Human beings in Buddhism

Humans in Buddhism (Sanskrit manuṣya, Pali manussa) are the subjects of an extensive commentarial literature that examines the nature and qualities of a human life from the point of view of humans' ability to achieve enlightenment. In Buddhism, humans are just one type of sentient being, that is a being with a mindstream. In Sanskrit Manushya means an Animal with a mind. In Sanskrit the word Manusmriti associated with Manushya was used to describe knowledge through memory. The word Muun or Maan means mind. Mind is collection of past experience with an ability of memory or smriti. Mind is considered as an animal with a disease that departs a soul from its universal enlightened infinitesimal behavior to the finite miserable fearful behavior that fluctuates between the state of heaven and hell before it is extinguished back to its infinitesimal behavior.

In Buddhism, humans have a very special status: only a human can attain enlightenment as a fully enlightened Buddha. Enlightenment as an arhat can be attained from the realms of the Śuddhāvāsa deities. A bodhisattva can appear in many different types of lives, for instance as an animal or as a deva. Buddhas, however, are always human.[1]

Qualities of human life

The status of life as a human, at first is seen as very important. In the hierarchy of Buddhist cosmology it is low but not entirely at the bottom. It is not intrinsically marked by extremes of happiness or suffering, but all the states of consciousness in the universe, from hellish suffering to divine joy to serene tranquility can be experienced within the human world.

Humans can be seen as highly favored, in that they have an immediate reason to seek out the Dharma and yet also have the means to listen to it and follow it. Among the lower realms, Pretas (aka hungry ghosts), and dwellers in the Narakas (Buddhist hell(s)) are gripped by pain and fear, and can only endure their lot but cannot better themselves. Animals are intellectually unable to understand the Dharma in full. The way of life of the Asuras is dominated by violence and antithetical to the teachings of the Dharma. Most of the Brahmas and Devas simply enjoy reaping the fruits of their past actions and think that they are immortal and forever to be happy and so they don't try to practice the Dharma. When their past karmas have all had their result, these devas will fall into lower worlds and suffer again. The lowest sorts of devas deal with strife, love, and loss just as humans do, but even so they lack the spur of imminent mortality that can lead humans to seek, not merely a better future life, but an escape from saṃsāra altogether. However, there are stories of beings in these realms deciding to practice and reaching enlightenment.[2][3]

For this reason, life in the world of humans is known as "the precious human rebirth". Born close to the pivot point of happiness and suffering, humans have a unique capacity for moral choices with long-term significance.[4]

The human rebirth is said to be extremely rare. The Majjhima Nikaya (129 Balapandita Sutta) compares it to a wooden cattle-yoke floating on the waves of the sea, tossed this way and that by the winds and currents. The likelihood of a blind turtle, rising from the depths of the ocean to the surface once in a hundred years, putting its head through the hole in the yoke is considered greater than that of a being in the animal realm, hungry ghost realm or hell realm achieving rebirth as a human. This is because, according to the sutta, in these realms there is no Dhamma (Sanskrit Dharma), no practicing what is right, no doing what is wholesome, and no performing of merit. However it is generally implied that if one is already living as a human they will continue to be reborn in the human world based on good works and so they will be one again and again as long as they are moral and good in the ways described in Buddhist rules regardless of whether or not they are Buddhist themselves. The idea is that one must be good and moral because falling below the human realm is dangerous as the odds of one becoming a human again with any great frequency is slim.[5]

Among humans there are also better and worse conditions for attaining enlightenment. Besides being born as a human, the favorable conditions for obtaining enlightenment are:

  • Being born a human at a time when a Buddha has arisen, has taught the Dharma, and has left a Saṅgha that carries on the teachings; at such times there is a chance to learn the Dharma.
  • Being born a human in countries where the Dharma is known. Buddhist commentaries contrast the "central lands" where Buddhism is known and can be practiced (originally just northern India, but now including a much larger portion of the globe) with "border countries" where Buddhism is unknown or cannot be practiced due to legal or practical impediments, for instance, a lack of qualified teachers. Technically a "central land" is one which possesses any one of the Buddhist saṅghas of bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas or upāsikās.
  • Being born a human who has the physical and intellectual capacity to grasp the basic message of the Dharma.
  • Accepting the relationship between good or evil actions and their consequences, believing that good actions will lead to a happier life, a better rebirth or to enlightenment.
  • Confidence in the moral teachings conveyed in the Vinaya.
  • Avoiding crimes against people and against the Dharma.
  • Having sincere compassion for other people.[6]

