Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Damien Keown

By Damien Keown

This Very brief advent introduces the reader to the lessons of the Buddha and to the mixing of Buddhism into lifestyle. What are the specified beneficial properties of Buddhism? Who was once the Buddha, and what are his teachings? How has Buddhist concept constructed over the centuries, and the way can modern dilemmas be confronted from a Buddhist standpoint? phrases reminiscent of karma and nirvana have entered our vocabulary, yet what do they suggest? Damien Keown's e-book presents a full of life, informative reaction to those commonly asked questions about Buddhism

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He now made rapid progress and in the course of one night seated beneath a large tree, later known as the Bodhi tree (ficus religiosus), attained the complete state of awakening which he sought. During the first watch of the night he 22 2. The Buddha gains enlightenment: The Buddha is depicted here in the lotus posture just after he gained enlightenment. He calls upon the Earth to witness his achievement by touching it with his right hand. Western Tibet, 11th–12th cent. ad acquired the power to look back through his previous existences, recalling them in full detail.

Karmic energy is finite and eventually expires, not unlike that of a spacecraft in a decaying orbit. The answer to the problem of suffering does not lie in a better rebirth in the cycle of reincarnation (samsa¯ra) – only nirvana offers a final solution. ˙ 43 Karma and Rebirth seem to be a minimal requirement for most traditions of Buddhist Chapter 4 The Four Noble Truths The ultimate goal of Buddhism is to put an end to suffering and rebirth. ’ Although this formulation is negative, the goal also has a positive side, because the way one puts an end to suffering is by fulfilling the human potential for goodness and happiness.

On hearing the first sermon one member of the audience immediately glimpsed the truth and became a ‘stream-enterer’ or one who has achieved the preliminary degree of spiritual understanding. As the Buddha expounded his teachings further the remaining four mendicants also achieved this state. All five became his disciples and were ordained as monks (bhikkhu) in a simple ceremony. On hearing the Buddha’s second sermon the five attained full enlightenment. They and others like them were known as Arhats (saints) rather than Buddhas, since the term Buddha is reserved for a person who discovers the way to Buddhism enlightenment by himself rather than hearing it from another.

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