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AS and A Level: Buddhism

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  1. Ultimate Reality and Spiritual Truths within Buddhism and Judaism

    The third form is an eternal truth or principal that governs the universe (see Valea, 2010). The reason that it is possible for all world religions to make claims about an ultimate reality is to do with the broadness of the term. For a religion to exist, it must have a set of truths or an ultimate reality to be defined as a religion. A religion is defined as a set of beliefs concerning the cause, purpose, and nature of the universe, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs (dictionary.com, 2010).

    • Word count: 1197
  2. Emergence Of The Buddha

    "Artefacts show it's Religion to be related to the forces of nature... the worship of a mother Goddess, sacred trees and fertility symbols." (Buddhism Dominique Side) The valley was believed to have been a strong central government and to have two main political centres, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. The Indus Valley civilisation began to move out, many people today still believe this was because of a natural migration. After the civilisation of the Indus Valley had left, Aryans then began to set up home on their land.

    • Word count: 1983
  3. Compare the Buddhist understandings of life after death with on other view

    When your body reaches the end of its natural cycle you die in a physical sense, from a Theravadin perspective if you have reached enlightenment, 'nirvana' during that lifetime then you are released from Samsara. Nirvana is not a place as in Christian thinking of heaven; if attained whilst living it is more a state of mind, it means literally to be 'extinguished' and is largely indescribable in modern parlance. Those who have attained nirvana fully understand the way things really are (yartabutudarshana)

    • Word count: 1427
  4. Modernity and Enlightenment

    However the ignorant authority described in the letters is opposing to this new movement. The King colluded with the Pope and Gaelic church over ways to retain control and openly practice the way of life that the new ideology condemned. Another issue arising with the Enlightenment was that it was difficult to maintain. This is illustrated in the story of the Troglodytes. Even these beings who existed in a Utopia of perfect reason and morality ended up corrupted by the burden of their own virtue.

    • Word count: 1125
  5. In what ways and to what extent did the European Enlightenment challenge established sources of authority?

    Like the enlightenment the scientific revolution is linked mainly with the likes of Galileo, Francis Bacon, and Isaac Newton. Although these men were heavily involved, the first ideas came much earlier. The work of Nicolaus Copernicus at the beginning of the sixteenth century, and before even him the work of Leonardo da Vinci in the middle of the fifteenth did in fact have a massive impact. It is also possible the work of others even further back who have not been recorded in history also had an effect. (http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/ENLIGHT/ENLIGHT.HTM) In 1543 a treatise by a Polish Theologian, Physician and Mathematician called Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543)

    • Word count: 1447
  6. The Life of the Buddha.

    There is also the story of the young prince, who ' slits his own throat in order for a starving tigress with seven hungry cubs, might live by eating his own flesh'1. In terms of religious development, this is clearly showing the Bodhisattva Concept as it is displaying extreme compassion, or Karuna. A clear favourite, is of the loving, and righteous monkey king, and how he, by bridging himself, saved his fellow monkeys, but died while being bridged. This shows the Bodhisattva Concept again as he died to save his fellow monkeys and therefore delayed his enlightenment to help others.

    • Word count: 1407
  7. Buddhism In China

    64 during the Han Dynasty. Unfortunately, the religion was not very popular among the Chinese community (Buddhism In China). The fact that Buddhism was hard to understand and that it was foreign, led to the teachings' unpopularity. After the fall of the Han Dynasty, the Tang Dynasty brought on more hope to the religion. There were three Chinese Buddhists who started to establish different types of Buddhism. A man named Hui Yuan started the pure Land Buddhists; he focused on the devotion to Buddha. He thought that if the people would be devout Buddhists, then they would be re-born into the Western Paradise or Pure Land.

    • Word count: 1080
  8. Critically examine the contributions which Ashoka made to the early development of Buddhism.

    He expanded his empire through many battles; his last was the conquest of Kalinga which created much unnecessary carnage. When Ashoka saw the devastation he had caused it led him to convert to Buddhist ways, although evidence suggests that he had become a Buddhist two years earlier. Ashoka not only became a 'Follower of the Dharma' in practice, but also led his kingdom according to Buddhist principles and so made great contributions towards its early development. Ashoka had edicts inscribed on stone pillars and placed throughout his kingdom. These meant that the lay people, who up until then had had not much to do with the Buddhist practices, could now understand the teachings of the Buddha which were previously too complicated for them to follow.

