OCR AS Buddhism Notes

  • Created by: Marith
  • Created on: 03-02-15 13:14

Buddhism Notes

Traditional Accounts of the Life of The Buddha

  • Birth of The Buddha

    • Maya(mother) had a dream that an Elephant entered her womb implying that the her child would be great

    • The Buddha was born from her side(indicating Kammic purity) under a tree- many other events in the Buddha’s like occur under trees implying his harmony with all forms of life

    • After being born the Buddha took seven steps turned to all corners of the universe and announced that this would be his last rebirth and roared like a lion

    • Asita(holy man) recognized that he was the Buddha and cried from happiness and another predicted he would become a holy man and pursue the truth- as a result his father immediately made sure that his son would be surrounded with no unpleasantness and he were to avoid seeing- Old Age, Sickness, Death, and Sadus

  • The Four Signs

    • The Buddha eventually married, had a son rahula

    • However one night he ventured outside of the palace with his charioteer Channa, and he first saw an old man, then a sick man, then a family mourning for their loss, and then a wandering holy man walking calmly and contentedly in pursuit of truth and the an answer to life’s problems and the Siddhartha Gautama wondered where he got his sense of peace from

    • The Buddha then returned to the palace where his wife had just given birth and feeling tied to this life of luxury immediately sought freedom and became and wandering holy man

  • Ascetic Practices

  • Sought out two teachers

    • - Alara Kalarma- Trained Buddha in Yoga, after having attained the same state of nothingness as his teacher, he still felt dissatisfied because he saw it did not eradicate desire, Passion, and Attachment- it simply ignored them by taking an alternative route

    • Uddaka Ramaputta- similar experience- yoga practices led to meditative states which gave the false impression of Enlightenment but were far from it,

  • The Buddha’s Enlightenment

    • After the ascetic practices failed to achieve inner peace, the Buddha sat beneath the Bodhi tree determined to achieve enlightenment vivid accounts describes the Four Jhanas the Buddha went through before achieving enlightenment

    • First Jhana- Unbroken attention to meditation, detached from the world in a total state of calm,

    • 2nd Jhana- Thoughts are discarded and the detachment becomes more profound, Nyanatiloka describes it as “ a state free  from thought-conception and discursive thinking...which is born of concentration”

    • 3rd Jhana- a state of equanimity, totally composed and with absolute attentiveness but still clearly conscious

    • 4th Jhana- a state beyond pleasure or pain, indeed, beyond all sense of joy and thought construction, leaving a mind peaceful, tranquil, clear, a sharp tool ready to pierce into reality( Cush)

      • - The 4th Jhana also involved meditative phase which provided the Buddha insight upon the workings of the Universe

      • The first gave the Buddha insight in his previous lives

      • he then gained insight on the plight of beings tied to the world of rebirth,gaining




Wow! Reading this just makes me wish that my RS A-Level Course covered Buddhism as opposed to Theology.