Buddhism - Lesson 5

The Way of the Elders

Therevada emerged as the preserver of the Way of the Elders. The three jewels of the Therevada are the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.

Lesson 5
Watching Now
The Way of the Elders

The Voice of Dissent

Part 5

III. The Way of the Elders

A. Introduction (Three Refuges)

B. The Three Jewels of “Therevada”

1. 1st Jewel: The Buddha

2. 2nd Jewel: The Dharma

a. The Buddha vs. the Dharma

b. The Three Baskets

c. The First Council

i. Basket of Discipline – Vinaya Pitaka (monastic order – Upali)

ii. Basket of Discourses – Sūtra Pitaka (teaching of the Buddha – Ānanda)

iii. Basket of Higher Teachings – Abhidharma Pitaka (systemization of a wide range of philosophical reflections)

3. 3rd Jewel: The Sangha

a. monastic goal

b. vinaya

c. arhat focus

i. stream winner (on eight fold path, detached from the world and “thirsts”)

ii. once returner (will return to samsara wheel perhaps only one time, but certainly less than seven)

iii. non-returner (this person is in his last life, may stay to teach)

iv. arhat (not subject to rebirth)

C. The Second and Third Councils

1. Vaiśālī conference over rules of Vinaya (400 B.C.)

2. Pātaliputra conference called by Aśoka (250 BC)

divisions within Buddhism and the emergence of Therevada as the ‘preserver of the Way of the Elders”

Terms to know from this lecture:

Three refuges / three jewels
Vinaya Pitaka
Sūtra Pitaka
Abhidharma Pitaka


In this course, you will gain an in-depth understanding of Buddhism, including its historical background, key concepts, and major branches. You will explore the life and teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, and learn about the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Additionally, you will examine the differences between the major branches of Buddhism, such as Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana, and learn about various Buddhist practices and beliefs, including meditation, karma, rebirth, and the role of the Sangha. Lastly, you will study how Christians can bring hope to Buddhists by sharing the truths of God's character and the salvation of His Son. 


Dr. Timothy Tennent
The Way of the Elders
Lesson Transcript


He is where he established the first community, which we showed you a while back, the ruins of this. This is these are the ruins there in Sarnath of the original monastery, which they call a sanghavi. And so it is here that he gathers his first disciples. And there's many traditions about how many he disciple and all of that which are really irrelevant for the class of this size. But essentially he gathered quite a considerable community together where he taught. Now, the Buddha did do a lot of itinerant travels, but a lot of his ministry was focused on this spot in North India. According to the tradition, what happens is that the five ascetics took what's known as the three refuges, and to this day, as part of the monastic vows of a Buddhist, I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the Dharma. I take refuge in the same hall. And this, of course, represents the teacher, the foundational teacher of the faith. The Dharma is, of course, the teaching, and the Songhai is the community or the monastic, in this case the monastic community, the community of those who follow the Buddha. So those are known as the three refuges. We will actually discuss this more in terms of what is known as the three jewels of Theravada Buddhism, because the three jewels are the Buddha, the Dharma in a song. So the three refuges become the three jewels. This is a way of summarizing the essence of the teaching of the Buddha that was done actually will see the moment in the first council. After the Buddha died, they had a big council met together and they tried to distill what is the heart of the Buddhist teaching, and the result is known as the three jewels.


So you'll often find references in all of Buddhist teaching, and this is basically parallel with Hinduism that they often will use metaphorical language to describe their teachings. They don't say things like the four gospels. They would never say that there was the four jewels, or in this case their teacher said the three baskets. And so it's very typical of the East to use metaphors, used pictures in order to describe things. And so the teaching is culminated in these three jewels of terror of out of Buddhism. And if you'll notice on the syllabus, I believe you'll notice if you can turn to well, I guess at this point it's not that important. I'm just going to stick with the term Theravada here, the way of the elders. I'll explain some of the what that's more precise term later and we'll come back to this. Okay. So first, the first jewel is the Buddha in terms of art of Buddhism. In this ancient Buddhism, this seminal teaching of the elders Siddharth had gotten to is the central reality of the age of the entire ian of all time. He's not just an exceptional person. He's not one of many. He is the omniscient one. He is the one who has all knowledge about truth. He's the unique guide. One of the huge differences in term of art of Buddhism and the later, larger Mahayana Buddhism. The great vehicle is that in this original Theravada Buddhism, they only accept that there's one Buddha, as we'll see later today, with the emergence of the great vehicle of Mahayana Buddhism, which is of course the vast majority of Buddhist around the world. They believe in many Buddhas, but in the case of Trovato, they only believe there has ever been one Buddha and they call him Tathagata, the supremely enlightened one, the one who has gone thus is literally what it means, but it means the one who has gone to the place of enlightenment.


So the providers are convinced that only their tradition uniquely preserves not only the role of the Buddha, but the actual core teachings of the Buddha. So they believe that the Mahayana in the later developments represents derivations from that. Paul Williams in our textbook takes a little issue with this. I think he's a little over words, but he does. What he argues is that Mahayana theology could have been acceptable to the to the elders if they had gone through it properly and they had shown the elders how this was a natural development of it. Because this whole idea is that Buddhism is not rooted in a particular doctrine. But as long as you are showing that this practice can achieve an. Then the Buddha would endorse it. So he tends to downplay the nature of the critique in Mahayana. We'll look at some of that. There's pros and cons to his argument, but essentially, whether it's because they didn't go about it properly or because of other means, there's definitely a difference between this early vision and the later development of it or break from it how you how you term it. But certainly the term Bardens are convinced that only their tradition preserves the role and place of the stoically enlightened Siddartha Gautama. And today that's found mainly in Southeast Asia. And in Sri Lanka is the heart of where you'd find the dominant players in terms of all of Buddhism. Okay, so that's the first jewel, the Buddha. The second jewel is known as the Dharma. This, again, is this word in Buddhism that's become very elusive. It takes a while to fully grasp the way this word is used because it kind of has a broad scope of applications as Buddhism develops. But essentially in this context, it refers to the teaching, the teaching of the Buddha.


