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THEBASICTEACHINGOFBUDDHA

FollowingtheBuddha'sFootsteps

InstillingGoodnessSchool

CityofTenThousandBuddhas

Talmage,CA95481

INTRODUCTIONTOBUDDHISM

Asachild,SiddharthatheBuddha,wastroubledbysomeofthesamethoughtsthatchildrentodayhave.Theywonder

aboutbirthanddeath.Theywonderwhytheygetsickandwhygrandfatherdied.Theywonderwhytheirwishesdonot

cometrue.Childrenalsowonderabouthappinessandthebeautyinnature.

BecausetheBuddhaknewwhatwasintheheartsofchildrenandhumankind,hetaughteveryonehowtoliveahappyand

peacefullife.Buddhismisnotlearningaboutstrangebeliefsfromfarawaylands.Itisaboutlookingatandthinkingabout

ourownlives.Itshowsushowtounderstandourselvesandhowtocopewithourdailyproblems.

UNIT1

THELIFEOFTHEBUDDHA

LifeinthePalace

Buddhismisoneofthemajorreligionsintheworld.Itbeganaround2,500yearsagoinIndiawhenSiddharthaGautama

discoveredhowtobringhappinessintotheworld.Hewasbornaround566BC,inthesmallkingdomofKapilavastu.His

fatherwasKingSuddhodanaandhismotherwasQueenMaya.

SoonafterPrinceSiddharthawasborn,thewisemenpredictedthathewouldbecomeaBuddha.Whenthekingheardthis,

hewasdeeplydisturbed,forhewantedhissontobecomeamightyruler.HetoldQueenMaya,"Iwillmakelifeinthe

palacesopleasantthatoursonwillneverwanttoleave."

Attheageofsixteen,PrinceSiddharthamarriedabeautifulprincess,Yasodhara.Thekingbuiltthemthreepalaces,onefor

eachseason,andlavishedthemwithluxuries.Theypassedtheirdaysinenjoymentandneverthoughtaboutlifeoutsidethe

palace.

TheFourSights

SoonSiddharthabecamedisillusionedwiththepalacelifeandwantedtoseetheoutsideworld.Hemadefourtripsoutside

thepalaceandsawfourthingsthatchangedhislife.Onthefirstthreetrips,hesawsickness,oldageanddeath.Heasked

himself,"HowcanIenjoyalifeofpleasurewhenthereissomuchsufferingintheworld?"

Onhisfourthtrip,hesawawanderingmonkwhohadgivenupeverythingheownedtoseekanendtosuffering."Ishallbe

likehim."Siddharthathought.

Renunciation

Leavinghiskingdomandlovedonesbehind,Siddharthabecameawanderingmonk.Hecutoffhishairtoshowthathehad

renouncedtheworldlylifestyleandcalledhimselfGautama.Heworeraggedrobesandwanderedfromplacetoplace.In

hissearchfortruth,hestudiedwiththewisestteachersofhisday.Noneofthemknewhowtoendsuffering,sohe

continuedthesearchonhisown.

Forsixyearshepracticedsevereasceticismthinkingthiswouldleadhimtoenlightenment.Hesatinmeditationandate

onlyroots,leavesandfruit.Attimesheatenothing.Hecouldenduremorehardshipsthananyoneelse,butthisdidnottake

himanywhere.Hethought,"Neithermylifeofluxuryinthepalacenormylifeasanasceticintheforestisthewayto

freedom.Overdoingthingscannotleadtohappiness."Hebegantoeatnourishingfoodagainandregainedhisstrength.

Enlightenment

Onafull­moondayinMay,hesatundertheBodhitreeindeepmeditationandsaid."IwillnotleavethisspotuntilIfind

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anendtosuffering."Duringthenight,hewasvisitedbyMara,theevilone,whotriedtotempthimawayfromhisvirtuous

path.FirsthesenthisbeautifuldaughterstolureGautamaintopleasure.Nexthesentboltsoflightning,windandheavy

rain.Lasthesenthisdemonicarmieswithweaponsandflamingrocks.Onebyone,Gautamametthearmiesanddefeated

themwithhisvirtue.

Asthestruggleended,herealizedthecauseofsufferingandhowtoremoveit.Hehadgainedthemostsupremewisdom

andunderstoodthingsastheytrulyare.HebecametheBuddha,'TheAwakenedOne'.Fromthenon,hewascalled

ShakyamuniBuddha.

TheBuddhaTeaches

Afterhisenlightenment,hewenttotheDeerParkneartheholycityofBenaresandsharedhisnewunderstandingwithfive

holymen.Theyunderstoodimmediatelyandbecamehisdisciples.ThismarkedthebeginningoftheBuddhistcommunity.

Forthenextforty­fiveyears,theBuddhaandhisdiscipleswentfromplacetoplaceinIndiaspreadingtheDharma,his

teachings.Theircompassionknewnobounds,theyhelpedeveryonealongtheway,beggars,kingsandslavegirls.Atnight,

theywouldsleepwheretheywere;whenhungrytheywouldaskforalittlefood.

WhenevertheBuddhawent,hewontheheartsofthepeoplebecausehedealtwiththeirtruefeelings.Headvisedthemnot

toaccepthiswordsonblindfaith,buttodecideforthemselveswhetherhisteachingsarerightorwrong,thenfollowthem.

Heencouragedeveryonetohavecompassionforeachotheranddeveloptheirownvirtue,"Youshoulddoyourownwork,

forIcanteachonlytheway."

Heneverbecameangryorimpatientorspokeharshlytoanyone,noteventothosewhoopposedhim.Healwaystaughtin

suchawaythateveryonecouldunderstand.EachpersonthoughttheBuddhawasspeakingespeciallyforhim.TheBuddha

toldhisfollowerstohelpeachotherontheWay.FollowingisastoryoftheBuddhalivingasanexampletohisdisciples.

OncetheBuddhaandAnandavisitedamonasterywhereamonkwassufferingfromacontagiousdisease.Thepoorman

layinamesswithnoonelookingafterhim.TheBuddhahimselfwashedthesickmonkandplacedhimonanewbed.

Afterwards,headmonishedtheothermonks."Monks,youhaveneithermothernorfathertolookafteryou.Ifyoudonot

lookaftereachother,whowilllookafteryou?Whoeverservesthesickandsuffering,servesme."

TheLastYears

ShakyamuniBuddhapassedawayaround486BCattheageofeighty.Althoughhehaslefttheworld,thespiritofhis

kindnessandcompassionremains.

TheBuddharealizedthatthathewasnotthefirsttobecomeaBuddha."TherehavebeenmanyBuddhasbeforemeand

willbemanyBuddhasinthefuture,"TheBuddharecalledtohisdisciples."AlllivingbeingshavetheBuddhanatureand

canbecomeBuddhas."Forthisreason,hetaughtthewaytoBuddhahood.

ThetwomaingoalsofBuddhismaregettingtoknowourselvesandlearningtheBuddha'steachings.Toknowwhoweare,

weneedtounderstandthatwehavetwonatures.Oneiscalledourordinarynature,whichismadeupofunpleasant

feelingssuchasfear,anger,andjealousy.Theotherisourtruenature,thepartofusthatispure,wise,andperfect.In

Buddhism,itiscalledtheBuddhanature.TheonlydifferencebetweenusandtheBuddhaisthatwehavenotawakened

toourtruenature.

