Iconography of Gautama Buddha in Laos and Thailand
The iconography of Gautama Buddha in Laos and Thailand recall specific episodes during his travels and teachings that are familiar to the Buddhists according to an iconography with specific rules. The Buddha is always represented with certain physical attributes, in specified dress and specified poses; each pose, the position and gestures of the Buddha's hands, has a defined meaning, familiar to Buddhists. In other Buddhist countries, different but related iconography is used, for example the mudras in Indian art. Certain ones of these are considered auspicious for those born on particular days of the week. For Buddhists, the correct depiction of the Buddha is not an anabolistic matter. Although the Buddha is not a god, Buddhists seek to communicate with the supernatural world through Buddha images, making offerings to them and praying before them. Buddha images are not intended to be naturalistic representations of what Gautama Buddha looked like. There are no contemporary images of him, the oldest Buddha images date from 500 to 600 years after his lifetime.
But Buddhists believe that Buddha images represent an ideal reality of the Buddha, that every Buddha image stands at the end of a succession of images reaching back to the Buddha himself. When creating a Buddha image, the artist is expected to be in a spiritual and mental state that will enable him to visualise this ideal reality. There is no requirement that every Buddha image be identical, in fact there is a wide variety of artistic styles and national traditions in representing the Buddha. There are, certain rules of representation that must be adhered to; the current range of postures in which the Buddha may be shown, the gestures which may be depicted, evolved over the first millennium of the Buddhist era in India, the original homeland of Buddhism. The tradition of images that reached South-East Asia had been changed in the 5th century CE first at Sarnath in India; the new "Sarnath image type" or "Gupta period Buddhist image" differs from earlier Buddha images, such as those in Greco-Buddhist art, in a number of respects: the gaze is lowered, the clinging robes disclose no male genital bulge, the robe lacks folds, there are different body proportions.
In the early part of this period, the Buddha was shown giving a general gesture of benediction, with the right hand held at shoulder-height with the palm facing forward and the fingers together and bent. By the end of the Gupta Empire, the canon of representation had become more varied, with the seated meditative position becoming common in Sri Lanka. By the 7th century CE the canon was as it is seen today; as Buddhism spread from India to other countries, variations in the depiction of the Buddha evolved. This article describes the canon of Buddha representation in Laos; this canon was not formalised until the 19th century, as part of the general project of "modernisation" that followed the Buddhist world's encounter with Western civilisation. A key figure in this process was the Siamese royal prince and Buddhist monk Paramanuchit Chinorot, a son of King Rama I, who in 1814 was appointed administrator of the Wat Pho royal temple in Bangkok. At the request of King Rama III, Paramanuchit described and represented 40 different postures of the Buddha in an illustrated treatise called Pathama Sambodhikatha.
Some of these, such as "Buddha threading a needle," were new, although justified through reference to the literary accounts of the Buddha's life. Paramanuchit's illustrations were rendered as bronze miniatures, which can be seen today at Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok and serve as templates for the creation of modern Buddhist imagery; the Dīgha Nikāya, a Pāli text of the 1st century BCE, gives a list of 32 physical attributes of the Buddha. Some of these are poetic or fanciful, while others are more specific: feet with level tread, projecting heels and slender fingers and toes, a tuft of hair between the eyebrows. Although it is not required that Buddha images reflect all of these attributes, many of them have acquired canonical status. Most curiously, the Buddha is said to have had a protuberance on the top of the usnīsa; this is sometimes shown as a spire or spike, sometimes only as a small bump. The Buddha always has a faint smile; the Buddha is always depicted with long earlobes. This is attributed to his earlier life as a prince, weighed down by material possession, but has since come to symbolize wisdom.
