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Download PDF by Damien Keown: Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short

By Damien Keown

ISBN-10: 0192853864

ISBN-13: 9780192853868

This Very brief advent introduces the reader to the lessons of the Buddha and to the combination of Buddhism into way of life. What are the detailed gains of Buddhism? Who used to be the Buddha, and what are his teachings? How has Buddhist idea constructed over the centuries, and the way can modern dilemmas be confronted from a Buddhist standpoint? phrases comparable to karma and nirvana have entered our vocabulary, yet what do they suggest? Damien Keown's publication offers a full of life, informative reaction to those commonly asked questions about Buddhism

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Additional info for Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Sample text

He calls upon the Earth to witness his achievement by touching it with his right hand. Western Tibet, 11th–12th cent. ad acquired the power to look back through his previous existences, recalling them in full detail. In the second watch of the night he attained the clairvoyant power which allowed him to see the decease and rebirth of all types of beings in the universe according to their good and bad deeds. During the third watch he attained the knowledge that his spiritual defilements had been eliminated and that he had rooted out craving and ignorance once and for all.

Early Buddhism sources list five, but later ones add a further realm – that of the Titans – making six in all, and this is the scheme I will adopt here. The six realms are a popular theme in Buddhist art and are often depicted in the ‘wheel of life’ (bhavacakra). This can be seen in diagrammatic form on p. 31. The three realms below the centre line are regarded as particularly unfortunate. In a sense the arrangement is like an expanded version of the traditional Christian scheme of hell, purgatory, earth, and heaven, with the difference that a person can transmigrate repeatedly from one realm to another.

28 Chapter 3 Karma and Rebirth The texts report that on the night of his enlightenment the Buddha gained the ability to recall his previous lives. It is said that he remembered not just one or two, but a vast number, together with the details of what his name, caste, profession, and so forth had been in each life. 483), one eon being roughly equal to the lifespan of a galaxy. Although Buddhist doctrine holds that neither the beginning of the process of cyclic rebirth nor its end can ever be known with certainty, it is clear that the number of times a person may be reborn is almost infinite.

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Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Damien Keown


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