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The foundations of Buddhist tradition and practice are the Three Jewels (Sanskri t: tri-ratna, Pāli: ti-ratana

): the Buddha, the Dharma (the teachings), and the Sa ngha (the community). Taking "refuge in the triple gem" has traditionally been a declaration and commitment to being on the Buddhist path and in general disting uishes a Buddhist from a non-Buddhist. Just as real jewels never change their faculty and goodness, whether praised or reviled, so are the Three Jewels (Refuges), because they have an eternal and immutable essence. At age 29, despite his father's efforts, Gautama ventured beyond the palace seve ral times. In a series of encounters—known in Buddhist literature as the four sigh ts—he learned of the suffering of ordinary people, encountering an old man, a sick man, a corpse and, finally, an ascetic holy man, apparently content and at peace with t he world. These experiences prompted Gautama to abandon royal life and take up a spiritual quest. He devoted himself to anapanasati meditation, through which he discovered what Buddhists call the Middle Way (Skt. madhyamāpratipad): a path of moderation between the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification. An important guiding principle of Buddhist practice is the M iddle Way (or Middle Path), which is said to have been discovered by Gautama Bud dha prior to his enlightenment. At the age of 35, he famously sat in meditation under a sacred fig tree — known as the Bodhi tree — in the town of Bodh Gaya, India, and vowed not to rise before achieving enlightenment. After many days, he final ly destroyed the fetters of his mind, thereby liberating himself from the cycle of suffering and rebirth, and arose as a fully enlightened being (Skt. samyaksaṃbu ddha). the collection of texts on which the Theravada tradition is based is the Samyutt a Nikaya of the Pali Canon. The teachings on the Four Noble Truths are regarded as central to the teachings of Buddhism, and are said to provide a conceptual framework for Buddhist thought . I. Birth is sorrow, age is sorrow, sickness is sorrow, death is sorrow, clinging to earthly things is sorrow. II. Birth and re−birth, the chain of reincarnations, result from the thirst for li fe together with passion and desire. III. The only escape from this thirst is the annihilation of desire. IV. The only way of escape from this thirst is by following the Eightfold Path: Right belief, right resolve, right word, right act, right life, right effort, ri ght thinking, right meditation. The Dharmachakra represents the Noble Eightfold Path. Prajñā is the wisdom that purifies the mind, allowing it to attain spiritual insight into the true nature of all things. It includes: dṛṣṭi (ditthi): viewing reality as it is, not just as it appears to be; saṃkalpa (sankappa): intention of renunciation, freedom and harmlessness. Śīla is the ethics or morality, or abstention from unwholesome deeds. It includes: vāc (vāca): speaking in a truthful and non-hurtful way; karman (kammanta): acting in a non-harmful way; ājīvana (ājīva): a non-harmful livelihood. Samādhi is the mental discipline required to develop mastery over one's own mind. This is done through the practice of various contemplative and meditative practi ces, and includes: vyāyāma (vāyāma): making an effort to improve; smṛti (sati): awareness to see things for what they are with clear consciousness, being aware of the present reality within oneself, without any craving or aversi on; samādhi (samādhi): correct meditation or concentration, explained as the first four

