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Buddhism in India - Referat

Buddhism in India

General information:
• Based on the teachings of Lord Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama, 563 and 483 BC)
• Gautama wanted to stop the cycle of reincarnation (that was a key element of the main religion (Vedic) at this time, it was established, when the people were living as nomads. When the people formed cities, the Vedic religion was criticized ) and searched for reasons for this human suffering
• It is said that he meditated under the Bodhi tree for 49 days until he found the answers for his questions and got enlightened

• Around 500 BC: Gautama wandered through India --> monks and nuns began following him (“Sangha” sect was formed), because of his enlightenment
• 300 BC: The Indian emperor Asoka turned Buddhism into India’s main religion
• After being established in India as a religion after Gautama’s death, Buddhism spread throughout East-Asia and South-East-Asia via routes, e.g. silk road
• Around 100 BC: Buddhist sutras (their ‘bible’) began to be written down
• From 100 BC: Buddhist Schools were established
• Around 600 AD: many supporters of the Buddhism in India converted to Hinduism; Buddhism especially grew in China

Decline of Buddhism in India:
• 4th century to 10th century: Brahmins became head of the state --> they collected fees for Buddhist rituals; established Hindu temples (the Brahmins once said that Hinduism became a more satisfying way of living) --> Buddhism was extremely weakened in India
• 12th century: Muslim invaders destroyed Buddhist monuments --> final collapse of Buddhism in India, because there was no support of India’s head of state

Revival of Buddhism in India:
• End of the 19th century: Buddhism got promoted again (new temples were built; groups of Buddhism-supporters were founded, e.g. “Maha Bodhi Society”)
• Around 1960: Thousands of Buddhists moved from Tibet to India
• Nowadays: <1% are supporters of Buddhism in India, but the number of Buddhists in India is slowly growing
• Once a year monks from other Asian countries pilgrimage to India (ancient temple: Mahabodhi Mahavihara; huge golden statue of Buddha) to revive the Buddhist traditions in India

• Buddhism is
supposed to train the mind (discipline, concentration,…), end suffering (desire, anger,…) and explain the purpose of life
• Two different kinds of Buddhism: Hinayana: Only individual Salvation; Mahayana (main path of Buddhism): Salvation for oneself, as well as for other creatures;
• Most important teaching of Buddhism: “The Noble Truths”:
1. “All life is suffering”
2. Suffering is caused by selfish desire
3. To stop suffering our desire has to be stopped --> we are not allowed to attach to anything too much --> accept changes, other ways we suffer from those changes
4. To stop desire we have to follow “The Eightfold Path”: right… views, intentions, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, conversation (we have to act in a harmless way)

Comparison to other religions:
• Other religions: “Sin is the cause of suffering”; Buddhism: “There is no sin. Ignorance/desire is the human suffering’s origin”.
• Buddhism: there is no ‘god’, just an extraordinary person (monks centre around the idea of Buddha, not around him as a person)
• Compared to Hinduism: Similarity, because both religions centre around the idea of thinking and considering

• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Buddhism_in_India
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_of_Buddhism_in_India
• http://www.culturalindia.net/indian-religions/buddhism.html
• http://kagyuoffice.org/buddhism/buddhism-in-india/
• http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/india/religion/buddhism.htm#!
• http://www.ancient.eu/buddhism/
• http://www.ancientindia.co.uk/buddha/home_set.html
• https://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/Religions/gurus/Buddha.html
• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ron-purser/reviving-buddhism-in-indi_b_3990470.html
• http://www.indien-reise.com/german/Buddhismus.htm
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism
• http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/5minbud.htm
• http://www.aboutbuddhism.org/
• http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha

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