Just as it is difficult to obtain birth as a human, it is also difficult to be born at the time when a Buddha's teaching is still available. Out of the infinite kalpas (incredibly long periods) in time, most have no Buddhas appearing in them at all. The present kalpa is called "Fortunate" because it is said that 1,000 Buddhas will appear in it, something that is very unusual.[7]

For this reason, Buddhist teachers say that one's present condition as a human should be valued very highly, and not allowed to slide by, as the combination of existence as a human and the presence of a Buddha's teaching may not come again for a very long time. Any human, in this view, who finds himself or herself in a position to learn the Dharma, would be remiss if he or she did not take advantage of it. This view also stands in contrast to those who would claim that, if one is to be reborn multiple times, there is no need to worry about one's actions in this life as they can always be amended in the future; rather, there is no assurance that in a long series of lives one will ever obtain the right circumstances for enlightenment, so it is important to seize the day.

With regard to a fortunate human life, Pabongkhapa Déchen Nyingpo said: "Instead of feeling so much regret when we lose our money, we should develop regret when we waste our human life." [8]

Myth of human origins

According to the Aggañña Sutta (DN.27), humans originated at the beginning of the current kalpa as deva-like beings reborn from the Ābhāsvara deva-realm. They were then beings shining in their own light, capable of moving through the air without mechanical aid, living for a very long time, and not requiring sustenance.

Over time, they acquired a taste for physical nutriment, and as they consumed it, their bodies became heavier and more like human bodies; they lost their ability to shine, and began to acquire differences in their appearance. Their length of life decreased, they differentiated into two sexes and became sexually active. Following this, greed, theft and violence arose among them, and they consequently established social distinctions and government and elected a king to rule them, called Mahāsammata, "the great appointed one". Some of the kings of India in the Buddha's day claimed descent from him.

Nature of the human realm

In the visionary picture of the human realm presented in Buddhist cosmology, humans live on four continents which are, relatively speaking, small islands in a vast ocean that surrounds the axial world-mountain of Sumeru, and fills most of the Earth's surface. The ocean is in turn surrounded by a circular mountain wall called Cakravāḍa (Sanskrit) or Cakkavāḷa (Pāli) which marks the horizontal limit of the earth. Because of the immenseness of the ocean, the continents cannot be reached from each other by ordinary sailing vessels, although in the past, when the cakravartin kings ruled, communication between the continents was possible by means of the treasure called the cakraratna (Pāli cakkaratana), which a cakravartin and his retinue could use to fly through the air between the continents.

The four continents are:

  • Jambudvīpa (Sanskrit) or Jambudīpa (Pāli) or 南阎浮提洲 (阎浮提 is also translated as 赡部 in Chinese) is located in the south.
  • Pūrvavideha or Pubbavideha or 东毗提诃洲 (毗提诃 is also translated as 胜身) is located in the east.
  • Aparagodānīya or Aparagoyāna or 西瞿陀尼洲 (瞿陀尼 is also translated as 牛货) is located in the west.
  • Uttarakuru or 北俱卢洲 is located in the north.

Notes

  1. ^ JOL 14
  2. ^ Pali Canon (Samyutta Nikaya, Digha Nikaya, Majjhima Nikaya, Anguttara Nikaya, Kuddaka NIkaya)
  3. ^ JOL:14-15, BOTV:63
  4. ^ JOL:18
  5. ^ Majjhima Nikaya 129
  6. ^ JOL:15-16, BOTV:59-61
  7. ^ BOTV:61
  8. ^ Joyful Path of Good Fortune, by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Page 133

Further reading

Sources

  • sGam.po.pa, The Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Chapter 2, translated by H.V. Guenther. JOL
  • Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrub, The Beautiful Ornament of the Three Visions, translated by Lobsang Dagpa and Jay Goldberg, Section A2. BOTV
  • G.P. Malalasekara, Dictionary of Pāli Proper Names
  • Thus Have I Heard: The Long Discourse of the Buddha, translated by Maurice Walshe. DN
Index of Eastern philosophy articles

This is a list of articles in Eastern philosophy.