The Buddha may be depicted in one of four postures: Sitting: If seated, the Buddha may be shown in one of three different positionsIn the "heroic posture", with the legs folded over each other In the "adamantine posture", with the legs crossed so that the soles of both feet are turned up In the position of a person sitting in a chair Standing: If standing, the Buddha may be shown either with his feet together, or with one foot forward Walking Reclining: The reclining posture may represent the Buddha resting or sleeping, but more represents the mahāparinabbāna: the Buddha's final state of enlightenment before his death The Buddha is nearly always depicted wearing a monastic robe, of the type worn by Buddhist monks today. The robe may be shown as worn in the "covering mode" or in the "open mode"; the robe is a representation of th
Mahāyāna is one of two main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice. This movement added a further set of discourses, although it was small in India, it had long-term historical significance; the Buddhist tradition of Vajrayana is sometimes classified as a part of Mahāyāna Buddhism, but some scholars consider it to be a different branch altogether. According to the teachings of Mahāyāna traditions, "Mahāyāna" refers to the path of the Bodhisattva seeking complete enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings called "Bodhisattvayāna", or the "Bodhisattva Vehicle". A bodhisattva who has accomplished this goal is called a samyaksaṃbuddha, or "fully enlightened Buddha". A samyaksaṃbuddha can establish the Dharma and lead disciples to enlightenment. Mahāyāna Buddhists teach that enlightenment can be attained in a single lifetime, this can be accomplished by a layperson; the Mahāyāna tradition is the largest major tradition of Buddhism existing today, with 53% of practitioners, compared to 36% for Theravada and 6% for Vajrayana in 2010.
In the course of its history, Mahāyāna Buddhism spread from India to various other South and Southeast Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore. Mahayana Buddhism spread to other South and Southeast Asian countries, such as Afghanistan, Cambodia, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Burma and other Central Asian countries before being replaced by Theravada Buddhism or other religions. Large Mahāyāna scholastic centers such as Nalanda thrived during the latter period of Buddhism in India, between the seventh and twelfth centuries. Major traditions of Mahāyāna Buddhism today include Chan Buddhism, Korean Seon, Japanese Zen, Pure Land Buddhism, Nichiren Buddhism and Vietnamese Buddhism, it may include the Vajrayana traditions of Tiantai, Shingon Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, which add esoteric teachings to the Mahāyāna tradition. According to Jan Nattier, the term Mahāyāna was an honorary synonym for Bodhisattvayāna – the vehicle of a bodhisattva seeking buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.
The term Mahāyāna was therefore adopted at an early date as a synonym for the path and the teachings of the bodhisattvas. Since it was an honorary term for Bodhisattvayāna, the adoption of the term Mahāyāna and its application to Bodhisattvayāna did not represent a significant turning point in the development of a Mahāyāna tradition; the earliest Mahāyāna texts use the term Mahāyāna as a synonym for Bodhisattvayāna, but the term Hīnayāna is comparatively rare in the earliest sources. The presumed dichotomy between Mahāyāna and Hīnayāna can be deceptive, as the two terms were not formed in relation to one another in the same era. Among the earliest and most important references to Mahāyāna are those that occur in the Lotus Sūtra dating between the 1st century BCE and the 1st century CE. Seishi Karashima has suggested that the term first used in an earlier Gandhāri Prakrit version of the Lotus Sūtra was not the term mahāyāna but the Prakrit word mahājāna in the sense of mahājñāna. At a stage when the early Prakrit word was converted into Sanskrit, this mahājāna, being phonetically ambivalent, was mistakenly converted into mahāyāna because of what may have been a double meaning in the famous Parable of the Burning House, which talks of three vehicles or carts.
The origins of Mahāyāna are still not understood and there are numerous competing theories. The earliest Western views of Mahāyāna assumed that it existed as a separate school in competition with the so-called "Hīnayāna" schools. According to David Drewes, for most of the 20th century, the leading theories about the origins of Mahāyāna were that it was either a lay movement or that it developed among the Mahāsāṃghika Nikaya; these theories have been overturned or shown to be problematic. The earliest textual evidence of "Mahāyāna" comes from sūtras originating around the beginning of the common era. Jan Nattier has noted that some of the earliest Mahāyāna texts, such as the Ugraparipṛccha Sūtra use the term "Mahāyāna", yet there is no doctrinal difference between Mahāyāna in this context and the early schools, that "Mahāyāna" referred rather to the rigorous emulation of Gautama Buddha in the path of a bodhisattva seeking to become a enlightened buddha. Nattier writes that in the Ugra, Mahāyāna is not a school, but a rigorous and demanding "spiritual vocation, to be pursued within the existing Buddhist community."Several scholars such as Hendrik Kern and A.
