• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Religions of the Eastern World

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Jessica Burns November 10, 2003 Religions of the Eastern World Within the Buddhist tradition, lies three 'vehicles', or three main religious ways of life. As a whole, Buddhism is spread worldwide and its patterns of practice and instruction prove to be rather diverse, as they split accordingly into their three respective traditions. The first of these vehicles is the Theravada, or Hinayana, which extended from India to Southeast Asia. The 'Little Vehicle', as it is sometimes called, was thought to be rather conservative and refuses to deify the Buddha or accept scriptures written after the Tripitaka, or three baskets of sacred text. Next is the Mahayana, spreading from India to central and eastern Asia. Whereas Theravada maintained a rather fervent focus on the Sakyamuni of the present age as well as his self-control and spiritual insight, the Mahayana stressed the principle of the aforementioned insight as accomplished by "enlightened beings of past and future worlds." Another difference in these first two vehicles lies in how Mahayana fills the heavens with powers beyond deities or humans, something Theravada doctrine was hesitant to consider. In addition, several other differences between the Theravada and Mahayana traditions exist, however the focus of this paper is to speculate more on the third vehicle, or Vajrayana, and expand on Tibetan Buddhism as seen in the movie Seven Years in Tibet. ...read more.

Middle

The egotistical Heinrich uses his cleverness and cunningness to lose the guards which are to escort him and Peter out of Tibet and shoot them should they try to escape. The two men wind up traveling with a group of followers of the Dalai Lama on their pilgrimage to the holy city, Lhasa. As we have seen in lecture as well as found in the readings, many practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism would take these long journeys in order to visit the holy city, be graced with the presence of the holy leader, the Dalai Lama, and offer him gifts, as well as seek his insight. In 7 Years in Tibet, we see these people dropping to the ground and even kissing it, out of praise and respect for their spiritual leader, and also clapping their hands together, a means of driving away evil spirits. In the movie, the Tibetans believe the foreigners are evil spirits which have come to try to destroy everything they hold sacred. The Dalai Lama, a young boy at the time, seeks out Heinrich in order to learn more about other cultures and civilizations. The Dalai Lama is fascinated with learning and absorbing all he can. The two men become unlikely friends who begin to spend more and more time conversing, with the Dalai Lama trying to take every last thing in. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although the surrender appears shocking and cowardly, the death of innocent Tibetans in a 'war they could not win', as well as a strong belief in non-violence, brings the leader to surrender, in hopes to avoid more bloodshed. In the movie, we constantly see people chanting mantras, or magical hymns which aim to change reality. During this crisis with the Chinese, we see people partaking in these chants even more frequently; even the Dalai Lama is seen chanting on the rooftop of his palace the Potala as he puts all of his trust into his religion to keep his people safe. By this time, Heinrich and the Dalai Lama have established a close friendship and Heinrich is very much concerned about the safety of the Dalai Lama. He tells him he has arranged a means of escape for him and he must flee in order to protect himself. In staying with the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama rejects the offer to flee, as he feels he simply must remain with his people, as their spiritual guide. His complete trust and faith is in his religion and he believes it alone will carry them through unscathed. Although the movie did depict many traditional aspects of Tibetan Buddhism as we have learned in lectures and readings, I feel as though a further endeavor into the Buddhist religion would have made the movie more impacting. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Buddhism section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Buddhism essays

  1. Choderlos de Laclos: Les Liaisons Dangereuses - In what ways may "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" ...

    This is shown in Cecile Volanges' letters, in that being released from the convent at the early age of fifteen is characterised by Laclos as completely innocent and lacking experience with men. This criticism of the church is highly inflected and ironic in the style of writing used for Cecile's letters.

  2. The development of the Enlightenment.

    On the following day the King agreed to the tricolor flag and the monarchy was in a sense overthrown. THE EFFECTS OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT Why did all that happen? The eras before the Enlightenment all forecasted a huge change at some point.

  1. The Eighteenth century saw a radical change in the way the church and state ...

    'are 25 times as harmful as other inhabitants of Germany.'16 His contradictory explanation firstly agrees with Dohm's view that Jews lives 'reviled, oppressed and forced to support himself almost exclusively from trade.'17 Yet he goes on to explain why there shouldn't be any dialogue or rights to citizenship for Jews.

  2. Comparison between Christianity and Buddhism

    However, in terms of Christianity, the salvation effected by Christ is not limited by the finite boundaries of this existence. (Pratt 1993:249) Buddhism, on the other hand, does not believe in a God. The Buddhist beliefs are expressed through "Dhammas", the Buddha's teachings.

  1. Buddhism: The Concept of Dukkha

    nature of things; and sufferings due to the formations of individuals and their temporal or finite states.

  2. Summarise and discuss the origin and development of Mahayana Buddhism.

    This was in direct contrast to the individualism of the Arhat, who entered Nirvana leaving the rest of humanity behind:12 "Mahayana is held by its adherents to be a higher religious aspiration, the aspiration to full and perfect Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings..."

  1. Religion is both a problemwhere its structures of dominance have oppressed women, as ...

    Marriage is viewed as a sacred relation where individuals give due respect to each other and contribute towards a healthy life. The sacred scripture of Islam allows up to four marriages for men only if he can act justly with all his wives and he is able to fulfill their rights and needs.

  2. Reality, Morality, and the Afterlife: A Comparison of Christian and Bhuddist Thought

    (The Harper Collins Study Bible). It was this death that God was warning Adam and Eve about. It was this death that required Christ to come as our Savior (Townsend). Christianity is the message of hope for mankind who is held, in his natural spiritual state, to be condemned: "So then as through one transgression

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work