introduction to Buddhism
To do no evil;
To cultivate good;
To purify one’s mind:
This is the teaching of the Buddhas.
The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.
Atisha (11th century Tibetan Buddhist master)
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What is Buddhism?
Buddhism is a religion to about 300 million people around the world. The word comes from ‘budhi’, ‘to awaken’. It has its origins about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened (enlightened) at the age of 35.
• Is Buddhism a Religion?
To many, Buddhism goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy or ‘way of life’. It is a philosophy because philosophy ‘means love of wisdom’ and the Buddhist path can be summed up as:
(1) to lead a moral life,
(2) to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and
(3) to develop wisdom and understanding.
• How Can Buddhism Help Me?
Buddhism explains a purpose to life, it explains apparent injustice and inequality around the world, and it provides a code of practice or way of life that leads to true happiness.
• Why is Buddhism Becoming Popular?
Buddhism is becoming popular in western countries for a number of reasons, The first good reason is Buddhism has answers to many of the problems in modern materialistic societies. It also includes (for those who are interested) a deep understanding of the human mind (and natural therapies) which prominent psychologists around the world are now discovering to be both very advanced and effective.
• Who Was the Buddha?
Siddhartha Gotama was born into a royal family in Lumbini, now located in Nepal, in 563 BC. At 29, he realised that wealth and luxury did not guarantee happiness, so he explored the different teachings religions and philosophies of the day, to find the key to human happiness. After six years of study and meditation he finally found ‘the middle path’ and was enlightened. After enlightenment, the Buddha spent the rest of his life teaching the principles of Buddhism — called the Dhamma, or Truth — until his death at the age of 80.
• Was the Buddha a God?
He was not, nor did he claim to be. He was a man who taught a path to enlightenment from his own experience.
• Do Buddhists Worship Idols?
Buddhists sometimes pay respect to images of the Buddha, not in worship, nor to ask for favours. A statue of the Buddha with hands rested gently in its lap and a compassionate smile reminds us to strive to develop peace and love within ourselves. Bowing to the statue is an expression of gratitude for the teaching.
• Why are so Many Buddhist Countries Poor?
One of the Buddhist teachings is that wealth does not guarantee happiness and also wealth is impermanent. The people of every country suffer whether rich or poor, but those who understand Buddhist teachings can find true happiness.
• Are There Different Types of Buddhism?
There are many different types of Buddhism, because the emphasis changes from country to country due to customs and culture. What does not vary is the essence of the teaching — the Dhamma or truth.
• Are Other Religions Wrong?
Buddhism is also a belief system which is tolerant of all other beliefs or religions. Buddhism agrees with the moral teachings of other religions but Buddhism goes further by providing a long term purpose within our existence, through wisdom and true understanding. Real Buddhism is very tolerant and not concerned with labels like ‘Christian’, ‘Moslem’, ‘Hindu’ or ‘Buddhist’; that is why there have never been any wars fought in the name of Buddhism. That is why Buddhists do not preach and try to convert, only explain if an explanation is sought.
• Is Buddhism Scientific?
Science is knowledge which can be made into a system, which depends upon seeing and testing facts and stating general natural laws. The core of Buddhism fit into this definition, because the Four Noble truths (see below) can be tested and proven by anyone in fact the Buddha himself asked his followers to test the teaching rather than accept his word as true. Buddhism depends more on understanding than faith.
• What did the Buddha Teach?
The Buddha taught many things, but the basic concepts in Buddhism can be summed up by the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.
• What is the First Noble Truth?
The first truth is that life is suffering i.e., life includes pain, getting old, disease, and ultimately death. We also endure psychological suffering like loneliness frustration, fear, embarrassment, disappointment and anger. This is an irrefutable fact that cannot be denied. It is realistic rather than pessimistic because pessimism is expecting things to be bad. lnstead, Buddhism explains how suffering can be avoided and how we can be truly happy.
• What is the Second Noble Truth?
The second truth is that suffering is caused by craving and aversion. We will suffer if we expect other people to conform to our expectation, if we want others to like us, if we do not get something we want,etc. In other words, getting what you want does not guarantee happiness. Rather than constantly struggling to get what you want, try to modify your wanting. Wanting deprives us of contentment and happiness. A lifetime of wanting and craving and especially the craving to continue to exist, creates a powerful energy which causes the individual to be born. So craving leads to physical suffering because it causes us to be reborn.
• What is the Third Noble Truth?
The third truth is that suffering can be overcome and happiness can be attained; that true happiness and contentment are possible. lf we give up useless craving and learn to live each day at a time (not dwelling in the past or the imagined future) then we can become happy and free. We then have more time and energy to help others. This is Nirvana.
• What is the Fourth Noble Truth?
The fourth truth is that the Noble 8-fold Path is the path which leads to the end of suffering.
• What is the Noble 8-Fold Path?
In summary, the Noble 8-fold Path is being moral (through what we say, do and our livelihood), focussing the mind on being fully aware of our thoughts and actions, and developing wisdom by understanding the Four Noble Truths and by developing compassion for others.
• What are the 5 Precepts?
The moral code within Buddhism is the precepts, of which the main five are: not to take the life of anything living, not to take anything not freely given, to abstain from sexual misconduct and sensual overindulgence, to refrain from untrue speech, and to avoid intoxication, that is, losing mindfulness.