And this starts out originally with the 13 core teachings that we've already examined. So you have the four noble truths, the three characteristics, the five aggregates, and the one foundational teaching of dependent arising. Put to death. I'm a potter. Now, from that they began to develop because that was just the first two sermons. So we spent at least an hour or so going over those first two sermons. But of course, he was cited for a number of years in Varanasi, teaching in that sangha in the original community. So gradually, there are many other teachings that were added and developed from the original seminal teachings. So after some time you had several distinctions that developed. One was, even though the Buddha is a traveling as a teacher, the Buddha was viewed as the embodiment of the Dharma. So anything the Buddha said, anything about a dead became subject to part of the what we call the canon of Buddhism, which is not particularly surprising. It's a little bit like what happened in Islam, because Islam, if you've had this long crush, you'll know, is a big development in Islam. So you have the doctrines that Muhammad teaches that are known as the Koran, where Muhammad writes the Koran out 114 chapters of it. And that becomes the kind of the basic book. But then another book develops called the Hadith, which represents all the things they observe about Muhammad's life, things he said in different contexts, things they witnessed about his life. And that becomes every bit as inspired and important to Muslims as does the Koran. So the Koran and the Hadith are together, the authoritative base of Islam in the same way in Buddhism. You have the sermons with the book, which the Buddha gives.


Then you also are going to have people, monks that were in the community who began to observe things that the Buddha did or things that he said to them, or they observed his interaction with unbelievers that they were witnessing to. And these become collected down into various sayings that becomes important, this growing kind of dharma. What the Dharma is, this eventually is collected together in what is known as the three baskets. Now you have to visualize in your mind three baskets which contain different kinds of teachings. And we'll briefly tell you what's in each of these three baskets. Now, the three basket metaphor is important because in Theravada in this seminal, you know, kind of historic, universal Buddhism, the three baskets are to be understood as containing certain bodies of teaching, which will briefly explore the three baskets. But you should view the basket as having lids on them, three baskets with lids. That is like saying that the canon is closed. You have 66 books. If Karl comes along and says that he had a really good night last night, it was really the Lord really touched his heart. And he is submitting the 67th book, even though we may want to encourage our brother that he had a wonderful night and praise the Lord. We're not quite ready to accept it as Book 67 because we recognize that there's a difference between the inspired data and things that people may write and be helpful at a fine, etc., etc.. So the Theravada basically has a conception of a closed canon. Where we have these three baskets. They contain three bodies of teaching, which we'll look at, but that's it. And everything must be a commentary on those three. And that forms a secondary level of discourse or teaching or whatever.


But the canon, as it were, is closed later on with Mahayana Buddhism, you'll see that these baskets have are open and there's ways that things can be added to the basket quite big. And so we'll look at that in a moment. Now this all occurs the collection of this in the first council, according to tradition, Buddha had his revelation at age 29. He I'm sorry, he left. I left the riches of his father. The first renunciation 29. He had his enlightenment at age 35. They went from age 35 to age 80, teaching and traveling and dwelling in the community. So it's a long time from age 35 to 80 when eventually he died of old age of food poisoning. So that period of time represents quite a bit of teaching. So after his death, one of his main followers, a guy named Maha Cassiopeia, you'll be happy now, is not on the left and on the back of your sheet in terms to know. But Maha Cacioppo, across the upper, he called a council of the Elders. This is today known as the first Council. He questioned two main people as to the teachings of the Buddha. The first person he questioned was Rupali up a la rupali, and if Pali stood up and recited from memory all of the rules of the monastic life. So Poly is of course a monk, and he was instructed on the monastic rules. So he recites all these from heart. Another elder, a guy named Ananda, he gets up and he recites from memory all of the discourses of the Buddha. So gradually these discourses of the Buddha become collected forth into a basket. So you actually have the three baskets. The first is the basket of discipline.


The word for discipline is the Vinaya. This is the word for basket. So it means the basket of discipline. So the first basket contains all of the rules regarding the monastic order. So every Buddhist monk will have taken certain vows and will be very knowledgeable about certain. We'll look at some of the kind of basic exposition of this, a moment, each of these. But essentially the rules of the monastic order are the discipline, the Vinaya. So that's what Paul recited from memory according to their tradition. And secondly, Ananda, which means bless this disciple of bliss, he recites the suit. Right now this is a word we've encountered already a lot because we've quoted various texts and you'll hear me say the so-and-so Sutra. The word sutra just is a reference to a text. In this case, it means a discourse. It's a certain kind of text where they give the Buddha's discourses. So this would be the monastic rules. This would be the actual more or less teachings of the Buddha. So these discourses are collected into a number of actually five subheadings known as Nicci is, I believe I have on the back now. I don't have that in the back and the Caia in like a y A represents a little subset of these different discourses. I mention this because there's five of these and you have actually as part of our textbook, one part of this second basket, the Dharma Pada. Now you by the way, the all of the books for this text for this course are on reserve in the library. If you need to consult them, they're there. But if you have purchased or go and look at the Dharma part of course is a very small book, only 423 verses.


But that little book is actually a part of the fifth Micaiah, the fifth collection. It's only a part. It's actually, again, if you know Hinduism, it is comparable to the Bhagavad Gita in the sense that even though it's just a tiny portion of some of their larger sacred books, it's been plucked out. It's a very famous summary of some of the Buddhist teachings. And so the double part represents the most quoted of the Buddha's sayings and is the most widely read, most widely known. So I had to choose obviously primary source material for would be exposed to and you have more collections of the broader tradition found in the buried text. But the dumber part represents kind of the the seminal discourse of the Buddha. If you actually get all of these together, the all the baskets are, I'm sorry, the basket of discourses, the suitor of Ithaca. You'll find it's actually a usually in civil volumes, but it's a very large they now have it available in a single volume. It's a huge fat volume that would just amaze you. If I had assigned it, it would have brought it would have sobered you into giving up all of your weekends. Every weekend. They would say, We're going to be going to the beach. You'd be saying, I'm reading the discourses of the Buddha, and it would be quite a remarkable, you know, self-flagellation experience for me to inflict this upon you and make you do this. But it is a remarkable and they've just come out with a new some new translations of it. So this is material that is it has been read and studied not only by Buddhist obviously, but by other scholars. And I would encourage you to at some point, if you want to learn more, to take time to read through this material.