K. Warder suggested that Mahāyāna and its sutras developed among the Mahāsāṃghika Nikaya, some pointing to the area along the Kṛṣṇa River in the Āndhra region of southern India as a geographical origin. Paul Williams thinks that "there can be no doubt that at least some early Mahāyāna sutras originated in Mahāsāṃghika circles", pointing to the Mahāsāṃghika doctrine of the supramundane nature of the Buddha, close to the Mahāyāna view of the Buddha. Anthony Barber and Sree Padma note that "historians of Buddhist thought have been aware for quite some time that such pivotally important Mahayana Buddhist thinkers as Nāgārjuna, Candrakīrti, Āryadeva, Bhavaviveka, among many others, formulated their theories
Buddha's birthday is a holiday traditionally celebrated in most of East Asia to commemorate the birth of the Prince Siddhartha Gautama the Gautama Buddha and founder of Buddhism. It is celebrated in South and Southeast Asia as Vesak which acknowledges the enlightenment and death of the Buddha. According to the Theravada Tripitaka scriptures, Gautama was born c. 563/480 BCE in Lumbini in modern-day Nepal, raised in the Shakya capital of Kapilvastu, in the present day Tilaurakot, Nepal. At the age of thirty five, he attained enlightenment underneath a Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya, he delivered his first sermon at India. At the age of eighty, he died at India; the exact date of Buddha's birthday is based on the Asian lunisolar calendars. The date for the celebration of Buddha's birthday varies from year to year in the Western Gregorian calendar, but falls in April or May. In leap years it may be celebrated in June; the exact date of Buddha's Birthday is based on the Asian lunisolar calendars and is celebrated in Baisakh month of the Buddhist calendar and the Bikram Sambat Hindu calendar, hence it is called Vesak.
In modern-day India and Nepal, where the Historical Buddha lived, it is celebrated on the full moon day of the Vaisakha month of the Buddhist calendar. In Theravada countries following the Buddhist calendar, it falls on a full moon Uposatha day in the 5th or 6th lunar month. In China and Korea, it is celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth month in the Chinese lunar calendar; the date varies from year to year in the Western Gregorian calendar, but falls in April or May. In leap years it may be celebrated in June. In Tibet, it falls on the 7th day of the fourth month of the Tibetan calendar. In South Asian and Southeast Asian countries as well as Mongolia, Buddha's birthday is celebrated on the full moon day of the Vaisakha month of the Buddhist calendar and the Hindu calendar, which falls in April or May month of the Western Gregorian calendar; the festival is known as Buddha Purnima. It is called is Buddha Jayanti, with Jayanti meaning birthday in Sanskrit Language; the corresponding Western Gregorian calendar dates varies from year to year: 2017: May 10 2018: April 29, April 30, May 29 2019: May 19 In many East Asian countries Buddha's Birth is celebrated on the 8th day of the 4th month in the Chinese lunar calendar, the day is an official holiday in Hong Kong and South Korea.
The date falls from the end of April to the end of May in the Gregorian calendar. The solar Gregorian calendar date varies from year to year: 2017: May 3 2018: May 22 2019: May 12 2020: April 30 In 1999 the Taiwanese government set Buddha's birthday as the second Sunday of May, the same date as Mother's Day; as a result of the Meiji Restoration, Japan adopted the Gregorian calendar in lieu of the Chinese lunar calendar in 1873. However, it took until 1945, the end of World War II, for religious festivities to adopt the new calendar. In most Japanese temples, Buddha's birth is now celebrated on the Gregorian calendar date April 8. In Bangladesh the event is called Buddho Purnima. On the day of proceeding Purnima Buddhist monks and priests decorate temple in colourful decorations and candles. On the day of the festival the President and Prime Minister deliver speeches about the history and importance of Buddhism and religious harmony in the country. From noon onwards large fairs are held in and around temples and viharas selling bangles, clothes and conducting performances of Buddha's life, Buddhist music teaching about the Dharma and the 5 precepts.
On Buddhists attend a congression inside the monastery where the chief monk would deliver a speech discussing the Buddha and the 3 jewels and about living the ideal life after which a prayer to the buddha would be conducted and people would light candles and recite the three jewels and 5 precepts. In Cambodia, Buddha's Birthday is celebrated as Visak Bochea and is a public holiday where monks around the country carry flags, lotus flowers and candles to acknowledge Vesak. People take part in alms giving to the monks. Maybe in China, celebrations may occur in Buddhist temples where people may light incense and bring food offerings for the monks. In Hong Kong, Buddha's birthday is a public holiday. Lanterns are lit to symbolise the Buddha's enlightenment and many people visit the temple to pay their respects; the bathing of the Buddha is a major feature of Buddha's birthday celebrations in the city. The festival is a public holiday in Macau. India is the land where the Buddha established Buddhism.
