A Study of Buddhism Introduction Buddhism is a religion that originated in North East India, around the time of 520 BC. As the legend goes, Siddhartha Guatama was a holy man from Lumbini, who later on in his life discovered the four noble truths. At the beginning, the Buddha’s teachings were passed down with words, but were later developed into two formations of scripture which are: Tripitaka, meaning the passing down of knowledge down by the council of monks) and The Sutras, meaning the passing down by the Mahayana School).
Siddharta Guatama In about 580 BCE, Siddhartha Gautama was born into a wealthy family in Nepal, in he village of Lumbini. Growing up, the boy was only presented with the positives of life, never knowing any type of negatives such as death, illness, sadness, poverty, etc. However, after he had a child with his wife, he saw life outside of the palace; specifically a sick man, an old man and a dead corpse. It was then Siddhartha realised that these horrific things were inevitable and all three of those things would have to happen to him some day too.
During his outing, the prince saw a monk, which he took as the indication that he should abandon his sheltered, protected luxurious life for one of living as a homeless Holy Man. As a Holy Man, he searched for a way out of death and life’s suffering, but was unable to find it. Siddhartha sought out many religious men in his travels who taught him things such as how to meditate, though he later split off from them with 5 other men. Through physical discipline, the six companions believed that was the key to finding enlightenment.
However, Siddhartha realised that hurting himself was doing the exact opposite; bringing him pain, which is what he was running from. It was then he discovered that the path of liberation was through discipline of the mind’. When Siddhartha sat nderneath the Bodhi Tree, he began to deeply meditate, where he got into a destructive battle of the mind with a demon, though successfully reached the seat of enlightenment. By morning, Siddhartha had become a Buddha. For the rest of his life, The Buddha dedicated himself to teaching others the path to enlightenment with his family and friends by his side, until he died at age 80.
Buddhist Symbols In Buddhism, there are 32 different symbols which show how significant a person Buddha was. The specific Buddha statue has symbolic meaning behind it, such as: The bump on the top of his head. This small symbol signifies that Buddha possessed many skills and talents throughout his life. The mark on his forehead. Really, it is a third eye, which means that he had the ability to see things that others couldn’t see. Curled hair. These curls are actually snails. The snails covered his head in kindness, as he had a bald head and didn’t want the sun to harm it while he meditated.
What it means is that he was a holy man. Long ears from where his royal-like earrings have stretched them. This is to show that the earrings are gone; that he has given up his past life as a member of a royal family. A group of Buddhist symbols that are seen on many cultural Buddhist paintings, artwork, etc. are the Eight Auspicious Symbols. They all contribute into the teachings of Buddha, and include: Parasol (chattra) – Symbolises royalty and spiritual power. Golden Fishes (suvarnamatsya) – L fortune, fertility and salvation. Ђ Treasure Vase (kalasha) – Spiritual and material abundance. Lotus (Padma) – Mental and spiritual purity. Conch Shell (sankha) – The fame that was brought with the teachings of Buddha. Endless Knot (shrivasta) – Constant wisdom of the Buddha. Victory Banner (dhvaJa) Success of the Buddha’s teachings and wisdom over ignorance. Wheel (dharmachakra) – What is taught by Buddha. Scripture and Worship The sacred texts of Buddhism are divided into two scriptures: the Tripitaka and the Sutras.
The Tripitaka is extremely long, roughly adding up to nearly forty volumes, written in an Indian language called Pali. The Tripitaka is passed down by Council of Monks of the Theravada School, while the Sultras is from the Mahayana School. Theravada and Mahayana Buddhists mainly acknowledge the Tripitaka as a sacred text. The Tripitaka is divided into three different sections: 1 . Vinaya Pitaka Discipline Basket) – A rule book, essentially, for monks and nuns (227 rules in total). 2. Sutta Pitaka (Teaching Basket) – Legitimate experiences of Buddha himself. . Abhidhamma Pitaka (Higher Doctrine Basket) – The explanation of the teachings of Buddhism. When Buddhists worship, the performance is often referred to as ‘puja’. To show their love for Buddha, believers chant and offer things such as flowers, candles, incense and clean water at a shrine, thanking Buddha for his teachings. When worshiping with the only presence of their own company, they generally meditate or read from the holy books of Buddhism. Meditating trains the mind to clear all thoughts and for important things to become clear.