But you are getting a little taste of this in our textbooks. So you have the discourses and the last the fifth discourse and it has 15 sub parts. And part two is them, a part of which what you're reading. The third basket, the basket of higher teachings. You already can see the word dharma. Here, of course, is the word for basket. So the ivy is a is higher or greater teachings. Dharma is used here in the context of teaching. So you have the higher teachings, basket of higher learning, higher teaching, which refers to the more philosophical material in Buddhist discourse. Now this is where we get into a little bit of a time warp because according to tradition, the three baskets supposedly represent the teachings as were given at the time of the Buddha's death. Now, we actually know, in fact, that this third basket especially represents a number of centuries of Buddhist reflection on Buddhist teaching, primarily reflection on the second basket. So this is, again, if it's helpful to have the parallel with Hinduism, this is very much like, do you punish gods is to the earlier Hindu material, like the Rig Veda and so forth, because the punish represents the philosophical document in Hinduism in the same way the other Dharma represents the philosophical reflections on Buddhism. We will, in due course of time, look at some major schools of Buddhist philosophy, and they draw a lot of their teaching from this particular section of the the trope of Taka all of this together, these three baskets are known as the tri protocol. Try, of course means three four taka baskets. So you have that's a brief summary of the three I wanted to show you, just to give you a little feel for this.


We'll start take questions. I have here the monastic vowels we mentioned how in the first basket we have the vowels. This would be the vowels taken by a young novice. This would be long before you take your final vowels. So typically, in a Buddhist context, the parents will bring their children, bring their sons, or in some cases their daughters, if it's a nunnery to the monastery when they're eight years old. Now, at that point, they're brought under care and of the senior Buddhist monks. And they will take these ten precepts, which I have underlined here. You can see how it starts out. Praise be to the blessed one, the heart, the completely awakened one, which of course is a reference to the Buddha. I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the Dharma. I take refuge in the same house. Those are the three refuges that we referred to. And then you have the ten precepts. Now I've actually reduced it here to get it on one overhead, but this says I take up the precept to refrain from. That is the line. In all ten of these you always repeat that. I take up the precept refrain from taking life. I take out the present, refrain from stealing and so forth. Sexual intercourse, lying, intoxicating drink eating after noon. Now, that's a good point. Worth noting. This is so typical of the whole middle way idea. It's not saying that we're going to. Ourselves a food we just won't eat after noon so you can eat in the morning attending events where there is dancing, singing music or shows. Sorry. No memories. Wearing garlands, perfumes, ointments, ornaments or cosmetics. Using a broad or high bed. Accepting money from myself. They begged for the community, but not for themselves.


So you have these ten refugee, these ten precepts which are. This is just to enter into monastic life. There are many more elaborate vows that are taken when you accept your full place, as in our hut, as a as a monk. Questions or comments or thoughts about either the precepts or about the three baskets. The basic setting forth of the Buddhist canon at the first council. Yes. Follows the limit. Is it to late? As I read between the three rules and the community. I was like God and I despise the word and the spirit of. I think it's a road that would not be fruitful to travel down. I'm not saying you can't do it. The people have done it. Of course, there's a lot of threes in Buddhism. So there's no end to ways you could develop this. The question is whether it's the most fruitful avenue to pursue. I don't think it would be that fruitful. It may be helpful to certain Buddhist, you know, on the streets or whatever, but I think in terms of any kind of scholarly engagement with Buddhism, I don't think it'd be particularly effective. Yes, this list is all about like five or six centuries, right? Yeah. The Buddha was born in 583. So, yes, we're now at the turn of the fifth century B.C.. How were these things transmitted on? Well, I guess. About a. It wasn't how many in this business they have one day and it is that they have. No, it's a very good question. One of the real differences between Eastern and Western religions in general, just speaking from an objective point of view. In the West, we typically believe that the textual tradition has priority and greater assurance than the oral tradition.


So we typically would say something passed down to oral tradition is less reliable than something passed down through the written text. But in the Eastern tradition in Hinduism, just as strong on this, they actually believe very strongly that the oral tradition is always better than they read in tradition. So therefore they take great stock in the ability of the teachings to be passed down orally. So all of the actual textual data that we have is centuries later than where we are right now in this discussion. So some of it in fact that our PADA that you're reading actually is mainly drawn from Chinese Buddhist, which would be sometime later. So we have a lot of development of the that's we don't really know for sure, but they claim that the oral tradition which has passed us down is very accurate. That's why I said a little bit about I did about the Dharma because there'll be Dharma represents, we're quite sure, a settlement of time, of reflection, and therefore there's some development within it. Therefore, I think it's probably likely we're talking about more of a tradition of what was said, the first accounts and then what was actually said of the first council. I think everybody acknowledges that the first council occurred and there was definitely a discussion of what the Buddha taught, What the content of that is, is a matter of some historical debate. I think it would be fair to say other thoughts, comments or reflection on the three jewels. Yes. Or the three baskets were actually still into the second jewel. But the three baskets, even Theravada is only ever one Buddha. Then what do people ever have pertaining? Well, there's a distinction between becoming the Buddha and becoming an enlightened interrogator so someone can be enlightened without himself or herself becoming a Buddha or the Buddha.


So there's there's not a that's not a mutually exclusive thing. But you're right in the sense that the basic pathway to enlightenment, which goes through the eightfold path, through the AHA to becoming a monk, is an arduous one that would be thousands, tens of thousands of lifetimes. So that can be very discouraging, but it's just part of what Mahayana comes in to rectify. But yes, there's the average person have very little hope of achieving enlightenment in their particular lifetime that they're in is in the ordination of women. As well as these women. Also, they have they have non-res as well. And I in fact, I was absolutely shocked this summer when I was waiting in line to get my haircut because and India haircut is an all I've done outside. And so they have these little little stands out there and and you wait in line and get your haircut, right. So you get in your haircut for ₹10. All right. Which is like $0.20. That's not bad. But I always jokingly say that I splurge when I go to India to get my haircut for $0.20, because at home I pay nothing cause my wife cuts my hair. But I always wait in line. And George, a friend of mine, we were sitting there talking together and booking a haircut. So there are these two monks in front of us, Tibetan monks that were in line to get their haircut. Now, these two monks, and I'll tell you, their hair was only that long. It was just like, you know, like a long couple of days of growth, you know, And they're they were waiting on get the hair completely shaved off. So we said, you know, I want to know how long I'll take things.


