BUDDHISM Desmond Boyle Jeffrey Chin FOUNDER Siddhartha Gautama (Gautama Buddha) was the founder of Buddhism and was born in present day Nepal. Siddhartha was born in a royal Hindu family and would have had several roles as a Prince in his community. He eventually moved to India to have a more meaningful role in people’s personal lives. HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF FOUNDING After forty-nine days of meditation Gautama Buddha was awakened, otherwise known as reaching enlightenment. After reaching enlightenment, under a Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya India, he promised to spread the knowledge he just learned about how to end suffering. SYMBOLS The eight-spoked wheel symbolizes the Buddha’s turning of the Wheel of Truth or Law. There are eight spokes to reference the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism, which is the path Buddhists believe can end suffering in their lives. This path involves becoming more wise, righteous, and thoughtful in life. SYMBOLS The Bodhi Tree symbolizes the reaching of enlightenment, because under this tree Siddhartha Gautama reached enlightenment for the first time. Reaching enlightenment is one of the greatest single achievements a Buddhist can reach. SYMBOLS The throne refers to Siddhartha Gautama’s royal ancestry. The throne also presents the idea that enlightenment is the pinnacle of the spirtual world. The lion is a symbol for power, integrity, and strength in the Buddhism religion. DEITY'S NAME Buddhists, for the most part, argue strongly against the principle of an all powerful deity. Siddhartha Gautama was the founder of Buddhism and is considered the leader of the Buddhists, but he was never considered to be omnipotent. LOCATION OF ORIGIN Buddhism was founded in the subcontinent of India. The specific region of the first teachings of Buddhism was in a village in Northern India called Sarnath. MAJOR LOCATIONS TODAY Buddhism is popular in several nations all throughout southern Asia. Buddhism is most commonly practiced in India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Cambodia, Thailand,Vietnam, Laos, North and South Korea, China, and Japan. NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS There are around 376,000,000 Buddhist followers world-wide today. This is the most amount of followers Buddhism has ever had. WHY RELIGION SPREAD The religion started in India after Siddhartha Gautama reached enlightenment, but quickly was replaced in India by Hinduism. Gautama never stopped preaching the principles and many helped spread Buddhism. Chinese citizens who had endured a very strict and militant central government identified with the Buddhist message of self reliance and no central power. HOLY BOOK/IMPORTANT TEXTS Buddhists simply did not write down their sacred principles like many other religions. Buddhists were taught the Noble Eightfold Path and the Noble Four Truths which were used to help reach enlightenment and end suffering. PLACE OF WORSHIP Buddhists worship and meditate in a temple known as a Vihara. A Vihara is a huge square temple with roofs that slope down and outward from the building. ROLES OF MEN AND WOMEN Buddhists did not discuss gender equality very much but based off of their other principles women were probably not treated poorly. The only way to reach Nirvana, which was the main goal of all Buddhists, was to be righteous in your actions, so there was no room to abuse women. HOLY SITES Lumbini Where Siddhartha (Gautama Buddha) was born Located in present-day Nepal Bodhgaya Where the Buddha achieved enlightenment Located in present-day Bihar, India Sarnath Where the Buddha met his five disciples and delivered his first sermon Located in present-day Uttar Pradesh, India Kushinagar Where the Buddha died after 45 years of travels and sermons Located in present-day Uttar Pradesh, India HOLY SITES HOLIDAYS The Buddhist New Year The Buddhist New Year Celebrated at different times of year based on country’s calendar or if country is primarily Theravadin or Mahayan Vesak Celebrates the birth, enlightenment , and death of the Buddha Celebrated in May (or in June on leap years) Magha Puja Day Celebrates a day of the Buddha’s teachings when 1,250 of his disciples gathered to pay respect to him Uposatha Celebrated on days with new moons, full moons, and quarter moons Celebrated only by Theravadin Buddhists HOLIDAYS Abhidhamma Day Celebrates the day when the Buddha went to Heaven to teach his mother, Abhidhamma Loy Krathong Celebrated in Thailand when rivers and canals are full of water People place flowers, candles, and incense in the water to expel misfortune The Ploughing Festival Celebrates the Buddha’s first moment of enlightenment Aslha Puja Day Celebrated on the eighth month of the lunar calendar Celebrates the first day of the Buddha’s teaching HOLIDAYS Avalokitesvara The Festival of the Tooth Celebrates the Buddha’s sacred tooth, which is held in a casket in a temple in Sri Lanka Ulambana Celebrates ancestors and the dead Avalokitesvara’s Birthday Celebrates Avalokitesvara’s birth, who was a symbol of compassion Bodhi Day Celebrates the enlightenment of Siddhartha Gautama MAJOR BELIEFS: CREATION STORY Major beliefs are influenced by Hinduism Eternal life cycle of reincarnation However, beginning of life does not concern the Buddha The Buddha says that the matter does not affect the “fundamentals of religion” “There still remains birth, old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, misery, grief, and despair.” Malunkyaputta The Buddha MAJOR BELIEFS: END TIMES STORY Death leads to rebirth into a new life All events in life is a consequence of actions done in the past life (Karma) Cycle of Rebirth is escaped only by achieving Nirvana Nirvana: unborn, unoriginated, uncreated, unformed – achieved by ultimate purity of life Siddha-Shila – where liberated souls reside (Hinduism, representative of Buddhist Nirvana) MAJOR BELIEFS: COMMANDS & LAWS The Four Noble Truths All life is marked by suffering Suffering is caused by desire and attachment Suffering can be stopped The way to end suffering is to follow the Noble Eightfold Path MAJOR BELIEFS: COMMANDS & LAWS The Noble Eightfold Path Right knowledge Right intention Right speech Right action Right livelihood Right effort Right mindfulness Right concentration MAJOR BELIEFS: PURPOSE OF LIFE To End Suffering Follow the Noble Eightfold Path This Path leads to better Karma and a life purity A pure and enlightened soul can ultimately achieve Nirvana INFLUENCE ON ART AND ARCHITECTURE Buddhists had many symbols to represent their different beliefs. These symbols inspired a great deal of religious art that is still cherished to this day. The slanted roofs of the Viharas would become a common fixture in Asian building design.