REL-2320: Buddhism - Study Guide

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  1. The Middle Way
    Buddha's third phase to enlightenment; path of moderation between two earlier phases of indulgence and self-mutilation; sat under the Bodhi tree until he reached enlightenment
  2. Mara
    "death-causer"; purpose is to keep people trapped in samsara; tempted Buddha on his path to enlightenment with "Three Temptations"
  3. The Three Temptations
    Mara's three daughters (sexual desire), Mara's army of ghosts and ghouls (fear), and Mara himself appeared and questioned Buddha's capacity to reach enlightenment (self-doubt)
  4. Nirvana
    ultimate religious goal in Buddhism; complete end of suffering; liberation from samsara
  5. Dukkha
    the First Noble Truth; means life/existence is "suffering"; suffering could be physically, emotionally, or from not achieving what one desires
  6. The Eightfold Path
    • (1) Right Knowledge 
    • (2) Right Intention
    • (3) Right Speech
    • (4) Right Action
    • (5) Right Livelihood/Work
    • (6) Right Effort
    • (7) Right Mindfulness/Meditation
    • (8) Right Absorption
    • 1-2 is Wisdom (prajna)
    • 3-5 is Morality (sila)
    • 6-8 is Samadhi (Mindfulness/Meditation)
  7. Mahayana
    "Greater Vehicle"; seek enlightenment and Bodhisattva
  8. Bodhisattva
    "enlightened being"; religious status Mahayana Buddhists seek to reach; enlightened being who could enter nirvana, but voluntarily chooses to keep being reborn in samsara to assist all beings in achieving enlightenment; cultivate and practice the Six Perfections
  9. Sangha
    community of followers to Buddha; made of monks, nuns, and lay (laity) followers; monks and nuns are supported by the lay followers with food and supplies
  10. Karuna
    compassion; for Theravada Buddhists, obtaining karuna is a means of having a happy present life and a heavenly rebirth; for Mahayana Buddhists, karuna is required to become a bodhisattva
  11. The Four Passing Sights
    old man, diseased man, dead man, and a forest ascetic; motivated Buddha' to leave society and enter the forest to embark on Buddha's "Great Going Forth"
  12. The Four Noble Truths
    "suffering" (dukkha); "craving desire" (tanha); by eliminating tanha (desires), you eliminate dukkha (suffering); the Noble Eightfold Path
  13. The Three Marks of Existence
    Suffering ("dukkha"), Impermanence (anitya-Skt./anicca-Pali, No-Self (anatman-Skt./anatta-Pali)
  14. Sakyamuni
    name for Buddha; "Sakya": the Buddha's clan name; "muni": "the silent sage", "the silent sage of the Sakya clan"
  15. Tanha
    "craving, thirst, or desires"; Tanha causes suffering (dukkha) and is part of Buddha's diagnosis for why humans suffer
  16. Theravada
    "Lesser Vehicle"; aim to achieve enlightenment firsthand through the Buddha's Dharma through meditation; ideal being is the Arhat
  17. Arhat
    "worthy one"; religious status Theravada Buddhists seek to reach; an enlightened and free form of existence free from all ignorance, moral defilements, and stops producing karma
  18. Dharma
    Buddha's teachings about the truths and laws of reality
  19. dharma
    81 "dharmas"; elements of existence that combine in different ways to form all things; conditioned by the three marks of existence, excluding Nirvana
  20. Prajna
    the wisdom division of the Noble Eightfold Path, consisting of Right Knowledge and Right Intention
  21. Three Jewels/Treasures
    • Buddha
    • Dharma
    • Sangha
  22. Siddhartha Gautama
    name for Buddha; Siddhartha means "one who has reached one's goal"; Gautama means "most excellent cow"
  23. Tathagata
    name for Buddha; "the thus come one" -- and honorific title
  24. Vajyarana
    "Diamond Vehicle"; practiced in Tibet, North/central Asia, Japan
  25. Five Aggregates (skandhas)
    Form, Sensations, Perceptions/conceptions/ Volitions/intentions, Consciousness; Buddha's definition of what we are
  26. Bodhgaya
    place of Buddha's enlightenment; a Bodhi tree in Gaya
  27. Amithabha/Amida
    Buddha of the Pure Land
  28. Mahavairocana
    cosmic Buddha
  29. Maitreya
    the future Buddha or Buddha-in-waiting bodhisattva
  30. Avalokitesvara
    the bodhisattva of compassion
  31. Trikaya
    "Three Body" Doctrine of Buddhahood: Nirmana-kaya, Sambhoga-kaya, Dharma-kaya
  32. Nirmana-kaya
    "Transformation" or "Manifestation Body" of Buddhahood; Buddha as a historical person
  33. Sambhoga-kaya
    Buddhahood as celestial being(s); celestial beings reside in "Pure Lands"; Amitabha is the most well-known celestial being
  34. Dharma-kaya
    "Truth Body" or "Body of Reality"; Buddhahood as a abstract and universal principle present in all things; personified through Mahavairocana (Great Sun Buddha or Great Cosmic Buddha)
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REL-2320: Buddhism - Study Guide
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