II. Basic Beliefs
A. Buddhism has several key texts that they follow, including the Tripitaka, the Mahayana Sutras, and the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
1. The Tripitaka is the book that is based on the original teachings of the Buddha.
a. Means “the baskets”
b. Text written on long narrow leaves, sewn at edges then grouped into baskets
c. Earliest collection of Buddhist teachings
d. Followed closely by Theravada sect.
2. Mahayana Sutras
a. Adds interpretations to Tripitaka
b. Followed by Mahayana sect
c. Written between 200 BCE and 200 CE, when Mahayan Buddhism developed.
3. Tibetan Book of the Dead
a. Written by Tibetan monk
b. Describes in detail stages of death from Tibetan view
i. While dying
ii. Moment of death
iii. 49 day interval between death and rebirth
B. Buddhism does not emphasize a concept of God, but instead focuses on our purpose of life here on Earth.
1. The purpose of life on earth is to overcome suffering and follow the eightfold path
a. Four Noble Truths
i. Life is suffering
ii. Suffering is caused by craving
iii. Theres a way to overcome craving
iv. Follow eightfold path
i. Right Vision
ii. Right Attitude
iii. Right Speech
iv. Right Action
v. Right Work
vi. Right Effort
vii. Right Mindfulness
viii. Right Meditation
c. Right speech, action, work
i. Do nothing to harm person or animal
ii. Act honorably
d. Right effort, meditation
i. Think before you act
ii. Meditation- focusing on one thought at a time
C. Buddhists believe in reincarnation, and that one can achieve Nirvana in a single lifetime.
1. After death, you will reincarnated and come back in the next life as what you deserve to be, known as karma.
i. Everything we do generates karma
ii.What goes around, comes back around
i.Final state of liberation
ii. Release from cycle of death and rebirth
iii. End of suffering
D. Not unlike Buddhism, Taoism has several key texts they follow, including the Tao-te ching, Chuang-tzu, and others. 1. The Tao-te ching is the central text for Taoism.
a. Translated to “Classic of the Way of Power
b. Believed to be written by Lao Tzu
c. Cannot be dated, but believed written 8th century and 3rd BCE
d. Intended as handbook for ideal sage ruler.
i. Written mystically, stresses importance of going with nature
2. Another important text of Taoism is the Chuang-Tzu.
a. Named for author, Chuang-Tzu (Master Chuang)
b. Work is addressed to private individual, not ruler.
c. Discusses the Tao, Nature of reality.
d. Second in importance to Tao-te ching.
E. Taoists are polytheistic, and believe in an array of gods that control everything in the universe.
1. Everything in the universe has a god.
a. Seen and unseen, all have a god.
b. Gods of heaven and earth
c. Gods of mercy and conflict, etc. (feelings)
d. Gods of cities and nature.
e. A god for every flower and one for all flowers.
2. The Three Pure Ones
a. The highest gods
b. God of heaven, earth, and human beings.
3. Personal gods
a. People who do great things in life, and continue to exist.
b. Over time, elevated to status of a god....
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