Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Damien Keown

By Damien Keown

This Very brief creation introduces the reader to the lessons of the Buddha and to the mixing of Buddhism into way of life. What are the exact positive aspects of Buddhism? Who was once the Buddha, and what are his teachings? How has Buddhist concept built over the centuries, and the way can modern dilemmas be confronted from a Buddhist standpoint? phrases similar to karma and nirvana have entered our vocabulary, yet what do they suggest? Damien Keown's publication presents a full of life, informative reaction to those commonly asked questions about Buddhism

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Extra resources for Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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Human beings have reason and free will, and can use these to understand the 33 Karma and Rebirth are former human beings who developed strong attachments which 4. The Buddhist Universe: The circle in the middle represents the flat surface of the earth which was thought to support four large continents of different shapes. Above this are the heavenly mansions inhabited by the gods, and below the hells and other realms of suffering. 1820 Dharma and implement Buddhist teachings. Life as a human being is thus seen as the ‘middle way’ in offering an appropriate balance between pleasure and suffering.

Although in practice many Buddhists – both monks and laymen – fervently desire this, it is not the final solution to suffering that Buddhism seeks. The Buddha was dissatisfied with the temporary bliss he attained through the trances taught to him by his teachers, and the sublime existence enjoyed by the gods is but a prolongation of this experience. Sooner or later the good karma that results in a heavenly birth will run its course and even the gods will die and be reborn. Karmic energy is finite and eventually expires, not unlike that of a spacecraft in a decaying orbit.

First Sermon and Teaching Career Arriving in a park set aside for royal deer near Benares the Buddha was, after some initial hesitation, welcomed by his former colleagues who quickly realized the transformation which had taken place in him. The Buddha proclaimed himself a Tatha¯gata (‘one who has attained what is really so’) and preached his first sermon, a momentous event in the history of Buddhism. The first sermon is preserved as a discourse (sutta) called Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Dharma.

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