Lecture 19: India: Origins and Development of Buddhism

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(Duiker 49-51, 237-241; Brians 146-152)

* Revised library projects due

Questions about Duiker: Who was Siddhartha Gautama, and why was he famous? What, according to Siddhartha, causes human suffering? *How does Buddhism differ from Hinduism? *What two extremes did Siddhartha Gautama urge his followers to avoid in the sermon at Benares? How did Mahayana Buddhism differ from Theravada Buddhism?

Questions about the Buddha's First Sermon: How does the Buddha think that pain can be avoided? *What is the relation between enlightenment and rebirth? *What are the Four Noble Truths? What is the Eightfold Path?

Question about the inscriptions of Ashoka Maurya: What exception does the king make in resolving to rule in peace? *What was his attitude toward other religions?

Question about the "Pure Land Sutra:" *What are the main distinctive beliefs of Mahayana Buddhism reflected in this sutra?

Lecture topics:
Life of the Buddha
The story of his enlightenment
Teachings of the Buddha
The Four Noble Truths
The Eightfold Path
Nature of monasticism
Buddhism in India
The career of Ashoka
Major developments in Mahayana
Buddhism
Buddhist Art

Chart for today's lecture:

The Eightfold Path

(abbreviated in text, different terminology, order):
1. Proper vision: world filled with suffering caused by desire, greed, self-seeking
2. Proper aims: don't increase wealth and power at others' expense, don't lose self in sensuality, love others fully and increase their happiness
3. Proper speech: avoid lies, slander, chatter, quarrels
4. Proper action: avoid killing, theft, adultery, and other bodily sins
5. Proper livelihood: donīt earn your living in a way that harms society: selling alcohol, butchery, etc.
6. Correct mental exercise: avoid evil thoughts, generate good ones, carry out good thoughts
7. Correct awareness: be aware that the body is made of unclean substances, examine sensations of pleasure and pain, functioning of the mind, meditate on evils that come from attachment to flesh and mind, and on methods to change
8. Proper meditation

Comparison of Buddhism with Hinduism from today's lecture.

Supplementary materials:

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