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Common principles of Buddhism and Hinduism

• The cyclical concept of time
• The cyclical concept of the personality ie. Samsara – the beginning-less cycle of birth and dead
• Karma and rebirth – the idea that positive actions in one life bring about rebirth in good conditions for the next life and harmful actions lead to rebirth under negative conditions


Buddhism does not accept:

• idea of an eternal, unchanging soul to the personality
• There is the idea of birth and continuation of the person, but does not accept any unchanging part of the human personality


Guatama Buddha 480-400 BCE - 5 words

• Guatama – family name
• Siddhartha – boyhood name – he who has accomplished his goal
• Buddha – title meaning ‘awakened one’
• Shakyamuni = safe of the Shaykas
• Tathagata = he who comes and goes in accordance with reality


The Four Sights

1. An old man – representing old age
2. Sick man – representing sickness
3. Corpse – representing death
4. Renunciate (samana) – representing liberation


The Four Noble Truths

1. All beings experience dukkha suffering/distress/dissatisfaction/dis-ease
2. Suffering has a cause
3. Suffering can cease – if the cause is eliminated
4. There is a method, a path by which one can attain the cessation of suffering
a. After this liberation/enlightment/attaining nirvana, he is now called the Buddha


• Nirvana

means ‘blown out’ or extinguished
o Translated as ‘awakening’ or ‘enlightenment’
o Can be attained in life


• Parinirvana

means ‘further’ Nirvana
o Refers to the death of the Awakened One
o When you attain Nirvana, your mind is completely free. All that is left is your body, and suffering based on your body can arise. Upon the body breaking up after death, and the mind being free, one is completely free.


How to treat Buddha’s body after death

• Should be treated like the body of a great being or a great ruler


• Stupa

– Buddhist reliquary and funerary monument for great persons


Buddhism death

• Meditation on death not intended to be morbid or create depression
o Everything is flowing like a river – there are no nouns, only verbs in Buddhism ie. the table is tabling,
o Everything is in process – nothing is fixed or has any fixed nature
• Meditation is to help the meditator let go and what is truly life – that which is impossible to hold on to, changing and fleeting
o We want security, and refuge so this is often hard to process


6 worlds or rebirth

• Worth of the gods – characterized by pride
• World of the anti-gods (titans) – characterized by jealousy and aggression
• World of humans – characterized by desire
• World of animals – characterized by ignorance
• World of angry ghosts – characterized by avarice (excessive greed)
• World of hell-beings – characterized by anger & hatred


The Cycle of Rebirth

• Keeps going based on karma, self-oriented actions driven by greed, hatred and delusion
• Actions driven by positive mind-states like generosity, love, and unselfishness are also karma. They lead to good rebirths, but not necessarily to liberation from samsara


The Three Poisons

• Rooster – greed
• Serpent – hatred
• Pig – delusion


• Mara

mythological representation of Death and Dire
o Victor over Mara = victor over desire and victory over the cycle of death and rebirth


Sharing Merit

• Merit = good karma that leads to good rebirth
• Merit is to be shared or dedicated to the welfare of others (including the living, the sick and dying, and the dead) - merit is not to be hoarded for oneself alone