Season 2

History of Religion

Season 2 Episode 5

Have you ever wondered what religion does to a person. Makes them believe in more supernatural things then in any movie combined and takes you places you cant even describe.

The History of Buddhism is very different to what we have from other religion. This month our guest Claire Villareal and Ajahn Punnadhammo will share their knowledge about the history of Buddhism and how the truth understood to be ultimate yet unknown.

S2E5 

History of Buddhism 

Be in the present if there is one, settle, do not dwell on the past. Let go but dont forget history gives us the tools to analyze and explain problems in the past, it positions us to see patterns that might otherwise be invisible in the present. Socrates believed that an unexamined life is not worth living. Welcome back to History Encoded season 2. This is the display of the inquiries of karim, so that things done by man may not be forgotten in time, and that great and marvelous deeds, some presented by fantasy, some by the barbarians, may not lose their glory, including among others, what was the cause of their waging war on each other. And that we shall reflect on it unlike ever before. Today’s episode is History of Buddhism.

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You know as I learned the history of religions I’ve created characters in my mind. Every prophet is like a special agent sent by the supreme force. More or less like the James bond of the world, I believe we can compile these stories and title them way better than I actually did for my podcast. For example we have Rise of the Gods as the first episode or more precisely Casino royale as Arjunaa lost in a gamble. Then maybe the return of the messiah or maybe skyfall. Finally revenge of the Fallen with history of islam. Today’s episode the force awakens, rise of the Buddah. Since we are covering the history of religions, the story and not the beliefs, I’ve come to conclude they are more or less the same. We have our superhero but he is unaware of his powers. Then a small build up for the character. More like insight on him so that we can get attached. Then the awakening and climax to finally leaving with the message. For today’s episode we will have 2 special guests helping us put our story right in the context with other religions and together we will explore the history of Buddhism. 

Lets call our first guest Ajahn punnadhammo a practising buddhist monk now carrying the title of ajahn on his shoulders he is the founder and first teacher at the Arrow River Center. He is helping  us understand the mythological accounts of creation in buddhism. Just like Adam and Eve to Brahma, how and where does Buddhism fit in.    

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Buddhists believe that as with life, worlds follow a cycle of decay, death and rebirth.    

Moving on, comes our character. Siddhartha To better explain who he is let’s welcome Claire Villarreal she received her PhD from Rice University’s Department of Religion and has taught academic courses at Rice and UH Clear Lake and led meditation sessions at Dawn Mountain Center for Tibetan Buddhism, the Jung Center, Discovery Green, and various other settings in Texas.  She was Programs Director at Dawn Mountain and is currently a Houston Jung Center faculty fellow, member of the GenX Dharma Teachers sangha, and meditation coach for the University of Colorado Boulder’s Compassion and Dignity for Educators Program. She adapts traditional Buddhist wisdom for online and in-person spiritual instruction. And she hosts her own podcast too. Well that was my introduction for Claire and this is how she introduces Siddhartha. 

This figure called Marah. Sensing that Siddhartha would soon break the fetters of the Desire Realm and obtain a pure and boundless knowledge, which could be used to help others reach enlightenment, Mara set out to disturb Siddhartha’s meditation.

He found the soon-to-be-Buddha sitting under the Bodhi Tree, nearly starved but filled with a glorious inner peace. Of course, this wouldn’t do. The Tempter immediately began filling Siddhartha’s ears with whispers of the grand kingdom he could establish, to glorify and better mankind.

Siddhartha recognized that these whispers were empty and ignored them. Next, Mara rebuked Buddha for abandoning the duties of his religion, social class, and even his position as a father and husband. Buddha shrugged these remarks off too.

Seeing that his wiles were no match for Siddhartha’s inner focus, Mara decided to call upon his allies. He summoned an army of terrible demons to him, and they fired a volley of arrows at the resting Siddharta.

The man never flinched as the arrows sped towards him, and just before they struck, the arrows were transformed into flowers that showered around him. Buddha then reached out to the earth for help, and a flood washed the demonic hoard away.

Now, the Evil One was at the end of his tether. He summoned his daughters to help him loosen Siddhartha’s grip on enlightenment. The daughters danced before Siddhartha and coaxed him with all their sensual charms to come back into the Desire Realm. Siddhartha, however, was unaffected.

Mara dismissed his daughters and took one last stab at Siddhartha, this time resorting back to his genius for corruption and temptation. He began mocking Siddhartha, telling him that his attempts to reach enlightenment were all vain since no one was there to witness the achievement.    

In response, Siddhartha rested one hand on the earth, proclaiming that the earth itself would be his witness. The earth trembled in response, and the Prince of Darkness flew off in a rage, knowing he had been bested.

Now that Siddhartha has attained enlightenment what is he? What is Siddhartha now? A name? A role model? A prophet or messiah? 

Punnadhammo …… continue to No God talk. 

Like we saw in other religions whats buddhas next move now, does he have companions like jesus or prophet muhammad who will write down His words. Does he have a holy book for himself.  

