HideShow resource information
View mindmap
  • Examine the Buddhist teachings about death and rebirth.
    • Introduction
      • A Buddhist believes that a person is made up pf 5 heaps which are known as skandhas and that they rearrange when we are reborn.
      • The wheel of Samsara helps to explain this concept.
      • Samsara is the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth through the law of karma.
        • Karma means volitional actions.
        • The Sanskrit literal meaning is 'wandering on'.
      • Kalpas/Eons are the units used for the Samsara time scale. They are vast units of time equivalent to billions of years.
    • At the centre of the wheel are the 3 mental poisons which keep the wheel of samsara turning.
      • The 3 mental poisons are greed, hatred and delusion, which are represented by a pig, snake and rooster.
      • They are pictured biting onto each others tails, to show that each feed of one another.
    • The next circle is divided into 2. One half shows humans moving up, while the other half shows them moving down.
      • This indicates that depending on your karma, you can move into a better realm or a worse realm.
      • By doing good skilful actions you will produce good karma-phala, but if you do bad/unskilful actions you will produce bad karma-phala.
        • Karma Phala refers to karmic fruits.
      • However just because you produce bad karma-phala doesn't necessarily mean that a bad rebirth will follow but the appropriate results will  come to fruition in time.
    • Then comes the 6 realms, which are divided into good and bad.
      • Good Realms
        • The human realm is seen as the most favourable as it has the correct amount of suffering to motivate humans to seek enlightenment and release.
          • Peter Harvey described the human realm as 'the most marvellous opportunity for growth'.
        • The animal realm, which is the most basic of the realms.
        • The deva realm has everything provided for you. It is a beautiful dream world, however this means they lack motivation to seek nirvana.
      • Bad Realms
        • The hell realm is full of torture.
        • The peta realm includes the hungry ghosts which have an attachment to the earth.
        • The asuras relam is where angry beings are always at war with one another.
      • Bad actions lead to a bad realm, good actions lead to a good realm.
    • Then comes the 12 links. These are ways of expressing the truth that ignorance, about the consequences of things lead to suffering.
      • Eg. A picture of a potter which indicates how we can shape and create our own future if we produce good karmic actions and that if we do really well have a good rebirth into a more favourable realm.
      • E.g. A blind man which represents spiritual ignorance, which is the basic nature of life as analysed by the Buddha.
    • Yama, the Lord of Death keeps the wheel turning. He is shown griping the wheel tightly to show that karma has a huge influence on your rebirth.
    • Bodhisattvas are enlightened beings. They contribute to each realm separately.
      • In the human realm, they show the way to spiritual life.
      • In the animal realm, they bring education and culture.
    • Linking to anatta which means no self/ no permanent fixed state.
      • Imagine the flame of one lamp lighting another. It is not the same flame in the second lamp, but it has come about due to the first.
        • In the same way, although there is no soul to pass from one life to another, Buddhists see the future arising out of the present.


No comments have yet been made

Similar Religious Studies resources:

See all Religious Studies resources »See all Buddhism resources »