Chapter 3 - Buddhism Beliefs And Teachings Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 3 - Buddhism Beliefs And Teachings Deck (142):

Where was the Buddha born

Near the border of India and Nepal some 2500 years ago

Born around 500 BCE in southern Nepal


Buddhism is a religion founded around _______ years ago by _________

Siddhartha Gautama


Who’s buddhas parents

Kind suddhodana
Queen maya


After siddhartha was enlightened he became known as the



What’s does ‘buddha’ mean

Awakened one
Enlightened one


Story of siddarthas birth

Queen maya dreamed a white elephant cane down from heaven and told her she would give birth to a holy child

She gave birth to siddhartha in the lumbini gardens where she had stopped to rest on the way to her parents house

According to legend, siddhartha:
Could immediately walk and talk
Walked seven steps and lotus flowers appeared under his feet
Declared that he would not be reborn

Shortly after his birth a prophecy was made that siddhartha would become a great king or a holy man


Siddhartha life is luxury

Queen maya died seven days after birth
King suddhodana wanted to protect siddhartha from hardship so he grew up in a palace surrounded by luxury, and his father prepared him to become a king

The anguttara nikaya describes how he was delicately nurtured he was entertained by female dancers there was lotus ponds of many colours, he was always protected by a sunshade and he had three mansions one each for the winter summer and rainy seasons


What can the four sights be seen as

Spiritual insights into the nature of suffering and the spiritual path


The four sights can be divided into two sections - the first three show a deepening awareness of the problem of suffering while the fourth shows

The solution


As siddhartha grew older he grew more curious about life outside the palace walls
One day he decided to leave the palace grounds and travel with



Who is channa

Siddhartha attendant and chariot driver took him to the nearby city


What are Jakarta tales

Popular stories about the lives of the Buddha


What are the four sights

Old age
A holy man


Where is the story of the four sights found

In jataka 75


Leaving the palace

Siddhartha realises he wouldn’t find answers to the problem of suffering by living his life of luxury
Leaving the palace he abandoned his horse cut off his hair and gave back his jewellery and comfortable clothes
Siddhartha left behind his new born son and wife to pursue spiritual enlightenment
The four sights resulted in siddhartha renunciation


What does renunciation mean

Letting go and is and important aspect of the Buddhist life


How long did siddhartha live an ascetic life

Six years


Why did siddhartha live an ascetic life

To seek the solution to the problem of suffering


What did siddhartha conclude after his ascetic life

That asceticism by itself was not the path to spiritual wisdom and so stopped following ascetic practices


Ascetics live a ...

What do they believe

Simple and strict lifestyle with few pleasures or possessions

Believe extreme self discipline and self denial can lead to spiritual wisdom


Siddhartha was impressed by the Sense of peace he felt coming from the holy man (who was an ascetic) before he left the palace

This inspired him to follow ascetic practices for six years to try to overcome the problem of suffering he practised:

Living in dangerous and hostile forests which were too hot in the day and freezing at night

Sleeping on a bed of thorns

Eating so little he looked like a skeleton


What’s meditation

The practise of calming and focusing the mind and reflecting deeply on specific teachings to penetrate their true meaning


Turning away from ascetism

As a result of his ascetic practices, siddhartha became very thin and weak and could not meditate effectively

He learnt discipline and willpower but did not find the answer to the problem of suffering

He finally decided to reject as asceticism as ineffective

He accepted rice and milk from a cowgirl and restored his health and strength

The jataka described how he then returned to life of collecting alms from villages


After rejecting asceticism, siddhartha thought meditation might help him to

Gain enlightenment (spiritual wisdom that arises from understanding the true nature of reality)


Siddhartha meditated under a peepul tree (kind of dig tree) where he was tempted by

Mara (a demon that represents spiritual obstacles, particularly temptation) who tried to prevent him from reaching enlightenment


When did siddarthas enlightenment take place

During the three watches of the night which refer to the three realisations that Siddhartha made in order to achieve enlightenment


Traditional stories tell how siddhartha was determined to meditate until he found enlightenment. The demon mara used various tactics to try distract siddhartha from his meditation including

Sending his beautiful daughters to seduce siddhartha

Sending his armies to throw arrows and other weapons at siddhartha

Offering siddhartha control of his kingdom

Questioning siddarthas right to sit at the seat of enlightenment


What was siddarthas response to the demon Mara during his meditation

He focused on his meditation
He was not swayed by the charms of maras daughters but continued meditation

The arrows and other weapons turned to lotus flowers before reaching him

He touched and called in the earth to witness his right to sit at the seat of enlightenment. The earth shook to acknowledge his right


First watch of siddarthas enlightenment

Siddhartha gained knowledge of all his previous lives


Second watch of Siddhartha enlightenment

He understood the repetitive cycle of birth, death and rebirth

He understood how beings are reborn according to their kamma or actions

He understood that nothing has an unchanging essence


Third watch of Siddhartha enlightenment

He understood that beings suffer because of desire and attachment he understood that suffering can be overcome through the path to enlightenment


After siddhartha became enlightened -

Became known as the Buddha
Taught his spiritual wisdom to the five ascetics who became his first disciples
Asked his followers to choose a middle way between the two extremes of luxury and asceticism


What does Dhamma refer to?

