Flashcards in Buddhism Deck (64)
What is an ascetic?
someone who practices severe self-discipline or abstains from physical pleasures for religious purposes
Who is the Buddha?
The founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama; teachers who fully understand the nature of mind and reality are also called Buddhas
What is enlightenment?
A state of perfect happiness and understanding; unconditional compassion for all beings
What is karma?
The law of cause and effect, of one's actions having an impact on one's future life
What is a mandala?
A visual object, usually in the form of a circle, that can be used as an aid for focusing in meditation
What is a mantra?
A word or phrase that is chanted as an aid to meditation
What is merit?
The idea in Buddhism that a person can be reborn in a form closer to enlightenment if he or she accumulates merit; wholesome deeds and intentions can add to a person's merit
What is Nirvana?
The end of a personal suffering and the experiences of unchanging peace
What is samsara?
The law of birth, death, and rebirth. The process of reincarnation
What is Dharma?
What are the statistics on Buddhism in Canada?
~twelfth largest religion in Canada
~Four-largest religion in the world
~between 1991 and 2001 Canadian Buddhists increased by 84% to 300 000 followers
~most Buddhists in Canada live in Ontario (43%) and British Columbia (29%)
~since the 1980s Buddhism's been increasing in Halifax, Nova Scotia
~About 1% of Canada's population
What was the significance of the four passing sights?
~even though life was comfortable, Siddhartha craved spiritual satisfaction
~ his father feared that his son would leave for a religious life, so he had the streets filled with happy and healthy people so that his son would not see unpleasantness
~within the walls of the palace, he kept only young healthy people working for his son
~When he saw the four passing sights on his trip to the village it changed his life (and the course of his life: from the life of a great political leader to a religious leader)
What were the four passing sights?
First he saw an old man--he did not realize people got old
Next he saw a sick man--he didn't know people got sick
Next he saw a corpse being carried and he did not realize people died.
He could not understand how people could live life and be happy knowing these things could happen to them.
Lastly he saw an ascetic and it inspired him to live that kind of life to find the answers to all of life's problems
What was the result of the four passing sights?
~When he went home that night he said goodbye to his son and wife and then left in the middle of the night.
~he lived like this for 6 years
~He was said to live on one grain of rice a day but still did not find the answers he was looking for
~He chose the Middle Way-path between both extremes-a life of moderation
~He decided to sit under a tree and meditate for 49 days
~He eventually reached Nirvana and then began to tell people about his realization of the Middle Way
What did Buddha do after reaching enlightenment?
After his enlightenment under the bodhi tree at Bodh-gaya Buddha began teaching others. Once he understood the cause of sorrow, he could begin freeing people. He delivered his first sermon in a deer park in the city of Sarnath. He taught that all humans are caught in the Wheel of Dharma. Buddha believed the only way to free yourself was to be free of desire. Thus desire is the root of suffering. He taught his first disciples The Four Noble Truths (these form the bedrock of Buddhist belief)
What are the Four Noble Truths?
1. Dukkha: The Noble Truth of Suffering
~Life is Full of suffering, full of sickness and unhappiness. Although there are passing pleasures, they vanish in time
2. Samudaya: The Noble Truth of the Cause of Suffering
~People suffer for one simple reason: they desire things. It is freed and self-centeredness which bring about suffering. Desire is never satisfied.
3. Nirodha: The Noble Truth of the End of Suffering
~It is possible to end suffering if one is aware of his or her own desires and puts an end to them. This awareness will open the door to lasting peace
4. Magga: The Noble truth of the Path
~By changing one's thinking and behaviour, a new awakening can be reached. this is called the Middle Way and can be followed in the Eight-fold Path
Explain the Eightfold Path.
~also called the wheel of life. It contains 8 steps for eliminating dukkha (suffering)
~By following this path, one can bring an end to his or her own karma and be released from samsara.
~Buddha introduced these ideas in his first sermon
~his teaching is often symbolized by a wheel with 8 spokes
What is the Eightfold Path?
