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Falling Star

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An Introduction to Buddhism

To do no evil;

To cultivate good;

To purify one's mind:

This is the teaching of the Buddhas.

--The Dhammapada


The Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama, a prince of the Sakya tribe of Nepal, in approximately 566 BC. When he was twentynine years old, he left the comforts of his home to seek the meaning of the suffering he saw around him. After six years of arduous yogic training, he abandoned the way of self-mortification and instead sat in mindful meditation beneath a bodhi tree.

On the full moon of May, with the rising of the morning star, Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha, the enlightened one.

The Buddha wandered the plains of northeastern India for 45 years more, teaching the path or Dharma he had realized in that moment. Around him developed a community or Sangha of monks and, later, nuns, drawn from every tribe and caste, devoted to practicing this path. In approximately 486 BC, at the age of 80, the Buddha died. His last words are said to be...

Impermanent are all created things;

Strive on with awareness.



Table of Contents
The Life of Siddhartha Gautama 
 A Map of Buddha's World 
The History of Buddhism 
Buddhist Hymns and Prayers 
Including the Mahamangala Sutta 
The Basics of Buddhist Wisdom 
The Four Noble Truths 
The Eightfold Path 
The Kalama Sutta 
Buddhist Cosmology 
The Universe 
The Trikaya 
Buddha Families 
The Wheel of Life 
Samsara 
Dependent Origination 
Samyojana 
Dharmas 
Skandhas 
The Basics of Buddhist Morality 
Pancha Shila 
The Paramita 
The Brahma Vihara 
The Sigalovada Sutta 
The Ten Duties of a King 
The Metta Sutta 
The Basics of Buddhist Meditation 
Terms 
Basic Meditation 
The Ananda Sutta 
Obstacles 
Instructions for Living a Good Life
Three Short Sutras
Living in Tune
Sister Soma
An Angry Person
Lesson for Rahula
The Monk with Dysentry
The Diamond Sutra 
The Heart Sutra 
 A Sampler of Zen Poems 
 The Ten Oxherding Pictures 
Towards a Buddhist Psychotherapy 
 Navayana Buddhism 
 Basic Buddhist Vocabulary 
Links and Suggested Readings

Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 by C. George Boeree.

Traducción al español por José Silvestre Montesinos

*The pages of this web site were written for the students of my class on Buddhist Psychology.  Although the religious aspects of Buddhism are discussed, I am far more interested in presenting Buddhism's philosophical and psychological side.  It is not necessary to believe in heavens or hells, in gods, demons, or ghosts, or even in rebirth or reincarnation in order to benefit from the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama.  I myself believe in none of these things, and yet have learned a great deal from the sutras -- far more than from any other source.  I encourage all of you to become familiar with Buddhism, and I humbly suggest that these pages are a good place to begin!

Wishing: In gladness and in safety,

May all beings be at ease.

-- The Metta Sutta


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*I salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells. For when you are at that centre within you and i am at that place within me,.....We shall be one!
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morgana

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Stupid question FS but I am curious.

6.  Narakas or demons (hell beings)

Is it to be understood then that this belief system believes in hell?

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Falling Star

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Reply with quote  #3 
I love and admire Buddhist philosophy morgana, and i guess i need to study more about it. It seems to be an aspect of myself.

Your question i do not have a specific answer too.   Buddhism teaches that to find inner peace and Nirvana you must practice meditation and observe mind to find your true nature which is bliss..   It is believed that mind/ego is the cause of all suffering. The human mind creates suffering through mental thoughts.

So.....through mind and mental thought, hell is created as reality whether on earth or in after life.

I would say then that demons are within the aspect of the human mind, not too sure whether or not Buddhism philosophy encompasses a belief in hell.  I know i don't. lol. 
I will read up and study more.



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Escaflowne

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interesting question, i'll do my best to answer it. 

naraka is actually a Sanskrit word meaning underworld or place of ultimate suffering. those of us in the west view that concept as hell. it is actually more akin to the western purgatory rather then hell though. the concept is buddhist.....but is associated more closely with hinduism, jainism, and sikism. this concept is discussed at length in the sacred texts of dharmasastras, itihasas and Puranas, vedic sanhita, aranyaka and upanishads. upanishads describes naraka as simply a darkness rather then a torment. 

in buddhist teachings there are different realms that beings are born into depending on their karma. the realm we are in is called Jambudvipa. below Jambudvipa are the naraka's. there are 16 naraka's - 8 cold and 8 hot (examples the naraka of chattering teeth or the naraka of the great screaming). the belief is that a being with bad karma would be born again into one of these realms and exist there for a finite amount of time until that beings karma is fulfilled and it can be born again into one of the higher realms. 