The truth the Buddha realised when he became enlightened and to the path of training he recommended


The dhamma is one of the three

Refugees which are the central values in a Buddhists life


The dhamma is important to Buddhists as they believe

By following it they will reduce their own suffering and the suffering of others


What does dhamma generally refer too?

The buddhas teachings


What other meanings does dhamma have

The ‘truth’ about nature of existence as understood by the Buddha when he became enlightened

The path of training the Buddha recommended for anyone who wants to g t closer to enlightenment

A universal ‘law’ that governs how reality works I.e. the way things are


The importance of the dhamma

There are three refuges (or jewels) in Buddhism


What are the three jewels

The Buddha
The dhamma
The sangha


For a Buddhist what are the three jewels

The central values in their life


What could a Buddhist be defined as

Someone who goes for refuge to the three jewels

Trusting the three jewels as sources of relief from suffering


Three refugees aka

Three jewels


The importance of the dhamma

One of the three refugees

Reduced suffering

Gives meaning to life

Created satisfaction and happiness

Improved a Buddhists relationships with others and the world

Leads Buddhists to become more aware wiser and more compassionate


What’s dependant arising

The idea that everything arises in dependence upon conditions


Dependant arising is illustrated in the

Tibetan wheel of life and other Buddhist teachings


Define dependant arising

The idea that everything. Depends on supporting conditions : nothing is independent

Also means that everything is in a constant process of change because everything is dependant on conditions which are themselves continually changing


3 examples of dependant arising

Tree - depends on soil, rain and sunshine to survive

Wave depends on how strong wind is



What’s the Tibetan wheel of life

Is an image that illustrated dependant arising as applied to the birth death and rebirth of beings (samsara)

The outer wheel shows 12 links or stages (Nidanas) these illustrate how human beings are subject to birth death and rebirth

This process of birth death and rebirth continues for many lifetimes until the cycle is broken by following the Buddhist path

When the cycle is broken this allows the possibility of nibbana (liberation and a state of complete enlightenment happiness and peace)


Buddhism draws attention to three aspects of experience : suffering (dukkah) impermanence (anicca) and having no permanent fixed self or soul (anatta) what are these?

Three marks of existence


What are the three marks of existence



Define dukkha

Means suffering, dissatisfaction or unsatisfactoriness


Seven states of suffering?


Old age


Separation from someone or something you love
Contact with something or someone you dislike
Not being able to achieve your desires


Three types of suffering

Suffering because of change
Because of attachment


Meaning of ordinary suffering


Physical and mental pain

Eg breaking a leg, missing someone, failing an exam


Meaning of suffering because of change


Caused by losing something good

Eg getting old moving to a new city weather turning bad


Meaning of suffering because of attachment


Dissatisfaction with life as a result of craving and attatchment

Eg trying to hold on to things a person is attached to, always present as a dissatisfaction with life, feeling unhappy for no reason


Define anicca

Everything constantly changes


Buddhism teaches that suffering arises when people resist

Change because they are too attached to things


Awareness of anicca leads to the letting go of

Attatchment and so lessens suffering


What is affected by anicca?

Living things
Eg tree sprouts from a seed, grows and eventually died

Non living things
Eg an iron nail will rust if left out in the rain

Peoples minds
Eg a persons thoughts and feelings change throughout their lives


Story of kisa gotami

Kisa gotamis child died at a young age and she went out of her mind with sorrow

The Buddha told her she should visit all the houses in the village and ask for a mustard seed from any house in which no one had died

She could not find a house where no one had died

Eventually she realised that death is inescapable and buried her child


What is anatta

The idea that people do not have a fixed self or should

This means there is no unchanging essence to the human being that is permanent or eternal


Buddha taught that a person is made up of five aspects called

The five aggregates


What story is anatta illustrated in?

