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Photography - Buddhism - Borobudur Temple 004

Both Sewu Temple in the Prambanan compond and Borobudur Temple are Buddhist Temples but the Prambanan Temple is a Hindu Temple. This photo shows the top most level of Borobudur Temple where you can take beautiful photos of sunrise. While taking this photo I was thinking about Buddhism, what is Buddhism ?

Buddhism :

Buddhism is a religion (is it really a religion or a way of life?) and dharma that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, from where it spread through much of Asia, thereafter it declined in India during the Middle Ages. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana. Buddhism is the world’s fourth-largest religion, with over 520 million followers or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists.

Buddhist schools vary on the exact nature of the path to liberation, the importance and canonicity of various teachings and scriptures, and especially their respective practices. Practices of Buddhism include taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, study of scriptures, observance of moral precepts, renunciation of craving and attachment, the practice of meditation (including calm and insight), the cultivation of wisdom, loving-kindness and compassion, the Mahayana practice of bodhicitta and the Vajrayana practices of generation stage and completion stage.

In Theravada the ultimate goal is the cessation of the kleshas and the attainment of the sublime state of Nirvana, achieved by practicing the Noble Eight-fold Path (also known as the Middle Way), thus escaping what is seen as a cycle of suffering and rebirth. Theravada has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.

Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren Buddhism, Shingon and Tiantai (Tendai), is found throughout East Asia. Rather than Nirvana, Mahayana instead aspires to Buddhahood via the bodhisattvapath, a state wherein one remains in the cycle of rebirth to help other beings reach awakening.

Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian siddhas, may be viewed as a third branch or merely a part of Mahayana. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth century India, is practiced in regions surrounding the Himalayas, Mongolia and Kalmykia. Tibetan Buddhism aspires to Buddhahood or rainbow body.

In Buddhism, Bodhisattva is the Sanskrit term for anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated Bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish and a compassionate mind to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. Bodhisattvas are a popular subject in Buddhist art.

In early Indian Buddhism, the term bodhisattva was primarily used to refer specifically to Gautama Buddha in his former life. The Jataka tales, which are the stories of the Buddha’s past lives, depict the various attempts of the bodhisattva to embrace qualities like self-sacrifice and morality.

According to the Jataka tales, the term “bodhisattva” originally referred to the pre-enlightened practitioner of austerities that surpassed Śrāvakayana and Pratyekabuddhayana by far and completed Bodhisattvayana. Mount Potalaka, for example, is one of Bodhisattvayana. The term for practitioners who have not yet reached Bodhisattvayana was not fixed, but the terms Śrāvaka-Bodhisattva and Pratyekabuddha-Bodhisattva had already appeared in the Āgama scriptures of early Indian Buddhism.

Mahayana Buddhism did not place much emphasis in honoring Śrāvakayana and Pratyekabuddhayana since they were classified as part of the Hinayana, but praise of the general Bodhisattvayana was commonplace. Because Hinayana was disliked and the terms Śrāvaka-Bodhisattva or Pratyekabuddha-Bodhisattva were not widely used, while usage of the general term “bodhisattva” had grown in popularity. Nevertheless, “bodhisattva” retained an implied reference to someone on the path to become an arhat or pratyekabuddha. In contrast, the goal of Mahayana’s bodhisattva path is to achieve Samyaksambodhiṃ.

More photos of Borobudur Temple here.

Our group trip photos in Instagram.

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