Notes on History of Dhammapada Essay

Notes on History of Dhammapada Essay.

According to Wikipedia, Dhammapada is the most famous book of the Tipitakas. It is also the book that has been translated into English and other languages more times than any other book in Buddhist literature. According to Ven. K Sri Dhammananda (1988), the founder of Sudharma Buddhist Institute, Dhammapada (literally meaning The Words of Truth or The Path of Noble Truth) consists of 423 verses in Pali uttered by the Buddha on some 305 occasions for the benefit of a wide range of human beings.

These sayings were selected and compiled into one book as being worthy of special note on account of their beauty and relevance for molding the lives of future generations of Buddhists. It is also surprising that according to Britannica Encyclopedia, Dhammapada is accepted both in Theravada Buddhism and in Mahayana Buddhism although there is a difference in the number of verses in the two versions. However, according to Encarta Encyclopedia, the most translated version is that of Theravada.

The history of Dhammapada is also not so different in both branches of Buddhism.

The Lord Buddha historically had to go round the northern India and Nepal preaching his Dhamma, meeting many people. According to the prescribed text book (Module no. A -Ya 2004) of the second year university students specializing Oriental Studies in Myanmar ), the Lord Buddha preached his Dhamma ( guides and sermons for the cessation of all the sufferings) both in the form of speech called “cunniya” and occasionally in poetically versed form called “gatha”.

According to Ohn Myint , Daw (2004), the verses uttered by the Lord Buddha had been compiled by 500 Buddhist Senior Arahants in Rajaghyo, India, in the First Dhamma Council (Pathama Sangayana) in 483 BC. Venerable Buddhagosa, the most famous commentary author in Theravada Buddhism, wrote the commentary of Dhammapada named Dhammapada Atthakatha in Sri Lanka. In his commentary book, Ven. Buddha Gosa, studying thoroughly from the elderly monks and old canons, noted the historical backgrounds of the verses in Pali Language.

In this book, he told the story of each verses including whom theses verses were uttered by Buddha for, where, how, when and why these verses were uttered by Lord Buddha and so on. According to Subhodha Lankara, a famous Buddhist Literary Guide throughout the history of Buddhism, the verses in Dhammapada and Buddhist Literature are composed and uttered by systematic rules of rhythm, rhyme and meter.

Moreover, Thanissaro Bhikkhu (1997) writes as follows: “As the Buddha himself is quoted as saying, ‘Meter is the structural framework of verses. According to Goinka S. N, the founder of Vissapana Research Institute in India, verses in Dhammapada were just orally handed down at first before the fourth Dhamma Council held in Tambapai [Sri Lanka] in 29 B. C in which all of the Buddhist Scriptures were recorded on written forms on palm leaves. According to the Commentary of Dhammapada by Ven Buddhagosa, these verses are intentionally uttered in accordance with the listeners’ background knowledge, their social backgrounds, and the situations in order to enlighten their mind.

As soon as the Lord uttered the verses, Ananda, the chosen attendant and constant companion of the Buddha during the last twenty-five years of his life. memorized it and handed down again to the other monks and people. According to Mahaparinibana Sutta in the first book of Suttanna Pitaka named Mahavagga, after the Lord passed into the nirvana ( His death), the senior Buddhist monks met together and held the First Buddhist Council in order to preserve the holy teachings of the Lord Buddha. In the council, all of the Buddha’s teachings were divided into three parts.

According to Goenka, S,N (1999), the founder of Vipassana Research Institute in India , the first part is known as the Vinaya Pitaka and it contains all the rules which Buddha laid down for monks and nuns.. The second part is called the Suttanna Pitaka and it contains the Discourses. The third part is known as the Abhidhamma Pitaka and comprises the psycho-ethical teachings of the Buddha. The first pitaka is Suttanna pitaka and it is divided into five parts according to the length and form of the discourses.

