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Encyclopedia > Samsara (Buddhism)

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Buddhism
Samsara may refer to: Samsara, the religious concept of reincarnation in Hinduism; Samsara (Buddhism), a similar but distinct concept in Buddhism Samsara (album), an album by hardcore punk band Catharsis Samsara (album), an album by music band Yakuza Samsara (2001 film), a 2001 movie Samsara (2007 film), a 2007 movie... Image:Buddhasunset crop. ...



Image File history File links Lotus-buddha. ...

History of Buddhism
The History of Buddhism spans from the 6th century BCE to the present, starting with the birth of the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama. ...

Timeline of Buddhism
Buddhist councils
563 BCE: Siddhārtha Gautama, Buddha-to-be, is born in Lumbini, Ancient India. ... // Main article: First Buddhist council Ananda reciting the Sutta Pitaka According to the scriptures of all Buddhist schools, the first Buddhist Council was held soon after the nirvana of the Buddha under the patronage of king Ajatasatru, and presided by the monk Mahakasyapa, at Rajagaha (todays Rajgir). ...

Foundations
Several Buddhist terms and concepts lack direct translations into English that cover the breadth of the original term. ...

Four Noble Truths
Noble Eightfold Path
Buddhist Precepts
Nirvāṇa · Three Jewels
The Four Noble Truths (Pali: Cattāri ariyasaccāni, Sanskrit: Catvāri āryasatyāni, Chinese: Sìshèngdì, Thai: อริยสัจสี่, Ariyasaj Sii) are one of the most fundamental Buddhist teachings. ... The Dharma wheel, often used to represent the Noble Eightfold Path The Noble Eightfold Path (Pāli: Ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo; Sanskrit: Ārya ṣṭāṅga mārgaḥ; Chinese: 八正道, Bāzhèngdào; Japanese: 八正道, Hasshōdō, Thai: อริยมรรคแปด, Ariya Mugg Paad, Mongolian qutuɣtan-u naiman gesigün-ü mör) is, in... Śīla (Sanskrit) or sīla (Pāli) is usually rendered into English as behavioral discipline, morality, or ethics. ... This article is about the Buddhist concept. ... Symbol of the triratna, as seen in the Sanchi stupa, 1st century BCE. The Three Jewels, also rendered as Three Treasures, Three Refuges or Triple Gem are the three things that Buddhists give themselves to, and in return look toward for guidance, in the process known as taking refuge. ...

Key Concepts
Several Buddhist terms and concepts lack direct translations into English that cover the breadth of the original term. ...

Three marks of existence
Skandha · Cosmology
Saṃsāra · Rebirth · Dharma
Dependent Origination · Karma
According to the Buddhist tradition, all phenomena (dharmas) are marked by three characteristics, sometimes referred to as the Dharma seals, that is dukkha (suffering), anicca (impermanence), and anatta (non-Self). ... The skandhas (Sanskrit: Pāli: Khandha; literally: heap or bundle) are the five constituents or aggregates through which the functioning and experience of an individual is created according to Buddhist phenomenology. ... Buddhist cosmology is the description of the shape and evolution of the universe according to the canonical Buddhist scriptures and commentaries. ... Rebirth in Buddhism is the doctrine that the consciousness of a person (as conventionally regarded), upon the death or dissolution of the aggregates (skandhas) which make up that person, becomes one of the contributing causes for the arising of a new group of skandhas which may again be conventionally considered... Dharma (Sanskrit: धर्म) or Dhamma (Pāli: धम्म) in Buddhism has two primary meanings: the teachings of the Buddha which lead to enlightenment the constituent factors of the experienced world In East Asia, the character for Dharma is 法, pronounced fǎ in Mandarin and hō in Japanese. ... The doctrine of Pratītyasamutpāda (Sanskrit: प्रतित्यसमुत्पादा) or Paticcasamuppāda (Pāli: पतिचसमुपादा; Tibetan: ; Chinese:緣起) Dependent Arising is an important part of Buddhist metaphysics. ... Karma (Sanskrit: कर्मन karman, Pāli: कमा Kamma) means action or doing; whatever one does, says, or thinks is a karma. ...

Major Figures
A number of noted individuals have been Buddhists. ...

Gautama Buddha
Disciples · Later Buddhists Siddhartha and Gautama redirect here. ... A number of noted individuals have been Buddhists. ...

