WHEN THE BUDDHA TAUGHT HIS DOCTRINES AND ORGANIZED MONASTIC orders (sanghas) during the sixth and fifth centuries B.C.E., northern India was experiencing a second period of urbanization. Its first period of urbanization had taken place along the Indus River, where the cities of the Harappan civilization (named after one of its major urban sites) flourished during the third and second millennia B.C.E. Most of the cities during the second period of urbanization were located around the mid¬dle or lower Ganges plain. Buddha, the muni or sage of the Shakya Republic, often traveled to and gave his sermons in cities such as Rajagriha, Sravasti, and Vaisali. Except for metropolitan Taxila, the northwestern region was quite rustic in comparison with the Ganges plain, and the Buddha himself never set foot in the northwestern area. By the time the Kushans ruled northern India, however, the northwest had become the political and economic core of South Asia. Buddhist institutions flourished in the northwest, Kushan kings patronized Buddhism, and as a result many legends about and relics of the Buddha in this area appeared there. During the early centuries of the common era, Buddhist monasteries developed into institutions far larger, more affluent, and much more complex than the earlier sanghas. Buddhist theology also became far more complicated than the pristine teachings of the Buddha had been. Among the many Buddhist schools of that time, Mahayana Buddhism became the most prevalent. Two mutually dependent features that dis¬tinguished it from earlier Buddhism should be mentioned. First, nihilism, the concept of "emptiness" (that is, the objects people see or feel do not exist, rather, they are only illusions of the subject), was embodied in ear¬lier forms of Buddhism. The Mahayana school of thought pushed this concept even further. Mahayana texts tended to treat everything as meaningless or nonexisting. Not only did the objects of observation not exist, but the observers themselves did not exist either. Second, ironically, this philosophy that absolutely denied the material world emerged at a time when Buddhist institutions were unprecedentedly wealthy, just like the surrounding society. So far there have been only a few pieces of evi¬dence suggesting that Buddhist monasteries actively participated in trade, but abundant evidence shows that they did receive large amounts of material patronage from traders, artisans, and other urban dwellers. The numerous votive inscriptions dated to the Kushan period attest to the material patronage to Buddhist monasteries.1 In the time of the Buddha, monks had to beg for food on a daily basis, but during the Kushan period most monasteries set out a large symbolic begging bowl to receive donations in the form of coins and precious items. The wealth that flowed into the monasteries not only produced mar¬velous art works in and on cave temples, on monumental stupas (giant mounts containing relics of the Buddha) and their surrounding railings, and on monastic walls and buildings, but this wealth also changed monas-teries into economic entities. Monasteries had to trade the donated valu¬ables for provisions in order to maintain the monks. Monastic establishments also took the lead in large construction projects, including monasteries and stupas. They had to coordinate the individual donations of single pieces of art into a much larger design. Buddhist sculptures were often the donations of individuals, as shown by inscriptions revealing the names and titles of the donors and indicating what blessings they hoped to receive in return. Nevertheless, the sculptures became inseparable con¬stituent parts of a much larger complex of monumental structures.
BUDDHISM AND MATERIAL CULTURE
In contrast to the asceticism that Buddhist monks were supposed to observe, Buddhist art at this time depicted lively urban life. From Central Asia to northern India, sculptures and murals in monastic settings depicted
Buddhism is one of the most popular religions in Asia and around the world today. It first started in India. Over time it started to spread out as it gained more followers. Today, China is one of the places where Buddhism flourishes, even though there are some who oppose it. Back around the start of Buddhism, when it was reaching China, there was an action similar to this. The people of China either welcomed Buddhism, opposed it, or just agreed to having both Buddhism and Confucianism…
From the beginning of Buddhism to now, it has been compared and critiqued. When it spread it contradicted many well established beliefs and challenged rule. Many people, such as scholars, would come to accept or decline the belief of Buddhism.
The many scholars of China would have different views of Buddhism. In Document 4 it states “Buddhism is no more than a cult of the barbarian peoples spread to China. It did not exist here in ancient times.” This scholar, lead Confucian…
November 24, 2014
The History of Zen
Through the primary centuries in several East Asian nations, words many individuals that were in search for answers to the creation’s, and existence, of the world and mankind. The minute Gotama came to be enlightened, and actively started evangelization the practices of Buddhism was born, having come at such a period at what time the Han dynasty was crumpling, people were weary of Confucianism and…
the teaching of the Buddha, all of us will pass away eventually as a part in the natural process of birth, old-age and death and that we should always keep in mind the impermanence of life. The life that we all cherish and wish to hold on.
To Buddhism, however, death is not the end of life, it is merely the end of the body we inhabit in this life, but our spirit will still remain and seek out through the need of attachment, attachment to a new body and new life. Where they will be born is a result…
While Buddhism can lead to spiritual fulfillment, a positive afterlife, and an orderly society, it is also marked with self-deprivation, emptiness and is seen to cause a chaotic society with a disregard for laws.
Nirvana, the final goal for Buddhists, is a state of complete relaxation and no desire. Anyone who serves the Buddha and correctly observes the commandments will enter Nirvana at the end of his life. A life of observing Buddhism and an afterlife of Nirvana is seen as the most spiritually…
See also: Buddhism and the Roman world and Buddhist influences on Christianity
Mosaic of early missionary to the East St. Francis Xavier
The history of Buddhism goes back to what is now Lumbini, Nepal almost six centuries before Christianity, making it one of the oldest religions still practiced.
The origins of Christianity go back to Roman Judea in early first century. The four Christian gospels date from around 70-90 AD, the Pauline Epistles having been written before them around 50-60…
finger representing the “hearers” of the teachings, the ring finger representing the “solitary realizers” and the little finger representing the “Mahayana” or “Great Vehicle”. On the left hand, the three extended fingers symbolize the ‘Three Jewels of Buddhism’ namely the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
This mudra is thought to symbolize one of the most important moments in the life of Buddha: the occasion when he preached to his companions the first sermon after his Enlightenment in the Deer Park…
“To enjoy good health,to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to
all, one must first discipline and control one’s mind. If a man can control his mind he can
find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” as
the Buddha had once said clearly shows the depth of meaning Zen Buddhism has and
its ultimate goal. Zen translated means meditation meaning meditation was a big thing
in Zen. Starting in India around the fourth century…
The chief learnings that I have learned from this session was that to practice Dharma means to apply Buddha’s teachings in your daily life and its purpose is to enable us to attain permanent liberation from lower rebirth and is the world's most ancient culture and the religion of over one billion of the earth's inhabitants. Dharma is an understanding of nature and oneself which gives peace to the atman or soul and elevates oneself to the higher chakras, and one lives life in higher…
Buddhism originated in northern India in the 5th century B.C.E. The tradition traces its origin to Siddhartha Gautama or more commonly known as Buddha or the Enlightened One. The Buddha's teachings are often summarized in the Four Noble Truths, which form the basis of the first sermon he delivered after attaining enlightenment, and the Eightfold Path, which provides a basic way to live in the world. Over…