The 3 Marks of ExistenceIn Hinduism, the goal is to be liberated from Samsara and become one with Brahman- the ultimate reality.The Buddha discovered something else: no self. Everything, within and without, is changingThe Buddha summarizes this changing nature of reality by noting Three Marks of Existence:No self (Anatta)Impermanence (Anicca)Suffering (Dukkha)
No-self (Anatta) Anatta (no-self)Anatta means there is no ultimate reality within, no essence underlying existenceRather than finding Atman, the Buddha found no-selfThe essence of Buddhism is, there is no essenceExample: where were you 10 years ago? You simply did not exits 10 yrs. agoYou simply do not exist nowYou, in the future, will not be the you you are now
Impermanence (Anicca) Anicca means impermanenceIt focuses on the idea that existence is constantly changing Life is a constant changeNothing we experience in life ever remains the sameWe get used to things our own face, family, friends, house, car, neighborhood- that seem to remain the same but that is an illusion for they are changing dailyE.g. a riverWe may perceive the river as a real and unchanging thing, but actually it is an ongoing flow, a constant sequence of change. The same occurs to the self: it appears to be real and unchanging, but in fact it is an ongoing flow
Suffering (Dukkha)Dukkha means suffering or sorrow but also dissatisfaction It refers to the fact that life can never be fully satisfying because of its inescapable change.It is the natural result of anicca and anatta
3 Marks exercise
The four noble truths The 4 noble truths are the creed for BuddhismThe 4 noble truths lead to liberation/nirvanaDuring the Third Watch of the night of his enlightenment Gautama perceived the Four Noble Truths:To live is to sufferSuffering is caused by desireSuffering can be brought to cessationThe solution to suffering is the Noble Eight-fold path
1st Truth: To live is to suffer (Dukkha) Birth, old age, disease, deathTo live means to experience anxiety, loss, and even anguishHaving a body means that we can be tired and sickHaving a mind means that we can be troubled and discouragedThe past cannot be relived and the future is uncertain
2nd Truth: Suffering comes from desire (Tanha) The Buddha saw that suffering comes from wanting what we cannot have and from never being satisfied with what we do haveTanha can be translated as desire, thirst, cravingSome desires are: food, clothing, friendship, beautyDesire is insatiable
3rd Truth: Suffering has an end this truth goes against Western notionsAny kind of attachment will bring sufferingMaterial possessionLoved ones The shaven head and special clothing of monks and nuns symbolize their radical detachment from worldly concernsThe essence of this truth is this: I cannot change the outside world, but I can change myself and the way I experience the world
4th Truth: the solution to end sufferingThe solution to end suffering is the 8-fold path: The way to inner peace The 8-fold path is represented in Buddhist art by a wheel with 8 spokesThe 8 steps of the path form a program that leads to liberation from the impermanence and suffering of reality.The word right in the following list is a translation of a word that might better be translated as correctRight viewsRight intentionsRight speechRight conductRight livelihoodRight effortRight mindfulnessRight meditation
Karma in Buddhist world: The moral law of cause and effectIt functions hand in hand with samsaraThe nature of ones rebirth depends on the status of ones karmaBecause Buddhism denies the transference of any self or soul, personal identity depends entirely on karma. When an individual dies, his or her karma continues on its particular trajectory, as it were, bringing about rebirth. At conception the new person is possessed of this particular status brought on by the karma of the previous life.
The 5 PriceptsBecause karma is affected by the moral adequacy of ones actions, morality is of pressing concern for Buddhism. The moral life requires observance of the Five Precepts:Do not take lifeDo not take what is not givenDo not engage in sensuous misconductDo not use false speechDo not drink intoxicants
The five precepts apply to all Buddhists. The following precepts are added for monks and nuns:
6. Do not eat after noon (12:00)7. Do not watch dancing or shows8. Do not use garlands, perfumes, or ornaments.9. Do not use a high or soft bed.10. Do not accept gold or silver.
NirvanaSo, if you follow the 8-fold path, and you end all desires, then what?Nirvana literally means blowing out (ie like a candle). Nirvana happens when all desires stop.No desires = No more KarmaNo Karma = No more re-birth.
Nirvana vs. Final NirvanaWaitThe Buddha obtained Nirvana by becoming enlightened. For the next 30-40 years he teaches the dharma, so we know he continued to exist. If Nirvana means the end of Karma, why didnt the Buddha just disappear after becoming enlightened? Answer: Nirvana simply means you stop producing Karma because he stopped all desires and hence all actions. All individuals who reach enlightenment still have residual karma they have to burn up. When that residual Karma is burned up, then the enlightened being can enter into Final Nirvana by dying and not returning to Earth by being reborn.
Buddha dies at age 80So, what is this Final Nirvana? Is it an afterlife? Will you enjoy it?The Buddha specifically refused to answer this and many other philosophical questions concerning God or an afterlife. How could the Buddha describe something he hadnt yet done? The Buddha promised only two things about final nirvana: It was the end of suffering and the end of re-birth.
Arhat An arhat is someone who has attained enlightenment but has not died yetThe Buddha was an arhatArhats are considered saints