Unit2

BASICTEACHINGSOFTHEBUDDHA

Chapter1

THETHREEUNIVERSALTRUTHS

Oneday,theBuddhasatdownintheshadeofatreeandnoticedhowbeautifulthecountrysidewas.Flowerswere

bloomingandtreeswereputtingonbrightnewleaves,butamongallthisbeauty,hesawmuchunhappiness.Afarmerbeat

hisoxinthefield.Abirdpeckedatanearthworm,andthenaneagleswoopeddownonthebird.Deeplytroubled,heasked,

"Whydoesthefarmerbeathisox?Whymustonecreatureeatanothertolive?"

Duringhisenlightenment,theBuddhafoundtheanswertothesequestions.Hediscoveredthreegreattruths.Heexplained

thesetruthsinasimplewaysothateveryonecouldunderstandthem.

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1.Nothingislostintheuniverse

Thefirsttruthisthatnothingislostintheuniverse.Matterturnsintoenergy,energyturnsintomatter.Adeadleafturns

intosoil.Aseedsproutsandbecomesanewplant.Oldsolarsystemsdisintegrateandturnintocosmicrays.Wearebornof

ourparents,ourchildrenarebornofus.

Wearethesameasplants,astrees,asotherpeople,astherainthatfalls.Weconsistofthatwhichisaroundus,wearethe

sameaseverything.Ifwedestroysomethingaroundus,wedestroyourselves.Ifwecheatanother,wecheatourselves.

Understandingthistruth,theBuddhaandhisdisciplesneverkilledanyanimal.

2.EverythingChanges

TheseconduniversaltruthoftheBuddhaisthateverythingiscontinuouslychanging.Lifeislikeariverflowingonandon,

ever­changing.Sometimesitflowsslowlyandsometimesswiftly.Itissmoothandgentleinsomeplaces,butlateronsnags

androckscropupoutofnowhere.Assoonaswethinkwearesafe,somethingunexpectedhappens.

Oncedinosaurs,mammoths,andsaber­toothedtigersroamedthisearth.Theyalldiedout,yetthiswasnottheendoflife.

Otherlifeformslikesmallermammalsappeared,andeventuallyhumans,too.NowwecanevenseetheEarthfromspace

andunderstandthechangesthathavetakenplaceonthisplanet.Ourideasaboutlifealsochange.Peopleoncebelievedthat

theworldwasflat,butnowweknowthatitisround.

3.LawofCauseandEffect

ThethirduniversaltruthexplainedbytheBuddhaisthatthereiscontinuouschangesduetothelawofcauseandeffect.

Thisisthesamelawofcauseandeffectfoundineverymodernsciencetextbook.Inthisway,scienceandBuddhismare

alike.

Thelawofcauseandeffectisknownaskarma.Nothingeverhappenstousunlesswedeservesit.Wereceiveexactly

whatweearn,whetheritisgoodorbad.Wearethewaywearenowduetothethingswehavedoneinthepast.Our

thoughtsandactionsdeterminethekindoflifewecanhave.Ifwedogoodthings,inthefuturegoodthingswillhappento

us.Ifwedobadthings,inthefuturebadthingswillhappentous.Everymomentwecreatenewkarmabywhatwesay,do,

andthink.Ifweunderstandthis,wedonotneedtofearkarma.Itbecomesourfriend.Itteachesustocreateabrightfuture.

TheBuddhasaid,

"Thekindofseedsown

willproducethatkindoffruit.

Thosewhodogoodwillreapgoodresults.

Thosewhodoevilwillreapevilresults.

Ifyoucarefullyplantagoodseed,

Youwilljoyfullygathergoodfruit."

Dhammapada

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Chapter2

THEFOURNOBLETRUTHS

OncetherewasawomannamedKisagotami,whosefirst­bornsondied.Shewassostrickenwithgriefthatsheroamedthe

streetscarryingthedeadbodyandaskingforhelptobringhersonbacktolife.Akindandwisemantookhertothe

Buddha.

TheBuddhatoldher,"FetchmeahandfulofmustardseedsandIwillbringyourchildbacktolife."JoyfullyKisagotami

startedofftogetthem.ThentheBuddhaadded,"Buttheseedsmustcomefromafamilythathasnotknowndeath."

Kisagotamiwentfromdoortodoorinthewholevillageaskingforthemustardseeds,buteveryonesaid,"Oh,therehave

beenmanydeathshere","Ilostmyfather",Ilostmysister".Shecouldnotfindasinglehouseholdthathadnotbeenvisited

bydeath.FinallyKisagotamireturnedtotheBuddhaandsaid,"Thereisdeathineveryfamily.Everyonedies.NowI

understandyourteaching."

TheBuddhasaid,"Noonecanescapedeathandunhappiness.Ifpeopleexpectonlyhappinessinlife,theywillbe

disappointed."

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Thingsarenotalwaysthewaywewantthemtobe,butwecanlearntounderstandthem.Whenwegetsick,wegotoa

doctorandask:

What'swrongwithme?doctorandask: WhyamIsick? Whatwillcureme? WhatdoIhavetodogetwell?

WhyamIsick?doctorandask: What'swrongwithme? Whatwillcureme? WhatdoIhavetodogetwell?

Whatwillcureme?doctorandask: What'swrongwithme? WhyamIsick? WhatdoIhavetodogetwell?

WhatdoIhavetodogetwell?

TheBuddhaislikeagooddoctor.Firstagooddoctordiagnosestheillness.Nexthefindsoutwhathascausedit.Thenhe

decideswhatthecureis.Finallyheprescribesthemedicineorgivesthetreatmentthatwillmakethepatientwellagain.

TheFourNobleTruths

1.ThereisSufferingSufferingiscommontoall.

2.CauseofSufferingWearethecauseofoursuffering.

3.EndofSufferingStopdoingwhatcausessuffering.

4.PathtoendSufferingEveryonecanbeenlightened.

1.Suffering:Everyonesuffersfromthesething

Birth­Whenweareborn,wecry.

Sickness­Whenwearesick,wearemiserable.

Oldage­Whenold,wewillhaveacheandpainsandfindithardtogetaround.

Death­Noneofuswantstodie.Wefeeldeepsorrowwhensomeonedies.

Otherthingswesufferfromare:

Beingwiththosewedislike,

Beingapartfromthosewelove,

Notgettingwhatwewant,

Allkindsofproblemsanddisappointmentsthatareunavoidable.

TheBuddhadidnotdenythatthereishappinessinlife,buthepointedoutitdoesnotlastforever.Eventuallyeveryone

meetswithsomekindofsuffering.Hesaid:

"Thereishappinessinlife,

happinessinfriendship,

happinessofafamily,

happinessinahealthybodyandmind,

butwhenonelosesthem,thereissuffering."

Dhammapada

2.Thecauseofsuffering

TheBuddhaexplainedthatpeopleliveinaseaofsufferingbecauseofignoranceandgreed.Theyareignorantofthelawof

karmaandaregreedyforthewrongkindofpleasures.Theydothingsthatareharmfultotheirbodiesandpeaceofmind,

sotheycannotbesatisfiedorenjoylife.

Forexample,oncechildrenhavehadatasteofcandy,theywantmore.Whentheycan'thaveit,theygetupset.Evenif

childrengetallthecandytheywant,theysoongettiredofitandwantsomethingelse.Although,theygetastomach­ache

fromeatingtoomuchcandy,theystillwantmore.Thethingspeoplewantmostcausethemthemostsuffering.Ofcourse,

therearebasicthingsthatallpeopleshouldhave,likeadequatefood,shelter,andclothing.Everyonedeserveagoodhome,

lovingparents,andgoodfriends.Theyshouldenjoylifeandcherishtheirpossessionswithoutbecominggreedy.