Practices and Attainment

Buddhahood · Bodhisattva
Four Stages of Enlightenment
Paramitas · Meditation · Laity
Media:Example. ... Lands Bhutan â€¢ China â€¢ Korea Japan â€¢ Tibet â€¢ Vietnam Taiwan â€¢ Mongolia Doctrine Bodhisattva â€¢ Bodhicitta Karuna â€¢ Prajna Sunyata â€¢ Buddha Nature Trikaya â€¢ Eternal Buddha Scriptures Prajnaparamita Sutra Avatamsaka Sutra Lotus Sutra Nirvana Sutra VimalakÄ«rti Sutra Lankavatara Sutra History 4th Buddhist Council Silk Road â€¢ Nagarjuna Asanga â€¢ Vasubandhu Bodhidharma      A statue of a Bodhisattva, Akasagarbha. ... The four stages of enlightenment in Buddhism are the four degrees of approach to full enlightenment as an Arahant which a person can attain in this life. ... Pāramitā or PāramÄ« (Sanskrit and Pāli respectively): Perfection or Transcendent. In Buddhism & Jainism, the Paramitas refer to the perfection or culmination of certain practices. ... Buddhist meditation encompasses a variety of meditation techniques that develop mindfulness, concentration, tranquility and insight. ... In canonical Buddhism, householder refers to a particular strata of society whose individuals are typified by having a home life and family. ...

Regions
Buddhist beliefs and practices vary according to region. ...

Southeast Asia · East Asia
India · Sri Lanka · Tibet
Bhutan · Western Countries
Theravada (Pali; Sanskrit: Sthaviravada) is one of the eighteen (or twenty) Nikāya schools that formed early in the history of Buddhism. ... The Aomori Daibutsu (Big Buddha), Aomori, Japan. ... Tibetan Buddhism is the body of religious Buddhist doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet, the Himalayan region (including northern Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Ladakh), Mongolia, Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia (Russia), and northeastern China (Manchuria: Heilongjiang, Jilin). ... The Indo-Greek king Menander (155-130 BCE) is the first Western historical figure documented to have converted to Buddhism. ...

Branches

Theravāda · Mahāyāna
Vajrayāna · Early schools
Pre-sectarian Buddhism Theravada (Pāli: theravāda; Sanskrit: स्थविरवाद sthaviravāda; literally, the Way of the Elders) is the oldest surviving Buddhist school, and for many centuries has been the predominant religion of Sri Lanka (about 70% of the population[1]) and most of continental Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand). ... Relief image of the bodhisattva Kuan Yin from Mt. ... A mandala used in Vajrayana Buddhist practices. ... Divisions among the early Buddhist schools came about due to doctrinal or practical differences in the views of the Buddhist Sangha following the death of the Buddha. ... The term pre-sectarian Buddhism is used to refer to the Buddhism that existed before the various subsects of Buddhism came into being. ...

Texts
There are a great variety of Buddhist texts. ...

Pali Canon · Mahayana Sutras
Tibetan Canon Standard edition of the Thai Pali Canon The Pali Canon is the standard scripture collection of the Theravada Buddhist tradition. ... Mahayana sutras are a very broad genre of Buddhist scriptures that began to be compiled from the first century BCE. They form the basis of the various Mahayana schools, and survive predominantly in primary translations in Chinese and Tibetan from original texts in Sanskrit or Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit. ... The Tibetan Buddhist canon is a loosely defined list of sacred texts recognized by various sects of Tibetan Buddhism. ...

Comparative Studies
Culture · List of topics
Portal: Buddhism
The cultural elements of Buddhism vary by region and include: Buddhist cuisine Buddhist art Buddharupa Art and architecture of Japan Greco-Buddhism Tibetan Buddhist sacred art Buddhist music Buddhist chant Shomyo Categories: Buddhism-related stubs ... Contents: Top - 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z The following is a List of Buddhist topics: A Abhidharma Ahimsa Ajahn Ajahn Chah Ajanta Aksobhya Alexandra David-Néel...

Image File history File links Dharma_wheel. ...

