[This post is a work in progress as part of the CAA Catechism.]
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Summary in 400 words or less:
Buddhism originated in the spiritual quest of Siddhartha Gautama, the prince of Kapilavastu in modern day Nepal. The prince saw “four sights”. First sight was an old man, followed by a sick man, a corpse and finally a renouncer. He renounced his palace life and embarked on a spiritual quest. He obtained Nirvana(enlightenment) during a protracted period of meditation under a Bodhi tree. Buddha called his new path, the “middle way”. He delivered his first sermon called the ‘The four noble truths’ and then ‘The eight fold paths’.
A.Four Noble truths
- Life is suffering/misery/sorrow
- Craving is the cause of suffering
- In order to end suffering one must end craving reach the state of sunyata (nothingness) is nirvana, where rebirth will stop.
- The means to end craving is the noble eightfold paths.
B. The Eightfold path
I. Training in wisdom (Prajan)
- Right Views
- Right Intention
II. Training in Morality (Shila)
- Right speech
- Right action
- Right livelihood
III. Training in Concentration (Samadhi)
- Right effort
- Right mindfulness
- Right absorption
- Vinaya-Pitaka (Basket of Order)
- Sutra-Pitaka (Basket of Instructions)
- Abhidharma-Pitaka (Basket of higher teaching) and thousands of other sutras written later.
Dhammam Saranam Gachchami (I take shelter in Dhamma<law>)
Samgham Saranam Gachchami (Samgha<group>)
Buddham Saranam Gachchami (Buddha<enlightened one>)
In Christianity, Salvation is a gift of God obtained by the work of Jesus on the cross. Buddhism denies the existence of both God and the Soul. Man is ‘anatman’, soul-less consciousness. Ultimate reality in Buddhism is Sunyata(nothingness) whereas in Christianity it is the Holy Trinity. Time and history in Christianity is linear whereas in Buddhism it is circular. Nirvana is the goal obtained by following the teachings of Buddha in Theravada Buddhism and with the mediation of Bodhisattvas in Mahayana Buddhism, the two major schools. Christ as mediator and Boddhisatvas as mediator form a bridge for communication as does salvation by faith in Pure Land Buddhism.
Scripture for YouVersion:
Three questions (1 fill-in-the-blank, 1 multiple choice, and one discussion question):
References for further reading:
Collaborators: Samuel Inbaraja, Marcia Montenegro
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