buddhism its essence and development pdf

Buddhism its essence and development pdf

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Buddhism; its essence and development.

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Religion portal. Buddhist philosophy refers to the philosophical investigations and systems of inquiry that developed among various Buddhist schools in India following the parinirvana i.

The Buddhist path combines both philosophical reasoning and meditation. Early Buddhism was based on empirical evidence gained by the sense organs ayatana [3] and the Buddha seems to have retained a skeptical distance from certain metaphysical questions , refusing to answer them because they were not conducive to liberation but led instead to further speculation.

A recurrent theme in Buddhist philosophy has been the reification of concepts, and the subsequent return to the Buddhist Middle Way. Particular points of Buddhist philosophy have often been the subject of disputes between different schools of Buddhism.

Edward Conze splits the development of Indian Buddhist philosophy into three phases: [6]. Philosophy in India was aimed mainly at spiritual liberation and had soteriological goals.

Attention must first of all be drawn to the fact that philosophical systems in India were seldom, if ever, purely speculative or descriptive. It was a tacit assumption with these systems that if their philosophy were correctly understood and assimilated, an unconditioned state free of suffering and limitation could be achieved.

For the Indian Buddhist philosophers, the teachings of the Buddha were not meant to be taken on faith alone, but to be confirmed by logical analysis pramana of the world. Scholarly opinion varies as to whether the Buddha himself was engaged in philosophical inquiry.

He cultivated various yogic techniques and ascetic practices and taught throughout north India, where his teachings took hold. These teachings are preserved in the Pali Nikayas and in the Agamas as well as in other surviving fragmentary textual collections collectively known as the Early Buddhist Texts.

Dating these texts is difficult, and there is disagreement on how much of this material goes back to a single religious founder. While the focus of the Buddha's teachings are about attaining the highest good of nirvana, they also contain an analysis of the source of human suffering , the nature of personal identity , and the process of acquiring knowledge about the world. In the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta , this is used to refer to the fact that his teachings steer a middle course between the extremes of asceticism and bodily denial as practiced by the Jains and other ascetic groups and sensual hedonism or indulgence.

Many sramanas of the Buddha's time placed much emphasis on a denial of the body, using practices such as fasting , to liberate the mind from the body. The Buddha, however, realized that the mind was embodied and causally dependent on the body, and therefore that a malnourished body did not allow the mind to be trained and developed.

Certain basic teachings appear in many places throughout these early texts, so older studies by various scholars conclude that the Buddha must at least have taught some of these key teachings: [12]. According to N. However, some scholars such as Schmithausen , Vetter , and Bronkhorst argue that critical analysis reveals discrepancies among these various doctrines. They present alternative possibilities for what was taught in early Buddhism and question the authenticity of certain teachings and doctrines.

For example, some scholars think that karma was not central to the teaching of the historical Buddha, while other disagree with this position. According to some scholars, the philosophical outlook of earliest Buddhism was primarily negative, in the sense that it focused on what doctrines to reject more than on what doctrines to accept. According to this theory, the cycle of philosophical upheavals that in part drove the diversification of Buddhism into its many schools and sects only began once Buddhists began attempting to make explicit the implicit philosophy of the Buddha and the early texts.

The four noble truths or "truths of the noble one" are a central feature of the teachings and are put forth in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. The first truth of dukkha , often translated as suffering , is the inherent unsatisfactoriness of life.

This unpleasantness is said to be not just physical pain, but also a kind of existential unease caused by the inevitable facts of our mortality and ultimately by the impermanence of all phenomena. The second truth is that this unease arises out of conditions, mainly 'craving' tanha and ignorance avidya. The third truth is then the fact that if you let go of craving and remove ignorance through knowledge, dukkha ceases nirodha.

The fourth is the eightfold path which are eight practices that end suffering. They are: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right samadhi mental unification, meditation.

The goal taught by the Buddha, nirvana, literally means 'extinguishing' and signified "the complete extinguishing of greed, hatred, and delusion i. In early Buddhism, the concept of dependent origination was most likely limited to processes of mental conditioning and not to all physical phenomena. Craving, for example, is always dependent on, and caused by sensations. Sensations are always dependent on contact with our surroundings. Buddha's causal theory is simply descriptive: "This existing, that exists; this arising, that arises; this not existing, that does not exist; this ceasing, that ceases.

While philosophical analysis of arguments and concepts is clearly necessary to develop this understanding, it is not enough to remove our unskillful mental habits and deeply ingrained prejudices, which require meditation , paired with understanding.

