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Lecture 1: Emergence of Buddhism 1

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Definition of Buddhism and a description of how it began and its present status as a world religion.


The Voice of Dissent

Part 1

I. The Emergence of Buddhism (part 1)

A. Introduction

1. Buddhism as a World Religion

a. Context of the course

b. Statistical overview of 21st century Buddhism

2. Defining Buddhism

A religious and intellectual movement founded in N. India by Śākyamuni Gautama Siddhārtha in the 6th C. B.C.E. which teaches the Dharma - ‘eternal truth about reality’ - and whose followers believe provides complete liberation from all suffering.

B. Historical Emergence of the Buddhist Dissent

1. The Early Life of Siddhārtha Gautama

a. Birth in Lumbini, Nepal

Hinduism background #1: “caste” system

Hinduism background #2: Four Stages of Life

Terms to know from lecture #1:

Śākyamuni Gautama Siddhārtha
Brāhmin / Kshatriya / Vaiśya / Śūdra

Four Important Places of Pilgrimage (the first is in Nepal, the rest are in N. India):

Lumbini (birth site)
Bodhgaya (enlightenment beneath Bodhi tree)
Saranath (turn the wheel of Dharma, first sermon, taught four noble truths, first monastery)
Kushinagar (death, entry into Nirvana, cremation site)

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