Index of philosophy of religion articles

This is a list of articles in philosophy of religion.

A Grief Observed

A History of God

A Letter Concerning Toleration

A New Model of the Universe

A Secular Humanist Declaration

A. H. Almaas

Abandonment (existentialism)

Abd al-Karīm ibn Hawāzin al-Qushayri

Abhidharma

Abraham Joshua Heschel

Absolute (philosophy)

Absolute atheism

Absolute Infinite

Abstinence

Abu'l Hasan Muhammad Ibn Yusuf al-'Amiri

Abu Sulayman al-Sijistani

Accidentalism

Acosmism

Actus purus

Adevism

Adi Shankara

Adriaan Koerbagh

Afshin Ellian

Afterlife

Age of Enlightenment

Agnostic atheism

Agnostic theism

Agnosticism

Ahimsa

Ahmad Sirhindi

Al-Farabi

Al-Ghazali

Al-Kindi

Al-Shahrastani

Al-Tabarani

Al-Zamakhshari

Albrecht Ritschl

Alice von Hildebrand

All Truth Is God's Truth

Aloysius Martinich

Alvin Plantinga

Alvin Plantinga's free-will defense

American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Amsterdam Declaration

An Intelligent Person's Guide to Atheism

Anāgāmi

Analects

Analytical Thomism

Ananda Coomaraswamy

Anantarika-karma

Anarchism and Islam

Anatta

Anava

Anders Nygren

Anekantavada

Animals in Buddhism

Anselm of Canterbury

Answer to Job

Anthony Kenny

Anthony Thiselton

Anthropopath

Anti-clericalism

Anti-communism

Anti-Supernaturalism

Antihumanism

Antireligion

Antitheism

Anton Kržan

Anton LaVey

Apatheism

Apocalypticism

Apologetics

Argument from a proper basis

Argument from beauty

Argument from consciousness

Argument from degree

Argument from desire

Argument from free will

Argument from inconsistent revelations

Argument from love

Argument from miracles

Argument from morality

Argument from nonbelief

Argument from poor design

Argument from religious experience

Arhat

Aristotelian view of a god

Arya

Ashtamangala

Atheism

Atheist's Wager

Atheist existentialism

Ātman (Buddhism)

Augustine of Hippo

Avadhuta Gita

Averroes

Avidyā (Buddhism)

Avraham son of Rambam

Ayatana

Ayyavazhi phenomenology

Baptists in the history of separation of church and state

Bardo

Basic Points Unifying the Theravāda and the Mahāyāna

Beatific vision

Best of all possible worlds

Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival

Bhagavad Gita

Bhava

Bhumi (Buddhism)

Biblical literalism

Bilocation

Biosophy

Bodhi

Bodhimandala

Bodhisattva Precepts

Brahmacharya

Brahman

Brahmavihara

Brian Davies (philosopher)

Brights movement

British Humanist Association

Bruno Bauer

Buddha-nature

Buddhism and evolution

Buddhist philosophy

C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis bibliography

C. Stephen Evans

Cappadocian Fathers

Catholic guilt

Celsus

Charles Blount (deist)

Chöd

Chovot ha-Levavot

Christian de Quincey

Christian existentialism

Christian humanism

Christian materialism

Christian philosophy

Christian Realism

Christianity and environmentalism

Christological argument

City of God (book)

Classical theism

Clemens Timpler

Clement of Alexandria

Clerical philosophers

Clericalism

Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion

Confucius

Consciousness-only

Contemporary Islamic philosophy

Continuum of Humanist Education

Contra Celsum

Cosmological argument

Cosmology (metaphysics)

Counter-Enlightenment

Creationism

Credo ut intelligam

Criticism of Christianity

Criticism of Hinduism

Criticism of Islam

Criticism of Jesus

Criticism of Judaism

Criticism of monotheism

Criticism of religion

Criticism of the Bible

Criticism of the Catholic Church

Criticism of the Latter Day Saint movement

Criticism of the Qur'an

Cultural materialism (anthropology)