We're going to figure out how long it'll be for. Our turn came, we said, can't be too long. They don't have hardly any hair left. And so it's just a matter of just shaving off what little is there. So I decided to speak to these monks and just kind of chat up with them a little bit. And so we ask them, you know, how they're doing and what's going on, because actually one was sitting down, one was also waiting. And so the monk turned around and spoke to us and we were shocked because we realized upon the reply it was not a monk, it was a nun. And so we had to oh, excuse me. You know, we realized that we're speaking to a female, which is not particularly done there. But I thought it was a monk because once there, once someone's heads are saying they have on the robes now, you can't really tell just a monk and a nun. But where we are, the monastery is right next door to us, which is for all men. And then just up the road a little bit, maybe a quarter of a mile is the nunnery. So nuns have a separate community, but it is allowed the Buddha. According to tradition, the Buddha was reluctant to establish an entry, but he did. But the difference in the vows is the nuns are put directly under the authority of the monks. So the nuns had to submit to the monks. But other than that, the vows are very similar. Yes, they don't want it because, you know, they don't not mean it. Well, I don't know. They they may wear different robes than parts of the world, but end up in their day. And they don't wear different color jobs that were very similar robes.


They have two color combinations they wear, and they can both be seen in both of those slight different color combinations. But I'm not gonna. In terms of colors. I'm glad to know that the nuns I met are in Dehradun. These are Tibetan. These are. Which is we haven't discussed Tibetan Buddhism. These are Tibetan nuns that we were talking to thought were monks that you would not be aware of. Yes, they were there. Do they wear a different color robe in than than the monks? Yeah. No, no, I'm sorry. Within the Tibetans did it. Tibetan nuns were different than Tibetan monks. Uh, you know, similar. Right. That's how it isn't. Is it different in Thailand? You have they. All the nuns were white, and all the monks were either a saffron or like, a deep right. The saffron deep maroon is what is what they all wear. And. Okay. So other questions or comments about the first two jewels. Hum. Um hum. What would you think? Or religion. You know that. Actually, the hammer is the religion of you. Why is that? Well, the word Dharma is a very difficult word to discuss in a completely academic context like this, as opposed to its larger usage, because Hinduism used the word Dharma as religion in Hinduism. So Hinduism does not identify the word dharma as teaching or whatever. And so if I can in the back of my Geeta, it says, you know, when Dharma increases, then the Vishnu gives birth to another incarnation. In other words, when in a religion nonreligious activity increases. And so when Dharma increases, then everyone is becomes more religious. So you're right, it's it has a larger context. So I would say most people in the East use the word dharma just mean religion.


The problem is that's not a Buddhist use of the term. The Buddhists use the term particular to refer to teaching religious teaching granted, but teaching. So you have the problem is that the word is being used by a majority of people in one way by Buddhism to take it away. So naturally people are affected by this. So that's why I've said repeatedly that the word Dharma is very careful how you use it, because where you use it in this class in a very precise way, I think a more accurate way for a class like this. But on the ground, you're right. The word dharma is used for just religion. But it does show you, though, the connection in the east between religion and religious teaching. It's like what religious teaching do you follow rather than what? Like following a person of Jesus Christ? So that actually does give you a little insight into the way the overlap between following a religion and in submitting to a particular documents or teachings of a religion are actually fairly close. There's certainly overlap. So that also helps to cloud this term. Yes. On that note, I've heard that if you going to compare Buddhism or Christianity, it's better to compare the Dharma and Jesus rather than Jesus and Buddha. Yes, I've heard that as well. Yeah. That we're going to be discussing some of that later on in the course. Okay. Let's see if we can continue on here. Sorry. Okay. Where are we? All right. So we have the Buddha, the Dharma, the sun, how we've looked at the three baskets. And then, of course, we have the conference that took place over the rules of India, which is the second major council. What happened is, after they established the canon that we've looked at, they have then again developed a number of discussions, debates about the nature of the Dharma.


The sangha is the third jewel. Do we not get that? There we go. Sorry. Sorry. Let's go back. The third jewel, the song I saw, the Buddha, the Dharma and the sun are the community. Okay, let's look at the three aspects of the song. The community. A It's a monastic goal. This is very clear in Theravada Buddhism that the way to be enlightened is to become a monk. So while Theravada in theory accepts lay and clergy, the ideal is always only found through becoming a mendicant, becoming a monk, and in a monastery. As a layperson, it is impossible to achieve Moksha or nirvana. So therefore, the pathway of Tovar to Buddhism is that you become an hour hot, become a monk, and that's the pathway to Nirvana. So the veneer of an idea which represents the various disciplines, the word discipline is Vinaya. The discipline of the monastery is accepted by those who take the vows. You saw the ten precepts. A 20 year old man who takes a full vows will take 227 vowels. A woman will take 311 vowels for a woman. So this, of course, becomes one of the potential weaknesses in Buddhism, because what you see developing here is a rather elite community. Now, if you remember that the Buddhism is reacting against the criminal stranglehold of criminal Hinduism that claimed that there was only this few percentage, there's only about 6 to 7% Brahmins in India. So here is this 6% of the people saying that they were the only way in pathway to Moksha. The Buddhists react against that, but in the process they create a monastic community which may be open to more than one caste, but is very restrictive. And again, only a small portion of people become Buddhist monks, at least lifetime monks.