most all buddhists and even most hindus consider all this to be purely metaphorical though. 
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Crystal

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I have developed an interest in buddhism lately as I think I have a new guide . I will take time to study the site, can you recommend any others?
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tanya

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escaflowne
interesting question, i'll do my best to answer it. 

naraka is actually a Sanskrit word meaning underworld or place of ultimate suffering. those of us in the west view that concept as hell. it is actually more akin to the western purgatory rather then hell though. the concept is buddhist.....but is associated more closely with hinduism, jainism, and sikism. this concept is discussed at length in the sacred texts of dharmasastras, itihasas and Puranas, vedic sanhita, aranyaka and upanishads. upanishads describes naraka as simply a darkness rather then a torment. 

in buddhist teachings there are different realms that beings are born into depending on their karma. the realm we are in is called Jambudvipa. below Jambudvipa are the naraka's. there are 16 naraka's - 8 cold and 8 hot (examples the naraka of chattering teeth or the naraka of the great screaming). the belief is that a being with bad karma would be born again into one of these realms and exist there for a finite amount of time until that beings karma is fulfilled and it can be born again into one of the higher realms. 

most all buddhists and even most hindus consider all this to be purely metaphorical though. 


Being, I suppose, an empirist... I can't really go down the multple life thing anymore than I can buy into heaven or hell... i believe in the carbon cycle...

that said...My non-literalist view is that heaven(nirvana) or hell(naraka) is a place you create inside yourself based on your behavior/response to others.   (karma).

what I have struggled most with to understand as a Westerner is the idea of seeking not to strive... and have come to the conclusion.. that it is not 'not striving'that is really intended  but instead the idea of cultivating inner quiet and a focus on what is needful among all the sound and fury around us... finding that still quiet voice and listening to it... it does not mean that we shouldn't seek for better, shouldn't stand up or stand firm.. even fight... but.. that we must do such things with mindfulness and full intention... not as a knee jerk reaction.
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Falling Star

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystal
I have developed an interest in buddhism lately as I think I have a new guide . I will take time to study the site, can you recommend any others?

Here you are Crystal, i googled and came up with these for you, though they are about the four noble truths which encompass the heart of Buddhism.


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Chaos Hawk

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Reply with quote  #8 
The Dali Llama has written several books that are probably great ones to read as well. 
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Falling Star

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Oh yes i agree Chaos.
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Escaflowne

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanya
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escaflowne
interesting question, i'll do my best to answer it. 

naraka is actually a Sanskrit word meaning underworld or place of ultimate suffering. those of us in the west view that concept as hell. it is actually more akin to the western purgatory rather then hell though. the concept is buddhist.....but is associated more closely with hinduism, jainism, and sikism. this concept is discussed at length in the sacred texts of dharmasastras, itihasas and Puranas, vedic sanhita, aranyaka and upanishads. upanishads describes naraka as simply a darkness rather then a torment. 

in buddhist teachings there are different realms that beings are born into depending on their karma. the realm we are in is called Jambudvipa. below Jambudvipa are the naraka's. there are 16 naraka's - 8 cold and 8 hot (examples the naraka of chattering teeth or the naraka of the great screaming). the belief is that a being with bad karma would be born again into one of these realms and exist there for a finite amount of time until that beings karma is fulfilled and it can be born again into one of the higher realms. 

most all buddhists and even most hindus consider all this to be purely metaphorical though. 


Being, I suppose, an empirist... I can't really go down the multple life thing anymore than I can buy into heaven or hell... i believe in the carbon cycle...

that said...My non-literalist view is that heaven(nirvana) or hell(naraka) is a place you create inside yourself based on your behavior/response to others.   (karma).

what I have struggled most with to understand as a Westerner is the idea of seeking not to strive... and have come to the conclusion.. that it is not 'not striving'that is really intended  but instead the idea of cultivating inner quiet and a focus on what is needful among all the sound and fury around us... finding that still quiet voice and listening to it... it does not mean that we shouldn't seek for better, shouldn't stand up or stand firm.. even fight... but.. that we must do such things with mindfulness and full intention... not as a knee jerk reaction.


Well said we must always strive.but I beliieve in the carbon cycle for bodies and not for souls
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tanya

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would your soul be the same if your body was different?

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Falling Star

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It is my understanding that the soul has been, is, and always will be the same throughout all eternity. Our bodies are our chosen vehicle to travel through life. We come to Mother earth to experience and to find our true nature which is love.
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Falling Star

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It is my understanding that the soul has been, is, and always will be the same throughout all eternity. Our bodies are our chosen vehicle to travel through life. We come to Mother earth to experience and to find our true nature which is love.
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Escaflowne

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanya
would your soul be the same if your body was different?


i believe so, the container does not matter
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