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After watching David Grubin’s PBS documentary, “The Buddha,” answer JUST ONE of these:

1.    At several points, the Buddha experiences various kinds of temptations and trials which he firmly resists.  In this sense, he does not lack desire but rather resolutely seeks enlightenment.  What do these temptations represent?  What would be the consequence of giving in to them?

2.    At the beginning of the film, the Buddhas life is described as an archetypal journey.  Buddhists have very little interest in proving its historicity.  Rather, they focus on its meaningits symbolic significance.  However, even today, many make pilgrimages to four major sites associated with the Buddhas birth.  What are those sites, and why are they important?  What additional insight does the Dalai Lama add regarding these pilgrimages?

3.    How does the film define and explain the existence of suffering, its cause, and the means of ridding oneself of suffering?  In other words, how does the film explain the Four Noble Truths?  What analogies does the film use to help us understand these truths?

4.    How does the film explain the Middle Way?  What analogies are used to illustrate it?  In what ways does the Buddhas own life serve as an illustration of the importance of moderation and following a middle way?

5.    The film illustrates Hindu practices and customs as well as Buddhist ones and sets the life of the Buddha into its Indian context.  In what ways is Buddhism similar to Hinduism, and in what ways is it different?


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