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Title: Buddhism & Thai World View Author: windows Last modified by: windows Created Date: 2/18/2012 4:41:49 AM Document presentation format: On-screen Show (4:3) – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Buddhism%20


1
Buddhism Thai World View
2
Religion
  • A body of knowledge for rationalizing and
    sanctioning certain types of behavior and for
    disapproving of others
  • Serves to induce predispositions and attitudes in
    the religious context which influence activities
    in non-religious context

3
In Religion,
  • Rituals and ceremonies usually incorporate
    abstract ideas, values and beliefs which mirror
    religiously defined world view
  • Religious values and beliefs are often
    incorporated into concrete everyday behavior and
    situations and inspire the motivation of
    individual

4
Structure of the paper
  • Provides a brief account of the world view of
    Theravada Buddhism which has been predominant
    throughout Thai history
  • Examines the relationship between Buddhism and
    Thai world view as expressed in various aspects
    of social life

5
Buddhist World View
  • 4 Noble Truths
  • Suffering
  • Cause of suffering
  • Extinction of suffering
  • Path to extinct suffering
  • Suffering covers both mental and physical
    unpleasant conditions

6
Life consists of 5 aggregates
  • Corporeality (Rupa) Body
  • Sensation (Vedana) Feeling
  • Perception (Sanna) Recognition
  • Mental formation (Sa?khara) Thinking
  • Consciousness (Vinnana) Nerves
  • Some text explains this as volition.

7
Three Natural Characteristics
  • Impermanence
  • Changeability
  • Not-Self
  • The first two are also found in Hinduism but the
    third is exclusively of Buddhism.

8
Middle Path (Majjihima patipada)
  • Avoids 2 extreme practices
  • Indulgence in sensual pleasures
  • Self-torture as severe asceticism
  • (Common practice among Indian hermits)

9
The Buddha during asceticism
10
Ultimate Goal of Buddhism
  • Nirvana (Nibbana) through the Noble Eightfold
    Path
  • 1. Right Understanding
  • 2. Right Thought
  • 3. Right Speech
  • 4. Right Action
  • 5. Right Livelihood
  • 6. Right Effort
  • 7. Right Mindfulness
  • 8. Right Concentration

Wisdom
Morality
Concentration
11
Concept of Individualism
  • One can attain enlightenment only through ones
    own effort
  • This belief has been thought to have significant
    influence on Thai world view and behavior i.e.
    individualistic nature of Thai character
  • Lack of rigid structure in Thai society

12
Volitional Action
  • In Buddhism, action (karma) can be categorized
    as
  • Physical
  • Verbal
  • Mental
  • Action without volition is considered as void
    thus no result.

13
Spiro (1970)
  • Nibbanic Buddhism
  • Deals with individual salvation
  • Karmic Buddhism
  • Deals with worldly matters i.e.
    happiness-suffering, good-evil, merit-demerit,
    etc.
  • (In Pali, the word world-loka means dual)
  • To discipline ones behavior, perform good acts,
    accumulate merit, etc.
  • Karmic Buddhism must be adequately (and
    properly) done before one can proceed to Nibbanic
    Buddhism.

14
Division of Gender Roles
  • Boys can be temple boys to serve monks, learn
    Dhamma, or get ordained (novice) and continue
    studies
  • Girls help in household matters or support family
    by working
  • Men are likely to be practitioners
  • Women are likely to be supporters

15
Buddhism Thai World View
  • What is world view?
  • The sum of ideas and conceptualizations which
    individuals in a cultural system have towards
    their environment and universe.
  • Its manifested in various forms of behaviors and
    attitudes and can be seen as collective
    characteristics of the people enculturated in the
    same cultural setting.

16
1. The World of hierarchy
  • Individual are seen as either higher or lower,
    younger or older, weaker or stronger, inferior or
    superior, richer or poorer, and rarely equal.
  • The kinship term phi (elder brother/sister) is
    often added in front of a persons name to
    indicate that s/he is older than the speaker.
  • In a more formal situation, the word khun
    (polite title to call people regardless of age
    and gender) is always used esp. in the city.