3.Theendofsuffering

Toendsuffering,onemustcutoffgreedandignorance.Thismeanschangingone'sviewsandlivinginamorenaturaland

peacefulway.Itislikeblowingoutacandle.Theflameofsufferingisputoutforgood.Buddhistscallthestateinwhich

allsufferingisendedNirvana.Nirvanaisaneverlastingstateofgreatjoyandpeace.TheBuddhasaid,"Theextinctionof

desireisNirvana."ThisistheultimategoalinBuddhism.EveryonecanrealizeitwiththehelpoftheBuddha'steachings.

Itcanbeexperiencedinthisverylife.

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4.Thepathtotheendofsuffering:ThepathtoendsufferingisknownastheNobleEightfoldPath.Itisalsoknownas

theMiddleWay.

Chapter3

THENOBLEEIGHTFOLDPATH

WhentheBuddhagavehisfirstsermonintheDeerPark,hebeganthe'TurningoftheDharmaWheel'.Hechosethe

beautifulsymbolofthewheelwithitseightspokestorepresenttheNobleEightfoldPath.TheBuddha'steachinggoes

roundandroundlikeagreatwheelthatneverstops,leadingtothecentralpointofthewheel,theonlypointwhichisfixed,

Nirvana.TheeightspokesonthewheelrepresenttheeightpartsoftheNobleEightfoldPath.Justaseveryspokeisneeded

forthewheeltokeepturning,weneedtofolloweachstepofthepath.

1.RightView.TherightwaytothinkaboutlifeistoseetheworldthroughtheeyesoftheBuddha­­withwisdomand

compassion.

2.RightThought.Wearewhatwethink.Clearandkindthoughtsbuildgood,strongcharacters.

3.RightSpeech.Byspeakingkindandhelpfulwords,wearerespectedandtrustedbyeveryone.

4.RightConduct.Nomatterwhatwesay,othersknowusfromthewaywebehave.Beforewecriticizeothers,weshould

firstseewhatwedoourselves.

5.RightLivelihood.Thismeanschoosingajobthatdoesnothurtothers.TheBuddhasaid,"Donotearnyourlivingby

harmingothers.Donotseekhappinessbymakingothersunhappy."

6.RightEffort.Aworthwhilelifemeansdoingourbestatalltimesandhavinggoodwilltowardothers.Thisalsomeans

notwastingeffortonthingsthatharmourselvesandothers.

7.RightMindfulness.Thismeansbeingawareofourthoughts,words,anddeeds.

8.RightConcentration.Focusononethoughtorobjectatatime.Bydoingthis,wecanbequietandattaintruepeaceof

mind.

FollowingtheNobleEightfoldPathcanbecomparedtocultivatingagarden,butinBuddhismonecultivatesone'swisdom.

Themindisthegroundandthoughtsareseeds.Deedsarewaysonecaresforthegarden.Ourfaultsareweeds.Pulling

themoutislikeweedingagarden.Theharvestisrealandlastinghappiness.

UNIT3

FOLLOWINGTHEBUDDHA'STEACHINGS

TheBuddhaspoketheFourNobleTruthsandmanyotherteachings,butatthehearttheyallstressthesamething.An

ancientstoryexplainsthiswell.

ancientstoryexplainsthiswell.

Onceaveryoldkingwenttoseeanoldhermitwholivedinabird'snestinthetopofatree,"Whatisthemostimportant Buddhistteaching?"Thehermitanswered,"Donoevil,doonlygood.Purifyyourheart."Thekinghadexpectedtoheara verylongexplanation.Heprotested,"Butevenafive­yearoldchildcanunderstandthat!""Yes,"repliedthewisesage,"but

evenan80­year­oldmancannotdoit."

Chapter1

THETRIPLEJEWEL

TheBuddhaknewitwouldbedifficultforpeopletofollowhisteachingsontheirown,soheestablishedtheThree

Refugesforthemtorelyon.IfapersonwantstobecomeBuddhiststakerefugeinandrelyontheBuddha,theDharma,

andtheSangha.TheseareknownastheTripleJewel.TheSanghaarethemonksandnuns.Theyliveinmonasteriesand

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carryontheBuddha'steaching.ThewordSanghameans'harmoniouscommunity'.TheBuddha,theDharma,andthe

Sanghatogetherpossessqualitiesthatarepreciouslikejewelsandcanleadonetoenlightenment.

Arefugeisaplacetogoforsafetyandprotection,likeashelterinastorm.Takingrefugedoesnotmeanrunningaway

fromlife.Itmeanslivinglifeinafuller,truerway.

Takingrefugeisalsolikeamantravelingforthefirsttimetoadistantcity.Hewillneedaguidetoshowhimwhichpathto

followandsometravelingcompanionstohelphimalongtheway.

TheBuddhaistheguide. istheguide.

TheDharmaisthepath. isthepath.

TheSanghaaretheteachersorcompanionsalongtheway.

ThereisaspecialceremonyfortakingrefugewiththeTripleJewel.Withasinceremind,onerecitesthefollowingversein

frontofanordainedmonkornun.

IgototheBuddhaforrefuge.

IgototheDharmaforrefuge.

IgototheSanghaforrefuge.

ForaBuddhist,takingrefugeisthefirststeponthepathtoenlightenment.Evenifenlightenmentisnotachievedinthis

life,onehasabetterchancetobecomeenlightenedinafuturelife.Onewhotakethepreceptsiscalledalayperson.

Chapter2

THEFIVEPRECEPTS

Allreligionshavesomebasicrulesthatdefinewhatisgoodconductandwhatkindofconductshouldbeavoided.In

Buddhism,themostimportantrulesaretheFivePrecepts.ThesehavebeenpasseddownfromtheBuddhahimself.

1.Nokilling

Respectforlife

2.Nostealing

Respectforothers'property

3.Nosexualmisconduct

Respectforourpurenature

4.Nolying

Respectforhonesty

5.Nointoxicants

Respectforaclearmind

Nokilling

TheBuddhasaid,"Lifeisdeartoallbeings.Theyhavetherighttolivethesameaswedo."Weshouldrespectalllifeand

notkillanything.Killingantsandmosquitoesisalsobreakingthisprecept.Weshouldhaveanattitudeofloving­kindness

towardsallbeings,wishingthemtobehappyandfreefromharm.Takingcareoftheearth,itsriversandairisincluded.

OnewaythatmanyBuddhistsfollowthispreceptisbybeingvegetarian.

Nostealing

Ifwestealfromanother,westealfromourselves.Instead,weshouldlearntogiveandtakecareofthingsthatbelongtoour

family,totheschool,ortothepublic.

Nosexualmisconduct

Properconductshowsrespectforoneselfandothers.Ourbodiesaregiftsfromourparents,soweshouldprotectthemfrom

harm.Youngpeopleshouldespeciallykeeptheirnaturespureanddeveloptheirvirtue.Itisuptothemtomaketheworlda

betterplacetolive.Inhappyfamilies,thehusbandandwifebothrespecteachother.

Nolying

Beinghonestbringspeaceintotheworld.Whenthereisamisunderstanding,thebestthingistotalkitover.Thisprecept

includesnogossip,noback­biting,noharshwordsandnoidlespeech.

