Exploring the Religions
of Our World
Chapter 6 Buddhism
Chapter 6 Buddhism
The Basics
• A purpose of Buddhism is to be enlightened
about that which is real
• Founder: Siddhartha Gautama
• The goal of Buddhism is attaining Nirvana
(the extinction of suffering, impermanence,
delusion, and all that keeps the life cycle
going)
• Two main branches: Theravada Buddhism
and Mahayana Buddhism
Chapter 6 Buddhism
Periods of Hindu History
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Chapter 6 Buddhism
History
Facts about Siddhartha Gautama:
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born about 560 BCE and died about 483
born into a Hindu warrior caste
was married at 16 years old and fathered one son
at 19 he encountered four things his father had
tried to shield from him
reached enlightenment by taking up meditation
on suffering and the cycle of rebirth
converted many countrymen by preaching that
moksha could be attained by the Middle Way
Chapter 6 Buddhism
History (continued)
The Four Sights (what Gautama’s father tried to shield
from him):
• old age
• illness
• death
• asceticism (renouncing material comforts to live a
self-disciplined life)
Chapter 6 Buddhism
History (continued)
Who is the Dalai Lama?
• A bodhisattva (someone who compassionately
refrains from entering nirvana in order to save
others and is worshiped as a deity in Mahayana
Buddhism)
• The head Tibetan Buddhist monastic leader
• The political leader of Tibet until the Chinese
communist government forced them out of
Tibet in 1959
Chapter 6 Buddhism
Sacred Stories and Sacred Scriptures
Scriptures of Theravada Buddhism:
Tripitaka
“the three baskets”
(contains the words
of the Buddha)
Vinaya Pitaka – the code of
monastic discipline for
monks and nuns
Sutra Pitaka – discourses
attributed to Gautama
Abidharma Pitaka – examines
the Buddha’s psychological
and Buddhist doctrine
Chapter 6 Buddhism
Sacred Stories and Sacred Scriptures (continued)
Scriptures of Mahayana Buddhism:
Lotus Sutra
the final teachings of the Buddha
which makes Enlightenment
available to everyone
Perfection of Wisdom
a treatise on how to achieve
the perfection of
wisdom of a bodhisattva
Tripitaka
(Mahayana
version)
Chapter 6 Buddhism
Beliefs and Practices
The Four Noble Truths
The path to the end
of suffering is the
Noble Eightfold Path
To cease suffering one
must cease desiring
Life is filled with
suffering: both physical
and mental
The cause of
suffering is desire
Chapter 6 Buddhism
Right
Concentration
Beliefs and Practices (continued)
The Noble Eightfold Path
Right
Mindfulness
Right
Thought
Right
Understanding
Right
Conduct
Right
Speech
Right
Effort
Right
Livelihood
Chapter 6 Buddhism
Sacred Time
Meditation
Offerings to
Buddha
Visakha
“Buddha Day”
Celebrating
the Buddhist
lifecycle
Puja
Celebrating
sangha
Chapter 6 Buddhism
Sacred Places and Sacred Spaces
Stupas
hold important relics of the Buddha
or other important figures
Temples
used for religious
devotions and to enshrine
images of buddhas
Pagodas
large stupas
Chapter 6 Buddhism
Sacred Places and Sacred Spaces (continued)
Places of Pilgrimage:
• Lumbini Gardens – traditional site of the
birth of Siddhartha Gautama near Nepal
• Bodh Gaya – the place Gautama became
enlightened
• Sarnath – where Gautama preached his first
sermon about the Four Noble Truths
• Kushinara – traditional place of the death of
Gautama
Chapter 6 Buddhism
Buddhism through a Catholic Lens
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Similarities
Emphasis on peace and compassion
Long monastic tradition
The practice of meditation
Some parallels between the life of Jesus and
Buddha
Chapter 6 Buddhism
Buddhism through a Catholic Lens
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Differences
Jesus claimed to be divine, Buddha did not
Jesus’ message was about the Kingdom of
God, Siddhartha’s was about the cessation of
suffering
The understanding of the meaning and
purpose of suffering
Chapter 6 Buddhism
Vocabulary
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Nirvana
ascetic
Middle Way
sangha
relics
Dharma
bodhisattva
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lamas
Tripitaka
The Lotus of the
True Law
Perfection of
Wisdom
tantric
mandala
mantra
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anatma
samsara
arhat
puja
stupa
pagodas