Buddha spent majority of his life in what is now modern day India. Some of the holiest sites associated with Buddha's life include Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Rajgir, Kushinagar Under Emperor Ashoka, Buddhism spread from India to other nations. Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanthi in South India or Tathagata is a public holiday in India; the public holiday for Buddha purnima in India was initiated by Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar when he was the minister of social justice It is celebrated in Sikkim
Tara, Ārya Tārā, or White Tara known as Jetsun Dölma in Tibetan Buddhism, is an important figure in Buddhism. She appears as a female bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism, as a female Buddha in Vajrayana Buddhism, she is known as the "mother of liberation", represents the virtues of success in work and achievements. She is known as Tara Bosatsu in Japan, as Duōluó Púsà in Chinese Buddhism. Tārā is a meditation deity worshiped by practitioners of the Tibetan branch of Vajrayana Buddhism to develop certain inner qualities and to understand outer and secret teachings such as karuṇā, mettā, shunyata. Tārā may more properly be understood as different aspects of the same quality, as bodhisattvas are considered metaphors for Buddhist virtues. There is recognition in some schools of Buddhism of twenty-one Tārās. A practice text entitled Praises to the Twenty-One Taras, is the most important text on Tara in Tibetan Buddhism. Another key text is the Tantra Which is the Source for All the Functions of Tara, Mother of All the Tathagatas.
The main Tārā mantra is the same for Buddhists and Hindus alike: oṃ tāre tuttāre ture svāhā. It is pronounced by Tibetans and Buddhists who follow the Tibetan traditions as oṃ tāre tu tāre ture soha; the literal translation would be “Oṃ O Tārā, I pray O Tārā, O Swift One, So Be It!” Within Tibetan Buddhism Tārā is regarded as a bodhisattva of action. She is the female aspect of Avalokiteśvara and in some origin stories she comes from his tears: "Then at last Avalokiteshvara arrived at the summit of Marpori, the'Red Hill', in Lhasa. Gazing out, he perceived that the lake on Otang, the'Plain of Milk', resembled the Hell of Ceaseless Torment. Myriad beings were undergoing the agonies of boiling, hunger, yet they never perished, sending forth hideous cries of anguish all the while; when Avalokiteshvara saw this, tears sprang to his eyes. A teardrop from his right eye fell to the plain and became the reverend Bhrikuti, who declared: "Child of your lineage! As you are striving for the sake of sentient beings in the Land of Snows, intercede in their suffering, I shall be your companion in this endeavour!"
Bhrikuti was reabsorbed into Avalokiteshvara's right eye, was reborn in a life as the Nepalese princess Tritsun. A teardrop from his left eye became the reverend Tara, she declared, "Child of your lineage! As you are striving for the sake of sentient beings in the Land of Snows, intercede in their suffering, I shall be your companion in this endeavor!" Tārā was reabsorbed into Avalokiteshvara's left eye." Tārā manifests in many different forms. In Tibet, these forms included White Tārā's manifestation as the Nepalese Princess, Green Tārā's manifestation as the Chinese princess Kongjo. Tārā is known as a saviouress, as a heavenly deity who hears the cries of beings experiencing misery in saṃsāra. Whether the Tārā figure originated as a Buddhist or Hindu goddess is unclear and remains a source of inquiry among scholars. Mallar Ghosh believes her to have originated as a form of the goddess Durga in the Hindu Puranas. Today, she is worshiped both in Shaktism as one of the ten Mahavidyas, it may be true that goddesses entered Buddhism from Shaktism (i.e. the worship of local or folk goddesses prior to the more institutionalized Hinduism which had developed by the early medieval period.