Cultural materialism (cultural studies)

Curt John Ducasse

Daniel Rynhold

Dariush Shayegan

Darwiniana

David ben Merwan al-Mukkamas

David Braine (philosopher)

David Ray Griffin

David Strauss

De Coelesti Hierarchia

De divisione naturae

De Mysteriis Aegyptiorum

Dean Zimmerman

Death

Decline of Greco-Roman polytheism

Deism

Demiurge

Derech Hashem

Desire realm

Deus

Dharani

Dharma

Dharma transmission

Dharmakāya

Dharmarāja Adhvarin

Diamond Realm

Dietrich von Hildebrand

Dimitrije Mitrinović

Dipolar theism

Direct revelation

Distributism

Divine apathy

Divine command theory

Divine simplicity

Divinity

Dōgen

Dogma

Doomsday argument

Doomsday cult

Doomsday event

Double-mindedness

Dukkha

Dwight H. Terry Lectureship

Dzogchen

E. David Cook

Early Islamic philosophy

Eliminative materialism

Elizabeth Burns

Emergent materialism

Epistemic theory of miracles

Epistle to Yemen

Eranos

Ernesto Buonaiuti

Ernst Ehrlich

Ernst Troeltsch

Eschatology

Essentially contested concept

Eternal Buddha

Eternal return

Eternal return (Eliade)

Ethica thomistica

Ethical will

Ethics in religion

Étienne Tempier

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy

Euthyphro dilemma

Evolutionary argument against naturalism

Evolutionary Humanism

Exegesis

Existence of God

Extrinsic finality

Faith

Faith and rationality

Faith, Science and Understanding

Faraday Institute for Science and Religion

Fate of the unlearned

Fazang

Fazlur Rahman Malik

Ferdinand Ebner

Fetter (Buddhism)

Fi Zilal al-Qur'an

Fideism

Fiqh

Five hindrances

Four stages of enlightenment

Fourteen unanswerable questions

Francis Schaeffer

Franciszek Krupiński

Françoise Meltzer

Franz Rosenzweig

Frederick Ferré

Freethought

French law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols in schools

Friedrich Nietzsche and free will

Friedrich von Hügel

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling

Fujiwara Seika

Fundamentalism

Gary Habermas

Gaudapada

George H. Smith

Gifford Lectures

Giles Fraser

God

God-Building

God in Buddhism

God Is Not Great

God of the gaps

God, A Guide for the Perplexed

Gödel's ontological proof

Good and necessary consequence

Graham Oppy

Great chain of being

Greek hero cult

Gregory of Nyssa

Guru Nanak Dev

Gustav Glogau

Hajime Tanabe

Han Yong-un

Hans Rookmaaker

Haribhadra

Hasidic philosophy

Hayashi Razan

Hayom Yom

Henosis

Henry Corbin

Herbert McCabe

Hermetica

Hermeticism

Hierophany

Hinayana

Hirata Atsutane

Hisbah

Historical materialism

Holy History of Mankind

Homoiousian

Homoousian

Hōnen

Hossein Nasr

Hossein Ziai

Huayan school

Huineng

Human beings in Buddhism

Human extinction

Humanism

Humanism and Its Aspirations

Humanism in France

Humanism in Germany

Humanist Manifesto

Humanist Manifesto I

Humanist Manifesto II

Humanist Movement

Humanist Society Scotland

Humanistic naturalism

Huston Smith

Ian Ramsey

Ibn al-Nafis

Ibn Arabi

Ietsism

Ignosticism

Illtyd Trethowan

Illuminationism

Illuminationist philosophy

Immanence

Immortality

Impermanence

Incarnational humanism

Incompatible-properties argument

Indefinite monism

Indriya

Ineffability

Infinite qualitative distinction

Inka

Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society

Integral humanism (India)

Intellectualism

International League of Humanists

Intrinsic finality

Intuition (knowledge)

Invincible error

Invincible ignorance fallacy

Inviolability

Invisible Pink Unicorn

Ippen

Irenaean theodicy

Irreligion

Is God Dead?