(holy books)

Claire villareal 

This is how ajahn punnadhammo pouts it

“At that time in India” ……. Punnadhammo

It’s funny as I always wondered if we never had a GOD would we create one. This idea initially made me wonder then what religion is. Is it a code of conduct necessary for humans to operate morally in a society? This thought made me start the season. Together we explored religions, Gods, creation and truth. But I’ve been happily dividing the truth from stories of GOD and religion. By the end of every episode and history of that particular religion I’d end up thinking about the truth. The same truth that justified Robert Oppenheimer nuclear, the protection of truth that crucified Jesus and then this truth divided the churches, lastly the truth that gave birth to the idea of Osama Bin laden. If you have followed the show until now you are very well aware of this. But what did the Buddha believe in, what’s his truth of GOD? 

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 Well atleast if it was for the Buddha he would never be a subscriber to my show. 

So the truth lies in nirvana, and we should all look for it. but what is nirvana and how would I know it is actually the truth.

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The key to buddhism are the eightfold paths that lead to liberation, these include right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. Let’s start with the right actions, hit the subscribe button and tell your friends about this. With the right efforts I will see you all in the next episode. I’d like to thank Ajhan punnadhammo and Claire for their time and efforts sharing knowledge and educating all of us. Both of them have been an authority on Buddhism all over the internet. If you enjoyed listening to them, their youtube channels and podcasts links will be in show notes. Lastly, I’m grateful to everyone who has been a part of it. Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed the show today. till we meet again. This is your host karim trying to explore the history of religions and thus questioning our very foundations only at History Encoded. 

History of Buddhism

Buddhism is one of the world’s major religions. It originated in India in 563–483 B.C.E. with Siddhartha Gautama, and over the next millennia it spread across Asia and the rest of the world.

Buddhism Facts

The Buddha taught about Four Noble Truths. The first truth is called “Suffering (dukkha),” which teaches that everyone in life is suffering in some way. The second truth is “Origin of suffering (samudāya).” This states that all suffering comes from desire (tanhā). The third truth is “Cessation of suffering (nirodha),” and it says that it is possible to stop suffering and achieve enlightenment. The fourth truth, “Path to the cessation of suffering (magga)” is about the Middle Way, which are the steps to achieve enlightenment. 

The podcast begins with a question of what actually is religion. we have two absolutely amazing guest joining us to better understand the religion. Ajahn punnadhammo talks about the accounts of creation in Buddhism and how its different in comparison to other religions we have covered in the podcast. 

Moving forward in the podcast Claire Villarreal joins us to narrate the stories and legends that have been continuing for centuries. 

Join both and me as we talk about the history of Buddhism and the path of truth. 

 

Brief History of Buddhism

Buddhism is one of the oldest religions, founded in the late 6th century by Siddhartha Gautama aka the Buddha, is an important religion in most of the countries in Asia and has now found its followers throughout the world.  

Siddhartha Gautama was the warrior son of a king and queen. According to legend, at his birth a soothsayer predicted that he might become a renouncer (withdrawing from the temporal life). To prevent this, his father provided him with many luxuries and pleasures. But, as a young man, he once went on a series of four chariot rides where he first saw the more severe forms of human suffering: old age, illness, and death (a corpse), as well as an ascetic renouncer. The contrast between his life and this human suffering made him realize that all the pleasures on earth where in fact transitory, and could only mask human suffering. Leaving his wife—and new son (“Rahula”—fetter) he took on several teachers and tried severe renunciation in the forest until the point of near-starvation. Finally, realizing that this too was only adding more suffering, he ate food and sat down beneath a tree to meditate. By morning (or some say six months later!) he had attained Nirvana (Enlightenment), which provided both the true answers to the causes of suffering and permanent release from it.

From then on everything changed from Siddhartha to the buddha, we have covered in detail the transition and the events after awakening. Claire mentions how the Buddhist legends have characterised Siddhartha’s position in the story and who has played the sort of villain of the story.

After the Buddha’s death, his celibate wandering followers gradually settled down into monasteries that were provided by the married laityas merit-producing gifts. The laity were in turn taught by the monks some of the Buddha’s teachings. They also engaged in such practices as visiting the Buddha’s birthplace; and worshipping the tree under which he became enlightened (bodhi tree), Buddha images in temples, and the relics of his body housed in various stupas or funeral mounds. A famous king, named Ashoka, and his son helped to spread Buddhism throughout South India and into Sri Lanka (Ceylon) (3rd century B.C.E.).

Conclusion

We’ve had the opportunity to question every religion based on the evidence that we have today how and why do people end up understanding it differently. By the end of the podcast and just like always ive wondered what is the meaning of truth. Does it mean GODS way, or is it more of a perspective thing to what i may conclude from the message of GOD that is evidently out there. I’ve asked Ajahn Punnadhammo about it and we talked about the reality of GOD in Buddhism. 

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FAQ

FAQ

Most frequent questions

Buddhist artists used common conventions when depicting buddhas and other deities, but oftentimes expressed them in a style that reflected local tastes. The selection of artworks in Mi’s Buddhist sculpture gallery demonstrates the stylistic diversity of Buddhist art

right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

Stick around for the last episode and we shall find out. 

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