Nointoxicants

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Thefifthpreceptisbasedonkeepingaclearmindandahealthybody.Oneday,whentheBuddhawasspeakingthe

Dharmafortheassembly,ayoungdrunkardstaggeredintotheroom.Hetrippedoversomemonkswhoweresittingonthe

floorandstartedcursingloudly.Hisbreathreekedofalcoholandfilledtheairwithasickeningstench.Mumblingto

himself,hereeledoutthedoor.

Everyonewasastonishedathisrudebehavior,buttheBuddharemainedcalm."Greatassembly!"hespoke,"Takealookat

thisman!Hewillcertainlylosehiswealthandgoodname.Hisbodywillgrowweakandsickly.Dayandnight,hewill

quarrelwithhisfamilyandfriendsuntiltheyabandonhim.Theworstthingisthathewilllosehiswisdomandbecome

stupid."

Littlebylittle,onecanlearntofollowtheseprecepts.Ifonesometimesforgetsthem,onecanstartalloveragain.

Followingthepreceptsisalifetimejob.Ifonekillsorhurtssomeone'sfeelingsbymistake,thatisbreakingtheprecepts,

butitwasnotdoneonpurpose.

Chapter3

THEWHEELOFLIFE

Buddhistsdonotbelievethatdeathistheendoflife.Whenonedies,one'sconsciousnessleavesandentersoneofthesix

pathsofrebirth.

HeavenlyBeingspathsofrebirth. Humans Asuras

Humanspathsofrebirth. HeavenlyBeings Asuras

Asurasarebeingswhohavemanygoodthingsinlife,butstillliketofight.Theyappearintheheavensoronearth

aspeopleoranimals.

Hungryghostsarebeingswhosufferfromconstanthunger.

Hell­beingsHungryghosts arebeingswhosufferfromconstanthunger.

Thesearethesixstatesonthewheeloflife.Atthetoparetheheavens,whereeveryoneishappy.Belowarethehells

wherethesufferingisunbearable.Beingscanriseorfallfromonepathtoanother.Ifonedoesgooddeeds,onewillbeborn

intothepathsofgods,humans,orasuras.Ifonedoesevildeeds,onewillbebornintothepathsofanimals,hungry

ghosts,orhell­beings.Fromonelifetothenextonecansuddenlychangefromanhumantoananimalorfromaghosttoa

hell­being,accordingtothethingsonehasdone.

HowtoEscapetheTurningWheel

Thewheeloflifeanddeathiskeptturningbythethreepoisonsofgreed,hatred,andstupidity.Bycuttingoffthethree

poisons,wecanescapethewheelandbecomeenlightened.Therearefourstagesofenlightenment.

Buddhas­perfectinenlightenment.

Bodhisattvas­enlightenthemselvesaswellasothers.

Pratyekabuddhas­hermitswhoretreatfromtheworldtoenlightenthemselves.

Arhats­enlightenthemselves.

Unit4

THEBUDDHISTCOMMUNITY

InAsia,itisconsideredthehighesthonorifamemberofone'sfamilyleavesthehomelife.Westerners,however,maybe

shockedattheideaofanyoneleavingtheirfamilytobecomeamonkornun.Theymaythinkthisisselfishandturning

one'sbackontheworld.Infact,monksandnunsarenotselfishatall.Theydedicatethemselvestohelpingothers.They

don'twishtoownalotofthings,ortohavemoneyorpower.Theygivethesethingsuptogainsomethingfarmore

valuable­­spiritualfreedom.Bylivingapuresimplelifewithothersonthesamepath,theyareabletolessentheirgreed,

hatred,andignorance.

Althoughmonksandnunsliveinamonastery,theydonotentirelygiveuptheirfamilies.Theyareallowedtovisitand

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takecareofthemwhentheyareill.

Chapter1

LIFEINAMONASTERY

Adayinatemplebeginsearlyformonksandnuns.Longbeforedaybreak,theyattendmorningceremonyandchant

praisestotheBuddha.Theceremoniesliftone'sspiritandbringaboutharmony.AlthoughtheSanghaleadsimplelives,

theyhavemanyresponsibilitiestofulfill.Everyoneworksdiligentlyandiscontentwithhisorherduties.

Duringtheday,somemonksandnunsgoaboutteachinginschoolsorspeakingtheBuddha'steachings.Othersmayrevise

andtranslateBuddhistSutrasandbooks,makeBuddhaimages,takecareofthetempleandgardens,preparefor

ceremonies,giveadvicetolaypeople,andcarefortheeldersandthosewhoaresick.Thedayendswithafinalevening

ceremony.

Inthedailylifeofworkandreligiouspractice,themonksandnunsconductthem­selvesproperlyandarehighlyrespected.

Byleadingapure,simplelife,theygainextraorinaryinsightintothenatureofthings.Althoughtheirlifeishardand

rigorous,theresultsareworthit.Italsokeepsthemhealthyandenergetic.Thelaity,wholiveinthetempleorvisits,

followsthesamescheduleastheSanghaandworksalongwiththem.

Chapter2

THESHAVENHEAD,ROBE,ANDOFFERINGBOWL

Ideally,monksandnunsownonlyafewthings,suchasrobesandanofferingbowl.Whilemostpeoplespendlotsoftime

andmoneyontheirhair,Buddhistmonksandnunsshavetheirheads.Theyarenolongerconcernedwithoutwardbeauty,

butwithdevelopingtheirspirituallives.Theshavenheadisareminderthatthemonksandnunshaverenouncedthehome

lifeandareapartoftheSangha.

OfferingfoodtomonksandnunsisapartofBuddhism.InAsia,itisnotunusualtoseemonkswalkingtowardsthe

villagesearlyinthemorningcarryingtheirofferingbowls.Theydonotbegforfood,butacceptwhateverisoffered.This

practicenotonlyhelpsthemonksandnunstobehumble,butgiveslaypeopleanopportunitytogive.Insomecountries

laypeoplegotothemonasterytomakeofferings.

Therobesofmonksandnunsaresimpleandmadefromcottonorlinen.Theircolorvariesaccordingtodifferentcountries.

Forinstance,yellowrobesaremostlyworninThailand,whileblackrobesareworninJapan.InChinaandKorea,grayand

brownrobesarewornforwork,whilemoreelaboraterobesareusedforceremonies.DarkredrobesareworninTibet.

Robesandofferingbowlsareveryimportanttomonksandnuns.TheBuddhasaid,"Justasabirdtakesitswingswithit

whereveritflies,sothemonktakeshisrobesandbowlwithhimwhereverhegoes."

Chapter3

THEIMPORTANCEOFTHELAITYINBUDDHISM

ThelaityareveryimportantinBuddhism,fortheyarethesupportingmembersoftheBuddhistcommunity.Theybuildthe

templesandmonasteriesandgiveofferingsoffood,robes,bedding,andmedicinetothemonksandnuns.Thisenablesthe

SanghatocarryontheBuddha'swork.InthiswaytheSanghaandlaitybenefiteachotherandtogetherkeeptheDharma

alive.

InBuddhism,itisalsoimportanttosupportthepoorandneedy.Givingtosupportreligiouspeople,however,isconsidered

averymeritoriousdeed.TheBuddhanotonlyencouragedgivingtoBuddhists,buttoanyspiritualpersonwhoissincere.