• What is Karma?
Karma is the law that every cause has an effect, i.e., our actions have results. This simple law explains a number of things: inequality in the world, why some are born handicapped and some gifted, why some live only a short life. Karma underlines the importance of all individuals being responsible for their past and present actions. How can we test the karmic effect of our actions? The answer is summed up by looking at (1) the intention behind the action, (2) effects of the action on oneself, and (3) the effects on others.
• What is Wisdom?
Buddhism teaches that wisdom should be developed with compassion. At one extreme, you could be a goodhearted fool and at the other extreme, you could attain knowledge without any emotion. Buddhism uses the middle path to develop both. The highest wisdom is seeing that in reality, all phenomena are incomplete, impermanent and do no constitute a fixed entity. True wisdom is not simply believing what we are told but instead experiencing and understanding truth and reality. Wisdom requires an open, objective, unbigoted mind. The Buddhist path requires courage, patience, flexibility and intelligence.
• What is Compassion?
Compassion includes qualities of sharing, readiness to give comfort, sympathy, concern, caring. In Buddhism, we can really understand others, when we can really understand ourselves, through wisdom.
• How do I Become a Buddhist?
Buddhist teachings can be understood and tested by anyone. Buddhism teaches that the solutions to our problems are within ourselves not outside. The Buddha asked all his followers not to take his word as true, but rather to test the teachings for themselves. ln this way, each person decides for themselves and takes responsibility for their own actions and understanding. This makes Buddhism less of a fixed package of beliefs which is to be accepted in its entirety, and more of a teaching which each person learns and uses in their own way.
Buddhism began in northeastern India and is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. Buddhism is divided into two major branches: Theravada, the Way of the Elders, andMahayana, the Great Vehicle. Buddhism is now prevalent in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, (where Theravada is popular) and in China, Japan, Taiwan, Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia, Korea, and Vietnam, and India (where Mahayana is more common).. There are about 300 million Buddhists in the world.
The Theravada branch of Buddhism is called the “Doctrine of the Elders”. This branch uses the Tipitaka as its main spiritual guide and abides by the original teachings of Buddha.Theravada is also known as the “Lesser Vehicle” in Buddhism. For centuries, Theravada has been the main religion of Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand. Today, there are over 100 million Theravada Buddhists around the world. This branch teaches its followers to refrain from all kinds of evil, gather together all that is good, and to purify the mind. These goals can be achieved by developing an ethical mindset, meditation, and a deep thirst for knowledge.
Followers of the Theravada branch describe themselves as imperfect beings that have a temporary stay on this earth. When an individual understands this nature of existence, they find nothing valuable in this world. Through this knowledge, there is no sense of greed in their lives. Then with this knowledge, a Theravada Buddhist can reach the state of perfection and enter nibbana.
The Tipitaka, which is divided into three sections, is the fundamental scripture of Buddhism. Theravada Buddhists regard the Tipitaka as the complete teachings Buddha. MahayanaBuddhists also use the Tipitaka, but they regard the Mahayana sutras, or journals of theBuddha, as more important. Buddha’s disciples orally passed down the content of theTipitaka.
The three section of the Tipitaka are the Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka, and the Abhidhamma Pitaka. Rules and regulations for Buddhist monks and nuns are described in the Vinaya Pitaka. The actual experiences of Buddha are documented in the Sutta Pitaka. Along with the documentation of his experiences, there are extensive commentaries on myths and legends about Buddha. The doctrine of the absence of self and suffering is also found in this section of the Tipitaka. The Abhidhamma Pitaka contains works that teaches on theTheravada positions from Buddha’s teaching. These works are now considered to be mainly for advanced students of Buddhism.
According to Buddhist sources, the Tipitaka was written down after 50 BC. The word “tipitaka” means “three baskets”. The Tipitaka spread with the growth of Buddhism.
Buddha was born in Kapilavastu, India, which is present-day Nepal. He was the son of king of the Sakya clan. His name Siddhartha Gautama is a combination of the family name, Gautama, and his given name, Siddhartha. The title of Buddha means “Awakened One.”
Buddha married at an early age and lived the life of self-indulgence. However, he found that this life was dull and left his home in search of awakeness. On his journey, he met an old man, a sick man, and a corpse. From these encounters, he determined that suffering was a shared characteristic of all humankind.
Then he came upon a calm and peaceful monk. From this encounter, he changed his outlook on life. This new life called for him to forsake his family, wealth, and power in order to be free to search for truth. This decision is known as the Great Renunciation.
About 528 BC, while sitting under a tree, he experienced the Great Enlightenment. Through this revelation, he discovered the way to salvation from suffering. From this revelation, Buddha traveled through the valley of the Ganges River, teaching his doctrines, attracting followers, and establishing religious communities.
“We believe that no matter who your are or where you come from. every person can fulfill their god-given potential, just as an Scheduled Caste( Untouchable) like Dr.Ambedkar could lift himself up and pen the words of the Constitution that protect the rights of all Indians.”Obama’s speech text. sent by Gopinath BSP Karnataka
BSP MP Pramod Kureel Gifts Babasaheb Ambedkar’s 9th Vol.”WHAT GANDHI & CONGRESS HAS DONE To The UNTOUCHABLES” to BARRACK OBAMA in Parliament- sent by Dr.Rahul BSP leader