arguably the most influential scholar within th e Mahayana tradition. hate and delusion (raga. Jāti: literally birth. the word also means fuel. while the bodhisattva not only achieves nirvana but full liberation from delusion as well. Impermanence (Pāli: anicca) expresses the Buddhist notion that all compounded or c onditioned phenomena (all things and experiences) are inconstant. unsteady. foundation. lament ation. Vedanā: usually translated feeling: this is the "hedonic tone". moha). Nagarjuna (perhaps c. specifically spiritual ignorance of the nature of reality. In Theravada Buddhism. that of being freed from greed. and misery).). tongue. The doctrine of pratītyasamutpāda is an important part of Buddhist metaphysics. and panya) refers to moral purity of thought . which describe a causal connection between the subsequent characteristics or condition s of cyclic existence. or "emptiness". source or origin"). but in Buddhism nearly always used to mean craving. but life is understood as starting at conception. specifically discriminative. explained as referring to karma. the three practices (sila. nose. whether somet hing is pleasant. bodhi and nirvana carry the same meaning as in the ea rly texts. stimulation (by a sense object).e. Bhava: literally being (existence) or becoming. The best-known application of the concept of pratītyasamutpāda is the scheme of Twelve N idānas (from Pāli "nidāna" meaning "cause. Nagarjuna's primary contribution to Buddhist philosophy wa s the systematic exposition of the concept of śūnyatā. some exponents of Yogacar a asserted that the mind and only the mind is ultimately real (a doctrine known as cittamatra). one finds that no phenomenon is really "I" or "mine". impression. Ṣaḍāyatana: the six sense bases: eye. The Three Marks of Existence are impermanence. Upādāna: clinging or grasping. 150–250 CE). and impermanent. sadness. Sanskrit: anātman) is the third mark of existence. Suffering (Pāli: dukkha. suffering. and the existence it self. and not-self. Saṃskāras: literally formations. Besides emptiness. These two schools of thought. form the basis of subsequent Mahayana metaphysics in the Indo-T ibetan tradition. which produces a new existence. Sanskrit: duḥkha) is also a central concept in Buddhism. each one giving rise to the next: Avidyā: ignorance. widely attested in the Prajñāpāramitā sutras which were emergent in his era. Nagarjuna's school of thou ght is known as the Mādhyamaka. samadhi. (The Theravada explains this as having two meanings: karma. Sparśa: variously translated contact. pain. referring to mind and body. in oppositi on or synthesis. He thus attains bodhi and becomes a budd ha.jhānas. the arahant has attained only nirvana. body and mind-organ. Mahayana schools often place emphasis on the notions of perfe cted spiritual insight (prajñāpāramitā) and Buddha-nature (tathāgatagarbha). which feeds the continuing cycle of rebirth. Jarāmaraṇa: (old age and death) and also śokaparidevaduḥkhadaurmanasyopāyāsa (sorrow. Upon care ful examination. Tṛṣṇā: literally thirst. Not all Yogacarins asserted that mind was truly existent. dosa. the Sarvastivada tradition of Vasumitra. i. While the Mādhyamaka school held that asserting the existence or non-exi stence of any ultimately real thing was inappropriate. Sarvastiv ada teachings—which were criticized by Nāgārjuna—were reformulated by scholars such as V asubandhu and Asanga and were adapted into the Yogacara (Sanskrit: yoga practice ) school. unpleasant or neutral. Vasuba ndhu and Asanga in particular did not. Nāmarūpa: literally name and form. Not-self (Pāli: anatta. these con cepts are in fact constructed by the mind. according to Mahayana Buddhism. Vijñāna: consciousness. ear. thus stil l being subject to delusion.

To refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness (specifically. and a tent h added: 6. In the eight precepts. Śīla refers to overall principles of ethical behavior. Novice-monks use the ten precepts. The Sthaviras gave rise to several schools. 2. the third precept on sexual misconduct is made more stric t. calmness. it is said t hat while samatha meditation can calm the mind. 8. word. samat ha meditation (Sanskrit: śamatha) and vipassanā meditation (Sanskrit: vipaśyanā). Śīla is the foundation of Samadhi/Bhāva na (Meditative cultivation) or mind cultivation. 7. Tant ric Buddhism is largely concerned with ritual and meditative practices. To refrain from dancing and playing music. 4. 8. The four conditions of śīla are chastity. gener ally known to be analytical and monastic. Sariputta inspired the Theravada school. and deed. To refrain from using high or luxurious seats and bedding. To refrain from dancing. To refrain from taking food at an unseasonable time. In Buddhist practice. which are the basic precepts for monastics. Zen Buddhism. pronounced Chán in Chinese.. 9. According to Theravada Buddhism the Buddha taught two types of meditation. d rugs and alcohol). Samādhi (meditative cultivation): samatha meditation. ointments. 5. singing and unseemly shows. According to most scholars. without worries. perfumes. only vipassanā meditation can reve al how the mind was disturbed to start with. 10. the cultivation of dana and ethical conduct will themselves refine consciousness. music. and extinguishment. or esoteric Buddh ism). that is after the mid-da y meal. Jhanas (Sanskrit: dhyāna) are also states whic h Arahants abide in order to rest. Prajñā is the wisdom that is able to extinguish afflictions and bring about bodhi. To refrain from eating at the wrong time (eat only from sunrise to noon). Tantric Buddhism. wearing jewelry and cosmetics. and from things tha t tend to beautify and adorn (the person). Tibeto-Mo ngolian Buddhism is one of the schools that practice Vajrayana or "Diamond Vehic le" (also referred to as Mantrayāna. one of which was the Theravāda school. att ending shows and other performances. I t is spoken of as the principal means of attaining nirvāṇa. and can meditate well: 1. To refrain from accepting gold and silver. The root schism was betwee n the Sthaviras and the Mahāsāṅghikas. meaning "medi tation") is a form of Buddhism that became popular in China. The three additional precepts are: 6. To refrain from (using) high and luxurious seats (and beds). To refrain from the use of garlands. Pāli ñāṇa) and understanding (prajñā Pāl nd thus can lead to nirvāṇa (Pāli nibbāna).To refrain from lying (speaking truth always). anicca (imperman ence) and anatta (not-self). Though based upon Mahayana. and becomes a precept of celibacy. Maudgalyayana inspired the Mahayana sc . through its revelation o f the true nature of all things as dukkha (unsatisfactoriness). Korea and Japan and that lays special emphasis on meditation. which is what leads to knowledge (jñāna. the seventh precept is partitioned into two. 7. For the complete list. The five precepts are training rules in order to live a better life in which one is happy. In Buddhist thought.To refrain from sensual (including sexual) misconduct. The complete list of ten precepts may be observed by laypeople for short periods . 3. but also includes a vast array of spiritual and physical techniques designed to enhance Buddhist practice. or ahi msā.To refrain from taking life (non-violence towards sentient life forms). It accepts all the basic concepts of Mahāyāna. quiet. seon in Korean or zen in Japanese (derived from the Sanskrit term dhyāna. at some period by about 100 CE after the Second Coun cil the Sangha began to break into separate factions. Tantrayāna.To refrain from taking that which is not given (not committing theft).

2nd council to canonise Buddhist sacred book. It is relatively conservative. Mahāyāna Buddhism is based principally upon the pa th of a bodhisattva. meditation. or "Ancient Doctrine") is the oldest surviv ing Buddhist school. Sri Lanka. Nālandā University became a center for the development of Vajrayāna theory and continued as the source of l eading-edge Vajrayāna practices up through the 11th century.] 