17
Hierarchical Thai Behavior
  • Age and seniority are sensitive issues for Thai
    so that they can use not only proper terms in
    conversation, but also appropriate behavior.
  • Thi sung thi tam (high place, low place) is an
    important concept. Those who do not recognize and
    conform to this norm are frowned upon and
    disliked in society.
  • Social status, either high or low, is considered
    as a result of bun-bap (merit-demerit) karma
    (deeds) in ones past lives.

18
31 Kinds of Beings in Buddhism
  • 11 Kama Bhava - Beings consist of form and
    sensual desires.
  • 4 Kinds of low beings animal, ghost, demon, hell
  • Human being(the most suitable for enlightenment)
  • 6 Kinds of deities and gods
  • 16 Rupa Brahma Higher Beings consist of form
    only, no sensual enjoyment
  • 4 Arupa Brahma Higher Beings do not have
    perceptible bodily forms and sensual enjoyment.

19
Thai Buddhist Preference
  • Most Buddhists (monk and lay) prefer rebirths
    within the world of sensual happiness to complete
    salvation from suffering.
  • In short, nirvana (the ultimate goal) is less
    desirable than worldly happiness in Thai popular
    Buddhism.

20
Traibhumi of Phra Ruang
  • King Lithai in Sukhothai period depicted the
    Buddhist cosmology of three worlds in this text.
  • Kirsch(1975)s
  • Moral Hierarchy

KingNoble Politicians Gov. official The
Wealthy The Poor
Monks
21
Buddhism Unequal or Equal?
  • Unequal in terms of quality and quantity of
    individuals accumulated karma in past lives
    (Theravada)
  • Equal in terms of everybody has Buddha Bhava or
    nature of enlightenment (Mahayana)

22
Buddhism VS Hinduism
  • In Buddhism, what one is does not matter as much
    as what one does
  • In Hinduism, what one does does not matter as
    much as what one is (due to caste system).
  • Brahman
  • Noble
  • Vaisaya
  • Sutra
  • Jandan (untouchable)
  • There are some Hindus who converted to Buddhism
    b/c of caste system i.e. Dr.Ambedkar

23
2. The World of Merit and Demerit
  • Confusion of term usage
  • Karma deed, either good or bad
  • Bun merit
  • Bap demerit, but Thais often use karma for this
    meaning
  • A Thai proverb Bun tham karma tang means Bun
    does and bap directs

24
Thai Names and Songs
  • Thai names, esp. traditional names are likely to
    have bun somewhere in the first name or even
    family name
  • Thai songs, both classical and contemporary, use
    of the words karma, bun, and bap and many other
    related terms.
  • Suk kan ther rao Lets be happy (MV)
  • https//www.youtube.com/watch?v5OkDc1KeeSg

25
  • The world is like a play, we just have to follow
    each scene as we are destined. Dont worry, keep
    smiling and we all will be fine.
  • Lets be happy, why getting sad for nothing.
    Dont worry, its just waste our energy.
  • We were born as humans so we have to be patient.
    Dont be sad, we just have to bare with it.
  • The world is like a play, dont worry. Happiness
    and suffering come together.
  • Let bun and karma(bap) play as they wish. Dont
    be sorrow but keep smiling for it.
  • Lets enjoy ourselves and be happy together.
    Forget the suffering and refresh your mind and
    feeling.
  • Being happy is good, dont be hesitant. Dont be
    frowned but smile. Lives must go on and we have a
    long way to go, renew our lives by smiling.