The poetical verses that the Lord uttered were compiled into a book named Dhammapada. Dhammapada is included in the first part of Suttanna Pitaka named Khuddhakanikaya ( Short Discourses). According to Daw Ohn Myint, Professor of the Department of Oriental Studies, Yangon University of Distance Education ( 2004), throughout the history of Buddhism, Dhammapada has been studied and memorized by Buddhist monks. Even nowadays in Sri Lanka, the novices who want to be transformed into monkhood have to memorize all the verses in Dhammapada as a compulsory skill.

Notes on History of Dhammapada Essay

Dalai Lama Essay Essay

Dalai Lama Essay Essay.

The significant people and schools of thought in Buddhism that have the most impact are those that challenge adherents to follow Buddhist teachings more closely. How accurate is this statement in relation to ONE significant person or school of thought, other than the Buddha.

The fourteenth Dalai Lama, also known as the Bodhisattva of Compassion, is one of the most significant religious leaders in the world and is also exceptionally important to Buddhism. He has been especially influential with regards to reinterpreting traditional Buddhist teachings so they are relevant in a more contemporary context and using them to deal with issues that have arisen and effect the Buddhist people.

The Dalai Lama became particularly important during the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Despite Dalai Lamas previously only being the spiritual leader of the country, when the Chinese invaded the Dalai Lama was installed as the Head of State. His Holiness preaches non-violence and passive resistance. He appealed to the US, India and also the UN for some level of protection for the Tibetan people, however no help arrived and so he had to ensure the safety of his people himself.

He challenged the Tibetan people to closely follow the teaching of Ahimsa, even in this time of great hardship.

The Dalai Lama was then forced into exile in 1959 due to the suppression of the Tibetan uprising by the Chinese troops. However, despite his distance from his people, he remained involved in their hardships. In 1987 His Holiness proposed the Five Point Peace Plan for Tibet as the first step towards a peaceful solution between the Tibetans and the Chinese. He first requested that Tibet become a zone of Ahimsa and this would challenge not only the Chinese, but also the Tibetans to maintain this state of peace. He also requested that the Tibetan people be able to freely express their culture and religion and this would encourage the proliferation of the religion, as well as enabled the people to openly practice their faith.

The theocratic state His Holiness headed also challenged Buddhists to include their faith in all aspects of their lives. Through including the religion into the government it meant all state decisions were to be made based on the Buddhist teachings. This encouraged the religion to remain relevant and also meant more people were including their faith in their daily decisions. Through this system of government it also meant that the three Jewels of Buddhism could be included in daily life and the decisions for the state were made with the best intentions and followed the principles of Buddhism.

The Dalai Lama has also challenged adherents to accept the fate that is given to them and make the greatest use of their reincarnated form. As a young child he was unable to reject the position of ‘Dalai Lama’ however he has managed to utilise this position to the best advantage and has bettered the world through this. He has pushed for the bettering of the world for both religious and secular societies. His messages of peace, tolerance and the renunciation of the desires of anger and revenge have resonated with people globally.

Through his status as a Bodhisattva His Holiness has also shown that the helping of others to achieve enlightenment is an essential aspect of Buddhism. He has reinterpreted traditional scripture to make it easier for contemporary Buddhist followers to gain enlightenment. He has also published books to enable adherents to gain a deeper and more rounded knowledge of Buddhism and the finding of inner peace. His Holiness has also deferred reaching Nirvana so that he can assist other followers in their journey to enlightenment, as the Buddha did. Through his modelling of this he has challenged and encouraged others.

The Dalai Lama has also challenged contemporaries to be humble and follow the Buddhist practice of taking only what is needed. He is often quoted as saying “I am but a simple Buddhist monk” and it is from this that adherents are able to draw their own inspiration. Members of the Sangha and also the lay people are encouraged to only take what they need from the environment, from society and also from each other. There is to be no greed in Buddhism and through the humble ways of the Dalai Lama he has modelled this belief.

The Dalai Lama is a model for Buddhist globally. He follows Buddhist practices as well as encouraging others, adherents and non-adherents alike, to live peacefully and in a Buddhist fashion. It is through his modelling of the Buddhist teachings and practices that he has challenged adherents to follow these teachings more closely.

Dalai Lama Essay Essay

Sacred Reality in Hinduism and Buddhism Essay

Sacred Reality in Hinduism and Buddhism Essay.