    • Word count: 1228
  9. Determination of Human Behaviours and The Metamorphosis

    Gregor mainly struggles with alienation caused by his family's abandonment towards him. Gregor escapes from social order by renouncing social interaction and responsibilities. This freedom makes it possible for him to advance towards self-actualization. In the end, he acts bravely and selflessly to sacrifice his life for the love of his family. Both protagonists realize that they are imprisoned by a "dehumanizing society". The progress of self-actualization is a struggle to escape from social imprisonment accomplished by renunciation of social interactions and responsibilities. Both protagonists are imprisoned in a "dehumanizing" society (ClassNotes on Siddhartha, "Chapter 3: Analysis"), defined as a society that "deprives qualities thought of as being best in human beings"(Concise Dictionary & Thesaurus, "dehumanization").

    • Word count: 1562
  10. The middle way

    The middle way is the path between luxury and poverty and the way to reach enlightenment. When Siddhartha died he reached Nirvana, which is the Buddhist equivalent heaven. Although it is not a place merely, a state of mind where everything is seen clearly and there is no suffering. A key part of the "middle way" is called the 4 noble truths. These are: Dukkha- All life involves suffering,-this is to be comprehended. For example illness and death, because no one can escape from suffering. Tanha- The cause of suffering is desire,-this is to be abandoned.

    • Word count: 1460
  11. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

    The Eightfold Path shows the way to enlightenment by overcoming desire. 1.Right views-Define the problem. 2.Right intent- Are you sure you want enlightenment? 3.Right Speech-Take care in what you say. 4.Right Conduct-(5 precepts) Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not lie, Do not be unchaste, Do not drink intoxicants 5.Right Livelihood - Engage in things that promote life and spiritual progress. 6.Right Effort - Try hard to continue and you will reach you goal. 7.Right Mindfulness - Become aware of why and how you do everyday things.

    • Word count: 1957
  12. Select, describe and explain the events in the life of Siddhartha Gantama which illustrate his religious development

    He joined a group of ascetics for six years, almost starving himself to death. One day he went to a river and a local girl, seeing how skinny he was, offered him a bowl of milk rice. Here, he realised 'The Middle Way'. When he had lived in complete luxury, getting everything he wanted he was still unhappy. When he was an ascetic and deprived himself he could not reach enlightenment. 'The Middle Way' is now an important Buddhist teaching, telling us not to take things to the extreme. Siddhartha decided that if the now empty bowl floated upstream then he would become enlightened that night and sure enough it did.

    • Word count: 1945
  13. Comparing Gotma to Siddhartha, why did Siddhartha reach his goal and not Gotma?

    Everyone was shocked at his decision; Govinda knew not what to say, and Siddhartha's father became enraged at first thought, but later admits something very important to Siddhartha. "You will go to the forest and be a samana. If you find salvation in the forest, come and teach me salvation. If you find disappointment, then come back and let us once more sacrifice to the gods together." His father has never reached the goal he has sought after his whole life, even now as an old man, and he understands that Siddhartha must leave for himself.

    • Word count: 1488
  14. Buddhism. Many aspects of the belief system represent notions of continuity and change including gender roles, sacred places and scripts and the contemporary issue of technology.

    This was due to arising conflicting interpretations of Buddha?s teachings and the meaning behind them. The Buddhist movement divided into the Theravada (Teaching of the Elders), also known as Hinayana (small vessel), and the Mahayana (large vessel) movements. This division essentially arose from disagreements over matters of practice and doctrine. The most significant different between the two variants is the belief of the Theravadans that Buddha is a fully enlightened human teacher whilst the Mahayana?s developed a transcendental view of him. The Mahayana concept welcomes the idea of worship of a divine grace rather than the attainment of enlightenment through practice[3].

    • Word count: 1706
  15. Buddhism in culture and media around the world.

    Buddhism was introduced to Europe and the USA in the 19th Century, with most traditions and their arts now being represented. Many well known western artists in the past century have been influenced by Buddhism. Contemporary Buddhist art is just emerging in the UK. There are over 151,816 Buddhists in the UK from culturally and racially diverse backgrounds and Buddhist organisations from all traditions all of which welcome people from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Traditional Buddhist art forms are made to complement and enhance traditional practices found in temples, monasteries, centres, hermitages, the home and places of retreat.

    • Word count: 1817

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