The oldest text to mention a Buddhist goddess is the Prajnaparamita Sutra, around the time that Mahayana was becoming the dominant school of thought in Indian and Chinese Buddhism. Thus, it would seem that the feminine principle makes its first appearance in Buddhism as the goddess who personified prajnaparamita. Tārā came to be seen as an expression of the compassion of perfected wisdom only with her earliest textual reference being the Mañjuśrī-mūla-kalpa; the earliest, solidly identifiable image of Tārā is most that, still found today at cave 6 within the rock-cut Buddhist monastic complex of the Ellora Caves in Maharashtra, with her worship being well established by the onset of the Pala Empire in Eastern India. Tārā became a popular Vajrayana deity with the rise of Tantra in 8th-century Pala and, with the movement of Indian Buddhism into Tibet through Padmasambhava, the worship and practices of Tārā became incorporated into Tibetan Buddhism as well, she came to be considered the "Mother of all Buddhas," which refers to the enlightened wisdom of the Buddhas, while echoing the ancient concept of the Mother Goddess in India.
Independent of whether she is classified as a deity, a Buddha, or a bodhisattva, Tārā remains popular in Tibet, Nepal, Sikkim and is worshiped in a majority of Buddhist communities throughout the world. Today, Green Tara and White Tara are the most popular representations of Tara. Green Tara is associated with protection from fear and the following eight obs-curation: lions, wild elephants, snakes and thieves, bondage and evil spirits and demons; as one of the three deities of long life, White Tara is associated with lon
Skanda known as Wei Tuo, is a Mahayana bodhisattva regarded as a devoted guardian of Buddhist monasteries who protects the teachings of Buddhism. He is sometimes called in the Chinese tradition "Hufa Weituo Zuntian Pusa", meaning "Honored Dharma Protector Skanda Bodhisattva", because he is the leader of the twenty-four celestial guardian deities mentioned in the Golden Light Sutra. In Chinese temples, Skanda faces the statue of the Buddha in the main shrine. In others, he is on the far right of the main shrine, whereas on the left is his counterpart, Sangharama. In Chinese sutras, his image is found at the end of the sutra, a reminder of his vow to protect and preserve the teachings. According to legends, Skanda was the son of a virtuous king who had complete faith in Buddha's teachings; when the Buddha entered nirvana, the Buddha instructed Skanda to guard the Dharma. It was his duty to protect members of the sangha when they are disturbed by Mara, the tempter, to resolve conflicts amongst members of the sangha.
A few days after the Buddha's passing and cremation, evil demons stole his relics. Skanda's vow of protecting the faith and Dharma was proven when he managed to defeat the evil demons and returned the relics. Stories vary on; some have proposed that Skanda's features were adapted from a Chinese deity who appeared in the Chinese classical Ming novel Canonization of the Gods. However, the existence of illustrated Skanda images predating the Ming Dynasty set his origins back to an earlier period in the development of Chinese Buddhism. Skanda is described as a young man clad in the armor and headgear of a Chinese general, is leaning on a vajra staff; some suggest that Skanda may have come from Hinduism as the war deity Kartikeya / Muruga, who bears the title Skanda. Others point out that Skanda might be a manifestation of Vajrapani, a bodhisattva who bears some relations to Skanda because they both wield vajras as weapons, are portrayed with flaming halos, are both heavenly protectors of Buddhism.
Skanda may be connected through Vajrapani through a theory to his connection to Greco-Buddhism, as Wei Tuo's image is reminiscent of the Heracles depiction of Vajrapani. Although Skanda is only a deva, he is often addressed as a bodhisattva; when the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara was reincarnated as the princess Miao Shan, Skanda was one of her cruel father's generals. He loved Miao Shan but realized he could not be a proper partner to her, since she was a pure person. However, Wei Tuo was inspired by Miao Shan's kindness so he decided to stay faithful and devoted to Miao Shan if she wasn't his wife; the two escaped Miao Shan's father, the general-suitor helped build Miao Shan a temple and a kingdom of her own. Soon however, the cruel king killed them both; the general, because of his devotion to Guan Yin, transformed into a bodhisattva himself, who vowed to always serve and protect Guan Yin. His appearance as a Chinese general is the direct forebear to his connection with Miao Shan. Another story says.