In regards to the definition of religion given in The Sacred Quest, we find that due to the complexity of the term religion there are many different ways to satisfy what it actually is. It can be recognized that sacred reality indicates the characteristics of being specially distinctive; beyond human control; concerned with human welfare; and determinative of aspects of human existence. In a world of diverse religious traditions, we are offered distinct perceptions of sacred reality. For example Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are usually categorized as religions of transcendence, defining sacred reality as being beyond or “standing over” ordinary existence.

Meanwhile, Hinduism and Buddhism are considered religions of immanence, meaning they do not portray sacred reality with an all-powerful God who is eternal and surpassing of human understanding. In these religions of immanence it is important to realize that the sacred is everywhere, including within, and meant to be a way of seeing reality more clearly rather than attempting to reach something that is above and beyond.

The sacred reality found in Hinduism is the Brahman. Brahman is described as universal consciousness; it is truth, knowledge, and infinity. In Hinduism everything has its own spark of Brahman, Atman, which is never actually separate from the Brahman. Ultimately all Hindus intend to achieve moksha, or liberation, the realization of the unity between Brahman and Atman. By realizing this unity the Atman becomes aware of maya, the illusion of separation, and the cycle of death and rebirth known as samsara is ended. Buddhism’s approach of sacred reality is very similar to that of Hinduism, this is due to the fact Buddhism was formed in response to Hinduism. The sacred reality of Buddhism is known as Nirvana. In Buddhism the Four Noble Truths provide the basis that life is suffering (dukkah); suffering is caused by attachment (tanha); suffering can cease by the attainment of Nirvana; and the development of insight may be attained by following the Eight Fold Path, the principle teachings of Buddha. Rather than being a place, Nirvana is a state of mind that must be attained during life and cannot be fully understood by one who has yet to attain it. Literally meaning to extinguish, once Nirvana is attained there is a complete end to suffering, or dukkah.

The illusion of samsara, the cycle of rebirth, is realized by achieving Nirvana. The notion of sacred reality found in the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism differ from those of the western religions. Each religion’s relationship with the sacred differs in the way the functions of the religion are approached. According to The Sacred Quest, religion is meant function to produce long lasting feelings, thinking, and acting within its believers as well as to function with respect to problems of ordering and understanding existence. In respect to these functions each religion has its own approach. The western religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam share similar major core concepts that they all believe in the same single and all-powerful God, but within each religion the relationship with God is different.

Those who participate in western religions are expected to lead lives devoted to God, in hopes of someday reaching the beyond in the after-life. Meanwhile, Hinduism and Buddhism similarly practice the belief in many gods and goddesses. They both believe in reincarnation, the cycle of rebirth after death until either enlightenment or Nirvana is attained. Rather than striving for a sacred place that is beyond, eastern religions must attain the sacred during their life. The film The Long Search: Buddhism: Footprint of the Buddha-India revealed that there was less praying to individual gods and goddesses in Buddhism. Buddhism, a religion that intends to attain enlightenment and Nirvana, is also considered as a way of life; this is best expressed through the life of a Buddhist monk.

In Buddhism, especially Theravada, those who become monks face more strict requirements than laypeople in order to be on a seemingly quicker path to attaining Nirvana, while preaching the principles of Buddha. In western religions such as Christianity and Judaism those who become priests, monks, or rabbis are not simply more likely to be accepted into Heaven. Though many may lead a life more devoted to God, their primary purpose as a religious figure is to spread God’s word. The religious journey in Hinduism and Buddhism is more of a personal one, in which following the exact path of enlightenment of those before you will not in turn help you attain your own personal enlightenment.

As stated religion produces certain ways of acting, this is especially exemplified in the eastern religions of Hinduism and Buddhism. In Buddhism leading a life according to the Eight Fold Path is important to achieving Nirvana. The Eight Fold Path calls for Buddhists to have the right understanding, motives, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and meditation. This results in days dedicated to meditating, clearing the mind, and being aware of the sacred around you. In Hinduism enlightenment is best achieved by worshiping the many gods, or puja. Hindus use much of their time to dedicate altars and make sacrifices to the gods and goddesses, this is done in order to see and be seen by the divine. This is how the “notion of the sacred” comes into play. Each religion has something sacred that they believe in; though the sacred may be similar, the way in which the different religions approach the sacred affects their beliefs and way of life.