Story of nagasena and the chariot


What’s the story of nagasena and the chariot

One day a monk called nagasena arrived at the court of king milinga
King asked nagasena what his name was
He answered but said there was no person behind the name
The king was confused and asked who was standing before him
He answered using the analogy of the chariot:
- chariot is made up of a number of different parts
- term ‘chariot’ is name used to refer to all of these parts
- there is no chariot independent of its parts
- likewise a person existed but only because of the parts they are made up from
- there is no separate ‘self’ that is independent to these parts


Buddhists divides the ‘self’ into five parts aka

Five aggregates or skandhas


What are the five aggregates




Mental formations



Meaning of form

Our bodies


Meaning of sensation

Our feelings


Meaning of perception

Our ways of interpreting and understanding things


Meaning of mental formations

Our thoughts


Meaning of consciousness

Our general awareness of things


Example of form

My knee


Example of sensation

My knee hurts


Example of perception

Me knee hurts because I bashed it agains the door


Example of mental formations

I want my knee to stop hurting I don’t like it


Example of conciousness

Awareness of my knee


What are the four noble truths part of

The Dhamma, buddhas first teaching after his enlightenment


Full understanding of the four noble truth leads to

Enlightenment for therevada Buddhists


What are the four noble truths

There is suffering (dukkha)

Suffering has a cause (samudaya)

Suffering can come to an end (nirodha)

There is a means to bring suffering to en end (magga)


The four noble truths is sometimes explained using the idea of illness where Buddha is compared to a doctor

Doctor establishes an illness

Finds the cause

Gives cure

Undergo treatment


In Mahayana Buddhism other teachings such as ______ are also very important in addition to understanding the four noble truths

The development of compassion


What does Buddhism teach the first step to overcoming suffering is?

Is accepting it


Buddhism teaches the following about suffering and how to respond to it:

Suffering is universal-affects everyone at some point in their lives. So suffering is a problem that everyone needs to overcome

There are also many different types of happiness and pleasures that everyone can experience

But even though these are real they are also impermanent

Eg Megan feels sad because she was made fun of at school
She goes to the cinema to cheer Herself up
Happiness is only temporary and afterwards she remembers what happened and feels sad again

Because happiness and pleasures are only temporary distractions they cannot ultimately solve the problem of suffering

Part of dealing effectively with suffering is recognising that it is a part of life instead of trying to run away from it
First noble truth

It is easier to except suffering is a part of life by trying not to personalise it
Instead of thinking ‘why must I suffer?’ A person should just recognise that there is suffering


Some people think that to focus on suffering is



Buddhists would say the buddhas teaching are not pessimistic but realistic as

Suffering affects everyone at some point in their lives


Buddhism also teaches that suffering does have an end which can be reached by following

The buddhas path


The second noble truth explains

Why people suffer


Second noble truth teaches that one of the main cause of suffering is

Tanha (craving)


What are the three poisons



What do the three poisons do

Keep people trapped in the cycle of samsara and prevent them from overcoming suffering


Tanha means



Three main types of craving.

Craving things that please the senses
Eg craving pleasant smells or tasty foods

Craving for being
Wanting to become something you are not
Eg craving to become smart attractive or successful

Craving for non being
Wanting to stop experiencing something
Eg not wanting to feel pain or embarrassment


Buddhist teaches that people suffer because they

Get attached to something they like

But things they like are impermenant


What are the three poisons represented by

Greed or desire (cockerel)

Hatred or anger (snake)

Ignorance (pig)


The three poisons trap people in the cycle of

Samsara and prevent them from achieving enlightenment
They sit in the centre of the Tibetan wheel of life and keep it turning


What’s the third noble truth

There is an end to suffering which anyone is capable to achieving


Third noble truth teaches can be ended by overcoming

Craving and ignorance


When a person overcomes suffering they become enlightened and reach



What’s Nibanna

A state of complete freedom, happiness and peace


What does nibanna literally mean


Refers to extinction of the three poisons


What’s another word for enlightenment


Which means awakening


What is a Buddha

Someone who has woken up to the truth of existence through becoming enlightened


What characteristics does a Buddha have

Completely free of the three poisons

Knows the truth about the nature of existence

Knows exactly what causes suffering

Naturally behaves according to the five moral precepts

Understand and lives in harmony with the four noble truths


The eightfold path

Right concentration
Right understanding
Right intention
Right speech
Right action
Right livelihood
Right effort
Right mindfulness


Threefold way



A section of the eightfold path is ethics (sila) what aspects of the eightfold path are involved?

