Alisahogg
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Hi, I am currently in year 12 and I am studying Philosophy, Ethics and Buddhism. I am really struggling to understand concepts for Buddhism and with my mock exams coming up in June could really use some advice from pupils who have done A level papers on Buddhism. Are there any resources that are worth while checking out? any help would be appreciated
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gjd800
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What specific concepts are you struggling with?
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Alisahogg
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(Original post by gjd800)
What specific concepts are you struggling with?
Hi, sorry for the late reply. I struggled with the concept of Pratityasamutpada and also with Bodhisattva/arhats. These are the two things that come to mind first. Currently we are having to write an essay on Bodhisattvas and Arhats and i'm already struggling with coming up with arguments. Any advice etc would be useful.
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Em.-.
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(Original post by Alisahogg)
Hi, sorry for the late reply. I struggled with the concept of Pratityasamutpada and also with Bodhisattva/arhats. These are the two things that come to mind first. Currently we are having to write an essay on Bodhisattvas and Arhats and i'm already struggling with coming up with arguments. Any advice etc would be useful.
What’s the essay question?
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Alisahogg
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(Original post by Em.-.)
What’s the essay question?
the question is an AO2 style question. 'The Bodhisattva is superior to the Arhat’ Evaluate this claim
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Em.-.
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(Original post by Alisahogg)
the question is an AO2 style question. 'The Bodhisattva is superior to the Arhat’ Evaluate this claim
Well the Arhat is the ideal of Theravada, and the Bodhisattva is the ideal of Mahayana. Research the difference between these two, and then think about the general teachings of Buddhism and how the differences between them make one seem better suited to Buddhism than the other.

An Arhat follows an individual path to enlightenment and a Bodhisattva aims to put others’ enlightenment before their own, as compassion means to feel another’s suffering as your own. I personally think the Arhat is better as if you feel another’s suffering as your own, you cannot be rid of suffering until everyone else is no longer suffering which makes it seem nearly impossible to attain enlightenment. Though it could be argued the Arhat is selfish as they are only focusing on their own enlightenment and so this could be linked to “greed” one of the three root poisons and so it could be argued that this may prevent you from attaining enlightenment also. However the counter argument to this would be that the Arhat is not selfish as they are setting an example to others on how to become enlightened and so are helping others be free of suffering, and so are not putting themselves before others but rather putting both equally in a way.

I believe it’s against the rules on here to provide a full answer so I’ll just summarise the best way to answer this (and how to answer similar questions):

Basically just think about what it means to be an arhat and a Bodhisattva and compare them to Buddhist concepts and then you can argue where the weaknesses and strengths of each one lie in comparison. Whichever one seems to fit better with Buddhist values, and seems more logical, you can argue is the best. I would go with Arhat overall, but your opinion may be different.
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gjd800
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The straightforward response re a bodhisattva is that if you do not recognise that there is no genuine reason to prefer the cessation of your own dissatisfaction over the cessation of the dissatisfaction of others, you have not properly realised anātman.

There is also a scriptural claim that the Buddha himself implied a bodhisattva ideal in the Jatakas
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gjd800
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(Original post by Alisahogg)
Hi, sorry for the late reply. I struggled with the concept of Pratityasamutpada and also with Bodhisattva/arhats. These are the two things that come to mind first. Currently we are having to write an essay on Bodhisattvas and Arhats and i'm already struggling with coming up with arguments. Any advice etc would be useful.
What is confusing you about dependent origination?
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Alisahogg
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(Original post by gjd800)
What is confusing you about dependent origination?
I think what i find confusing is linking it to other parts of the spec and explaining it in detail in essays.
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gjd800
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(Original post by Alisahogg)
I think what i find confusing is linking it to other parts of the spec and explaining it in detail in essays.
I still don't understand what the problem is, you will need to be more specific. Dependent origination is the foundation upon which all Buddhist doctrine is built: there is no single nexus of existence, everything arises in dependence on everything else. It bypasses absolutism and denies that there can be a creator god, for example. It is the process that allows for change because it precludes i mutable, eternal essences etc.
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Joe312
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(Original post by Alisahogg)
I think what i find confusing is linking it to other parts of the spec and explaining it in detail in essays.
Which exam board are you doing?
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Alisahogg
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(Original post by Joe312)
Which exam board are you doing?
i am doing WJEC/Eduqas.
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Joe312
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(Original post by Alisahogg)
i am doing WJEC/Eduqas.
Do you understand that without dependent origination you couldn't have the three marks of existence, therefore no Karma, and therefore the four nobles truths would make no sense?
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