Islam and democracy

Islamic fundamentalism in Iran

Islamic philosophy

Ivan Aguéli

Ivan Vyshenskyi

J. J. C. Smart

J. P. Moreland

Jainism

Jakob Guttmann (rabbi)

Jakub of Gostynin

James Gustafson

Jay Newman

Jayarāśi Bhaṭṭa

Jayatirtha

Jean Meslier

Jewish ethics

Jinul

Jiva Goswami

Jizang

Johann Friedrich Flatt

Johann Joachim Lange

Johann Nepomuk Oischinger

Johannes Scotus Eriugena

John Calvin

John E. Hare

John Hick

John of Głogów

Joseph de Torre

Joseph Priestley and Dissent

Joseph Runzo

Kalam cosmological argument

Kalpa (aeon)

Kammaṭṭhāna

Kancha Ilaiah

Kang Youwei

Karl Heinrich Heydenreich

Karl Jaspers

Karma

Karma in Buddhism

Karuṇā

Keith Ward

Kensho

Kersey Graves

Kitaro Nishida

Klaus Klostermaier

Knight of faith

Kol HaTor

Kūkai

Kumārila Bhaṭṭa

Kurt Almqvist

Kuzari

Lazarus Geiger

Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion

Letter to a Christian Nation

Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever

Lewis's trilemma

Life of Jesus (Hegel)

Likkutei Sichos

Lineage (Buddhism)

Linji school

List of female mystics

List of new religious movements

Logic in Islamic philosophy

Lutheran scholasticism

Macrocosm and microcosm

Madhusūdana Sarasvatī

Madhvacharya

Mahābhūta

Mahamudra

Mahavira

Mahayana

Manas-vijnana

Mandala

Mappō

Martin Luther

Materialism

Maximus the Confessor

Maya (illusion)

Meera Nanda

Meister Eckhart

Melville Y. Stewart

Merit (Buddhism)

Mesillat Yesharim

Metaphysical naturalism

Metempsychosis

Methodios Anthrakites

Michael Gottlieb Birckner

Michael Martin (philosopher)

Michael Oakeshott

Michael Ruse

Middle way

Mind's eye

Mindstream

Miracle of the roses

Mircea Eliade

Mircea Eliade bibliography

Misotheism

Monad (Greek philosophy)

Monism

Monistic idealism

Morality without religion

Muhammad Husayn Tabatabaei

Muhammad ibn Muhammad Tabrizi

Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi

Muhammad Iqbal

Mulla Sadra

Mumbo Jumbo (phrase)

Mystical philosophy of antiquity

Mystical realism

Mystical theology

Mysticism

Myth of Er

Nagarjuna

Namarupa

National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies

National Secular Society

Natural theology

Naturalism (philosophy)

Naturalistic pantheism

Nemesius

Neo-Scholasticism

Neo-theocracy

Neoplatonism and Christianity

Neutral monism

New Age

New religious movement

New Thought

Nichiren

Nicholas of Kues

Nick Trakakis

Nikolai Lossky

Nimbarka

Nirvana

Noble Eightfold Path

Nondualism

Nontheism

Nontheist Friend

Norman Geisler

Numenius of Apamea

Nyaya

Obscurantism

Occasion of sin

Occasionalism

Odium theologicum

Of Miracles

Olavo de Carvalho

Omega Point

Omnibenevolence

Omnipotence

Omnipotence paradox

Omnipresence

Omniscience

Omphalos hypothesis

Ontological argument

Ontotheology

Opium of the people

Or Adonai

Orchot Tzaddikim

Orlando J. Smith

Osvaldo Lira

Outline of humanism

Outline of theology

Over-soul

Pandeism

Pantheism

Pantheism controversy

Parallelism (philosophy)

Paramartha

Pāramitā

Pascal's Wager

Patañjali

Paul Draper (philosopher)

