Chapter 3. Gotama

Table of Contents
Ideas of Interest from "Gotama"
The Reading Selection from "Gotama"
Topics Worth Investigating

Buddha Preaching, Library of Congress

Ideas of Interest from "Gotama"

  1. Why doesn't it bother these holy men to beg for a living? Explain the difference in cultural values.

  2. How was it that Siddhartha could instantly recognize the Buddha and Govinda could not?

  3. Why did Govinda break with his friend, Siddhartha?

  4. What need be renounced in order to follow Buddha? From a psychological point of view, why would these sacrifices be required?

  5. Why did Siddhartha knowingly relate to Govinda the false statement, "Very good are the teachings of the exalted one, how could I find a fault in them?"

  6. Explain in your own words the seeming contradiction in Buddha's doctrine of causality as described by Siddhartha. If all events, including mental events are caused, how can any action be considered right or wrong?

  7. Evaluate Buddha's pragmatic and implied response that his disciples are better off with him than in the world of desires even though they will not find salvation through his teachings. Is Buddha intentionally deceiving his disciples "for their own good"?