.. erstanding. Buddhism is based on knowledge and practical concepts, as opposed to unsubstantiated beliefs. 2. Right Thoughts are threefold.
The first are the thoughts of renunciation. The second are Kind Thoughts which are opposed to ill-will. Finally, the third are thoughts of harmlessness that are opposite to cruelty. 3. Right Speech deals with refraining from falsehood, stealing, slandering, harsh words and frivolous talks. 4. Right Action deals with refraining from killing, stealing and unchastity.
It helps one to develop a character that is self-controlled and mindful of right of others. 5. Right Livelihood deals with the five kinds of trades which should be avoided by a lay disciple. They are trade in deadly weapons, trade in animals for slaughter, trade in slavery, trade in intoxicants, and trade in poisons. Right Livelihood means earning one’s living in a way that is not harmful to others.
6. Right Effort is fourfold. This means the endeavors to discard evil that has already arisen, prevent the arising of unrisen evil, develop that good which has already arisen, and promote that good which has not already arisen. Effort is needed to cultivate Good Conduct or develop one’s mind, because one is often distracted or tempted to take the easy way out of things. The Buddha teaches that attaining happiness and Enlightenment depends upon one’s own efforts. Effort is the root of all achievement.
If one wants to get to the top of a mountain, just sitting at the foot thinking about it will not bring one there. It is by making the effort of climbing up the mountain, step by step, that one eventually reaches the summit. Thus, no matter how great the Buddha’s achievement may be, or how excellent His Teaching is, one must put the Teaching into practice before one can expect to obtain the desired result. 7. Right Mindfulness is also fourfold.
It involves mindfulness with regard to body, feeling, mind, and mental objects. Right Mindfulness is the awareness of one’s deeds, words, and thoughts. 8. Right Meditation means the gradual process of training the mind to focus on a single object and remain fixed upon the object without wavering. The constant practice of meditation helps one to develop a calm and concentrated mind and help to prepare one for the attainment of Wisdom and Enlightenment ultimately. Despite all using the Noble Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths there is more than one form of Buddhism.
Amidst the spread of Buddhism to places like Eastern Asia, Buddhism was varied and altered to fit different cultures. These variations can largely be divided into three major groups or ‘vehicles'(Buddhist Basics pg.2). The first of the three is Hinayana school, aslo known as the Theraveda school, School of the Elders, and the lesser vehicle. This school is widely practiced in Southeast Asia. This is the oldest and probably the most strict of the three.
It also regards itself as the closest to the original teachings of the Buddha. While Hinayana focuses on the Four Noble Truth and the Eightfold Path just like the other schools, it is still different. Its emphasis is on personal rather that collective liberation(Buddhist Basics pg.2). This is based on the Buddha’s thought that one cannot enlighten another. This looking out for number one mentality is probably why this school is the lesser vehicle. Another reason may be that it would take a smaller, lesser, vehicle to take only person to Nirvana, as opposed to helping others come along. Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka This is the desire of the Mahayana, which means ‘great vehicle'(Wangu pg.50), school.
This school developed in India during the first century C.E. As was mentioned before, They desire to liberate all beings(Buddhist Basics pg.3). This is based on the question of if an enlightened individual could enter Nirvana while others are still suffering. Because of this the ideal becomes the bodhisattava- literally, a being of wisdom(Wangu pg.52), or one who postpones entry into Nirvana and who is consciously reborn to help humanity. The bodhisavatta is similar to the sacrificial role of Jesus in Christianity(Wangu pg.53). Mahayanist strongly emphasize compassion as the ultimate form of practice(Buddhist Basics pg.3). This all inclusive approach is most likely the reason as to why it is called the great vehicle. There is also the reason of the size of vehicle it would take to transport the people to Nirvana. There is also a third school which came from the Mahayana school. This is the Tantrayana school, also known as Vajrayana or the diamond vehicle. It began in India during the seventh century and is mainly practiced in the Himalayan regions.
The teachers are known as Yoga Guru. This school developed out of the Mahayana teachings in Northeast India around 500 C.E. and spread to Tibet, China, and Japan(Buddhist Basics pg.4). It teaches not to suppress energy but rather to transform it(Buddhist Basics pg.4). Tantrayana stresses the interwoveness of things; the interdependence of existence, and the continuity of cause and effect.
The principle meditative practice is that of the ‘sacred outlook,’ or seeing appearances as pure. Rituals include the repeating of the sacred utterances, mantras, emulating their gestures, mundras, and the systematic arrangement of symbols, such as the mandala, on which the process of meditative visualization, yantra, is based. Buddhism is very logical. It is not based on blindly believing its teachings. The Buddha himself urged his own students to not merely follow him, but to put his teachings to the test, study the way of the Buddha and realize the path for themselves.
To study the way of the Buddha is to study oneself. To study oneself is to forget oneself. To forget oneself is to be enlightened by everything(Buddhist Basics pg.6). Buddhism is a philosophy, regarded as a religion that teaches you how to escape the Self in order to attain Nirvana. Bibliography Bibliography 1.) Wangu, Madhu.
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