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VCE Religion & Society Units 1 & 2: Buddhism

Year 11 research guide

Tenets of Buddhism

The Three Trainings or Practices

1. Sila: Virtue, good conduct, morality. This is based on two fundamental principles:

  •  Equality: that all living entities are equal.
  •  Reciprocity: to do onto others as you would wish them to do onto you. 

2. Samadhi: Concentration, meditation, mental development. Developing one's mind is the path to wisdom which in turn leads to personal freedom. 
3. Prajna: Discernment, insight, wisdom, enlightenment. Wisdom will emerge if your mind is pure and calm.

The Four Noble Truths
The Buddha's Four Noble Truths explore human suffering. 

  1. Dukkha: Suffering is real and almost universal. It has many causes: loss, sickness, pain, failure, the impermanence of pleasure.)
  2. Samudaya: The cause for suffering is the desire to have and control things. It can take many forms: craving of sensual pleasures; the desire for fame; the desire to avoid unpleasant sensations, like fear, anger or jealousy.)
  3. Nirodha:  Suffering ceases with the final liberation of Nirvana
  4. Magga: In order to end suffering, you must follow the Eightfold Path.

The Eightfold Path

Panna: Discernment, wisdom:

  1. Samma ditthi Right Understanding of the Four Noble Truths
  2. Samma sankappa: Right thinking; following the right path in life

    Sila: Virtue, morality:

        3. Samma vaca: Right speech: no lying, criticism, condemning, gossip, harsh language
        4. Samma kammanta Right conduct by following the Five Precepts
        5. Samma ajiva: Right livelihood; support yourself without harming others

    Samadhi: Concentration, meditation:
        6. Samma vayama Right Effort: promote good thoughts; conquer evil thoughts
        7. Samma sati Right Mindfulness: Become aware of your body, mind and feelings
        8. Samma samadhi Right Concentration: Meditate to achieve a higher state of consciousness

Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. (2009). Buddhism's core Retrieved 21 May 2017, from

5 Precepts -- a moral code for daily living

  1. To avoid taking the life of  all beings, not just humans.  
  2. To  avoid taking things not given. Take only things that are obviously meant for you.
  3. Tto avoid sensual misconduct.- covers any overindulgence in any sensual pleasure such as gluttony as well as misconduct of a sexual nature.
  4. To  refrain from lying and deceiving, slander and gossip
  5. To abstain from alcohol and drugs.

BDEA/BuddhaNet. (1996-2017). A Basic Buddhism Guide: Buddhist Ethics. Retrieved 21 May 2017, from

Buddhism  like some other religions has several traditions that place different interpretations on the above tenets and  accordingly developed diverse practices and rites. Two main traditions are Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism

Origins & Development

Overviews of Buddhism

Seven Wonders of the Buddhist World

Visits seven of the most famous ancient and modern Buddhist locations around the world. At each further insight to the long and rich history of Buddhism is gained by speaking to Buddhists who explain their beliefs.


I Believe Panin - Buddhism

Outlines the beliefs of Panin, a young Buddist .

Practices & Rituals

Buddhism - Heaven on Earth

Visits Maha Bodhi temple of Bodh Gaya an importance Buddhist sacred place. Considers beliefs, art, literature and architecture and development of Buddha's teachings.

Buddhism in Australia