TheBuddhataughthisdisciplestobetolerantofotherreligions.Forexample,whenonelightsacandlefromtheflameof

anothercandle,theflameofthefirstcandledoesnotloseitslight.Instead,thetwolightsglowmorebrightlytogether.Itis

thesamewiththegreatreligionsoftheworld.

WhetheroneisamemberoftheSanghaoralayperson,theidealistopracticeBuddhismforthesakeofall.

UNIT5

DIFFERENTKINDSOFBUDDHISM

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Chapter1

TWOSCHOOLSOFBUDDHISM

InthecenturiesfollowingtheBuddha'slifetime,hisfollowersfaithfullypreservedhisteachingsandspreadthemtomany

countriesinAsia.Today,therearetwomainschoolsofBuddhism:TheravadaandMahayana.Theravadameans'the

teachingoftheElders'.Theravadamonksfollowthepracticesthathavebeenpasseddownbytheseniormonksfromthe

Buddha'stime,suchaslivingintheforestsandmeditating.ThegoalinTheravadaBuddhismistobecomeanArhat,a

personwhoisfreeofsuffering.TheravadaispracticedmainlyinsouthernAsiancountriessuchasSriLanka,Thailandand

Myanmar(Burma).

MahayanastressesfollowingtheBuddha'sexampleofgoingoutintotheworldanddoinggood.Mahayanameans'Great

Vehicle'.ThegoalinMahayanaBuddhismistofollowtheBodhisattvaPath.ABodhisattvaisonewhoenlightensoneself

aswellasothers.InMahayanaBuddhism,therearemanyBuddhasandBodhisattvas.ItmainlyspreadtonorthernAsian

countrieslikeChina,Tibet,Korea,VietnamandJapan.Recently,bothTheravadaandMahayanaBuddhismhavebeen

introducedintotheWest.

Chapter2

VISITINGBUDDHISTTEMPLES

Inthisunit,wewillpretendtovisitdifferentBuddhisttemples.Whenvisitingatemple,weshoulddressmodestlyand

followtherulesandcustomsofthetemple.BuddhistspaytheirrespectstotheTripleJewelbyfacingthealtarandbowing

whenenteringthetemple.Visitorsmayjoinintheworshipritualsorjustwatchquietly.

InBuddhism,themonksandnunsaretreatedwithgreatrespect.Theysitorstandinfrontofeveryoneelseandtaketheir

foodfirst.Whenwetalktothem,weshouldputourpalmstogetherandspeakpolitely.

TheravadaBuddhism

OurfirstvisitistoaTheravadaBuddhistmonasteryintheforestinThailandwhereonlythemonkslive.Wesitinthe

quietnessofasmallbambootemplebuiltonstilts,surroundedbythesoundsofchirpingbirdsandrustlingtrees.Ayoung

monkwhoisourguideexplainstous."Themonkslivealoneinhutscalled'kutis'.Theyarebuiltonstiltstokeepthe

animalsandinsectsout.Theretheypracticesittingandwalkingmeditation,whichisveryimportantfortheirspirituallife.

Infrontofeachhutisapathforwalkingmeditation.Themonkssweepthemcleantokeepfromsteppingoninsectsand

killingthem."

Theguidecontinues,"Earlyinthemorningandintheevening,themonksmeettogetherformeditationandrecitation.

Aftertheceremoniescalledpujas,theystudytheDharma.Beforeenteringthetempletheywashtheirfeetwithwater

carrieduptothemonasteryfromastreambelow.Itistraditionalforthemonksandnunstoliveintheforestaspartoftheir

earlytraining.Theolderones,however,arenotrequiredtodoso.Somemonksandnunsmaylivealltheirlivesinthe

forest,whileothersliveinthetemplesintownsandcities.

Someoneasks,"Livinginthejungle,aren'tyouafraidoftigers?"

Themonkanswers,"Sometimes,whenthemonksarewalkinginthejungle,theysensetigersfollowingthem.Butsince

theyholdthepreceptofnokilling,they'renotafraidandthetigersknowtheywillnotbeharmed."

TibetanBuddhism

NextwewillvisitaTibetantemple.AyoungTibetanboynamedLobsangisourguide.Hesmilesashetalks,"Ourtemple

isverycolorful.ItisdecoratedwithmanykindsofBuddhaimagesandwallhangingscalledthankas.Onthealtarsare

beautifullampsandincenseholders.Bigprayerwheelsaresetintothewallsofthetemple.Mantras,writtenonstripsof

ricepaper,areplacedinsidethewheels.Theyaresymbolicphraseswithdeepspiritualmeanings.Werecitethemoverand

overasweturntheprayerwheels.Therearealsohand­heldprayerwheelsthatpeoplewhirlastheywalkabout.

"TousTibetans,Buddhismisahappyreligion.Myfavoritedaysarethefestivals.Peopleinmasksandcostumesactout

dramasaboutthelifeoftheBuddha.Bright,newprayerflagsarehungonthesedays.Theyblowinthewindalongthe

hillsidesandremindustoliveinharmonywithnature.Nowthatyourvisitisover,mayyougowiththespiritofthe

Buddha."

JapaneseBuddhism

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AtaJapanesetemple,wearemetbyTaro.ShewilltellusaboutherSundaySchool:"Wechant'NamoAmidaButsu'to

showourgratitudetoAmidaBuddha,theBuddhaofInfiniteLight.Webelievethatbyrecitinghisnamewewillhavea

goodlifeandbereborninhisWesternPureLand.YoucanseeastatueofAmidainthefrontofthehall.Onthealtaryou

canseeotherbeautifulthings,butthemostimportantistheofferingofricecakes.

"Iwilltellyouwhy.RiceisveryimportanttoAsianpeople.IfyouweretoaskayoungJapaneseboyorgirl,'Whatdidyou

eattoday?'Heorshewouldprobablysay,'Rice'"Whenweseericeoffered,itremindsustoofferourbesttotheBuddha.

InSundayschool,wesitinmeditationoncushionscalledzafus.Japanesemeditationiscalledzen.

ChineseBuddhism

TodaywearevisitingaChinese­AmericanmonasteryinCalifornia.ItiscalledtheCityofTenThousandBuddhas.There areovertenthousandsmallBuddhastatuesinsidethemainworshiphall.OurguideisayoungnovicenamedGwoCheng

frommainlandChina.ShecametotheUnitedStateswhenshewas10yearsoldandbecameanoviceatage11.

GwoCheng:"TheCityofTenThousandBuddhasisaBuddhistcommunitywherepeoplefromallovertheworldcometo

studyBuddhism.TheCityhasitsownschools,butyoudonothavetobeaBuddhisttoattendourschoolsortolivehere.

"Adayatthetemplebeginsat4:00a.m.withthemorningceremony.Afterthatwebow,sitinmeditation,andrecite

Sutras.Theseceremonieslifteveryone'sspiritsandhelpuslivetogetherinharmony.Wedoourceremoniesinboth

EnglishandChinese.Therearemanyceremoniesthroughouttheday.Wefinishoffthedaywithaneveningceremonyand

aDharmatalk.

"Everyonegoestoworkorschoolat8:00inthemorning.Inourschool,welearnthewayoftruthandgoodnessWealso

learnbothChineseandEnglish.Weyoungnovicesattendschoolandareintrainingtobecomenuns.Wecanbecomefully

ordainednunswhenwearetwenty­one,sowehavetimetomakeupourminds.Wearenotexpectedtodoeverythingthe

nunsdo,butwedoourbest.Atfirstitwasdifficulttogetupsoearlyandtositinmeditation,butnowweareusedtoit.It's

ahealthylife!