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Saṃsāra, the Sanskrit and Pāli term for "continuous movement" or "continuous flowing" refers in Buddhism to the concept of a cycle of birth (jāti) and consequent decay and death (jarāmaraṇa), in which all beings in the universe participate and which can only be escaped through enlightenment. Saṃsāra is associated with suffering and is generally considered the antithesis of nirvāṇa or nibbāna. Sanskrit ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... Pāli is a Middle Indo-Aryan dialect or prakrit. ... Image:Buddhasunset crop. ... In Buddhism, Jāti (the Sanskrit and Pāli word for birth) refers to the arising of a new living entity in saṃsāra. ... Jarāmaraṇa, Sanskrit and Pāli for old age and decay (jarā) and dying and death (maraṇa), is a Buddhist term describing the eventual fate of all beings in saṃsāra. ... Bodhi (बोधि) is the Pāli and Sanskrit word for the awakened or knowing consciousness of a fully liberated yogi, generally translated into English as enlightenment. It is an abstract noun formed from the verbal root budh (to awake, become aware, notice, know or understand), corresponding to the verbs bujjhati (P... This article is about the Buddhist concept. ...

Contents

Buddha's View of Saṃsāra

According to the Buddha, the beginning point of Saṃsāra is not evident. It is just like finding the beginning point of a circle. All beings have been suffering in Saṃsāra for an unimaginable period, and they continue to do so until attaining of nirvana. The Assu Sutta [1] of Pali Canon provides a great explanation of our existence in Saṃsāra: Standard edition of the Thai Pali Canon The Pali Canon is the standard scripture collection of the Theravada Buddhist tradition. ...


At Savatthi. There the buddha said: "From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. What do you think, monks: Which is greater, the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — or the water in the four great oceans?"


"As we understand the Dhamma taught to us by the Blessed One, this is the greater: the tears we have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — not the water in the four great oceans."


"Excellent, monks. Excellent. It is excellent that you thus understand the Dhamma taught by me.


"This is the greater: the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — not the water in the four great oceans.


"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a mother. The tears you have shed over the death of a mother while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.


"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a father... the death of a brother... the death of a sister... the death of a son... the death of a daughter... loss with regard to relatives... loss with regard to wealth... loss with regard to disease. The tears you have shed over loss with regard to disease while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans. "Why is that? From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries — enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released."


Saṃsāra in Nikāya Buddhism

Whereas in Hinduism some being (ātman, jīva, etc.) is regarded as being subject to Saṃsāra, Buddhism was founded on a rejection (anatta) of such metaphysical substances, and originally accounts for the process of rebirth/reincarnation by appeal to phenomenological or psychological constituents. Later schools of Buddhism such as the Pudgalavāda, however, re-introduce the concept of a "person" which transmigrates. The basic idea that there is a cycle of birth and rebirth is, however, not questioned in early Buddhism and its successors, and neither is, generally, the concept that saṃsāra is a negative condition to be abated through religious practice concluding in the achievement of final nirvāṇa. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Early Buddhist schools. ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages[1]) is a religious tradition[2] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... The Atman or Atma (IAST: Ä€tmā, sanskrit: आत्म‍ ) is a philosophical term used within Hinduism and Vedanta to identify the soul. ... In Hinduism and Jainism, a jiva is the immortal essence of a living being, subject to maya. ... In Buddhist philosophy, anatta (Pāli) or anātman (Sanskrit) refers to non-self or absence of separate self[1]. One scholar describes it as ...meaning non-selfhood, the absence of limiting self-identity in people and things. ... This article is about the theological concept. ... For other uses, see Dharma (disambiguation). ... The Pudgalavāda or Personalist school of Buddhism broke off from the orthodox Sthaviravāda (elders) school around 280 BCE. The Sthaviravādins interpreted the doctrine of anatta to mean that, since there is no true self, all that we think of as a self (i. ... Transmigration can has several meanings: Transmigration of the soul is a common term for reincarnation. ... This article is about the Buddhist concept. ...