1. and Burma. Maha-vagga—The Great Divisio n (suttas 14-23) Patika-vagga—The Patika Division (suttas 24-34)) 2. Each vagga is further divided into samyutt as. Korea. Mahāyāna centres of learning were established. Mongolian. at Vaishali. Thailand. effort. Japan . Buddhist scriptures are mainly written in Pāli. 1st council. or sections. The suttas are g rouped into five vaggas. closely related scripture s. The Dalit Buddhist movement in India (inspired by B. Southeast Asia and the West. Taiwan.hool which emphasizes compassion and tends to be democratic. is the dominant form of Buddhism in Cambodia.Digha Nikaya (consists of 34 discourses. broken into three groups: Silakkhandh a-vagga—The Division Concerning Morality (suttas 1-13). and generally closest to ear ly Buddhism.) two volumes: mahavagga & cullavagg a 3. and doctrinal clarification. while the followers of Mahāyāna Buddhism base their faith and philosoph y primarily on the Mahāyāna sūtras and their own vinaya. along with other.Samyutta Nikaya ("Connected Discourses" or "Kindred Sayings"." also translated "Gr . and various sets of puzzles which are not unlike some modern examination papers. Singapore and Vietnam as well as such communities within Indoch ina. R. The followers of Theravāda Buddhism take the scriptures known as the Pāli Canon as definitive and au thoritative. at Pataliputra. The Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra is an early and important Mahāyān ccording to the Mahāyāna teachings. as well as explanations of why and how these rules were instituted. Ambedkar) also p ractices Theravada. There are twenty of these treatises.Parivara or Appendix (It is very short. pāramitā) are: giving.Majjhima Nikaya (This nikaya consists of 152 discourses attributed to the Budd ha and his chief disciples) 3. Theravada ("Doctrine of the Elders".East Asian forms of Ma hayana Buddhism that use Chinese scriptures are dominant in most of China.Anguttara Nikaya (literally "Increased by One Collection. Pali Canon Vinaya Pitaka (the Canon Law) [The Vinaya Pitaka contains disciplinary rules for the Buddhist monks and nuns. Theravada Buddhism. during th e dynasty of the Guptas. forbearance. and Chinese. Mahayana Buddhism flourished in India from the 5th century CE onwards. Tibetan.) 2. The Pāli sutras. S ome texts still exist in Sanskrit and Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit. containing lists to assist the memory. supporting m aterial. using Sanskrit and Pāli as its scriptural languag es. Laos. or chapters. and transcendent wisdom. each of which in turn contains a group of suttas on a related t opic) 4. dis cipline. and is little more than a kind of stud ent's manual.Khandhaka or Treatises (It deals one after another with all those matters rela ting to the Order which are not stated in so many words in the Rules of the Pati mokkha.Suttavibhanga (The book deals with each of the 227 rules in order and followin g throughout one set scheme or method.) Sutta Pitaka (the Basket of Discourses) [The Sutta Pitaka contains discourses ascribed to Gautama Buddha. are known to the other schools as the āgamas. Shortly 477 BCE 377 BCE 241 BCE after the death of Lord Buddha in.] 1. the six perfections (Skt. 3rd council during Ashoka's reign books were canonised. at Rajagriha. the most imp ortant one being the Nālandā University in northeastern India.

grouped into 14 chapters by form. or books.) Patthana (This book is a detailed examination of causal conditioning. seventeen (Sri Lanka) .) Kathavatthu (was compiled in order to clarify the various points of controversy regarding Dhamma that had arisen among early Buddhist schools.) Vibhanga (The book has eighteen chapters) Dhatukatha and Puggalapannatti (This book combines ideas from the two preceding abhidhamma books. according to the number of dhamma items referenced in them ) 5. It is in the form of questions and answers.adual Collection" or "Numerical Discourses".) Yamaka (The book is in ten chapters. fifteen (Thailand). state s. aggregates and so on. from 1-fold to 10-fold. which are arranged numerically. analysing 24 types of conditioning in relation to the classifications in the matika of the Dhammasangani. This nikaya consists of several tho usand discourses ascribed to the Buddha and his chief disciples arranged in elev en nipatas. or eighteen books (Burma)) Abhidhamma Pitaka [The Abhidhamma Pitaka contains material often described as systematic expositio ns of the Gautama Buddha's teachings.) . The treatment is by way of question s and answers: Is X Y? But is Y X? This pairing of converse questions gives the book its name. This book deals with classifica tions of persons. patterns etc. which means "pair" in Pali. "group of 50").Khuddaka Nikaya ("Minor Collection". Each paṇṇāsaka is again divided. The debated point s are divided into four paṇṇāsaka (lit. which is a lis t of classifications of dhammas. in to 20 chapters (vagga) in all. the Dhammasangani and Vibhanga. In addition. variously translated as ideas. phenomena. followed by 100 2-fold one s according to the abhidhamma method and 42 according to the sutta method... There are 22 3-fold classifications. each dealing with a particular topic of Bud dhist doctrine: roots.] Dhammasangani (The book begins with a matika (Pali for "matrix"). three more vagga follow the four paṇṇāsaka .