1. Right Understanding: Strive to clearly understand the 4 Noble Truths. Strive to understand the workings of your own mind
2. Right Thought: Think kindly of others and avoid dwelling on the past or future
3. Right Speech: Speak kindly and truthfully
4. Right Action: Act kindly toward all living things. Do not be attached to the results of actions
5. Right Work: Have a vocation that does not harm others (i.e. not a butcher, soldier)
6. Right Effort: Be determined to cleanse the mind
7. Right Mindfulness: Be fully aware of what you are doing, always with concern for others
8. Right Concentration: Intensely concentrate during meditation to focus on being one with and situation
What are the five precepts?
The rules followed by Buddist lay people to control improper, or non-beneficial, physical and verbal behavior that might cause suffering
Explain the five precepts
1. Abstain from killing or harming living beings. The first precept, referred to as ahimsa, is of utmost importance in understanding the Buddhist's non-violent behaviour
2. Abstain from stealing
3. Abstain from improper sexual conduct
4. Abstain from false speech. i.e. telling lies, setting people against each other, gossiping
5. Abstain from taking alcohol and harmful drugs
(Number 5 is important because if it isn't followed, a person could lose control and break the other 4 rules)
What are the additional 5 precepts that ordained monks and nuns, who have taken vows of poverty and chastity, observe?
6. Abstain from eating after noon
7. Abstain from looking at dancing, singing, or drama
8. Abstain from the use of perfumes and things that tend to beautify and adorn a person
9. Abstain from using comfortable beds
10. Abstain from accepting gold or silver
(there may be up to 200 precepts to follow in some sanghas)
What are two festivals followed by Buddhists?
1. Visakha Puja Day (Buddha Day):
~AKA Vesak Day
2. Asalha Puja Day (Dhamma Day)
What is Vesak day?
~on the full-moon day of May, Buddhists celebrate Vesak day
~They believe that the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha all took place on that day of the year
~People assemble on the grounds of the monastery, bringing flowers, lit candles, and incense sticks. They walk around the main hall three times while reciting the Three Refugees (or the Three Jewels)
What is Asalha Puja Day?
~On the full-moon day of July, people commemorate the First Sermon in Deer Park by celebrating Asalha Puja Day
~Food is offered to monks, nun and novices. In the evening, people give food to the poor, observe the Five Precepts, and practice meditation
~The full moon figures prominently in Buddhist Festivals. While there is no single explanation for this, the full moon is associated with important events in the Buddha's life, which were said to have occurred during full moons
What are the Three Jewels?
They are also known as the Three Refugees.
It is the Buddhists Creed.
"I take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha."
What is a Mudra?
~The hand gestures that appear in the images of Hindu deities are important Buddhist icons
~They are often used in meditation or seen in Buddha images
~There are many Mudras and they symbolize many different states of mind. The basis of this idea is that we can often tell by looking at someone's stance or gestures what that person's state of mind is. So, by making a certain gesture we can create a state of mind
What is a stupa?
~They are dome-shaped mounds that were built to house the relics of the Buddha or other holy figures
~Typically found in almost every Buddhist temple
~Monks and lay people walk around them three times while making their devotions
~The inside of one can be decorated with paintings or carvings representing the life of the Buddha. Some can be surrounded by beautifully carved fences that depict the life the life of the Buddha
~Some temples have smaller stupas. These are memorial crypts or prominent Buddhists who belonged to that particular temple
~A pilgrimage to a stupa and the construction of small stupas (permanent or temporary) are considered merit gaining activities by some Buddhists
What is a Lotus Flower?
~Shortly after the enlightenment of Buddha, he had a vision of the human race as a bed of lotus flowers
~Some were bogged in the mud, some coming from it, and some about to bloom. This is considered a metaphor for the fact that people have the ability to develop their potential and rise from an undesirable life
What is a Buddhapada?
~these are representations of Buddha's footprints and they are revered in all Buddhist countries
~they are usually carved in stone and feature signs of the Buddha. For example: Buddha figures and sacred wheels, on the soles
~All the toes are the same length
~These footprints may include 32, 108, or 132 signs of Buddha