AS Level Buddhism - Northern India and the Buddha's beliefs


What the Buddha accepted

  • The Buddha accepted several of the Brahman beliefs in Northern India
  • He accepted the idea of Samsara (being the wheel of life, rebirth to death)
  • He accepted meditation and yogic practices, believing these to aid in the journey of enlightenment
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What the Buddha accepted but modified

  • He modified the idea of karma to relate to thoughts as well as actions
  • He made reincarnation known as rebirth because reincarnation required permanent atman (self/soul) whereas the Buddha believes we are impermanent
  • He made Nirvana the escape from Samsara but by following The Middle Path rather than attempting to climb the Brahmanism system of Caste (to which the Buddha was a Kshatriya)
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What the Buddha added

  • The Buddha added the idea of anatta, meaning no self, due to the fact there is no permanent entity within us and nothing is permanent
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What the Buddha rejected

  • The Buddha rejected the idea of the Brahman caste system as he disbelieved in the various levels and the discrimination of those at the lower end of the caste (sadhus, untouchables)
  • He rejected the idea of Vedic sacrifices due to their inhumane nature as he believed in loving all life and respecting nature
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Quotes on the Buddha and his teachings

  • "The Buddha was imprisoned in paradise" (Wendy Dossett)
  • "Everything is therefore dependent of other things, nothing exists by itself" (Denise Cush)
  • "People should not believe because he (Buddha) said so but should test out his words by thinking things for themselves" (Denise Cush)
  • "Buddhism is about the request for true happiness and peace for all beings" (Denise Cush)
  • "The rich diversity of Buddhism reflects the attitude of the Buddha and his followers to what his religion is for" (Denise Cush)
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