Sunday, April 3, 2011

What Do They Believe-Buddhists

^ Bhagavad Gita 12.3-4 "But those who fully worship the unmanifested, that which lies beyond the perception of the senses, the all-pervading, inconceivable, unchanging, fixed and immovable -- the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth -- by controlling the various senses and being equally disposed to everyone, such persons, engaged in the welfare of all, at last achieve Me."

Beginning: Founded by Gautama Siddhartha (563-483 BC) known as “Buddha” or “Enlightened One” in modern day Nepal and India as a reformation of Hinduism (Like Muslimism is a correction of Judaism and Christianity).  Three types: Theraveda (Pali), Mahayana (Zen-Chinese), and Vajrayana (Tibetan).

Scripture:  Hinduism: Many, including the Vedas (oldest about 1000 B.C.) the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad-GitaBuddhists: The Mahavastu (“Great Story” a collection covering Buddha’s life story), the Jataka Tales (550 stories of the former lives of the Buddha), the Tripitaka (“Three Baskets”) and the Tantras (as recorded in Tibetan Buddhism) A Tantra generally is a "no holds barred" guide to spiritual liberation, presumably put together by a liberated enlightened person. The very large number of both Buddhist and Hindu Tantras that have survived in some form or another, suggests that spiritual enlightenment was not as difficult to achieve as is generally supposed.

Buddhist occult tradition tells that Gautama the Buddha imparted esoteric teachings to select disciples, "by initiation and by word of mouth." Modern scholars suggest that many of the known early Tantras were "transmitted in utmost secrecy for 300 years or so," passed-on in dialogs between teachers and chosen students. It was not until the time of the Siddhas, circa 6th-11th century C.E., that they were written down. In Mahayana Buddhist culture, study of the Tantras naturally follows after study of the Sutras.

View on God:  Buddha didn’t believe in God.  Now is worshipped as a god.  

View on Jesus:   Jesus Christ is not part of the Buddhist worldview.  Buddhists in the West today generally view Jesus as an enlightened teacher, while Buddhists in Asia believe Jesus is an avatar or Bodhisattva, but not God. bodhisattva n. Buddhism An enlightened being who, out of compassion, forgoes nirvana in order to save others

View on Holy Spirit:  The Holy Spirit is not part of this belief.  Buddhists do believe in spirits, and some practice daily yoga and invite spirit possession.

Salvation:  Buddha taught: “You are your own saviour”.  “There is no god other than a man made perfect”. The goal of life is nirvana, to escape suffering by eliminating all desires or cravings.  

The Eightfold Path

1. Right View- Wisdom, to understand the law of karma and karmic conditioning.
2. Right Intention - Buddha distinguishes three types of right intentions: 1. the intention of renunciation, which means resistance to the pull of desire, 2. the intention of good will, meaning resistance to feelings of anger and aversion, and 3. the intention of harmlessness, meaning not to think or act cruelly, violently, or aggressively, and to develop compassion.
3. Right Speech- Ethical Conduct - Positively phrased, this means to tell the truth, to speak friendly, warm, and gently and to talk only when necessary.
4. Right Action- Positively formulated, right action means to act kindly and compassionately, to be honest, to respect the belongings of others, and to keep sexual relationships harmless to others
5. Right Livelihood - The Buddha mentions four specific activities that harm other beings and that one should avoid for this reason: 1. dealing in weapons, 2. dealing in living beings (including raising animals for slaughter as well as slave trade and prostitution), 3. working in meat production and butchery, and 4. selling intoxicants and poisons, such as alcohol and drugs.
6. Right Effort- Mental Development - 1. to prevent the arising of unarisen unwholesome states, 2. to abandon unwholesome states that have already arisen, 3. to arouse wholesome states that have not yet arisen, and 4. to maintain and perfect wholesome states already arisen.
7. Right Mindfulness- four foundations of mindfulness: 1. contemplation of the body, 2. contemplation of feeling (repulsive, attractive, or neutral), 3. contemplation of the state of mind, and 4. contemplation of the phenomena.
8. Right Concentration- wholesome concentration, i.e. concentration on wholesome thoughts and actions.

The eightfold path is a system to free Buddhists from desiring anything and eventually achieve nonexistence.

Death: Reincarnation.  People do not have their own souls or spirits, but one’s desires and feelings may be reincarnated into another person.

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