Understanding and meditation are said to work together to 'clearly see' vipassana the nature of human experience and this is said to lead to liberation. The Buddha argued that compounded entities lacked essence, correspondingly the self is without essence. This means there is no part of a person which is unchanging and essential for continuity, and it means that there is no individual "part of the person that accounts for the identity of that person over time".

The Buddha held that attachment to the appearance of a permanent self in this world of change is the cause of suffering, and the main obstacle to liberation. The most widely used argument that the Buddha employed against the idea of an unchanging ego is an empiricist one, based on the observation of the five aggregates that make up a person and the fact that these are always changing.

This argument can be put in this way: [27]. This argument requires the implied premise that the five aggregates are an exhaustive account of what makes up a person, or else the self could exist outside of these aggregates.

This argument is famously expounded in the Anattalakkhana Sutta. According to this text, the apparently fixed self is merely the result of identification with the temporary aggregates , the changing processes making up an individual human being. In this view a 'person' is only a convenient nominal designation on a certain grouping of processes and characteristics, and an 'individual' is a conceptual construction overlaid upon a stream of experiences just like a chariot is merely a conventional designation for the parts of a chariot and how they are put together.

The foundation of this argument is empiricist , for it is based on the fact that all we observe is subject to change, especially everything observed when looking inwardly in meditation. Another argument for 'non-self', the 'argument from lack of control', [30] is based on the fact that we often seek to change certain parts of ourselves, that the 'executive function' of the mind is that which finds certain things unsatisfactory and attempts to alter them.

Furthermore, it is also based on the Indian 'Anti Reflexivity Principle' which states an entity cannot operate on or control itself a knife can cut other things but not itself, a finger can point at other things but not at itself, etc.

This means then, that the self could never desire to change itself and could not do so another reason for this is that in most Indian traditions besides Buddhism, the true self or Atman is perfectly blissful and does not suffer. The Buddha uses this idea to attack the concept of self. This argument could be structured thus: [31]. This argument then denies that there is one permanent "controller" in the person.

Instead it views the person as a set of constantly changing processes which include volitional events seeking change and an awareness of that desire for change. According to Mark Siderits:. This would make it possible for every part to be subject to control without there being any part that always fills the role of controller and so is the self.

On some occasions a given part might fall on the controller side, while on other occasions it might fall on the side of the controlled. This would explain how it's possible for us to seek to change any of the skandhas while there is nothing more to us than just those skandhas. As noted by K. Norman and Richard Gombrich, the Buddha extended his anatta critique to the Brahmanical belief expounded in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad that the Self Atman was indeed the whole world, or Brahman.

He used the example of someone carrying off and burning grass and sticks from the Jeta grove and how a monk would not sense or consider themselves harmed by that action.

In this example the Buddha is arguing that we do not have direct experience of the entire world, and hence the Self cannot be the whole world. The sixth is to identify the world and self, to believe: 'At death I shall become permanent, eternal, unchanging, and so remain forever the same; and that is mine, that is me, that is my self. Furthermore, the Buddha argues that the world can be observed to be a cause of suffering Brahman was held to be ultimately blissful and that since we cannot control the world as we wish, the world cannot be the Self.

The idea that "this cosmos is the self" is one of the views rejected by the Buddha [35] along with the related Monistic theory that held that "everything is a Oneness" SN All schools of Indian philosophy recognize various sets of valid justifications for knowledge, or pramana and many see the Vedas as providing access to truth.

The Buddha denied the authority of the Vedas, though, like his contemporaries, he affirmed the soteriological importance of having a proper understanding of reality right view. The Buddha's epistemology has been compared to empiricism , in the sense that it was based on experience of the world through the senses.

Some suttas go further, stating that "the All", or everything that exists sabbam , are these six sense spheres SN Furthermore, in the Kalama Sutta the Buddha tells a group of confused villagers that the only proper reason for one's beliefs is verification in one's own personal experience and the experience of the wise and denies any verification which stems from personal authority, sacred tradition anussava or any kind of rationalism which constructs metaphysical theories takka.

The Buddha also stressed that experience is the only criterion for verification of the truth in this passage from the Majjhima Nikaya MN. Furthermore, the Buddha's standard for personal verification was a pragmatic and salvific one, for the Buddha a belief counts as truth only if it leads to successful Buddhist practice and hence, to the destruction of craving. Jayatilleke argues the Buddha's epistemology can also be taken to be a form of correspondence theory as per the 'Apannaka Sutta' with elements of Coherentism [48] and that for the Buddha, it is causally impossible for something which is false to lead to cessation of suffering and evil.

The Buddha discouraged his followers from indulging in intellectual disputation for its own sake, which is fruitless, and distracts one from the goal of awakening. Only philosophy and discussion which has pragmatic value for liberation from suffering is seen as important.