Sacred Reality in Hinduism and Buddhism Essay

Orthopraxy vs. Orthodoxy Essay

Orthopraxy vs. Orthodoxy Essay.

It is frequently said of Asian customs that right practice is more important than right belief. Shinto is based on orthopraxy, rather than orthodoxy. In other words, the most important thing is not what you believe, but rather that you perform correct ritual actions. You don’t have to convert to Shinto to start being a practitioner of Shinto. If you perform the various rituals and routines of Shinto, then you are practicing Shinto. Buddhism isn’t interested in right action, as action itself is tied up in the obliviousness and desire that Buddhism is intended to overcome.

Buddhism is primarily interested in realizing the shunyata of action and thus achieving enlightenment.

As Buddhists find themselves faced with a world that demands decisions in the core of this quest for enlightenment, however, they have found it useful and appropriate to comment on what would establish right practice in such an environment. Buddhist orthopraxy is demonstrated in rituals and monastic orders. Rituals of one form are practiced by all Buddhists and relate to actions whose worth can be applied toward achieving nirvana or a better position in the next reincarnation.

This includes participating in ceremonies, acts of piety, and other symbolic acts. Monastic orders offer a more disciplined approach, including an increased enforcement of orthopraxy in order to assist in aligning one’s actions with the path to enlightenment.

Do I think orthopraxy being the main focus is a good way to go? No. An excessive level of orthopraxy cannot compensate for the lack of orthodoxy, just as an excessive level of orthodoxy cannot compensate for the lack of orthopraxy. Without orthodoxy, orthopraxy is impossible to define, for true orthopraxy must branch from true orthodoxy. Otherwise, how would one know what is right practice?

Orthopraxy vs. Orthodoxy Essay

Mahayana vs Theravada Essay

Mahayana vs Theravada Essay.

There are two main types of traditions in the buddhist religion, Theravada and Mahayana. Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism are very different but also have several similarities. Theravada is known as the “School of the Elders”, while Mahayana is known as “The Great Vehicle”. Theravada follows the seven steps of purification, based on the eightfold path and emphasizes insight. This insight comes in three characteristics of life, dukkha, anatta, and anicca. It distinguishes four stages of enlightenment. It is also one of the only early teachings of Buddha that has been preserved till the present day.

It is the closest to the original teachings of the historical Buddha. Mahayana is a very diverse school of thought and has a big emphasis on meditation. It also stresses insight and compassion. It is widely taught and teaches the use of mantras and devotion to the Buddha ancestors. Mahayana Buddhism teaches that the historical buddha is not the only buddha, but that there are many buddhas and different ways of reaching enlightenment.

One of the biggest differences in these two traditions is the goal of training. Theravada is known for its Arhat-ideal. This means someone who has attained the goal of religious life. This goal of the religious life is to get to enlightenment or Nirvana. This enlightenment is when a buddhist discovers the truth about life. Buddhists generally achieve this enlightenment by meditation or putting into practice the eight-fold path that they follow. Theravada is written in Pali canon, the sacred text of this tradition.

On the other hand, Mahayana teaches whats called a bodhisvatta-ideal. This is when a person can achieve enlightenment but chooses not to in order to save suffering beings out of compassion. Traditionally bodhisavatta is anyone who is compelled by compassion and has reached a mindset of enlightenment and has a wish to become like buddha for all beings. They wish to set free others from this cycle of death, rebirth, and suffering. Mahayana is written in Sanscrit.

Mahayana and Theravada are very different teachings of Buddhism. Some even say that Mahayana is not real or credible because it differs from the teachings of the historical buddha. But these are both very popular traditions and are widely practiced. They do have similarities in that they all want to reach enlightenment somehow. Whether they get there and achieve their goal or if they can get there but choose to help others get there out of compassion instead.

Mahayana vs Theravada Essay

Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism Essay

Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism Essay.

Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, three of the world’s most dynamic and ancient religions developed in India around the same time. Though each borrowed from, evolved because of, or came into conflict with each other: Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism are more than religions, but cross-sections of an entire culture and time period.

Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism have many a huge impact on eastern life as we know it. The interactions between humans and environment that these religions have had have been phenomenal.

Jainism being the oldest of the three has 12-18 million followers(jaindharmonline.com). Jain migrated from India to other countries beginning with them migrating to Britain and British colonies. In the beginning, a number of “Gujarati” Jains migrated to coastal towns of East Africa and later moved inland, particularly to Kenya, to open businesses. The Jain community in India represents an affluent and influential minority of the population.Jains now mostly reside in north-east Africa. Buddhism, on the other hand, is the sixth largest religion by population.

It has about 367 million followers and is7% of the worlds population(cia.gov).

Buddhism spread along land routes of the Silk Road, it underwent profound change. There were great overland trade routes in those days and in later centuries too, that joined China even to the Mediterranean. Along these routes Buddhism spread to northwest India and beyond, along the east-west Silk Route. Hinnduisms origin is much more shrouded though, in terms of its religious development there are now two basic theories that attempt to explain how Hinduism first developed within India, and they both draw on the famous “ekam sat viprah bahudah vandanti verse” for their effectiveness. One suggests that at some time towards the end of the Indus Valley Civilization a group of nomadic people called the Aryans moved into northern India from the steppes of central Europe or even Asia Minor while the other theory suggests that Hinduism emerged out of India itself(Dasa).

The beliefs for these three religions are mostly the same in essence, they were all founded on the beliefs of peace and prosperity. They are also known as “The Paths of Enlightenment”. Hinduism ,though believed by many to be a polytheistic religion, the basis of Hinduism is the belief in the unity of everything. This totality is called Brahman. The purpose of life is to realize that we are part of God and by doing so we can leave this plane of existence and rejoin with God. This enlightenment can only be achieved by going through cycles of birth, life and death known as samsara. One’s progress towards enlightenment is measured by his karma.

This is the accumulation of all one’s good and bad deeds and this determines the person’s next reincarnation. Jainism has many similarities to Hinduism and Buddhism which developed in the same part of the world. They believe in karma and reincarnation as do Hindus, but they believe that enlightenment and liberation from this cycle can only be achieved through asceticism. In Buddhism, nirvana is freedom from the cycle of rebirth, when a being turns into a state of non-being, or Sunya, looses its identity and becomes nothing.

These religions were all derived out of India which used the caste system for their government. The buildings made for these religions were all complex and amazing in nature. Buddhists temples were mostly built in natural environments, such as forests and tops of hills. Hindu temples were built in more urban environments and used red paints for most of their buildings and temples. And Jain temples were also built in more urban places and used beige and gold paints for their buildings and temples.

These religions expanded in many different ways, they all originated in India, and started spreading throughout the world. The two that are most know today are Hinduism and Buddhism, Jainism still has about 16 million followers though. Buddhist temples were built along the Silk Road for prayer for the travelers. Hindu kept most of their temples inside of India unlike the Jainist that moved to northern Africa. It spread outside of Magadha starting in the Buddha’s lifetime, and with the reign of the Buddhist Mauryan Emperor Asoka, spread across Nepal straight down to China and all the way to Japan and became one of the dominant religions in these parts of Asia(Chung).Hinduism is a religion] of the Indian subcontinent of India, with 80.5% of the population identifying themselves as Hindus. The vast majority of Hindus in India belong to Vaishnavite and Shaivite denominations(Thompson Patts)

As part of the reaction against Hinduism during its early years, Buddhism rejected the caste system and other forms of social stratification and instead set up an essentially egalitarian society. There are only two religiously important social groups: the monks, who have dedicated their lives to full time pursuit of religious goals, and everyone else. The monks, as a group, are called the sangha(uwacadweb.uwyo.edu). When the Aryans moved into northwest India, they imposed a caste system to organize the new society created by their arrival.