Paul Häberlin

Paul J. Griffiths

Perennial philosophy

Personalism

Peter Abelard

Peter Geach

Peter Kreeft

Peter Millican

Peter van Inwagen

Phenomenological definition of God

Phenomenology of religion

Phillip H. Wiebe

Philo's view of God

Philodemus

Philosophical Foundations of Marxist-Leninist Atheism

Philosophical theism

Philosophical theology

Philosophy of religion

Philotheus Boehner

Pierre Cally

Political theology

Politics Drawn from the Very Words of Holy Scripture

Postmodern Christianity

Praepositinus

Pragmatism

Pratītyasamutpāda

Pratyekabuddha

Precept

Preformation theory

Preformationism

Primum movens

Prince Shōtoku

Problem of evil

Problem of evil in Hinduism

Problem of Hell

Problem of why there is anything at all

Process theology

Proof of the Truthful

Proslogion

Protestant work ethic

Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite

Pseudo-secularism

Pseudo atheism

Pseudoreligion

Psychoanalysis and Religion

Quantum mysticism

Quietism (Christian philosophy)

Quinque viae

R. De Staningtona

Rabia al-Adawiyya

Rabindranath Tagore

Ralph Tyler Flewelling

Ramanuja

Rational fideism

Rational mysticism

Rational Response Squad

Real atheism

Reality in Buddhism

Rebirth (Buddhism)

Reformational philosophy

Relationship between religion and science

Religion

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

Religion and abortion

Religion and happiness

Religious communism

Religious democracy

Religious humanism

Religious intellectualism in Iran

Religious interpretation

Religious interpretations of the Big Bang theory

Religious law

Religious naturalism

Religious philosophy

Religious skepticism

Religious views on business ethics

Religious views on suicide

Rémi Brague

Renaissance humanism

René Guénon

Revelation

Richard Carrier

Richard Dawkins

Richard Swinburne

Rigpa

Robert Cummings Neville

Robert Merrihew Adams

Rudolf Otto

Rudolf Seydel

Rule of Three (Wiccan)

Sakadagami

Sam Harris (author)

Sambhogakāya

Saṃsāra

Saṃsāra (Buddhism)

Samuel Maximilian Rieser

Samvriti

Sarah Coakley

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Sathya Sai Baba

Sayyid al-Qimni

Sayyid Qutb

Scandal (theology)

School of Saint Victor

Science and Christian Belief

Scotism

Secular ethics

Secular humanism

Secular saint

Secular theology

Secularism

Secularism in the Middle East

Secularization

Sefer ha-Ikkarim

Sefer ha-Qabbalah

Seiichi Hatano

Self-Indication Assumption Doomsday argument rebuttal

Self-referencing doomsday argument rebuttal

Sentences

Seosan

Seth Material

Seven Factors of Enlightenment

Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi

Sharia

Shem Mishmuel

Shinran

Shoshin

Sin

Skandha

Societas Perfecta

Søren Kierkegaard

Sotāpanna

Soul

Soul dualism

Spirit

Spiritual materialism

Spiritual philosophy

Sri Aurobindo

Stephen Mulhall

Stephen R. L. Clark

Strong agnosticism

Submission (2004 film)

Sufi metaphysics

Sufi philosophy

Summa

Summa contra Gentiles

Summa Theologica

Śūnyatā

Supreme Being

Sureśvara

Suzuki Shōsan

Syed Ali Abbas Jallapuri

Symbolism

Tage Lindbom

Taha Abdurrahman

Tanya

Tao

Taoism

Tathāgata

Tathagatagarbha doctrine

Tathātā/Dharmatā

Tawhid

Teleological argument

Teleology

Ten Commandments

Ten spiritual realms

Tetrad (Greek philosophy)

Thaumaturgy

The Age of Reason

The Case for God

The End of Faith

The Essence of Christianity

The Freethinker (journal)

The God Delusion

The God Makers

The God Makers II

The Guide for the Perplexed

The Incoherence of the Philosophers

The Necessity of Atheism

The Only Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God

The Primordial Tradition

The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam

The Teachings of the Mystics

The True Word

Theism

Theistic realism

Theodicy

Theodore Drange

Theognostus of Alexandria

Theological aesthetics

Theological determinism

Theological noncognitivism

Theological veto

Theological virtues

Theologico-Political Treatise

Theology

Theories of religion

Theosophy (history of philosophy)