"Afterschool,wehelpwiththetempledutiesanddootherchores.Ireallylikegardeningandplanting.Manypeopleask

meifthenoviceseverhaveanyfun.Wedo!Weareverygoodfriendsandenjoystudyingtogether.Wegoonwalksand

picnicsandsingBuddhistsongs.Thenunsarealwaysthinkingoffunthingsforustodo.Wealsoliketoseeourfamilies

wholivehereandvisitwithus."

UNIT6

BUDDHISTSCRIPTURES,SYMBOLS,ANDFESTIVALS

Chapter1

BUDDHISTSCRIPTURES

TheDharmarevealstheBuddha'sunderstandingoflife.TheBuddhainstructedcountlesspeople,buthe,himself,wrote

nothingdown,justasJesuswrotenothingdown.Theybothlivedacompletelife.Hisdisciplesrememberedhistalksand

recitedthemregularly.ThesetalkswerecollectedintobookscalledSutras.TherearemanySutras,soBuddhismdoesnot

havejustasingleholybook,liketheChristianBibleortheKoranofIslam.

ThefirstSutraswerewrittenonpalmleavesinPaliandSanskrit,ancientIndianlanguages.Theyhavebeengathered

togetherinacollectioncalledtheTripitaka,whichmeans'threebaskets'.Itisdividedintothreeparts.

SutraPitaka~Sutrasandtheirexplanations

VinayaPitaka~Rulesformonksandnuns

AbhidharmaPitaka~ThepsychologyandphilosophyoftheBuddha'steachings

BuddhiststreatSutraswithgreatrespectandplacethemonthehighestshelvesinthemostrespectedareas.

Chapter2

BUDDHISTSYMBOLS

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BuddhistsymbolshavespecialmeaningsthatremindusoftheBuddha'steachings.Themainroomorbuildingiscalleda

shrineoraBuddhaHall.Inthefrontofthisroom,thereisanaltar.Therearemanybeautifulthingsonthealtar.Hereare

someofthem.

ImagesoftheBuddhasomeofthem. Traditionalofferings Dharmainstruments BuddhaImages

Traditionalofferingssomeofthem. ImagesoftheBuddha Dharmainstruments BuddhaImages

Dharmainstrumentssomeofthem. ImagesoftheBuddha Traditionalofferings BuddhaImages

BuddhaImages

SomepeoplebelievethatBuddhistsworshipidols,butthisisnottrue.Buddhistsbowormakeofferingsofflowersand

incenseinreverencetotheBuddha,nottotheimage.WhentheydosotheyreflectonthevirtuesoftheBuddhaandare

inspiredtobecomelikehim.Buddhaimagesarenotnecessary,buttheyarehelpful.Themostimportantthingistofollow

theBuddha'steachings.

TherearemanydifferentkindsofBuddhaandBodhisattvaimagesthatshowdifferentqualities.Forexample,astatueof

theBuddhawithhishandrestinggentlyinhislapremindsustodeveloppeacewithinourselves.Astatuewiththe

Buddha'srighthandtouchingthegroundshowsdetermination.

TraditionalOfferings

TraditionalofferingsaretoshowrespecttotheBuddha.

Flowers­areofferedasremindersofhowquicklythingschange

Lightfromlampsorcandles­symbolizeswisdom

Incense­remindsonetobepeaceful

Water­representspurity ­representspurity

Food­remindsustogiveourbesttotheBuddhas.

DharmaInstruments

TheinstrumentsusedinceremoniesandmeditationarecalledDharmainstruments.Eachinstrumenthasaspecificuse.

Forinstance,thewoodenfishishittokeeprhythm

Bells­givessignalsinceremoniesandmeditation

Drums­announcesceremoniesandkeepsrhythm

Gongs­announcesceremoniesandactivities

Woodenfish­keepsrhythmwhilechanting

LotusFlower

Thelotusflowerrepresentsenlightenmentdescribedinthepoem.

Thelotushasitsrootsinthemud,

Growsupthroughthedeepwater,

Andrisestothesurface.

Itbloomsintoperfectbeautyandpurityinthesunlight.

Itislikethemindunfoldingtoperfectjoyandwisdom.

TheBodhiTree

TheBodhiTreeisapipaltree,akindoffigtreefoundinIndia.AftertheBuddhaattainedenlightenmentunderthistree,it

becameknownastheBodhiTree,theTreeofEnlightenment.ItislocatedinBodhgaya,wherepeoplevisittopaytheir

respectstotheBuddha.Althoughtheparenttreeisnolongeralive,itsgrandchildrenarestillthere.

TheBuddhistFlag

AstheBuddhasatbeneaththeBodhiTreeafterhisenlightenment,sixraysoflightcameoutfromhisbodyandspreadfor

milesaround.Thecolorswereyellow,blue,white,red,orangeandamixtureofallthecolors.TheBuddhistflagwas

designedafterthesecolors.

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StupasandPagodas

StupasandpagodasaremonumentswheretherelicsoftheBuddhaandhighmonksandnunsarekeptsothatpeoplecan

showtheirrespects.Theserelicsarejewelsthatremainaftercremation.

Chapter3

BUDDHISTFESTIVALS

Buddhistshavemanyfestivalsthroughouttheyear.ThesefestivalscelebrateeventsinthelivesofBuddhas,Bodhisattvas

andfamousteachers.Duringtheseoccasionspeoplecanalsotakerefugeandprecepts,orleavethehomelifetobecome

monksandnuns.

BuddhaDay

FortheBuddhistcommunity,themostimportanteventoftheyearisthecelebrationoftheBirthoftheBuddha,his

EnlightenmentandNirvana.Itfallsonthefull­moondayinMay.Onthisday,Buddhiststakepartintheceremonial

bathingoftheBuddha.TheypourladlesofwaterscentedwithflowersoverastatueofthebabySiddhartha.This

symbolizespurifyingone'sthoughtsandactions.

Thetemplesareelaboratelydecoratedwithflowersandbanners;thealtarsareladenwithofferings;vegetarianmealsare

providedforall;andcaptiveanimals,suchasbirdsandturtlesaresetfree.Thisisaveryjoyousdayforeveryone.

DharmaDay

AsalhaPuja,knownas'DharmaDay',iscelebratedduringfull­mooninJuly.Thisholidaycommemoratesthefirstsermon

oftheBuddhatothefivemonksintheDeerParkatBenares.

SanghaDay

SanghaDayorKathinaDayisusuallyheldinOctober.IntheTheravadatradition,monksandnunsgoonathree­month

retreatduringtherainyseason.Aftertheretreat,thelaityoffersrobesandothernecessitiestothem.Thisdaysymbolizes

thecloserelationshipbetweentheSanghaandlaity.

Ullambana

TheobservanceofUllambanaisbasedonthestoryofMaudgalyayana,adiscipleoftheBuddha.WhenMaudgalyayana's

motherdied,hewantedtoknowwhereshewasreborn.Usinghisspiritualpowers,hetraveledintothehellsandfoundher

sufferingmiserablyfromhunger.Hebroughtherabowloffood,butwhenshetriedtoswallowit,thefoodturnedintohot

coals.

ThedistressedMaudgalyayanaaskedtheBuddha,"Whyismymothersufferinginthehells?"

