Buddhist Places Of Worship

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  • Buddhist Places Of Worship
    • Temples
      • The traditional temples may be very ornate with elaborate architecture, sculpture and decoration.
      • Modern temples, mainly those in western countries, may be housed in ordinary buildings.
      • The most important part of the temple is the shrine room, which houses statues and images of the Buddha and others Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
        • These statues are called Buddha-rupas and can be quite large symbolising the importance of those they represent.
      • In Thervada temples Siddhartha Gautama Buddha is hte main focus of worship.
      • In the Mahayana tradition they have images of other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as there focus of worship.
    • Shrines
      • Shrines are an important element of Buddhist devotion, serving as a focus for worship.
      • They are not only seen in temples but also in the homes of Buddhists
      • The Buddha-rupa:
        • -symbol of the qualities of the Buddhas such as wisdom and compassion, inspiring followers to develop these qualities
        • good way for Buddhists to show respect for the buddha for revealing the path to enlightenment
      • Lotus Flower
        • may form part of the buddha-rupa
        • Buddha is compared to the beautiful lotus flower which grows in a muddy environment. as the lotus flower blossoms in unfavourable surroundings
        • symbolises a persons own potential to reach Buddhahood
      • Flowers - Imperman-     ence
      • Incense - Ehtical Action and spreading of compassion
      • Candles - wisdom and englighten-ment
      • Food - end product and ultimate goal of englighten-ment
      • Water - purification and calm
    • Monasteries
      • At the time of the Buddha, community of monks would travel together providing teachings to the laity and receiving offerings.
      • During the rainy season the Monks stayed in places called viharas, meaning resting place, and were provided by the lay community.
      • Over time, Viharas became more permanent places to settle and became the monasteries where monks and nuns live.
      • Areas that fulfil different purposes including accomodation for monks and nuns, a library and a main hall.
      • offer a centre for devotion, ceremonies, retreats and teaching: they are maintained by the lay community
      • in some buddhist countries it is quite normal for young people to spend a period of time living the monastic life at viharas
    • Gompas
      • A Gompa is  Tibetan monastery where learning takes place.
      • Scripture is housed in the libraries and used for study.
      • Places of learning, centres for meditation and religious practice, meditation halls.
      • Good place for meditation which is usually under the guidance of someone leading meditation.

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