Buddhism in India

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Buddhism in India and South-East Asian nations is the film by Benoy Behl that describes the Buddhist heritage of India and the countries of the Southeast Asia. During 500s BC, the notion of reincarnation was extra powerful among Indian, however they did not want the thought to continue forever. However, the young Indian prince recognized as Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha introduced the notion of Buddhism. The prince lived in the foothills of the Himalayas in a sheltered existence together with comfort, wealth, and luxury (Behl n.p). However, when he was 29 years, Buddha moved out of the palace and discovered a new thing by seeing misery, illness, and poverty. The new findings made him uncomfortable thus triggering the search for enlightenment via the abandonment of fundamental needs. Through the period of starvation, the prince started Buddhism that later spread to other parts of the world. According to Behl, small societies of nuns and monks followed the similar path that was followed by Buddha with the devotion of teaching (Behl n.p).

According to Behl, the spread of Buddhism in Southeast Asia was nonviolent and took place in different ways. The two major traditions of Buddhism Southeast include the Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhism had dominated the region during the ancient times, but most of the modern nations follow the Theravada way (Behl n.p). The major factors that contributed to the expansion of Theravada Buddhism from India to other Asian countries include missionary work, marriage, and trade. Nevertheless, the Mahayana Buddhism in this region is rooted in the Buddhist cultures that moved from northern India via China and Tibet and eventually established a way to Indonesia, Vietnam and other areas of Southeast Asia (Behl n.p).

Question 3: Understanding of Karma

According to Appleton (61), the understanding of karma in Buddhism is the action directed by the intention which results in future consequences. The purposes are regarded to be the determining factors in the form rebirth. However, it is only when an individual stops believing in the reality of the real and permanent self that he or she can be free from karma (Appleton 67). Bad action in the past living follows a person in the next life leading to bad impacts. Karma recognizes where a human being will be reborn and the status of the next living. The skillful deeds that lead to good karmic results are founded upon the motives of compassion, generosity, clear mindfulness, wisdom, sympathy and kindness. On the other hand, the opposite motives are hatred, greed, and delusion which lead to bad outcomes (Collender 88). Through karmic conditioning, person’s nature is designed by the moral actions. Besides, karma is not only concerned with the association between consequences and deeds but also with the intentions and moral reasons behind the actions.

There exist parallels regarding karma in the Western belief systems because they depict that the basic human nature is the wish for happiness and not suffering. Westerners believe that actions that lead to happiness are positive while those that result in suffering are negative (Collender 132). Further, westerners spend most their times trying to achieve experiences and objects that they feel will make them happy and avoiding things that can cause suffering. Through the desire for joy, the preoccupation with experiences and objects are established which is different from Buddhism.

Work Cited

Appleton, Naomi. Narrating Karma and Rebirth: Buddhist and Jain Multi-Life Stories. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Print.

Behl, Benoy. Buddhism in India & South-East Asian Countries. New Delhi: N.p., 2013. Film. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTBky9XCbro

Collender, Michael. To End All Suffering: A Christian Analysis of the Buddha’s Teaching. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2014. Print.

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