Theurgy

Thirtha prabandha

Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas and the Sacraments

Thomas Jefferson

Thomism

Thought of Thomas Aquinas

Thoughtform

Three marks of existence

Threefold Training

Time and Eternity (philosophy book)

Tomer Devorah

Trademark argument

Traditionalist School

Trailokya

Transcendence (religion)

Transcendental argument for the existence of God

Transtheistic

Triad (Greek philosophy)

Trikaya

True-believer syndrome

Turtles all the way down

Twelve Nidānas

Two truths doctrine

Types of Buddha

Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit

Ultimate fate of the universe

Universality (philosophy)

Unmoved mover

Upanishads

Upaya

Upeksa

Vācaspati Miśra

Varadaraja V. Raman

Vasubandhu

Victoria Institute

Vijnanabhiksu

Vincent Miceli

Vipāka

Vipassanā

Vipassana movement

Voluntarism (theology)

Vyasa

Walter of St Victor

Wang Chong

War of Anti-Christ with the Church and Christian Civilization

Watchmaker analogy

Weak agnosticism

What I Believe

Why I Am Not a Christian

Willem B. Drees

William Alston

William F. Vallicella

William James

William L. Rowe

William Lane Craig

Witness argument

Wolfgang Smith

Womb Realm

Wonhyo

Works by Thomas Aquinas

Works of Madhvacharya

Yamazaki Ansai

Yi Hwang

Yunmen Wenyan

Zhentong

Zhu Xi

Zofia Zdybicka

Love

Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection and to the simplest pleasure. An example of this range of meanings is that the love of a mother differs from the love of a spouse, which differs from the love of food. Most commonly, love refers to a feeling of strong attraction and emotional attachment.Love is also considered to be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection, as "the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another". It may also describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one's self or animals.Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts. Love has been postulated to be a function to keep human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species.Ancient Greek philosophers identified five forms of love: essentially, familial love (in Greek, Storge), friendly love or platonic love (Philia), romantic love (Eros), guest love (Xenia) and divine love (Agape). Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of love: unrequited love, empty love, companionate love, consummate love, infatuated love, self-love, and courtly love. Asian cultures have also distinguished Ren, Kama, Bhakti, Mettā, Ishq, Chesed, and other variants or symbioses of these states. The triangular theory of love suggests "intimacy, passion and commitment" are core components of love. Love has additional religious or spiritual meaning. This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.

Outline of Buddhism

Buddhism (Pali/Sanskrit: बौद्ध धर्म Buddha Dharma) is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha, "the awakened one".

The following outline is provided as an overview of, and topical guide to, Buddhism.

Sentient beings (Buddhism)

In Buddhism, sentient beings are beings with consciousness, sentience, or in some contexts life itself. Sentient beings are composed of the five aggregates, or skandhas: matter, sensation, perception, mental formations and consciousness. In the Samyutta Nikaya, the Buddha is recorded as saying that "just as the word 'chariot' exists on the basis of the aggregation of parts, even so the concept of 'being' exists when the five aggregates are available." While distinctions in usage and potential subdivisions or classes of sentient beings vary from one school, teacher, or thinker to another, it principally refers to beings in contrast with buddhahood. That is, sentient beings are characteristically not enlightened, and are thus confined to the death, rebirth, and dukkha (suffering) characteristic of saṃsāra.

However, Mahayana Buddhism simultaneously teaches that sentient beings also contain Buddha-nature—the intrinsic potential to transcend the conditions of saṃsāra and attain enlightenment, thereby obtaining Buddhahood.Those who greatly enlighten illusion are Buddhas; those who are greatly deluded about enlightenment are sentient beings."

In Mahayana Buddhism, it is to sentient beings that the Bodhisattva vow of compassion is pledged. Furthermore, and particularly in Tibetan Buddhism and Japanese Buddhism, all beings (including plant life and even inanimate objects or entities considered "spiritual" or "metaphysical" by conventional Western thought) are or may be considered sentient beings.

Topics in Buddhism
Foundations
The Buddha
Bodhisattvas
Disciples
Key concepts
Cosmology
Branches
Practices
Nirvana
Monasticism
Major figures
Texts
Countries
History
Philosophy
Culture
Miscellaneous
Comparison
Lists

Languages

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