Her grandmother forced Miao Shan to leap into the sea because she was thought to have been an incarnation of a demon, when in fact she was not. The emperor told a loyal soldier named Luo Ping to pretend to throw Miao Shan into the ocean, he brought her with the mother of Wei Tuo, to her village. Years passed. A disloyal soldier named; the fish demon wanted revenge on Miao Shan because she was the incarnation of Ci Hang Da Shi, a Buddhist deva that put the fish in a lotus pond. Huo Yi and his troops went to the village where Miao Wei Tuo lived and fought. Huo Yi's son killed Wei Tuo. After Miao Shan became the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, she made Skanda a bodhisattva guardian, he became a bodhisattva because he loved her as a sister. According to the lunar calendar, his birthday is the 3rd day of the 6th lunar month. Dharmapala Kataragama deviyo, the Sri Lankan Buddhist representation of Skanda Kartikkeya Śakra Tara
Family of Gautama Buddha
The Buddha was born into a noble family of the kshatriya varna in Lumbini, Nepal in 563 BCE. He was called Siddhartha Gautama in his childhood, his father was king Suddhodana, leader of the Shakya clan in what was the growing state of Kosala, his mother was queen Maya Devi. According to Buddhist legend, the baby exhibited the marks of a great man. A prophecy indicated. If the child left home, however, he would become a universal spiritual leader. To make sure the boy would be a great king and world ruler, his father isolated him in his palace and he was raised by his mother's younger sister, Maha Pajapati, after his mother died just seven days after childbirth. Separated from the world, he married Yashodhara, together they had one child, a son, Rāhula. Both Yashodhara and Rāhul became disciples of Buddha, his first cousin, by his father, joined the Buddha as his attendant. Much of the information on Suddhodana comes from Buddhist scripture, he is believed to be a leader of the Shakya clan, who lived within the state of Kosala, on the northern border of Ancient India.
Although in Buddhist literature he is said to be a hereditary monarch, he is now believed to have been an elected head of a tribal confederacy. Suddhodana's father was Sinahana. Suddhodana was said to be troubled by the departure of his son and is reported in Buddhist scriptures to have sent 10,000 messengers to plead with Gautama to return. After the Buddha preached the dharma to the messengers, they were all ordained into the sangha. A friend of Suddhodana named Kaludayi invited the Buddha to return, at the request of Suddhodana; the Buddha preached the dharma to him and shubhansu was ordained as a monk. After this request from his father Gautama Buddha returned to his father's kingdom where he preached dharma to him. Gautama returned again to his father's kingdom to see his father's death. Suddhodana became an arahant. Maya was from the Koliyan clan. Maya was born in ancient Nepal, she was married to her cousin King Suddhodana. In Buddhist texts, a white elephant was said to have entered her side during a dream.
When she awoke she found. As it was traditional to give birth in the homeland of the father, Queen Maya journeyed to Devadaha; however she was forced to give birth en route, in the Lumbini grove. It is said that the Devas presided over the birth and that two streams, one cool and one hot, flowed down from the heavens. Maya died seven days after the birth of her son, whom she had named Siddhartha or "he who achieves his aim." She is said, in Buddhist scriptures, to have been reborn in Tusita, where her son visited her, paid respects and taught the dharma to her. Ānanda was one of his ten principal disciples. Among the Buddha's many disciples, Ānanda stood out for having the best memory. Most of the texts of the early Buddhist Sutta-Piṭaka are attributed to his recollection of the Buddha's teachings during the First Buddhist Council. For that reason, he is known as the "Treasurer of the Dhamma", with Dhamma referring to the Buddha's teaching. In Early Buddhist Texts, Ānanda is the first cousin of the Buddha.
Although the texts do not agree on most things about Ānanda's early life, they do agree that Ānanda is ordained as a monk and that Puṇṇa Mantāniputta becomes his teacher. Twenty years in the Buddha's ministry, Ānanda becomes the attendant of the Buddha, when the Buddha selects him for this job. Ānanda performs his duties with great devotion and care, acts as an intermediary between the Buddha and the laypeople, as well as the Saṅgha. He accompanies the Buddha for the rest of his life, acting not only as an assistant, but a secretary and a mouthpiece. Scholars are skeptical about the historicity of many events in Ānanda's life the First Council, consensus about this has yet to be established. A traditional account can be drawn from early texts and post-canonical chronicles. Ānanda has an important role in establishing the order of bhikkhunis, when he requests the Buddha on behalf of the latter's foster-mother Mahāpajāpati Gotamī to allow her to be ordained. Ānanda accompanies the Buddha in the last year of his life, therefore is witness to many tenets and principles that the Buddha conveys and establishes before his death, including the well-known principle that the Buddhist community should take his teaching and discipline as their refuge, that the Buddha will not appoint a new leader.