Saṃsāra in Mahāyāna Buddhism

According to several strands of the Mahāyāna Buddhist tradition, the division of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa is attacked using an argument that extends some of the basic premises of anātman and of Buddha's attack on orthodox accounts of existence. This is found poetically in the "Perfection of Wisdom" literature and more analytically in the philosophy of Nāgārjuna and later writers. It is not entirely clear which aspects of this theoretical move were developed first in the sutras and which in the philosophical tradition. Relief image of the bodhisattva Kuan Yin from Mt. ... In Buddhist philosophy, anatta (Pāli) or anātman (Sanskrit) refers to non-self or absence of separate self[1]. One scholar describes it as ...meaning non-selfhood, the absence of limiting self-identity in people and things. ... Perfection of Wisdom is a translation of the Sanskrit term prajñā pāramitā (Devanagari: प्रज्ञा पारमिता, Chinese: 般若波羅蜜多/般若波罗蜜多, Pinyin: bānruò-bōluómìduō, Japanese: hannya-haramita), which is one of the aspects of a bodhisattvas personality called the paramitas. ... For other uses, see Nagarjuna (disambiguation). ...


Saṃsāra in Tibetan Buddhism

Saṃsāra is uncontrollably recurring rebirth, filled with suffering and problems (according to Kālacakra tantra as explained by Dr. A. Berzin). In this sense, Samsara may be translated "Wheel of Suffering." Tibetan Buddhism is the body of religious Buddhist doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet, the Himalayan region (including northern Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Ladakh), Mongolia, Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia (Russia), and northeastern China (Manchuria: Heilongjiang, Jilin). ... Kālacakra (Sanskrit कालचक्र; Tibetan དུས་ཀྱི་འཁོར་ལོ་ dus kyi khor lo) is a term used in Tantric Buddhism that means time-wheel or time-cycles. It refers both to a Tantric deity (Tib. ... This article is an overview of Tantra and an in-depth look at the Tantra of Hinduism. ... Alexander Berzin (b. ...


The term Samsara has been translated many ways which include but are not limited to endless suffering, cyclic existence, perpetual wandering, and transmigration. There are six realms that one can go to through this cycle of Samsara. Many believe that when one goes through the process of rebirth that they are the exact same person when they are reborn. This however, is not true. They bear many similarities with their former selves but they are not the same person. This is why many use the term reborn instead of reincarnation. The term reincarnation implies that there is a transfer of conscience or one’s soul to the new life and this is not the case in Samsara. buddha101.com gives a good example that shows an easy way to better understand the transfer of consciousness “Like a billiard ball hitting another billiard ball. While nothing physical transfers, the speed and direction of the second ball relate directly to the first." This means the previous life has just as much impact on the new life. The Wheel of Life, a Buddhist painting from Bhutan, showing clockwise from the top the realms of Devas, Asuras, Pretas, Naraka, Animals, and Humans. ...


There are also some who believe that Samsara is not the question but the answer to what we are doing here. They consider it to be a process to why we are here. They believe that one creates their own worlds on their way to enlightenment. Meaning when their world is starting to collapse due to their death they will create a new world and move into it. Some also believe that while they are continuing to go from world to world they encounter others who are on the same path that they are on. It is also believed that all of these different worlds impact the worlds of those who are in a similar place/path that you are on.


Buddha was the first person to grasp the belief of Samsara and figure out how to end it. He taught that the only way for one to end their journey through Samsara was enlightenment. The only person who could stop one’s cycle of Samsara was the one who was traveling through their path. Some thought that Samsara is a place and thought that it was selfish for them to be able to stop it and leave the others behind. Most believe that Samsara is a process. In this process people are being born into new lives and since it happens to everyone and everyone has the ability to escape it, it is not selfish. Being said the process of Samsara may take a long time to complete and even with no time limit there may be some who can never actually escape this endless suffering . For a visual representation of the path of Samsara please look at the Wheel of Life. In the dharmic religions (Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism), the wheel of life or dharmachakra (Sanskrit धर्मचक्र; Tibetan chos kyi khor lo; see also the Names section below) is a mandala or symbolic representation of samsara, the continuous cycle of birth, life, death. ...


See also

The Bhavacakra (Sanskrit) or Wheel of becoming, Tibetan is a complex symbolic representation of in the form of a circle (mandala), used primarily in Tibetan Buddhism. ... Buddhist cosmology is the description of the shape and evolution of the universe according to the canonical Buddhist scriptures and commentaries. ... Dzogchen is a state. ... This article is about the Buddhist concept. ... According to Buddhism, there is a cycle of death and rebirth that can be transcended by the practice of the Eightfold Path. ... The Wheel of Life, a Buddhist painting from Bhutan, showing clockwise from the top the realms of Devas, Asuras, Pretas, Naraka, Animals, and Humans. ...

References


 
 

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