Buddhist Wisdom

563 BCE  The Birth of Siddhartha Gautama
531-486 BCE  Teaching Period of the Buddha
200 BCE Beginnings of Mahayana Buddhism
100-538 CE Spread of Buddhism to other countries
750 CE Buddhism spreads to Tibet
1959 CEChinese takeover of Tibet: Dalai Lama flees
1989 CEDalai Lama wins Nobel Peace Prize
1990s CE International interest in Buddhism increases
1992 CE  The Falun Gong movement first made public
Read the biography of Gautama
provided in class and answer the
questions attached.
Be prepared to discuss these questions
as a class.
The Life of Buddha…
Legendary Birth
-Aprox. 563 BCE
-later versions include a
miraculous birth story
Was born about 2500 years ago
Was son of the king in northern India
Had a wonderful and luxurious childhood
His father tried to shelter him from suffering.
 Went to a nearby village and saw the elderly,
sick, dead, poor
 He was horrified, could not enjoy castle life
any longer
Discovery of
-Old age
In search of the meaning of life,
Gautama left home and spent 6 years in
the forest
› Phase one: learning from monks
› Phase two: discovers The Middle Way
› Phase three: Raja Yoga and enlightenment*
Instead of looking
outside he looked
inside himself.
His own past lives
Other’s past lives
 Achieves Nirvana (a state of
supreme realization.)
 Attains knowledge of:
 -omniscience
Becomes the Buddha
Begins spreading his
*Buddha means the
awakened one”
In this third phase, he
becomes aware of
the Four Noble Truths
and the Eightfold Path
The Buddha was not a god or a legend.
He was a person that went out to
seek the truth.
He traveled all over finding
help from others like him, almost starved
to death and slept on beds of thorns. But
all he had to do was close his eyes, and look
within himself. After achieving Nirvana, he spends
the rest of his life travelling and teaching
people how to achieve peace and end suffering.
India Prior To Buddhism…
•Buddhism has its roots
in northern India and
•It began as a reform
•Siddhartha Gautama,
the founder of Buddhism,
sought a new way of
practising religion.
India Prior To Buddhism…
-Established in
1500 BCE
 Vedas
 -Caste system
Some Teachings of the Upanishads:
In addition to the Caste system, what
other aspects of Hindu practice and
belief does Buddha reject?
(refer to your reading)
After reading the brief biography of
Siddharta Gautama, what connections
can be made between him and Jesus in
terms of spiritual teachings and actions?
Spreading of Buddhism
- spread by ascetics
-disappears 12th century
-spread through trade
-enters 19th century
Buddhism becomes
popular in the west
Many movies are
made depicting
Buddhism began in India
 Siddhartha was of the Kshatryria caste
and was raised with Hindu beliefs
practices. He was in line to become a
Mediation to bring about clarity.
So what new ideas are distinctly
After achieving
Nirvana, he spends the
rest of his life travelling
and teaching people
how to achieve
peace and end
He decides to teach
everyone the nature
of reality—the dharma
for the world.
Nirvana is a state of supreme
realization and
Buddha wanted to spread this
knowledge of dharma so
others too could achieve
› Refers primarily to
behaviours that are
in accord with the
right order of things
› i.e., caste system
› Refers to the reality
or truth of the world
› Buddha’s teachings
are dharma
Called the
Dharmachakra, or
Wheel of Dharma
 about the nature
of human
existence and
what people must
do to release
themselves from
All things outside of Nirvana have…
1) Annica (impermanence)
-Nothing stays the same; everything changes
2) Dukkha (dissatisfaction)
-all living beings experience suffering; feelings of
happiness do not last forever; dukkha touches all of
3) Anatta (no-self)
-no one thing within us can be called the self
-no permanent self (no underlying soul)
Rules to control improper behaviour that
can lead to suffering.
› Ahimsa (non-violence)
› No stealing
› Abstain from improper sexual conduct
› Abstain from false speech
› Abstain from taking alcohol and harmful
*There are assitional precepts. The ones above are the most
Suffering (dukkha) and unhappiness are a part of human
life. No one can escape sorrow.
Suffering comes from our desires for pleasure and material
goods (greed and selfishness)
People can overcome desire and ignorance and reach
nirvana, a state of perfect peace.
People can overcome ignorance and desire by following an
4. eightfold path that leads to wisdom, enlightenment, and
Read pages 172173 of the
textbook and
describe each of
part of the
Eightfold path
Ask yourself?
Which parts are
you great in and
practicing daily?
Which parts are
you lacking in?
•He concluded that
The Noble
Eightfold Path
becomes the
Middle Way
neither his old life of
luxury nor the life of a
religious ascetic was
the right way to live.
•He began to develop
a middle way
between luxury and
asceticism, giving up
greed and selfishness
as well as harsh denial
of pleasure.
 8 spokes –8 steps for
 Use all together
(Middle Way—
( noble truths)
 Thought
(good and pure)
 Speech
(kind and trurthful)
 Conduct/Action
(5 precepts)
(helpful not harming)
 Effort
 Mindfulness
(wholesome attention)
 Concentration
(single focus)
•It is seen as non-theistic
•They believe that by following the
teachings of the Buddha they will find
•The Buddha found ways to overcome the
•They meditate
•They believe that the Buddha was human
Buddhist Theism
• Buddha is often
called “devatideva”
• This is because he
fully understands the
• He is often prayed to,
but not as a god
His first five ascetic
companions (at the
first sermon)
became the first
monks—known as
2) He continued to
teach for 45 years.
During this time he
had many disciples
learning from him.
3) Within five years
an order of monks is
the sangha
4) Later nuns also
bhikkhuni sangha
Buddha dies at age
80 in the year 486
This is where he is
believed to reach
complete nirvana
This “nirvana-afterdeath” occurs on a
dead body who
achieved nirvana in
their lifetime
The Buddha
 The darma
 Sangha
(community of
2) Morality
3) Vigour
4) Meditation
5) Patience
6) wisdom
Practised by a
His teachings were
not written down
during his lifetime;
they were written
down by his followers
400 years later.
Why were the
teachings so easily
spread for 400 years?
What made the
teachings of the
Buddha easy to
follow and practice?
› Caste system
› Rejects caste system
› Dharma (relates to
› Dharma is the reality of
› Belief in god
› Belief in an eternal
the world
› No theism
› Anatta (no self/no soul)
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