The final period of the Buddha's life shows that Ānanda is still much attached to the Buddha's person, he witnesses the Buddha's passing with great sorrow. Shortly after the Buddha's death, the First Council is convened, Ānanda manages to attain enlightenment just before the council starts, a requirement, he has a historical role during the council as the living memory of the Buddha, reciting many of the Buddha's discourses and checking them for accuracy. During the same council, however, he is chastised by Mahākassapa and the rest of the Saṅgha for allowing women to be ordained and failing to understand or respect the Buddha at several crucial moments. Ānanda continues to teach until the end of his life, passing on his spiritual heritage to his pupils Sāṇavāsī and Majjhantika, among others, who assume a leading role in the Second and Third Cou
Buddhists take refuge in the Three Jewels or Triple Gem. The Three Jewels are: the Buddha, the enlightened one the Dharma, the teachings expounded by the Buddha the Sangha, the monastic order of Buddhism that practice the DharmaRefuge is common to all major schools of Buddhism. Pali texts employ the Brahmanical motif of a group of three refuges, as found in Rig Veda 9.97.47, Rig Veda 6.46.9 and Chandogya Upanishad 2.22.3-4. Faith is an important teaching element in both Mahayana traditions. In contrast to perceived Western notions of faith, faith in Buddhism arises from accumulated experience and reasoning. In the Kalama Sutra, the Buddha explicitly argues against following authority or tradition those of religions contemporary to the Buddha's time. There remains value for a degree of trusting confidence and belief in Buddhism in the spiritual attainment and salvation or enlightenment. Faith in Buddhism centres on belief in the Three Jewels. Lay followers undertake five precepts in the same ceremony as they take the refuges.
Monks administer the precepts to the laypeople. The five precepts are: to refrain from killing. In Early Buddhist Texts, the role of the five precepts developed. First of all, the precepts were combined with a declaration of faith in the triple gem. Next, the precepts developed to become the foundation of lay practice; the precepts were seen a preliminary condition for the higher development of the mind. At a third stage in the texts, the precepts were mentioned together with the triple gem, as though they were part of it. Lastly, the precepts, together with the triple gem, became a required condition for the practice of Buddhism, as lay people had to undergo a formal initiation to become a member of the Buddhist religion; when Buddhism spread to different places and people, the role of the precepts began to vary. In countries in which Buddhism was adopted as the main religion without much competition from other religious disciplines, such as Thailand, the relation between the initiation of a lay person and the five precepts has been non-existent, the taking of the precepts has become a sort of ritual cleansing ceremony.
In such countries, people are presumed Buddhist from birth without much of an initiation. The precepts are committed to by new followers as part of their installment, yet this is not pronounced. However, in some countries like China, where Buddhism was not the only religion, the precepts became an ordination ceremony to initiate lay people into the Buddhist religion. A layperson who upholds the precepts is described in the texts as a "jewel among laymen". In Tibetan Buddhism there are three refuge formulations, the Outer and Secret forms of the Three Jewels. The'Outer' form is the'Triple Gem', the'Inner' is the Three Roots and the'Secret' form is the'Three Bodies' or trikaya of a Buddha; these alternative refuge formulations are employed by those undertaking Deity Yoga and other tantric practices within the Tibetan Buddhist Vajrayana tradition as a means of recognizing Buddha Nature. Three refuge motivation levels are: 1) suffering rebirth's fear motivates with the idea of happiness, 2) knowing rebirth won’t bring freedoms motivated by attaining nirvana, while 3) seeing other’s suffering motivates establishing them all in Buddhahood.
Happiness is temporary, lifetimes are impermanent and refuge is taken until reaching unsurpassed awakening. Abhijñā Anussati Dharmapala Holy Spirit Pure land Titiksha Trikaya A Buddhist View on Refuge Refuge: A Safe and Meaningful Direction in Life by Dr. Alexander Berzin Refuge Vows Taking the refuges and precepts online by Bhikkhu Samahita Vajrayana refuge prayer audio The Threefold Refuge Five Precepts Abhisanda Sutta Saranagamana Going for Refuge and Taking the Precepts by Bhikkhu Bodhi Refuge: An Introduction to the Buddha and Sangha by Thanissaro Bhikkhu Refuge Tree Thangkas by Dharmapala Thangka Centre Ceremony for Taking Refuge and Precepts by Ven. Thubten Chodron The three jewels of Buddhism in relation to Anthroposophy. By Bruce Kirchoff