Right speech - speaking truthfully helpfully and kindly. Avoiding lying and gossiping about others

Right action- practising the five moral precepts (especially not causing harm to others)

Right livelihood - earning a living in a way that does not harm others (eg not doing work that exploits people or games animals)


What section of the eightfold path is meditation? (Samadhi)

Right effort - putting effort into developing and sustaining skilful mental states

Right mindfulness- developing awareness of yourself and the world around you

Right concentration - developing the concentration and focus that is required to mediate effectively


A s section of the threefold way is wisdom (Panna) what aspects of the eightfold path include this

Right understanding - developing a clear understanding of the buddhas teachings especially the four noble truths

Right intention - following the eightfold path with the correct intention and a sincere attitude


What’s Theravada Buddhism

One of the oldest schools of Buddhism practised mainly in Southern Asia


What does therevada Buddhism teach

That the human personality is made up of five parts or aggregates


Some of the main characteristics of therevada Buddhism

Ordination in the monastic community is emphasised

Full ordination is primarily reserved for men

The Buddha is a focus of worship and is seen as the teacher and guide but is not considered to be a god

The goal is to achieve enlightenment and reach nibanna

Some therevada Buddhists believe that good fortune (or merit) may be transferred to others. This practise is emphasised when someone has died


Mahayana Buddhism is a term used to describe

A number of different Buddhist traditions that share some overlapping characteristics. It includes pure land Buddhism, Zen Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism


Mahayana Buddhism emphasised the teaching of

Sunyata (emptiness) the idea that nothing has a separate, independent ‘self’ or ‘soul’


Buddha-nature is also important in some

Mahayana traditions


What’s Buddha-nature

The idea that everyone has the essence of the Buddha inside them


Sunyata is a restatement or

Anatta but applied to all things rather than just human beings


What does sunyata teach

That nothing has a fixed, independent, infusing nature. Everything exists in relation to other things


What does Buddha-nature drefer to

Everyone has the essence (or nature) of a Buddha already inside of them

A persons Buddha-nature is hidden by desires, attatchment, ignorance and negative thoughts

When a person truly comes to understand the buddhas teachings they experience their inner Buddha-nature


Mahayana Buddhists aim to achieve

Buddhahood - to become buddhas

Th y believe everyone has the potential to do this became of their inherit Buddha-nature


Do therevada and Mahayana Buddhism have the same or different ideas of the ideal Buddhist?



What does a therevada Buddhist aim to become

An Arhat by following the eightfold path


What does a Mahayana Buddhist aim to become

A bodhisattva by developing six spiritual qualities (the six perfections)


What is an arhat

A ‘perfected person’ who has overcome the main sources of suffering - the three poisons - to become enlightenment


What happens when someone becomes an arhat

They are no longer reborn when they die

They become free from the cycle of birth death and rebirth (samsara) to death nibbana


How is becoming an Arhat achieved

By following and fulfilling the eightfold path

Many of buddhas disciples became arhats


What is a bodhisattva

Someone who sees their own enlightenment as being bound up with the enlightenment of all beings


What happens after enlightenment when ur a boddhisattva

They choose to remain in the cycle of samsara to help others achieve enlightenment too

Bodhissatvas combing being compassionate with being wise. They believe the original emphasis of the buddhas teaching was to go forth for the welfare of the many


How does a person become a boddhiattva

By practising the six perfections


What are the six perfections



What do Mahayana Buddhists believe about bodhisattvas

There’s earthly and transcendent


What are earthly bodhisativas

Continue to be reborn into the world to live on earth and help others


What are transcendent bodhisattvas

Are purely spiritual beings beyond time and space. They may appear in different forms in the world, to help others and lead beings to enlightenment. Mahayana Buddhists may pray to these bodhisattvas in times of need


What is pure land Buddhism

A tradition within Mahayana Buddhism


What’s pure land Buddhism based on

Based on faith in amitabha Buddha and his paradise


Pure land Buddhists hope to be

Reborn and gain enlightenment in the pure land


The main practice in pure land Buddhism is the

Recitation of amitabhas name


Pure land Buddhism is one of the main forms of Buddhism in

Japan today . Based on faith in amitabha Buddha who is believed to have created a paradise or pure land called sukhavati when he became enlightened
Pure land Buddhists hope to reborn into this world in which it is considered to be easier to achieve enlightenment


The pure land

Where people can be taught by amitabha himself

All beings born in this land are certain to reach enlightenment

Contains no suffering or other barriers to enlightenment

A perfect paradise

Far to the west beyond the boundaries of our own world

Offers the perfect conditions for enlightenment

“Rich in a great variety of flowers and fruits, adorned with jewel trees... requested by flicks of birds with sweet voices”


How to reach the pure land

Reciting scriptures
Meditating on amitabha and his paradise
Worshipping amitabha
Chanting his name
Making praises and offerings to him


As pure land Buddhism developed the most important practise became

Reciting amitabhas name


Differences between pure land Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism

Pure land.

Faith in amitabha is the focus of practice and more important than a persons actions and behaviour

Amitabha will help people to be reborn in the pure land


A person can only gain enlightenment though their actions and behaviour

People cannot rely on any outside help to achieve enlightenment