The Hindus then put together a hierarchy of four varnas, which later was expanded to include a fifth category. The caste system, which the Hindus followed, initially served to maintain rigid social boundaries between the invaders and the previous inhabitants. By 80 A. D. the Jains were divided into two sects. The Svetambara or “white clad” live mainly in northern India today(Sprunger). They are more liberal in their interpretation of Mahavirals teaching regarding nudity and allow their monks to wear a white garment. Women are also allowed in their religion and monasteries accepting the possibility that they may find salvation(Sprunger).

Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism Essay

Comparison of Classical China and India Essay

Comparison of Classical China and India Essay.

The economic and political similarities between classical China and India are that they are both agricultural societies and both empires divided their land into smaller city-states, while the differences are that India focused more on trade than China, and the Chinese government followed Confucius instead of India’s Buddha. Both societies had a strong agricultural base to them. The agricultural way of life is, after all, what led them to become the great empires that they were during that time.

This economic similarity meant that the people stayed basically in the same place and farmed the land and domesticated animals.

Not to say that there were no nomadic herders in the empires, but they stayed on more of the outskirts and were greatly outnumbered. Both empires also had many city-states within it. Back in the day, there was no technology so news traveled pretty slow, so it was much easier to just have aristocrats under the king’s(or emperor’s) rule make all of the small decisions and be in charge of their allotted land.

In China though, this kind of backfired by the aristocrats having too much power. They overturned the king and there was a period of chaos before the Qin Empire was established with harder rule over the new beurocrats. There were also some differences between the empires. For one, India’s economy was more greatly influenced by trade than China. This was partly just because of the geography. China was basically separated from the other side of the Himalayas so the only way that they could get to places like the Mediterranean and Middle East was through India or actually across the Himalayas.

Also, China was basically producing everything they needed so the only reason they traded was for revenue. India on the other hand, had access to the Indian Ocean and flat land that connected them to the Mediterranean and Middle East. The Chinese government had Confucius, the powerful founder of the way of thinking that led the people of China to seek Dao (or the way). India, on the other hand, had the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism that taught their people to seek their dharma.

The Confucius way of thinking was originally developed as a political system to govern the state but gradually moved to teach not to care about money, possessions and more on your place in reincarnation. The Hindus believed in caste systems and to stay in your place within the system. The Buddhist religion sort of supplemented it by saying that it was good to know your place, and while striving to achieve a better life, remember your place and how to do your part within your place.

Comparison of Classical China and India Essay

Buddhism- Critical Thinking Paper Essay

Buddhism- Critical Thinking Paper Essay.

October 3, 2011 Buddhism- Critical Thinking Paper Part One: Origin Buddhism was founded by Prince Siddhartha Gautama. His father the king kept him sheltered from the world. He never witnessed sadness, hungry, pain, or the aging. On four occasions he had visions of people sick, hungry and dying. After having the visions he left his family and his home to go out to experience the world on the “Great Renunciation”. For six years he had very little to eat or drink. Finally one day while sitting under a fig tree, (Bodhi-tree of wisdom).

He was enlightened about the way life should be.

He had reached nirvana (the highest level of knowledge). Once he reached nirvana he changed his name to Buddha (meaning: the Enlightened One). Identity Buddha gave the Sermon at Benares to share what he had discovered during his meditation under the fig tree (Bodhi-the tree of wisdom). He thought the Four Nobles and Eightfold Noble Path. His belief was if you stopped desire you would not suffer.

You can obtain what is called the Middle Way when you use moderation. This is to keep you from desire. Meaning The meaning of Buddhism is to find inner peace. To be removed from life’s desires. Morality

There is a sense of morality in Buddhism. It is taught not commit adultery, or to steal, or to lie. They look at stealing and adultery as somewhat the same. To commit adultery is like stealing someone else’s partner. Destiny The destiny for a Buddhist is to reach nirvana, totally enlightened and to be wise about life. Buddhism- Critical Thinking Paper Part two: Origin Buddhism was founded by an Asian prince who was on a six year quest for knowledge and wisdom. Christianity was created by God though his inspired words, through prophets and the teachings of Jesus. Identity Buddhism’s identity is peace and wisdom.

Buddhism- Critical Thinking Paper Essay