Buddhist Philosophy/Details

Buddhist Philosophy

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  1. Introduction
  2. Details
  3. Meditation
  4. Sutra
  5. Schools
  6. Esoteric Buddhism
  7. Yinyana
  8. Developments
  9. Glossary
  10. Quips
  11. References and Links

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The Eightfold PathEdit

1. Right Understanding (or Right View, or Right Perspective)

"And what, monks, is right understanding? Knowledge with regard to suffering, knowledge with regard to the origination of suffering, knowledge with regard to the stopping of suffering, knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the stopping of suffering: This, monks, is called right understanding.

2. Right Thought (or Right Intention, or Right Resolve)

"And what is right thought? Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom from ill will, on harmlessness: This is called right thought.

3. Right Speech

"And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, abstaining from divisive speech, abstaining from abusive speech, abstaining from idle chatter: This, monks, is called right speech.

4. Right Action

"And what, monks, is right action? Abstaining from taking life, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from unchastity: This, monks, is called right action.

5. Right Livelihood

"And what, monks, is right livelihood? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, having abandoned dishonest livelihood, keeps his life going with right livelihood: This, monks, is called right livelihood.

6. Right Effort (or Right Endeavour)

"And what, monks, is right effort? (i) There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (ii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen. (iii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (iv) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort.

7. Right Mindfulness

"And what, monks, is right mindfulness?

(i) There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself -- ardent, aware, & mindful -- putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (ii) He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves -- ardent, aware, & mindful -- putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (iii) He remains focused on the mind in & of itself -- ardent, aware, & mindful -- putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (iv) He remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves -- ardent, aware, & mindful -- putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. This, monks, is called right mindfulness.

8. Right Concentration

"And what, monks, is right concentration? (i) There is the case where a monk -- quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities -- enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. (ii) With the stilling of directed thought & evaluation, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, one-pointedness of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation -- internal assurance. (iii) With the fading of rapture, he remains in equanimity, mindful & fully aware, and physically sensitive of pleasure. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasurable abiding.' (iv) With the abandoning of pleasure & pain -- as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress -- he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This, monks, is called right concentration."

Buddhism's world viewEdit

Buddhists believe in vast number of realms, which could be categorised into the six realms of samsara, which are the:

  • Heavenly realm
  • Demi-god realm
  • Human realm
  • Animal realm
  • Hungry ghost realm
  • Hell realm

Contrary to most other cultures which looked towards heaven as the ultimate spiritual destination, Buddhists regard the human realm as the highest regarded realm of the six. Although the human realm does not appear special at first glance, it contains all the states of consciousness in the universe, from hellish suffering to divine ecstasy.

Among the lower realms, the animals are unable to intellectually understand the teachings, and the hungry ghosts and hell dwellers are gripped by pain and suffering. As for the realms above, the demi-gods are dominated with violence and jealousy, and are antithetical to the teachings of the dhamma. The heaven dwellers constantly indulge in the fruits of their past kamma, and do not concern themselves with the future.

For this reason, life in the world of human beings is known as "the precious human rebirth". Born close to the pivot point of happiness and suffering, human beings have a unique capacity for moral choices with long-term significance.

Enlightenment as an arhat can be attained from the realms of the Śuddhāvāsa deities. A bodhisattva can appear in many different types of lives, for instance as an animal or as a deva. Buddhas, however, are always human.

SummaryEdit

  • There is dukkha, a quality of being unstable, subjected to change, and therefore imperfect, or unsatisfactory.
  • Dhamma can refer either to the teachings of the Buddha which are conducive to spiritual improvement, or constituent factors of the worldly realm.
  • Karma explains that our actions bear consequences, both good and bad. In other words, you are responsible for your actions.
  • The Buddha teaches the doctrine of dependent origination, which states that phenomena arise together in a mutually interdependent web of cause, effect and conditions. Therefore, all phenomena are insubstantial and empty of inherent property. (e.g., A cup loses its property as a cup when it breaks.)
  • Nibbāna refers to the highest spiritual attainment, where the mind is liberated, and no longer clings to worldly phenomena.


Note:

  • This is only a draft edit for the time being, and is incomplete.
  • Pali terms are used in the summary, for simplicity and readability.
Last modified on 13 December 2012, at 07:15