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The Religious Implications of the Byodoin

Uploaded by jenayoaks on Feb 24, 2001

“Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future; it transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.” Albert Einstein (Buddhism)

Buddhism has affected many people. From the Buddha’s first followers to my next door neighbor, people everywhere have followed the teachings of Buddhism. Buddhism was started by a Prince; a prince who wanted more. Many different ways of showing appreciation to Buddha are present in today’s society as well as when Buddhism was first started. There are paintings, carvings, statues and buildings dedicated to Buddha, but one of the most prevalent of these ways of appreciation is the Byodoin Temple in Uji, Japan. This temple is a beautiful example of Japanese Buddhist architecture, including painting and carvings inside. To understand the full impact of this temple and its contents, we must first understand Buddhist thought. By starting with Buddha and going through Buddhist thought, art and the period in which the Byodoin was constructed, we will learn the true impact of this building on the Buddhist culture.

Buddhism was born in a time when Hinduism ruled the streets. To many it seemed that somehow, somewhere, there had to be more. For one man, this puzzle would lead him on a journey through the countryside and towns of ancient Nepal and eventually into himself, where the true meaning of Buddhism lies. This is the story of that one man, Prince Siddhartha Gautama.

Prince Siddhartha Gautama, born to Shuddhodana and Maya, the king and queen of the Sakyas, was born in Lumbini, Nepal around the year 563 BC. According to Buddhist belief, Siddhartha was “divinely conceived.” His mother had a dream one night, and in that dream an elephant with six tusks came to her with a lotus flower in its trunk and touched her right side. This is when Siddhartha was conceived.

When Siddhartha was born, his father summoned Brahmins to tell what his future would hold. They gave him two options: he would either be a world conqueror or a great teacher. Wanting the first destiny for his son, Shuddhodana embellished his son with all the pleasures of life- not wanting him to see any death or disease. One day, Siddhartha asked his charioteer to...

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Uploaded by:   jenayoaks

Date:   02/24/2001

Category:   Religion

Length:   16 pages (3,685 words)

Views:   1541

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