TheBuddhareplied,"Inherlifeasahuman,shewasstingyandgreedy.Thisisherretribution."Headvised,"Make

offeringstotheSangha.Themeritandvirtuefromthisactwillreleaseyourmotherandothersfromthehells."Asaresult

ofMaudgalyana'soffering,hismotherandthousandsofotherswerereleasedfromtheirunhappystate.Afterthis,making

offeringstoreleasedepartedrelativesandothersfromthehellsbecamepopularinMahayanacountries.Usually,ittakes

placeinSeptember.

UNIT7

HISTORYOFBUDDHISM

Chapter1

BUDDHISMINTHEEAST

BuddhismwasfirstintroducedintoSriLankafromIndiainthe3rdcenturyBCbyMahinda,thesonofKingAsoka.There

itachievedgreatpopularityandisstillflourishingtoday.

IntheearlycenturiesAD,BuddhismwasintroducedtakentoSoutheastAsiabymerchantsandmissionaries.Thegreat

monumentslikeBorobudurinIndonesiaandAngkorThominCambodiaareevidenceofthesplendorofBuddhismin

theseregions.

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Inthe1stcenturyAD,BuddhismreachedChinawheremanySutrasweretranslatedintoclassicalChinese.

Inthe4thcenturyAD,BuddhismfounditswaytoKoreaandonintoJapan.

Chapter2

BUDDHISMINTHEWEST

Evenbeforethe17thcentury,peopleintheWestheardoftheBuddhaandhisteachingsfromearlytravelerssuchasMarco

PoloandChristianmissionaries.

Bytheearly20thcentury,manyEuropeanshadtraveledtotheEasttostudyBuddhism.Someofthembecamemonksand

inspiredBuddhismintheWest.Inthe19thcentury,ChineseandJapaneseimmigrantsbroughtmanydifferenttraditionsof

BuddhismtoAmerica.Today,therearenumerousBuddhistcentersspreadacrossEuropeandNorthandSouthAmerica.

UNIT8

JATAKATALESANDOTHERBUDDHISTSTORIES

TheBuddhawasagreatstorytellerandoftentoldstoriestogethismessageacross.StorieswerealsotoldabouttheBuddha

byhisfollowersbothtoexplainandunderstandtheDharma.Thesestorieshavebeenpasseddowntothepresentdayand

themostpopularonesaretheJatakatales,acollectionofhundredsoftalesabouttheBuddha'spastlives.Theyshowthe

kindoflifeoneshouldleadtobecomeaBuddhaoneday.Inmanyofthesestories,theBuddhaappearsasananimalto

teachthevalueofqualitiessuchaskindness,compassion,andgiving.

TheMonkeyKingandtheMangoes

Onceuponatime,theBuddhacameintotheworldasaMonkeyKingandruledover80,000monkeys.Hewasverytall

andstrongandhadwisdomlikethesun.InhiskingdomonthebanksoftheGangesRiver,therewasamangotreeasbigas

themoon.The80,000monkeysjumpedfrombranchtobranchchatteringandeatingthelovelyfruitthatwasbigandsweet

anddelicious.Sometimesaripemangofellintotheriver.

Oneday,theMonkeyKingstrolleddownstreamandcameuponariverpalacewhereahumankinglived."Soondanger

willcomeifthemangoesfloatdownstream,"hetoldthemonkeys."Pickallthemangoesandflowersonthetreesandtake

themdeepintotheforest."

Butonemango,hiddenbyabird'snest,wasleftunseenbythe80,000monkeys.Whenitwaslargeandripe,itfellintothe

riverandfloateddownstreamwherethehumankingwasbathing.

Thehumanking,whowasverycurious,tastedthebeautifulmango."Thisisdelicious!'heexclaimed."Imusthavemore.

Servants,findallthemangoesandbringthemtomeatonce!"

Deepintheforest,theservantsfoundhundredsofmangotrees.Inthetreeswerethe80,000monkeys.Whenthehuman

kingheardaboutthemonkeys,hewasveryangry,"Themonkeysareeatingmymangoes.Killthemall!"heorderedhis

archers.

"Verywell,"saidthearchersandchasedthemonkeystotheedgeoftheforestwheretheycametoadeepcliff.Therewas

nowayforthemonkeystoescape.Shiveringwithfright,theyrantotheMonkeyKingasked,"Whatshallwedo?"

"Don'tbeafraid.Iwillsaveyou,"saidtheirking.Quickly,hestretchedhishugebodyasfaraspossibleandmadeabridge

overtheclifftoabamboogroveontheotherside.

"Comemonkeys,runacrossmybacktothebamboogrove,"hecalled.Andsothe80,000monkeysescaped.

Thehumankingwatchedallthathappened.Hewasamazed,"ThisMonkeyKinghasriskedhislifetosavehiswhole

troop!AndallI'mdoingisbeingselfish.Ihavelearnedagreatlesson."Thenhecalledtohisarchers,"Putdownyour

bows.Itisn'trighttokillthisKingofMonkeys."

Forgettingaboutthemangoes,thehumankingwentbacktohispalacebytheriverandruledkindlyandwiselyfortherest

ofhislife.

TheDeerKing

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Longagoinaforgottenforest,livedadeernamedBanyan.Hewasgoldenlikethesunandhishornsglistenedlikesilver. Hisbodywasaslargeasacoltandhiseyessparkledlikejewels­alightwithwisdom.HewasaKingofDeerandwatched

overaherdof500deer.

Notfaraway,anotherherdofdeerwaswatchedoverbyanothergoldendeernamedBranch.Inthetallgrassandshadows

ofthedeepforest,thetwoherdslivedinpeace.

Oneday,theKingofBenareswasoutonahuntandspiedthebeautifulgreenforestwherethedeerlived."Whataperfect

huntingground!"hedeclaredandintotheforestshedashedwithhisthousandsofhuntersandcameuponthetwoherdsof

deer.Withoutamoment'shesitation,henotchedanarrowinhisbow.Suddenlyhespottedthetwogoldendeer.Neverhad

heseensuchbeautifulcreatures!"Fromthisdayon,"hecommanded,"Nooneistoharmorkillthesegoldendeer."

Thereafter,hecametotheforesteverydayandkilledmoredeerthanwasneededforhisdinnertable.Astheweekswent

by,manydeerwerewoundedanddiedingreatpain.

FinallyBanyanDeercalledthetwoherdstogether,"Friends,weknowthereisnoescapefromdeath,butthisneedless

killingcanbeprevented.Letthedeertaketurnsgoingtothechoppingblock,onedayfrommyherdandthenextdayfrom

Branch'sherd."

Allthedeeragreed.Eachdaythedeerwhoseturnitwaswenttothechoppingblockontheedgeoftheforestandlaidits

headupontheblock.

Oneday,theturnfelltoapregnantdoefromBranch'sherd.ShewenttoBranchDeerandbegged,"GrantthatIbepassed

overuntilaftermyfawnisborn.ThenIwillgladlytakemyturn."

BranchDeerreplied,"Itisyourturn.Youmustgo."

Indespair,thepoordoewenttoBanyanDeerandexplainedherplight.Hegentlysaid,"Gorestinpeace.Iwillputyour turnuponanother." Thedeerkingwentandlaidhisgoldenheaduponthechoppingblock.Adeepsilencefellintheforest.

