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Buddhism Discussion

Discussion in 'Philosophical Forum' started by Giorno Giovanna, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. Giorno Giovanna

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    Buddhism (pronunciation: or ) is a and that encompasses a variety of , and largely based on attributed to . Buddhism originated in sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, from where it spread through much of , whereafter it during the middle ages. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: ( : "The School of the Elders") and ( : "The Great Vehicle"). Buddhism is the , with over 500 million followers or 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists.

    ~ Core Tenets ~

    1. Sila:
    Virtue, good conduct, morality. This is based on two fundamental principles:

    Right Speech: And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, and from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

    Right Action: And what is right action? Abstaining from killing, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from sexual misconduct. This is called right action.

    Right Livelihood: And what is right livelihood? Right livelihood, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right livelihood with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions; there is right livelihood that is noble, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

    2. Samadhi:
    Concentration, meditation, mental development. Developing one's mind is the path to wisdom which in turn leads to personal freedom. Mental development also strengthens and controls our mind; this helps us maintain good conduct:

    Right Effort: He arouses his will, puts forth effort, generates energy, exerts his mind, and strives to maintain wholesome mental states that have already arisen, to keep them free of delusion, to develop, increase, cultivate, and perfect them. This is called right effort

    Right Mindfulness: he remains contemplating mental objects as mental objects, resolute, aware and mindful, having put aside worldly desire and sadness; This is called right mindfulness

    Right Concentration: And through the giving up of pleasure and pain, and through the previous disappearance of happiness and sadness, he enters and remains in the fourth jhana, which is without pleasure and pain, and in which there is pure equanimity and mindfulness. This is called right concentration.

    3. Prajna:
    Discernment, insight, wisdom, enlightenment. This is the real heart of Buddhism. Wisdom will emerge if your mind is pure and calm.

    Right View: Mundane right view, knowledge of the fruits of good behavior. Having this type of view will bring merit and will support the favorable rebirth of the sentient being in the realm of

    Right Resolve: And what is right resolve? Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom from ill will, on harmlessness: This is called right resolve.


    ~ These Encompass The Noble Eightfold Path ~
     
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  2. Giorno Giovanna

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    ~ The Four Noble Truths ~

    The Buddha's Four Noble Truths explore human suffering. They may be described as:

    1. Dukkha:
    Suffering exists: (Suffering is real and almost universal. Suffering has many causes: loss, sickness, pain, failure, the impermanence of pleasure.)

    2. Samudaya:
    There is a cause for suffering. (It is the desire to have and control things. It can take many forms: craving of sensual pleasures; the desire for fame; the desire to avoid unpleasant sensations, like fear, anger or jealousy.)

    3. Nirodha:
    There is an end to suffering. (Suffering ceases with the final liberation of Nirvana (a.k.a. Nibbana). The mind experiences complete freedom, liberation and non-attachment. It lets go of any desire or craving.)

    4. Magga:
    In order to end suffering, you must follow the Eightfold Path.


    ~ The Five Precepts ~

    These are rules to live by. They are somewhat analogous to the second half of the Ten Commandments in Judaism and Christianity -- that part of the Decalogue which describes behaviors to avoid. However, they are recommendations, not commandments. Believers are expected to use their own intelligence in deciding exactly how to apply these rules.

    Do not kill. This is sometimes translated as "not harming" or an absence of violence.

    Do not steal. This is generally interpreted as including the avoidance of fraud and economic exploitation.

    Do not lie. This is sometimes interpreted as including name calling, gossip, etc.

    Do not misuse sex. For monks and nuns, this means any departure from complete celibacy. For the laity, adultery is forbidden, along with any sexual harassment or exploitation, including that within marriage. The Buddha did not discuss consensual premarital sex within a committed relationship; Thus, Buddhist traditions differ on this. Most Buddhists, probably influenced by their local cultures, regardless of the nature of the relationship between the people involved.

    Do not consume alcohol or other drugs. The main concern here is that intoxicants cloud the mind. Some have included as a drug other methods of divorcing ourselves from reality -- e.g. movies, television, the Internet.
     
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  3. Giorno Giovanna

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  4. Dr. White

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    Wifi's down and I don't wanna abuse my phone data. I agree with alot and this is probably the only "religion" (beside the church of satan :LOS ) i'd ever suscribe to. Essential teachings of buddha is the only religious book that I own, but I've fallen out of keeping up with the reading.
     
  5. Giorno Giovanna

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    The essential teachings of Buddhism is what has caused me to turn to Zen Buddhism (usually known just as Zen 禅) which isn't following Buddhism religiously, but follows it as a set of rules that are good to live by. It very much feels like the natural progression from reading up on Daoism.
     