On religious days, which are considered as the days when there are full moons, they go to temples where they then worship Buddha. Types of Buddhism Customs and culture in different countries affect the Buddhism religion as a whole, making different types of Buddhism in its turn. The only thing that doesn’t change, however, is the truth behind it (or the Dhamma). Found in Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and in parts of Indonesia, Vietname and Malaysia, is Theravada Buddhism, the school of Buddhism.
Mahayana Buddhism, the school of Buddhism, is located in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Vajrayana Buddhism, the school of Buddhism, is located in Tibet, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Mongolia, while Iodo Shin Buddhism is mainly found in India and Japan. Some factors that contribute into these different types of Buddhism being alike is the place of ritual, being a temple or a meditation hall, and the spiritual leader, being a monk. However, they differ in that they believe in different purposes of life, holidays, the afterlife and theism (Theravada is atheistic, Mahayana is polytheistic).
writing a discussion
Important! Approach this discussion as you would if you were writing a college paper. In other words, don’t just start writing in the discussion board without having a plan. I recommend that you open a Word document and write a polished 550-750 word paper, then copy and paste this into your discussion post.
Outline – Start with an outline and organize your analysis into separate topical paragraphs that begin with topic sentences (see below). It may be helpful to use headings.
First Paragraph – In your first paragraph, introduce and describe the tattoo you chose and clearly state the primary purpose or function represented in the tattoo. You will explain more in the subsequent paragraphs.
Subsequent Paragraphs – Support your choice of purpose or function in each of the subsequent paragraphs. Use reasoning that demonstrates a clear understanding of key concepts from the reading and videos.
Topic Sentences – At the beginning of each of the subsequent paragraphs, write a concise topic sentence that clearly states the key point you plan to make in that paragraph. This approach will make it easier for your reader follow your key points and how they support your choice of purpose or function.
Stay focused on the tattoo you are writing about and don’t wander off-topic. Support your key points with clear descriptions and observations of the image you selected.
Step One – Search for an Image
First, you must search online for a clear image of an actual tattoo. You will post this image in Step Two and use it as the basis for your discussion. If you like, you may share images of your own tattoos. In either case, please only select images that are appropriate within the standards of this institution – NO nudity or anything too graphic, and please post images that are clear and easy to discern. High resolution images are preferred.
Helpful tip: Think out of the box. As you search for an image, don’t limit yourself to only traditional tattoos. There are so many complex, original and beautiful contemporary tattoos, out there. Select a design that is really interesting to you.
Step Two: Post in the Class Discussion
Your post is worth 80 possible points
First, post the image you found in Step One. Follow these instructions that explain How to embed an Image in a Discussion Reply as a Student (Links to an external site.)
Next, in 500-750 words, explain how the tattoo you chose is an example of one of the Purposes and Functions listed below. Please note that the tattoo might be an example of a few different purposes and functions. However, you must select only one purpose or function, the one that best applies to the tattoo you chose, then cogently explain and justify your choice based on concepts from the reading and videos.
Purposes and Functions of Art
Art as Commentary
Art in Worship and Ritual
Art for Commemoration
Art for Persuasion
Art as Self-Expression (unique and autobiographical)
Please note: Because of the personal nature of tattooing one’s body, all tattoos might be viewed as Art as Self-Expression. As such, please do not write about the tattoo as Art as Self-Expression unless the tattoo truly expresses something unique and autobiographical about the person wearing the tattoo.
Helpful tip: Before you write your post, take some time to apply what you know about each of the purposes and functions to the tattoo you chose. Write down the characteristics that would qualify the tattoo as being Art as Commentary, Art for Worship and Ritual, Art for Commemoration, etc. Do this for each purpose and function listed below. This process will help you identify the purpose and function that best applies to the tattoo you chose.
To help you think about your post, consider the following:
(You are not required to answer each of these questions. This list is included to help get you thinking.)
What are the main features of the tattoo? Describe them.
What makes it unique compared to other tattoos you’ve seen. Explain.
What is the level of skill or training required to execute the tattoo?
Is there a tradition behind the design? Describe it.
Is the tattoo a symbol of a group? If so, tell us about that group and why they use this style of tattoo.
What type of statement is being made by the person wearing the tattoo?
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