Download An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and by Peter Harvey PDF

By Peter Harvey

During this new version of the best-selling creation to Buddhism, Peter Harvey offers a entire creation to the improvement of the Buddhist culture in either Asia and the West. generally revised and entirely up-to-date, this re-creation attracts on contemporary scholarship within the box, exploring the tensions and continuities among the several kinds of Buddhism. Harvey evaluations and corrects a few universal misconceptions and mistranslations, and discusses key innovations that experience frequently been over-simplified and over-generalised. the quantity contains distinctive references to scriptures and secondary literature, an up-to-date bibliography, and a bit on internet assets. key phrases are given in Pali and Sanskrit, and Tibetan phrases are transliterated within the most simply pronounceable shape, making it is a really obtainable account. this can be an excellent coursebook for college kids of faith, Asian philosophy and Asian experiences, and is usually an invaluable reference for readers in need of an outline of Buddhism and its ideals.

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Additional info for An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices (Introduction to Religion)

Sample text

This commenced with the idea that there is a ‘middle way’ for those who have gone forth from the home life, a way which avoids both the extremes of devotion to mere sense-pleasures and devotion to ascetic self-torment. Gotama had himself previously experienced both of these spiritual dead-ends. The middle way which he had found to lead to awakening was the Ariya (Skt Ārya), or Noble, Eightfactored Path (Magga, Skt Mārga). He then continued with the kernel of his message, on the four True Realities for the Spiritually Ennobled (generally translated as ‘Noble Truths’), which are four crucial dimensions of existence: the painful aspects of life; craving as the key cause of rebirth and these associated mental and physical pains; the cessation of these from the cessation of craving; and the way of practice leading to this cessation, the Noble Eight-factored Path.

The third knowledge, completed at dawn, brought the perfect awakening he had been seeking, so that he was now, at the age of thirty-five, a Buddha, with joyful direct experience of the unconditioned Nirvāna, beyond ageing, sickness and death. 167–70) then says that the new Buddha stayed under or near the Bodhi-tree for four or more weeks, at the place now called Bodh-Gayā. After meditatively reflecting on his awakening, he pondered the possibility of teaching others, but thought that the Dhamma he had experienced was so profound, subtle and ‘beyond the sphere of reason’, that others would be too subject to attachment to be able to understand it.

The Suttas portray it as the result of a long consideration. Even from his sheltered existence, he became aware of the facts of ageing, sickness and death. 145–6). 163). He realized, though, that: ˙ Household life is crowded and dusty; going forth [into the life of a wandering Samana] is wide open. It is not easy, living life in a household, to lead a holy-life as ˙ perfect as a polished shell. Suppose I were to shave off my hair and beard, utterly put on saffron garments, and go forth from home into homelessness?

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