26
Love in Buddhism
  • Either success or failure, is a result of bun and
    bap from past lives
  • Love and marriage are caused by
  • 1) both partners had been together before in
    their previous lives
  • 2) assistance and favor done to each other in the
    present life

27
Meritmaking (tham bun)
  • Religious activities i.e. giving food and
    offerings to monks and nuns, chanting, supporting
    temple, observing precepts, listening to sermons,
    practicing meditation, etc.
  • Social activities i.e. digging communal wells,
    building roads, taking care of aged parents,
    helping the poor, etc.
  • Can bring better life in the future according to
    law of karma

28
East meets West
  • Law of karma in Buddhist belief may be compared
    to the law of motion in Western science.
  • Reynolds (1976), Karma gives order and regularity
    to the moral and social universe much as the
    Newtonian laws of Western science give order and
    regularity to the physical universe

29
Substance/Matter causes by
  • 1. Karma Law of action/reaction
  • 2. Mind Mind manipulates body
  • 3. Climate Beings can survive in a certain
    temperature
  • 4. Intake i.e. food, contact, etc.
  • Thais dont explain everything with law of karma.
    A Thai saying for car users Accident isnt bad
    luck(bap), but caused by reckless action

30
3. The World of bun khun
  • Help or favor done by someone which entails
    gratitude and obligation on the part of the
    beneficiary.
  • The recipient would feel mentally indebted, be
    grateful to the giver, and supposed to seek an
    occasion to repay the favor whenever s/he can.

31
Parenting in Thai Buddhism
  • What parents do for their children is bun khun so
    children should repay them whenever they can.
  • Taking care of aged parents is social obligation
    rather than option because of this concept.
  • Abandoning parents is considered ungratefulness.
  • The Buddha said Mother has more bun khun than
    father

32
Concept of Rare Persons
  • 1) Those who have rendered a favor (pubbakari)
  • 2) Those who show gratitude and repay the favor
    done to them (katannu katavedi)
  • This falls under give and take circle.
  • Buddhism regards such persons as examplary
    individuals whose actions bring harmony and
    happiness to society.

33
4. The World of Cool Heart
  • Cool heartedness is a typically Thai value, not
    that every Thai is a cool-hearted person, but its
    quality is highly valued in Thai culture esp. in
    the crisis situation.
  • King Rama VI composed a poem those who should
    be praised even more are those who still smile
    when facing dangers

34
Cool heart can mean
  • 1) Psychological quality of not being anxious
    when confronting problems
  • 2) Not getting angry easily when one should be or
    expected to be
  • 3) Ability to suppress ones emotion and not
    becoming easily nervous or emotionally disturbed
  • 4) Indifference
  • In short, it is the characteristic of a stable
    personality

35
Smiles even in Flooding
36
Related behaviors
  • Chai-yen-yen to be cool-hearted
  • Mai-bpen-rai does not matter
  • Phillip(1965) regarded this as social cosmetic
  • Choei-choei indifferent, stable
  • Thai social life places strong value on overt
    calmness in social interaction. To express open
    anger, dislike and annoyance is considered
    improper.

37
Brahma-Vihara (Brahamans virtues)
  • 1. Metta Loving kindness
  • 2. Karu?a Compassion
  • 3. Mudita Enjoy others success
  • 4. Ubekkha Equanimity
  • (Be indifferent after have done everything one
    supposed to do)

38
Misinterpretings cause Injustice
  • Equanimity Indifference
  • Allow wrong-doers not being punished
  • Law of Karma
  • The mistreat we received is a bad karma of our
    past lives. Once we have paid-off, we should
    stop this circle of karma
  • Most Thai Buddhists forget that Everything has a
    beginning
  • Therefore Thai Buddhists have perpetuated
    violence and social injustice somehow more or
    less.

39
5. The World of Individualism
  • Buddhism emphasizes the individuals effort as
    the only means for any achievement.
  • An individuals self is his refuge
  • Ones self is the most beloved
  • Winning ones self is the true victory
  • Its the maker who reaps his bun, not somebody
    else
  • To do as one wishes is to be a genuine Thai
  • Comparatively to the West, Thais have not been
    very good at teamwork in any level.
  • Social harmony yet individual success

40
Conclusion
  • Unlike Hinduism, Buddhism allows individuals who
    occupy any social positions to be free to move in
    any direction much as soccer players.
  • Cool-heartedness is characterized by stability of
    personality, control of feeling and emotion, and
    the ability to handle situations with care and
    prudence.
  • Buddhist emphasis on individualism seems to play
    an important part in shaping up the
    individualistic tendency in Thai attitude and
    behavior.

41
What is the most beautiful part of human body?
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