And therefore, if that's the only path to Nirvana, you again have the potential of creating another separate community that operates essentially like the Brahmans. So you have the hot focus, which becomes extremely important and significant in the development of Buddhism. They have three, three or four actually kind of stages along the way. And your goal of being, ah, hot. So here you are, you go into the monastery, you take the monastic vows, you enter into the eightfold path, and eventually you get to what they call a stream winter. A stream winter is somebody who is in the stream in the river, moving toward enlightenment. This means you're on the eightfold path. You are detached from the thirst of the world. Remember that word, Tanna? That thirst that came up in the Four Noble Truths, where he said All of life is suffering, and suffering is caused by Tanna, by thirst. Duca Tanna. Eventually, after many turns, you eventually come to a point where you are a once returner. A once returner actually is a little broader than it sounds, but it basically means that you will return the will of samsara less than seven times. So you're in your last seven lifetimes. It's like the seventh inning stretch. You are on the the homestretch, the last number of returns before you enter into Moksha. A non returner is somebody who is not going to return to the will of Samsara. They're in their last life. They can stay and teach and this person is known as an hour hot, not subject to rebirth except by choice. Or we're going to see later how our hearts may choose to stay back and help other people. But essentially this is kind of the goal along the way that somehow or another, if you go through meditative techniques or various other disciplines in the dharma of the monastery, you eventually get to the status a stream when or once you turn her and eventually in our heart.


It's the hot. Also they are hot is a non returner. The differences the non returner is someone who is may not have been called in our heart yet they are they have will say they are in their last life in the course of that lifetime. They are a non returner but they have not been officially declared in our heart. Once they are declared in our heart, it means that they have definitely been acknowledged to the community to be unknown in terms of what one I don't think is. Power. You mean spiritual powers? Not in the terms of tradition. We're only dealing with her about at this point. But there are. Well, there are other developments we'll look at later. Yeah, go ahead. Our age, they become like super teachers. What is their actual. Yeah. Their main goal is teaching. The question is what do they teach? Some our hearts will focus on meditative teaching, meditative techniques that they will teach people. Others will focus on the philosophical aspects of the dharma. So there are different focus points of in our hearts teaching. But our hearts are teachers. They reside in the monasteries. They become very honored in the community, so forth. I would assume that. No, they were mainly making sure that the women were going to be submitting to the men properly. So some of it is there is a fear that in the East in general that women are more susceptible to succumbing to sexual temptations. So they have extra vowels related to all kinds of sexual matters and their submission to the men. It boils down to basically those two things. I think when someone becomes an artist that. How do you define the word permanent? Do you mean permanent in this life? Yeah.


Enabling by lifestyle. Far away from being in our day. Yeah. One of the problems with that, once you become a non returner, is that if you are declared to be a non returner, there are some marks. Our hearts and I think this is you know, I hate to be pejorative because you're supposed to put things in the best light and then let their own experience ferreted out. But there are some monks who claim because they are a non returner, they're no longer subject to karma. And once you say no such as karma, then you can't be entrusted anymore with any kind of negative karma. Therefore, there are some our hearts who will go out and buy, you know, Rolls-Royces and they'll go out. They'll engage in all kinds of sexual activity. They'll get drunk and they'll say, This doesn't matter. It doesn't bother me because I'm a non returner. And so there are people who there are some communities that have accepted this and they say, well, this is this is okay for him, but it's not for us because he's a non returner. Others say, no, that's that's a total abuse of the whole Buddhist way of life. So. But yeah, you do have that. Unfortunately, yes, it is. How will we know? I guess maybe you're a plant. And you? I've done a lot. How do you know you're behind it? I've lived my life, and now I have a pretty point gap. Well, it's a good question. I think we want to start with the basic facts. The Bible teaches that it's appointed once for a man to die, and after that comes judgment. So there's no biblical basis for anyone having multiple lifetimes. So if we only have one life to live, then it means that there are no one lifetimes, two lifetimes, hundred lifetimes, 10,000 lifetimes.


This does not exist. This is part of a Buddhist misconception of reality. So therefore, the real question comes how to Buddhist construct this false notion about lifetimes. And the way they construct, of course, is by observing people's life in practice. For example, I was up in the monastery next door to our school. A while back I was with my daughter and we got up there and the little boys were These are all like eight that they have different time periods where they'll different people, different ages will say, recite mantras and all this. So there's this is like this. The youngest boy is 8 to 10 years old. We're all sitting on these little cushions, you know, reciting mantras and all. But there's this one little boy. There's on three questions. So my daughter asked the monk there, the head of the monastery said, why does that little boy have three cushions and all the others have one cushion, all because he is in this, you know, higher status. He was they they believe that he was actually one of these people. That's a strange winner. So here's a little eight year old boy who's already called a strange winner. Now, he's only been alive eight years, just like the other little boys. But they recognized that this little boy seemed to do it better. He seemed to learn quicker. He seemed to know everything. He had good answers to the questions when they ask, Are you just a bright boy? So in that case, they believe that he was somebody special. Now, in Tibetan Buddhism has all kinds of other ways that they determine this, the dreams and all kinds of stuff, which we won't get into, but that certain people kind of rise up.


You have people who study for years under teachers, and once they get to certain points, the teacher realizes this is a very, very remarkable person and therefore they must be at this stage. So this is all imposed upon them, really, or granted to them, perhaps you should say, by the community in recognizing people at different stages and give things regarding to meditation. One example is how long can you hold your breath? Now, if you take ten people, young people that are 15 years old and you tell them to hold your breath as long as you can hold it, well, which is routinely done in the monasteries. Okay, Now, a young boy, I don't know what it is. I never tried it, but we'll say you could hold your breath for 2 minutes as an example. I don't know how long you can do. It was like 2 minutes before you finally gasp. Okay, That becomes kind of like a baseline. So if you're going down the line and you're having your students hold their breath and one little boy holds his breath for 5 minutes, it must mean for 2 minutes, then you may recognize that young boy is special. So therefore, he must be, you know, having already gone through this training, you know, inside the lifetime. So this all gets gradually imposed. It sounds very arbitrary, but it's partly because it is arbitrary. But this is the way it works. Lot depends on what family you come from. If someone from a very noble family come presents their child to the monastic community, they may be given special treatment as opposed to someone from a poor family. So all these things are factors. It's done since there are so many lifetimes they have to go through.


