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Guide To Buddhism A To Z

Did You Know...

1. that the early Buddhist tradition disapproved of polygamy? MARRIAGE

2. that ancient Buddhist physicians believed that ‘There is nothing in the world that cannot be a medicine?’ MEDICINE

3. that the Buddha was the first person in history to condemn slavery? SLAVERY

4. that Buddhist psychology identifies at least 10 different types of love? LOVE

5. that the Buddha always sat facing the east or lay down to sleep with his head to the east? DIRECTIONS

6. that the Mahavihara Monastery in Sri Lanka used to house 1500 monks? Mahāvihāra

7. the Buddha taught that a loving husband and wife may be able to renew their relationship in their next life? MARRIAGE

8. that the Bhagavad  Gita teaches that a soldier who dies in battle will go to heaven and that  the Buddha disputed this claim? WAR

9. what the nun Manimegala said about the effects of hunger and famine? FOOD

10. that there has long been speculation about the contents of the Buddha’s last meal? Buddha’s last meal

11. why the robes of Buddhist monk and nuns are yellow or brown-colored? ROBES

12. that the Buddha recommended cannabis as a medicine? CANNABIS

13. who the Buddha referred to as ‘the outcaste, the stain, the scum of the lay community?’  DIVINATION

14. that natural beauty may be able to enhance meditation? MEDITATION AND NATURAL BEAUTY

15. that the Buddha compared the mind of the ordinary person to a monkey and the mind of a  trained meditator to a deer?  MONKEY MIND

16. that the earliest speculation about the possibility of transplanting organs is found in the Buddhist scriptures? ORGAN DONATION

17. that Buddhists traditionally make a distinction between reincarnation and rebirth? REINCARNATION

18. that Buddhist jurisprudence in the 5th/2nd centuries BCE allowed the plea of  innocence on the grounds of temporary insanity? INSANITY

19. that there is a Buddhist equivalent to the Jewish and Christian Sabbath? UPOSATHA

20. what the evidence is for eastern-most spread of Buddhism in ancient times? SULAWESI BUDDHA

21. that, according to the Buddha, a meal prepared with love will taste better? FOOD

22. why Buddhists use the breath as an object of meditation? BREATH

23. what the ancient Buddhists thought of women wearing veils? VEILS

24. the five abilities or attitudes the Buddha said one needs in order to effectively nurse the sick?  DOCTORS

25. that one collection of the Buddha’s sayings were originally transmitted by a woman? ITIVUTTAKA

26. how the Buddha’s funeral was conducted? FUNERALS

27. that ‘love at first sight’ may be due to two people having had a relationship in an earlier life? MARRIAGE

28. that the term ‘saffron robe’ is inappropriate for describing the dress of Buddhist monks and nuns? ROBES

29. what the Buddha said on learning that a certain nun and monk who were having sex were also mother and son? INCEST

30. that the belief ‘everything is due to past kamma’ is one of the Three Wrong Views in Buddhism?  KAMMA

31. why the Buddha is often depicted with long ear lobes? EAR LOBES

32. what the ancient Indians called cigarettes and how they made them? SMOKING

33. that in 2007 Burmese monks refused to accept alms from the country’s military rulers and their supporters?  TURNING OVER THE BOWL

34. the doctrines on which Buddhists of all schools and sects agree? UNITY OF BUDDHISM

35. that the Buddha used a pair of scales as an analogy of fair deliberation and impartial justice? JUDGEMENTS

36. which Buddhist monarch said that he considered his subjects to be like his own children? KINGS AND KINGSHIP

37. who the Buddha was referring to when he compared him to a loose woman who will expose her genitals for a few coins? PSYCHIC POWERS

38. that the Vinaya includes a detailed description of the toilets in ancient monasteries? TOILETS

39. which is the most corrupt Buddhist country, according to Transparency International? BRIBERY

40. what constitutes ‘sexual misconduct’ according to Buddhist ethics? SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR

41. what the Buddha meant when he advised developing ‘a mother mind’? CELIBACY

42. what ancient Indian underpants were called? CLOTHES

43. what advice the Buddha gave to those trying to lose weight? DIETING

44. what the Buddha meant when he said he did not have ‘a closed fist’? ESOTERICISM

45. when the first film on the life of the Buddha was made? Films on the life of the buddha

46. what the Buddhist equivalent to Jesus’ Golden Rule is? GOLDEN RULE

47. which Buddhist countries criminalize homosexuality? HOMOSEXUALITY

48. what the great Buddhist masters said about laughing? LAUGHTER

49. that there is a Buddhist equivalent to Shakespeare’s Seven Stages of Man? Stages of Life

50. what the Buddha thought about miracles? MIRACLES

51. what the Buddha thought about the spiritual value of sex? SEX AND SPIRITUALITY

52. whether smoking would be infringing Buddhist ethical standards? SMOKING

53. what the Buddha said about the relationship between the teacher and the student? TEACHERS AND DISCIPLES

54. how many books there are in the Buddhist Bible? Tipiñaka

55. how ancient Buddhist weddings were conducted? WEDDING

56. that one of the Buddha’s foremost female disciples had been a prostitute. Ambapàlã

57. that the Buddha considered building bridges to be a meritorious act? BRIDGES

58. that the Buddhist calendar is based on the phases of the moon? CALENDAR

59. that meditation may have some influence on the complexion? COMPLEXION

60. that after his death and cremation the Buddha’s remains were divided into eight? Doõa

61. that the Buddha sometimes used the words ‘heart’ and ‘mind’ interchangeably? HEART

62. that Buddhist nuns used to use cow’s bones to massage each other? MASSAGE

63. that Buddhist monastic rules deal with the issue of wet dreams? NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS

64. that the Vinaya, the rules for monks, includes instructions on how to build a sauna? SAUNA

65. that the Buddha’s voice is said to have had eight characteristics? Buddha’s Voice

66. that T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land draws on elements from one of the Buddha’s first sermons? WASTE LAND

67. that the Buddhist scriptures contain a blessing for newly-weds? WEDDING

68. why the some people accused the Buddha of using magic to convert people? DEBATES

69. the Buddha recognized four stages in the development of the embryo? LIFE

70. that technically Buddhists monks do not ‘beg’ for alms? ALMS GATHERING

71. that in some ways the Buddha considered animals to be better than humans? ANIMALS

72. the Buddha distinguished between ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ beauty? BEAUTY

73. that the Buddhist tradition teaches that it is wrong to use one animal as a decoy to catch another? HUNTING

74. the oldest version of the famous and popular Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant? BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT

75. dispite the Buddha’s teaching of kindness to animals that cock fighting is a popular pastime in Burma , Thailand and Laos ? BLOOD SPORTS

76. that the Bodhi Tree is hardly ever mentioned in the Buddhist scriptures? BODHI TREE

77. why the Buddha asked us to develop a ‘mother mind’, a ‘sister mind’ or a daughter mind? CELIBACY

78. the Buddha identified what he called ‘mixed’ motives or intentions and thus there is ‘mixed’ kamma? CONSISTENCY

79. that the Sixth Buddhist Council was held in 1956? COUNCIL

80. what the Buddha said about dancing? DANCING

81. that the Buddha earned the reputation of being an effective debator DEBATES

82. that the Buddha was sometimes compared to a doctor? DOCTORS

83. that Dona compared the Buddha to an elephant? ELEPHANT

84. what the difference between equanimity and indifference is? EQUANIMITY

85. that the film Gotama the Buddha received an honorable mention at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival? FILMS ON THE LIFE OF THE BUDDHA

86. that the Buddha considered talking about ghosts to be unskillful? GHOSTS

87. what happened when the Buddha sneezed while giving a sermon? HABITS AND ROUTINE

88. that there is a Buddhist equivalent to the Christian ‘seventh heaven’. HEAVEN

89. what Buddhism says about lending money on interest? INTEREST