According to the scriptures , during his lifetime the Buddha remained silent when asked several metaphysical questions which he regarded as the basis for "unwise reflection". The Buddha stated that thinking about these imponderable Acinteyya issues led to "a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views" Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta. According to the Buddha, the Dharma is not an ultimate end in itself or an explanation of all metaphysical reality, but a pragmatic set of teachings.

The Buddha used two parables to clarify this point, the 'Parable of the raft' and the Parable of the Poisoned Arrow. It is also like medicine, in that the particulars of how one was injured by a poisoned arrow i. In this sense, the Buddha was often called 'the great physician' because his goal was to cure the human condition of suffering first and foremost, not to speculate about metaphysics.

Having said this, it is still clear that resisting even refuting a false or slanted doctrine can be useful to extricate the interlocutor, or oneself, from error; hence, to advance in the way of liberation. Witness the Buddha's confutation of several doctrines by Nigantha Nataputta and other purported sages which sometimes had large followings e.

This shows that a virtuous and appropriate use of dialectics can take place. By implication, reasoning and argument shouldn't be disparaged by Buddhists. After the Buddha's death, some Buddhists such as Dharmakirti went on to use the sayings of the Buddha as sound evidence equal to perception and inference. Another possible reason why the Buddha refused to engage in metaphysics is that he saw ultimate reality and nirvana as devoid of sensory mediation and conception and therefore language itself is a priori inadequate to explain it.

Rather, it indicates that he viewed the answers to these questions as not understandable by the unenlightened. The Buddha of the earliest Buddhists texts describes Dharma in the sense of "truth" as "beyond reasoning" or "transcending logic", in the sense that reasoning is a subjectively introduced aspect of the way unenlightened humans perceive things, and the conceptual framework which underpins their cognitive process, rather than a feature of things as they really are.

Going "beyond reasoning" means in this context penetrating the nature of reasoning from the inside, and removing the causes for experiencing any future stress as a result of it, rather than functioning outside the system as a whole. The Buddha's ethics are based on the soteriological need to eliminate suffering and on the premise of the law of karma.

Buddhist ethics have been termed eudaimonic with their goal being well-being and also compared to virtue ethics this approach began with Damien Keown. The Buddha outlined five precepts no killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, or drinking alcohol which were to be followed by his disciples, lay and monastic. There are various reasons the Buddha gave as to why someone should be ethical.

First, the universe is structured in such a way that if someone intentionally commits a misdeed, a bad karmic fruit will be the result. Hence, from a pragmatic point of view, it is best to abstain from these negative actions which bring forth negative results.

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Buddhism is a major global religion with a complex history and system of beliefs. The following is intended only to introduce Buddhism's history and fundamental tenets, and by no means covers the religion exhaustively. To learn more about Buddhism, please look through our Web Resources section for other in-depth, online sources of information. Historians estimate that the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, lived from ? The son of an Indian warrior-king, Gautama led an extravagant life through early adulthood, reveling in the privileges of his social caste. But when he bored of the indulgences of royal life, Gautama wandered into the world in search of understanding. After encountering an old man, an ill man, a corpse and an ascetic, Gautama was convinced that suffering lay at the end of all existence.

Religion portal. Buddhist philosophy refers to the philosophical investigations and systems of inquiry that developed among various Buddhist schools in India following the parinirvana i. The Buddhist path combines both philosophical reasoning and meditation. Early Buddhism was based on empirical evidence gained by the sense organs ayatana [3] and the Buddha seems to have retained a skeptical distance from certain metaphysical questions , refusing to answer them because they were not conducive to liberation but led instead to further speculation. A recurrent theme in Buddhist philosophy has been the reification of concepts, and the subsequent return to the Buddhist Middle Way.


Buddhism; its essence and development.

Buddhism - Its Essence and Development. Below it, a list of numbers is scraped away, leaving the cost of a wash a mystery. This is the way to keep track of creepingshadows!!.

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Display 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 search results per page. Display full part no talk summaries in audio search results. Search Options Audio Text Display 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 search results per page Display full part no talk summaries in audio search results See tips for advanced text search. Sravaniya, Boston, USA.

Four noble truths as preached by Buddha are that the life is full of suffering Duhkha , that there is a cause of this suffering Duhkha-samudaya , it is possible to stop suffering Duhkha-nirodha , and there is a way to extinguish suffering Duhkha-nirodha-marga. Buddhism and Western Psychology overlap in theory and in practice. Over the last century, experts have written on many commonalities between Buddhism and various branches of modern western psychology like phenomenological psychology, psychoanalytical psychotherapy, humanistic psychology, cognitive psychology and existential psychology.

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