You get to this various levels. How do they reckon so? In fact, they haven't been that many lifetimes. There aren't enough lifetimes available in the history of mankind for people to go through that night. Well, there's two little caveats to make that possible. Highest possible. Number one, you have to recognize that they believe that this eon that we're living in is only one of multiple, innumerable eternal eons. So we're in the fourth Yuga of this particular turn of the wheel of samsara, and therefore we have a conception of time based on this particular cycle, the will of some sort. But there have been thousands of other terms, the will of samsara. We actually don't have the full grasp of the length of human history from their point of view. The second thing is that though this is not so much a Terra Varda teaching, but in other points Buddhism, the fact that you can actually go through many lifetimes during one lifetime. So during a certain meditation, you get to a certain level. You can suddenly fast forward through and make it through hundreds of lifetimes in one night of meditation. So this is not a completely linear thing. It's much more amorphous than that. So you're a Westerner. You enter into complete linear. This is a very, very eastern kind of conception of time. Time is on a wheel. Time is not on a line. So it's just that if you follow back a circle, you eventually get back to the beginning and, you know, it never stops. Other thoughts. Yes, Carl, The population of globe obviously is increasing greatly since many thousand more years ago. So these extra people are they you know, as animals they well and now they're people and that's where the extra souls came from.


Well, they believe that the Ottoman I mean, this is the Hindu answer, but I think in some ways it's true for Buddhists, explained Cinnamon logically, that the the idea of the saying that the Ottoman becomes one person or one animal or one rock or whatever is a false view of the Ottoman one Ottoman transmigration could migrate into various multiple things. So in the case of the Buddhist, even though they reject the Ottoman, the illusion of the ottoman can be also multiplied. So there's no reason why one person cannot be reincarnated five or six places. The problem comes in. I think the real problem comes in. Why would there be an increase in human migrations as opposed to just, you know, more more people? Why would there be an increased multiplication in the human? Because the human migration is an advantage. And that's not as there's not a sufficient answer for that. I don't think there's I never really read anything that really addressed that well, why there would be more multiplications into the human incarnate and human forms. It's a good question. You should ask that to all your various friends. And so they say, okay, so okay, we have the three jaws, right? The Buddha, the Dharma, the sun. I should be looking at my hand out myself. I can see the world keeping on track, the tensions developed and the Buddhist community regarding the rules of the discipline, the Vinaya and how they applied to laity versus the monastic order. So there was a lot of concern about this and whether or not this could be resolved, because, again, we have a potential division between the monastic community and the lay community. We have potential concerns about whether or not all of those ten vows would be applicable to ordinary people.


And what way would this be something that any Buddhists should refrain from and so forth. So this same council by Vaishali discussed the rules of the Vinaya, and that was a big debate. And within that conference, the second council, we see the emergence of two major schools of thought. Where is debating the ontology of Buddhism? We will definitely visit this with more care later. This is I have a whole chapter in my book which discusses these two major branches, and they are both in the book debating and discussing the higher concept, the Buddhist equivalent of the ultimate reality. Now, Makhaya, so we'll come back to this a bit later, but this begins as early as 400 B.C. Then we have a third conference called, which in our case is, I think, more significant. Well, under the rule of Ashoka 250 B.C., this is very, very important. The the Patella putra conference called by King Ashoka. And let me explain so about King Ashoka, because he's very, very important in the history of Asia. KING Ashoka, in the year 268, before the Christian Arab B.C. inherited the Magadan empire. This is a huge empire which covers the virtually the entire subconscious of India, not just was today India much larger, the whole region of the subcontinent. It did not control the extreme couple of states of South India, but essentially most of the subcontinent is a part of this empire. Eight years into his reign, he had a very bloody conquest of a king known as Kalinga in northeast India. And in the context of this battle, there was a huge carnage and destruction. Ashoka was victorious, but the result was a lot of bloodshed. He had killed over 100,000 people. He had deported over 150,000.


And then countless others died because of dislocation, starvation, because of all this disruption, the deprivation and disease because of the invasion. So the result was there were literally at least a quarter million people that are dead because of the direct actions of King Ashoka. He felt deeply remorse by this, according to their tradition. And he either became a Buddhist, as some people put it, or he became a more committed Buddhist. Whatever the case, he became very committed to the Buddhist dharma. And so he decides that he is going to. Address these evils and he is going to conquer through the Dhamma. This is very famously known in the East as the Dharma Conquest. The Dharma conquest. And this is where he is going to essentially conquest the world through Dharma rather than through military means. So what he does in this conference is call it together and discuss. Now, we look briefly at this division in the vice election. Now, this first conference or Saint conference is largely a division between laypeople and the monks, the Teras, the elders versus the master and geek. As the great community, the great assembly. It is sometimes called the laypeople. So he actually addresses this in his conference. They outline in the conference three aspects of what he believes is the ultimate Dharma rule. What does it mean to rule by Dharma rather than rule by military fiat? And he has these three ideals. The first is spiritual idealism that subjects to be elevated morally and spiritually. And that was a goal rather than through military conquest. We should lift up people spiritually. You have a huge emphasis on the doctrine of ahimsa, which is the doctrine of nonviolence, as becomes as a very important doctrine in Hinduism, in Jainism and Buddhism, and then later in the modern period, Mahatma Gandhi advocated this concept for his own nonviolent protest socially.


This is a very important doctrine in the East. And the idea is that ahimsa means to do no violence against any living thing. The Jains take this to the point of they won't even allow you to kill any possible living thing. And they believe that creates bad karma. So what they'll do is you'll see them in India wearing mask on their face to prevent the possibility of breathing in like a mosquito or something. Or you'll see them walking around with brooms and they'll be sweeping the path in front of them so they won't step on some little roly poly or something. So it's a very dynamic doctrine that is influenced a lot of people's lives. And the idea of nonviolence does not mean inaction, though. It means that for some groups interpret that way, that often means a passive form of action. Through passive resistance, you can get more things done. This is like the Martin Luther King Jr or they the Mahatma Gandhi used this. The idea why, by passively resisting, we can actually accomplish our goals. So he banned animal sacrifices. He insisted on vegetarianism. There's a lot of people who believe that it's actually Ashoka that confirmed India as vegetarian, not the other way around. You often assume Hindus are all vegetarians from all time, but actually there's some evidence that Hindus did used to eat meat. And this is actually part of the Ahimsa proclamation of Ashoka that kind of confirmed the east in vegetarianism. But that's another debate that may be beyond us at this point. He also advocated the importance of pilgrimages. They used to go on hunting trips to kill animals. Instead, they go on pilgrimages. So pilgrimages become increasingly important. I think there's another area where Buddhism has influenced Hinduism, because today pilgrimages are extremely important in Hinduism.


