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Questions about Buddhism

Discussion in 'Buddhism DIR' started by Gharib, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. Gharib

    Gharib I want Khilafah back

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    hi guys, i hope everyone is doing well.

    i will begin by being honest, i have no idea what buddhism teaches (i know a few things but that doesn't really count). i want to ask some questions:

    1. What is the status of Buddha in Buddhism?
    2. Based on the name, Buddhism started with Buddha right? how did this beginning come about, what motivated him and what led him to this path?
    3. Is there in Buddhism a concept of Disciples of Buddha (like how in the Abrahamic faiths we have Prophets and then after them the Scholars etc)

    i may have more questions once the above 3 are answered. i don't have a rough idea about Buddhism so i don't really know what to ask.
     
  2. Marble

    Marble Rolling Marble

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  3. DreadFish

    DreadFish Cosmic Vagabond

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    In addition to those links, a quick summary of the basics.

    The Buddha; the name Buddha basically means "awakened one" just like how Christ means "anointed one." So, being the awakened one, Siddhartha Gautama taught others how to also awaken.

    His status is that of a great teacher and a pioneer, if you will, in the path, as he awoke without having guidance every step of the way, he had to do it alone, and he found his way and then taught the way so that others would not have such a hard time. That is a great task and is incredibly worthy of veneration and respect.

    "Buddhism" is the teachings and practices set forth by Gautama Buddha which lead to complete freedom from discontentment, suffering, and distress. At Gautama's time, he called it "Dhamma Vinaya" which would basically mean "Doctrine and Discipline," (that is Thanissaro Bhikkhu's explanation of "Dhamma Vinaya") and basically implies training in the teachings and practice in discipline and ethics.
     
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  4. dyanaprajna2011

    dyanaprajna2011 Dharmapala

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    1. The Buddha, in Buddhism, was just a man, named Siddhartha Gautama, who was the first in our age to become fully enlightened to the true nature of reality. Unlike in other religions, that have prophets, saints, gods, and incarnations of gods, the Buddha was none of these. There's a story in the Buddhist scriptures to this effect.
    2. The Buddha was born a prince, who left his lavish lifestyle to become a monk, in order to seek truth. His father tried to shield him from every and any kind of suffering and displeasure, but the Buddha sought to find out the truth in life. So, at 29 years of age, he left his royal lifestyle to seek truth as a monk. What he discovered was something that has always been, the true nature of reality. While the Buddha was the 'founder' of Buddhism, we believe that there were Buddhas before him, and there will be more after him.
    3. I think I already answered part of this question in number one. The Buddha had disciples, and today we have the Sangha. Sangha can be understood in two ways, first, that it's the community of monks, and second, it's the worldwide community of Buddhists as a whole. Unlike in other religions, there are no special orders, other than monks, because everyone has the Buddha-nature, in other words, anyone can achieve what the Buddha did, and he taught us how to do so. In Christianity, there is only one Christ. In Islam, there is only one final prophet. This concept is foreign to Buddhism. Everyone has the potential to become a Buddha.
     
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  5. Student of X

    Student of X Paradigm Shifter

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    Well, not totally alone. There was the girl with the rice pudding. And there was the Morning Star. ;)
     
  6. dyanaprajna2011

    dyanaprajna2011 Dharmapala

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    Morning Star? Are you talking about Mara?
     
  7. DreadFish

    DreadFish Cosmic Vagabond

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    Thats true, there was the girl with rice pudding and the Morning star :D


    Since we are not separate ego selves, there is not much that we can do alone anyway I suppose ;)
     
  8. Gharib

    Gharib I want Khilafah back

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    thank you everyone for the information you have given me, i will go through the links that Marble posted (haven't go through them yet) and then if i have more questions i will post again.
     
  9. wmjbyatt

    wmjbyatt Lunatic from birth

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    Actually, different Buddhist sects have radically different answers to these questions. In the West, we tend to be most heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism (which would answer these questions basically exactly as answered above) and Vajrayana Buddhism (which has an many different answers to these questions as there are Vajrayana Buddhists).

    Personally, I side with those who think in terms of the answers given above. Do not think that the answer is so simple, though. I have spoken to Buddhists who hold the Buddha to be nearly as Divine as Christians believe Christ to be. Pure Land Buddhists even accept one particular Buddha as a no-kidding savior.

    One think to keep in mind is that, however, is that Buddhism is NOT, actually, named for the historical Shakyamuni Buddha. It is called Buddhism because it is the path to become Buddha yourself. Buddhahood is an enlightened state of being that Siddhartha Gautama achieved and preached. He is called simple Buddha, Shakyamuni Buddha, or Lord Buddha because his awareness made him no longer a normal person worthy of a mundane name. But the whole point of his mission was to bring us all to Buddhahood, so that we may also be Buddha. It is called "Buddhism" because it is named after YOU, Buddha, not because it is named after SIddhartha Gautama, Buddha.
     
  10. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    One more note, Siddhartha became a monk who practiced severe asceticism after leaving his princely life. He ate practically nothing, until the girl with the rice pudding showed up.

    Then he sat under the Bodhi tree to meditate until he found enlightenment. It was, for lack of better terms, the middle way. Release attachments and aversions to pleasure and pain, and one will find peace.

    That, and trampolines offer nirvana to those who seek it (just kidding).
     
  11. DreadFish

    DreadFish Cosmic Vagabond

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    I mean, there weren't trampolines back then, so Gautama did what he could. He was a meditator, not an inventor :D
     
  12. dyanaprajna2011

    dyanaprajna2011 Dharmapala

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    Hm...meditation...trampoline...that gives me an idea...:D
     
  13. DreadFish

    DreadFish Cosmic Vagabond

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    "The Zen of Trampolining."

    Or

    "Zen and the Art of Trampolines."
     
  14. wmjbyatt

    wmjbyatt Lunatic from birth

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    This is rapidly moving away from the topic, but for what it's worth, I have meditated on a trampoline (both while others bounced it and otherwise), and it's totally awesome.
     
  15. DreadFish

    DreadFish Cosmic Vagabond

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    Jumping on one of those big trampolines has, throughout my whole life, been the most simple pleasure I have ever known :D
     
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