WhenthekingofBenarescameandsawthegoldendeerreadyforsacrifice,hisheartskippedabeat,"Youaretheleaderof

theherd,"heexclaimed,"Youshouldbethelasttodie!"BanyanDeerexplainedhowhehadcometosavethelifeofthe

doe.

Atearrolleddownthecheekoftheking."GoldenDeerKing,"heexclaimed."Amongmenandbeasts,Ihavenotseenone

withsuchcompassion.Arise!Isparebothyourlifeandhers.

"Sowewillbesafe.Butwhatshalltherestofthedeerdo?""TheirlivesIshallalsospare.""Sothedeerwillbesafe,but

whatwilltheotherfour­footedanimalsdo?""Fromnowontheytoowillbesafe.""Andwhatofthebirds?""Iwillspare

theirlives.""Andthefishinthewater""Thefishshallbespared­allcreaturesoftheland,sea,andskywillbefree."

Havingsavedthelivesofallcreatures,thegoldendeerraisedhisheadfromthechoppingblockandreturnedtotheforest.

TheWoundedSwan

OnedaywhenPrinceSiddharthaandhiscousinDevadattawerewalkinginthewoods,theysawaswan.Quickly,

Devadattadrewhisbowandshottheswandown.Siddhartharushedtothewoundedswanandpulledoutthearrow.He

heldthebirdinhisarmsandcaressedit.

DevadattaangrilyshoutedatPrinceSiddhartha,"Givemetheswan.Ishotit.Itbelongstome!"

"Ishallnevergiveittoyou,Youwillonlykillit!"saidtheprincefirmly."Let'sasktheministersofthecourtandletthem

decide."

Theministersallhaddifferentviews.Somesaid,"TheswanshouldbegiventoDevadatta."Otherssaid,"Itshouldgoto

PrinceSiddhartha."Onewiseministerstoodupandsaid,"Alifebelongstoonewhosavesit,nottoonewhowilldestroy

it.Theswangoestotheprince."

PrinceSiddharthatookcareoftheswanuntilitcouldflyagain.Thenheturneditloosesoitcouldlivefreelywithitsown

kind.

AniruddhaandtheGoldenRabbit

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Oncetherewasapoorfarmerwhoofferedhisonlybowlofricetoaholymanwhowasevenpoorerthanhe.Thismeanthe

wouldhavenothingtoeatthatday.Hewentbacktohisworkandforgotallabouthavinggivenhisriceaway.Suddenlya

rabbithoppedalongsidethefarmerandjumpedonhisback.Thesurprisedfarmertriedtobrushitoff.Hetriedtoshakeit

off,hetriedtoknockitoff,buttherabbitwouldnotbulge.

Heranhometohiswife,crying,"Getthisrabbitoffmyback!"Bythistimetherabbithadturnedintosolidgold!Thewife

flippedtherabbitintotheair.Ithitthefloorwitha"Crackkk!"Oneofitsgoldenlegsbrokeoffandanotheronemagically

grewinitsplace.

Fromthatdayon,wheneverthefarmerandhiswifeneededmoney,theywouldbreakoffapieceofthegoldenrabbit.And

fromthatlifeonward,Aniruddhawasneverpoor.Thiswashisrewardforgiving.

ALESSONINMEDITATION

ConcentrationontheBreath

Averysimplewayofmeditatingisconcentratingonyourbreath.Thebreathislikeabridgebetweenyourbodyandmind.

Whenyouconcentrateonyourbreathforawhile,yourbodybecomesrelaxedandyourmindbecomespeaceful.

Sitinacomfortablepositionwithyourbackstraight.

Placeyourhandsinyourlapwiththelefthandonthebottom.

Keepyoureyeshalf­closedorclosed.

Concentrateonthetipofyournose.Noticeyourbreathgoinginandout.

Lotusposture

Fulllotusisthebestsittingposture.Beginbysittinginhalf­lotus,thenworkyourwayuptofulllotus.

Full­lotus­Sitontheedgeofacushion.Placeyourleftankleonyourrightthigh.Thenliftyourrightankleontoyour

leftthigh.

Half­lotus­Liftyourleftankleontoyourrightthigh.

Note:Itisbesttositatthesametimeandplaceeveryday.Increaseyoursittingtimelittle

bylittle.Youmaysitinachairorstandifnecessary.

asuras:Beingswholiketofight.

GLOSSARY

Bodhitree:Apipaltreethatisknownasthe'treeofenlightenment'.ThetreeunderwhichGautamaachieved

enlightenmentandbecameaBuddha.

Bodhisattva:Acompassionatebeingwhoenlightenshimselfandhelpsotherstobeenlightened.

Buddha:TheEnlightenedorAwakenedOne.Theword'Bodhi'meanstoawaken.

BuddhaHall:ThemainroominsideaBuddhisttemple.

Buddhanature:

Dharma:TeachingsoftheBuddha

enlightenment:Understandingthetruthoflife,freedomfromignorance.

FivePrecepts:ThefiverulesofconductgivenbytheBuddhatohisdisciples:nokilling,nostealing,nosexual

misconduct,nofalsespeech,nointoxicants.

FourNobleTruths:ThefirstteachingsspokenbytheBuddha:thetruthofsuffering,thecauseofsuffering,theendof

suffering,andthePathleadingtotheendofsuffering.

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hungryghosts:Ghoststhatsufferalotbecausetheyaregreedy.

Jatakatales:storiesaboutthepastlivesoftheBuddha.

karma:'Action'orthelawofcauseandeffect.Foreveryactionthereisacause.

Kathina:A'festivalofgiving'heldinautumn,wherepeoplemakeofferingstothemonksandnuns.

lamas:Tibetanreligiousleaders.

lotusposture:Ameditationposture.

lotus:ThelotussymbolizesthepurityoftheBuddha.Itgrowsoutofmud,yetitisnotdefiledbyit.

Mahayana:ThetraditionofNorthernBuddhism.

mantras:SymbolicphrasesthatBuddhistschant.

meditation:Amethodofcalmingandtrainingthemind.

MiddleWay:ThepathinlifeprescribedbytheBuddha,thepathbetweenextremes.

Nirvana:Aneverlastingstateofgreatjoyandpeace.

NobleEightfoldPath:TheBuddha'sprescriptionforendingsuffering.Itismadeupofeightparts:rightviews,right

thought,rightspeech,rightaction,rightlivelihood,righteffort,rightmindfulness,andrightconcentration.

offeringbowl:Abowlthatnunsandmonksreceiveofferingsin.

Pali:AnancientlanguageofIndiathattheBuddhistSutraswereoriginallywrittenin.

Pratyekabuddha:Hermitswhobecomeenlightenedbythemselves.

puja:APaliwordforBuddhistworship.

Sangha:ThecommunityofBuddhistnunsandmonks.

Sanskrit:AnancientlanguageofIndiathattheBuddhistSutraswerewrittenin.

SixPerfections:ThesixidealsthataBodhisattvaperfects:givingmorality,patience,effort,concentration,andwisdom.

stupas:MonumentstotheBuddha

Sutras:TheBuddha'steachingsinwriting.

thankas:WallhangingsfoundinTibetantemples.

Theravada:ThetraditionofSouthernBuddhism.

ThreeRefuges:TheBuddha,theDharma,andtheSangha.

Tripitaka:The'threebaskets',acollectionoftheBuddha'swrittenteachings.

TripleJewel:TheBuddha,theDharma,andtheSangha.

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