There are thousands of places that Hindus go on pilgrimage for spiritual purification, for salvation. And this is something that actually gets established under Ashoka as a Buddhist dharma. So according to tradition, Ashoka took hundreds thousand, some say relics of the Buddha, whether it be parts of his ashes or whether it be, you know, part of his bones or something they use or touched or clothing or whatever, some innumerable items like the Catholic relic concept in the Middle Ages, these relics would be were taken all over and they were put in these stupas A stupa is a memorial grounds that houses some relics for the purpose of pilgrimage. And so this becomes extremely significant in the promulgation of Buddhism around the world because he sends these people out all over the world according to the more, you know, kind of pro Ashoka tradition. He delivered Buddha Buddha relics to 84,000. A new stupas. That's a lot of places. The more conservative tradition talks about ten main places that he delivered or relics. The most important one is a place in India called Sun Chee. And I'll tell you a little story about Sanji. Sanji is, by all respects, one of the most sacred Buddhist spots outside of Varanasi, Sarnath, where the original turning the wheel of Dharma. We saw the picture earlier in the first sangha next to that spot. Sanji is probably the most sacred spot in in Asia, or at least in India, North India, for Buddhism, because this is one of the places where Shelke supposedly put a number of relics of the Buddha. This place has become such an important pilgrimage that it's like Mecca for Buddhist. Just why Mecca is for Muslims. This is a place people go to, for salvation, deliverance and so forth.


About maybe seven or eight years ago, we were having one of our meetings where we get together every year once or twice a year, and we discuss strategy with our church planners in India. And we look at maps and, you know, where are our churches, where our church is in general, where what's unreached. And we've adopted this particular certain regions of India where we think have an influence. So in Santee is right in the middle of one of the places that we have a heart for. Just north of Bhopal in north India. So at a meeting I raised the question actually one minute I have. Has anyone ever gone on pilgrimage to Sanji not to see the stupid, but to preach the gospel? And no, no one has done that yet because they're just so afraid of the Hindu reaction or the Buddhist reaction. So we said, okay, is there anybody willing to go? So we had a couple of our brothers who who said that they would be willing to go if we preceded by a year of regular prayer and fasting. So because no one is ever planning a church in science in the history of the world, there's this place is completely a Buddhist stronghold. We like saying, let's go plant a church in Mecca. You know, it's like it's not going to happen. So it's that kind of like shocking thing. So but, you know, we said, why not? Because there was no reason why we couldn't go there and preach the gospel. We were allowed to go into Santee. They have a non conversion law there, But you know, the ways to get around that. So we went to the. After a year of preparation, a little over a year preparation, actually.


Finally, the first team went into Sangeet. They preach the gospel and over a period of time, about 26 people came to faith in Sanji. Truly amazing. And you know how what we do when we go into a village, one of our our methods is to follow the Luke Gospel Luke plan that where Jesus says we send out the disciples, He says, go and, you know, preach in the Gentile villages. Don't worry about what you eat and all that. And he says to them, If you find a man of peace there, let his peace remain upon him. Don't move around from house to house and all that. So this idea of finding the man of peace is really central to our whole strategy. So when we go into a village, we spend a lot of time praying. But before we go and once we're there, begin to share that God would give us a man of peace. For the ladies here, I should also say, by way of encouragement that we have found because we now have planted over 400 churches in North India, that oftentimes the man of peace is a woman of peace, because oftentimes it's like the apostle Paul who met Lydia. God opens the heart of a woman. And so in the case of Sanji, it was a man. But many, many times it's a woman who opens their home to us for to start a house church. So we go to Sanji and we're preaching the gospel. And over a period of time, about 25 people came to faith. So the man of peace, the Lord provided it. Talking about the sovereignty of God has a home at the foot of the stupa. It's like saying, you know, a person right outside the gate of the great open air mosque in Mecca come the kind of faith.


I mean, it's like the most unbelievable location, because in order to go on pilgrimage, you have to walk right by this house to go on pilgrimage. So we started the church there, and I prayed there several times, and I was preaching there a while back. I was there recently, but it was time for her. Now is actually a couple of years ago, three or four years ago. And I was preaching there and I was preaching on the passage in Revelation where Jesus said I was dead and behold, I'm alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death in hell. Revelation one 1719 And as I was preaching that passage just as a. Raising happened because as I was preaching this passage, about 25 people that were all gathered there like, oh, Tuesday afternoon, they all came out of the fields and they had a church service because we showed up and these pilgrims were traveling up this stoop right by our house. I mean, you could literally, if you had a way to reach out, the one, you could grab one of them. I mean, it's not like over there. It's like right there and there they are. And a lot of them. Because, again, part of the pilgrimage mentality is that you you don't just go and pilgrims like, hey, you know, let's go. You know, it's a very humiliating thing. And so you get prepared for Hindus. You can't ever take anything but, you know, walk on your feet. You can't take any rise. You can't drive a car. You got to walk now, walk for hundreds of miles and all this. So even if you are going to take a bus to a certain town, you always walk the last distance.


And then when you get to this within sight of the city, but you fall down on your face and you crawl up. So there are to be fair, there are tourists there with cameras that just walk up, you know, and kids running around. But there are, you know, the people that are really faithful who are there for serious purposes, they will they'll crawl up the stupa. So here these people, some of these monks and all, you know, with their robes on that are just crawling by. And here we are worshiping the Lord, preaching the resurrection of Jesus. And I looked out and it just dawned on me that here are these people, these Buddhist monks and other devotees, that their greatest aspiration in life was to come to this place, to somehow come in contact with the remains of the Buddha. So that's all this 84,000 steps are all about. You come in contact with a piece of the Buddha's hair. You come in contact with one of the femurs of his of his leg. You come in contact with some of his ashes, of his when he was cremated or whatever, whatever, whatever. And somehow, by coming in contact with some remains of the Buddha, you're going to experience some kind of blessing or spiritual enlightenment. And in the gospel there, there's no place you can go to visit the remains of the Buddha, I mean, of Jesus of Jesus. He is the ultimate Buddha, the ultimate enlightened one, our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no place He's on the right hand of the Father. He's the risen Lord. And that is that is the why the resurrection is the central claim in the Christian faith. Because the Apostle Paul says, If if we don't have that, you're all preaching is useless.