  6. makeoutparadise

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  7. mr_shadow Moderator

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    I must admit I'm painfully unfamiliar with what non-Mahayana (especially non-Zen) Buddhism is like, since all my interaction with it has been via the Confucian East Asian world.

    To me Buddhism and Daoism are virtually the same thing, because the Chinese don't bother strictly distinguishing them, and much of the Zen rhetoric sounds like Zhuangzi. So I don't really know what's left once you take out the Daoist influences.
     
  8. mr_shadow Moderator

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    The Chinese-language Mahayana Buddhist canon is unfortunately MASSIVE.

    It consists of 1496 texts totalling 52,330,152 characters (words). For comparison the Bible is about 720,000 words; the Mahayana Canon is over 50 times as long as the Bible.

    Obviously only the most devout monks and nuns have the motivation, and free time, to read the whole thing. Lay people make due with selections of the most famous sutras (treatises).

    I've been thinking of reading Zhonghua Book Company's Thirteen Buddhist Sutras. It's a ca. 500-page volume of the top 13 most influential texts for Chinese Buddhism. It has the Lotus Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Heart Sutra and all the others that are famous enough for me to have heard about it.
     
  9. Giorno Giovanna

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    That sounds interesting, I will be looking into that book.

    I've found some interesting discussions on that matter like thread on Reddit.

    It seems that most people when asked that question answer very similarly, with it being a continuation of Daoism instead of something to compare against it.

    It's very interesting, and with you being so knowledgeable on Chinese culture I figured you'd have some great insight on how these are viewed in that region. I've never been outside of the US so I haven't been properly exposed to the Confucian East Asian world.
     
  10. mr_shadow Moderator

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    Do you read (medieval) Chinese?

    Otherwise it might be hard. I just translated the title because Fo Jiao Shisan Jing 佛教十三经 would not have made any sense.

    The oldest Chinese sutras are from the Six Dynasties period (ca. 400-600), and are translations from Pali or Sanskrit into then-colloquial Chinese. Then over the years Chinese monastics have also written original works directly in their own language.

    Buddhism is interestingly a linguistically populist religion. The Hindu scriptures are in Sanskrit and the Confucian scriptures in Classical Chinese, which are both elite written languages that only the educated can understand.

    But the earliest Indian sutras were not written down in Classical Sanskrit, but in one kind of "Vulgar Sanskrit" (prakrit) called Pali, which is what people in the Buddha's community actually talked in. The relationship is something like Latin and Italian.

    Following the sane philosophy, the translations made by Xuanzang 玄奘 and others are not into Classical Chinese, but into the "Vulgar Chinese" (baihua 白话) of the time.

    The Buddhist scriptures are therefore highly treasured by linguistic historians, because they offer a glimpse into what the spoken language of medieval China sounded like.
     
  11. Giorno Giovanna

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    I see, I was hoping that I could find a translated version of it since I Can't speak any Chinese at all (I can kind of read Chinese characters that I've learned so far in Japanese)
     
  12. mr_shadow Moderator

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    You can probably find translations of the constituent sutras, but I'm not sure if the group of 13 is a classical division of the canon or just made up by the publisher.

    This website has English translations of 16 sutras, including I think most of the 13 published by Zhonghua:



    Be advised that the word "sutra" does not give any indication of the length of the text. Some sutras are short "essays" one or two pages, while others are long "books" of over a hundred pages.

    (Sanskrit "sutra" is a cognate of English "sew" and "suture", meaning something that is sewn together. Someone observed the parallel with the words "textile" and "text" both stemming from the Latin textus; something that is woven)
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
  13. mr_shadow Moderator

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    Popular Buddhism in China is essentially idol worship, unfortunately.

    People think that if they light incense and prostrate themselves before an image of the Buddha (or a Bodhisattva), followed by a monetary donation to the temple, their prayers for a promotion or better grades will get answered.

    They treat the Buddha as if he were an official in the cosmic bureaucracy, who can be "bribed" into approving their petition for a better life.

    They don't show a lot of interest in self-cultivation outside the temple environment. The only ones who practice meditation or read sutras are old people, and then usually for selfish reasons like trying to prolong their lifespan or getting karma for a better rebirth.
     
  14. mr_shadow Moderator

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    I found this map that I thought was cool:

    Spoiler:


     
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  15. Catalyst75

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    This feels like me in a nutshell when it comes to religion: don't follow a God, follow whatever rules one considers best to live by that are spoken of, and follow your own beliefs.
     
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