You're still in your sins. Your faith is is in vain. Paul does not say, well, because Christ has a good moral, ethical teaching, therefore it's still worth something. No, Paul says if Christ is not been raised, then you might as well go and do something else. Everything is based on that great truth. So and this is the real dividing point. The Buddhists do not have a living savior. The Moslems will travel on Haj on their their famous pilgrimage. They're required once in their lifetime to make pilgrimage to go to Mecca and to see the black stone, which is the stone of monotheism. And then they go up to Medina to visit the Tomb of the Prophet and to see where Muhammad is buried. And they do that. They become honored by that. They believe they've done a deed that's worthy of salvation, a dead teacher, dead saviors, the Gospel living savior. So these memorial sites, in my view, as many as they are, and they are very sacred to the Buddhist, but they are all testimonies to the power of the Christian gospel, because the Christian Gospels about living savior, this is all about dead somebodies. In the case of the larger Buddhist picture, dead either the dead Buddha or many, many other dead Buddhist teachers and bodhisattvas and other leaders that we'll look at later. But it's all about dead people, the Gospels, about the living Lord Jesus right here, enshrined in the beginning of Buddhism, is the commitment to the dead rather than to the living. So he calls this conference in order to discuss and debate not only the actual struggles and tensions within the Sunna over the monastic and the lay, but also a number of philosophical schools. And you can see that these are two of the groups there, the river, the Hajjah violence and the survivors of violence.


And these groups have difference of opinion about ontology and we're going to develop this more later because that is important. But the idea of ontology is really important in Buddhism because they're trying to ask themselves, is there anything that is at the root? But isn't that can we call real what the Hindus called Brahman? Is there anything like that? And essentially, this group is divided because one group says because Buddha said there is no Ottoman. Does that mean that it is really the doctrine of an Ottoman? In other words, what they were saying is, is that when the Buddha says that he does not believe in the Ottoman, is he really saying that there is no Ottoman or is he saying that there you just can't identify the Ottoman? Others said, no, no, there's no first cause that's the original Buddhist vision. And they have all this debate going on about this. And this eventually becomes part of the big debates within Buddhism. There are three basic tensions. I want to just summarize the councils, because in this these two councils, I think the best thing that you should know about the councils, if you can kind of just summarize what are the three things being debated in council, two in Council three Council one was just establishing the canon as the main thing to know about that. The canon is established, you have the three baskets laid out, We looked at three baskets, the second and third councils are over divisions in the tradition. Well, this becomes the the flashpoint of all the later developments in Buddhist philosophy and thought. But you have three and I'm emphasizing very much three here because I do agree with I think overstates it with our textbook when he tries to downplay.


Number two, let me put that in context. I think what's happened is many people who have written on Buddhism have tried to summarize all of the divisions in Buddhism in the second or third councils in the later Theravada Mahayana as essentially a debate between monastic and lay. The tomato represents the monastic ideal. The Mahayana presents the lay ideal, and these to get played out into this great broad tent of lay Buddhism in this very narrow tent of clerical monastic Buddhism. I think textbook is right in saying that is too simplistic, though I think at times he downplays that this is in fact a major factor. So what I want us to be clear on is that there are actually three major points of division. One of these is the monastic lay, but the first is there is a genuine philosophical debate about the nature of reality. Now, as we'll see later with the two schools of man yarmulke and yoga, Kyra, which are highlight in my book and explain. But we'll we'll go through in the class is that these two schools of thought in Buddhism neither actually accepts what we would call as Christians and on to logical reality. So these are two virgins of either no reality or some kind of functional reality, but is not really absolutely real. So I think in both cases we're still talking about a subset of our conception of reality, ultimate reality. But nevertheless, that debate is there and how it plays out, whether the mind or the consciousness of the mind has some reality is a matter of we'll look at this part of the debate, the monastic versus lay very, very important, critical part of the debate is going ascetic order a pathway to nirvana.


It is is a deep pathway. Is there other possibilities for laypeople? And that becomes an important point. We'll see this in the documents. And then thirdly, there is a practical struggle over righteousness, because you have on one hand, and I think Ashoka beautifully illustrates this Ashoka, and you have the same tension within Hinduism. Ashoka has this idea of soon he will out to proclaim the Dharma to the ends of the earth. This is why Buddhism is called a missionary religion. Marcus Miller said. There's only three missionary religions in the world Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. Everything else is in some other category. Now, that may be overstating the case, but I think that the basic thought behind that is accurate, that Buddhism at its root is evangelistic. So you have this idea of taking the Dharma to the ends of the earth and sharing it, spreading it, you know, giving it out to others. That is a ideal of righteousness as opposed to withdrawing from the world and learning some meditative technique in the monastic life where you're separated from the world in some. That is a tension within Buddhism that is going to be a continual flashpoint. Is the Dharma something which you must meditate on and reflect on is something that you take out and proclaim? How are both of these true and so forth? The other tension is the tensions that we've talked about all along. I told you from the very beginning that we would have this three fold tension about the nature of knowledge. How much do you need to know to be a good Buddhist? Is there a is salvation through knowledge? This is a tension within evangelicalism. What is the relationship between faith and someone's knowledge of the gospel, what Christ has done and so forth? This tension is there in Buddhism.


True knowledge or meditation. The whole reflective life. And then, of course, the life of morals and ethics and the ethical life. These tensions are always there within Buddhism, and all of that is being played out in these three counsels, especially two and three. The divisions over the tradition begin to develop, and you definitely find a break that will occur between the elders and these moccasin kickers. These great assimilates. The more laypeople, though, there are some clergy that side with them. There is definitely a division that takes place. Okay. Questions or thoughts about this. These councils and the basic tensions that were present and the to such. The second and third council clear on what which council was. One four. No, his is the 250 B.C. Council. The third council is the Shokin Council. Okay. Let's take a break. We'll come back to our next lecture. They will actually finally get to the emergence of Mahayana in the great vehicle after our break.