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Initiation Ritual Mahayana Buddhism Religion Essay

The Ordination Ceremony is presented by the monk, who later becomes the disciple's primary instructor. In this ceremony, the monk says the Three Jewels and the Five Precepts that are repeated by student several times and then accompanied by the Bodhisattva Vows. Afterwards, the participant is a follower and he or she then receives a certificate and a Buddhist name. As a result, the participant is formally initiated as an associate and associated to a monastic order, where she or he dedicates himself or herself to the Three Jewels, the Five Precepts, and Bodhisattva Vows. The Ordination Ceremony is conducted by monastic orders only. The Buddhist Faith Fellowship translates the Five Precepts as:

I practice the training of love, I refrain from killing. I practice the training of generosity, I avoid stealing. I practice the training of contentment, I avoid sexual misconduct. I practice the training of mindful speech, I avoid harmful speech. I practice the training of mindful consumption; I refrain from intoxicants and harmful substances that harm me, society and the environment.

The Bodhisattva Vows as:

Sentient Beings are numberless; I vow to save lots of all of them. Sufferings are inexhaustible; I vow to end them all. Dharmas are boundless; I vow to learn them all. The Buddha Way is unsurpassable; I vow to embody it (Becoming a Buddhist).

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One of the first things that person should do to become a Buddhist is to join a Buddhist temple or group, be supportive and get support from the group, continue steadily to find out about Buddha's teachings, relate them in his / her life, go to services, open the heart and mind to the working of Great Compassion. Understanding in Buddhism is the most crucial and it takes time. A person can formally turn into a Buddhist by taking the Three Jewels or Three Refuges, which is the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. Taking refuge in the Buddha is to take refuge in understanding, faith, and compassion symbolized as the Buddha of Eternal Life and Light, as the supreme teacher, and the personification of the human potential. To consider refuge in the Dharma is to perceive reality as an "Ocean of Oneness, " meaning a person is a part of the universe all together and so are other beings and they're all connected and part of the other person as a one reality. A person also must study the Buddha's teachings of understanding, faith, and compassion. To take refuge in Sangha, is to have refuge in community that follows the Buddhist path and attempts Enlightenment here on Earth. These Three Jewels are presented in the complete universe and atlanta divorce attorneys person and other beings as well (Bachert Gombrich 90-92).

The Fivefold Precepts have the capability to guard life and make someone's life full and beautiful. They are guidelines to ethical living of awakened person's life. Through compassion, a person is empowered to go forward in the direction of joy, peace, and awakening. These Precepts are the basis for the happiness of the person, family and the whole society, plus they help a person avoid suffering, mistakes, and fear, and bring understanding, enjoyment, and peace into a person's suffering life.

Paulik 4 The Bodhisattva Vows will be the very fundamental of the Mahayana Buddhism that is lighting someone's spiritual path. The Bodhisattva Vows are like a ship that transports a person to the awakened side, and leads one in this life with compassion and love. A Bodhisattva is a being who dedicates himself or herself to compassion and is set to benefit all beings in a quest of their Enlightenment. By firmly taking refuge in the Bodhisattva Vows, a person commits to a life of higher understanding, compassion, love, and unselfish service. Because of this, a person recites and performs the Vows frequently. Before a person becomes a Buddhist, he or she should have at least a basic knowledge of the concepts such us karma, rebirth, Four Noble Truths, and Eightfold Path. A person does not have to totally accept all of these concepts initially, but she or he should be at least acquainted with them. The Buddhist concept says a person needs to prove it true for oneself and for that reason no person should be in a hurry to be Buddhist. A person should take his / her time, ask questions, investigate, experience, consider facts and think about teachings in order to make any conclusions and decisions (About Buddhism).

Death Ritual in Mahayana Buddhism

When someone is dying in a Buddhist home, monks come to comfort the individual by chanting verses. According to Buddhanet these verses go such as this: "Even the stunning royal chariots degrade; and even this body too wears out. However the teaching of goodness will not age; and so Goodness makes that known to the good ones. " After death, as the dead person has been arranged for the funeral fire, the monks keep on to chanting in order to help the dead one's positive energies to be freed from his or her vanishing personality. Usually, the monks include the whole family to the funeral. The family and all their friends offer food and candles to

Paulik 5 the monks. Kindness is established by these gifts which is believed that the kindness helps the remaining spirit of the dead person.


The Buddha's body was cremated due to Indian custom of burning the body at death and this set a model for most Buddhists. Buddhists believe that a living being undergoes life cycles of birth, suffering, and death, and his or her progress through these cycles is managed by karmic power. This essence of Buddhism is never ending change. Within the Mahayana tradition, there is the concept of consciousness, a stage where we are conscious and awake, getting information from our senses. Mano consciousness is the stage, where consciousness functions are in addition to the senses something like a sub consciousness. And finally there is certainly another stage alaya consciousness. The consciousness exists and continues even during death. Buddhism sees the foundation for someone's delusions and desire in the alaya consciousness by means of a concealed energy, as "karma. " The fear of death is dependant on a fear that the alaya consciousness is going to vanish and a person won't exist anymore, which is incorrect. Through exceptional consciousness, a person can transform from negative karma to positive one and that also passes on as soon as of death. Inside the alaya consciousness a great mirror of wisdom comes into view. This is the wisdom where a person is able to see everything precisely as they are. The wisdom that comes from the mano consciousness is known as non discriminating wisdom in which a person can see and recognize the essential equality of most living beings (The Buddhist Outlook on Life and death).

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Worship in Mahayana Buddhism

The most common ritual of worship in Buddhism is an individual worship to respectfully recognize the greatness of the Buddha and Bodhisattva. It is performed daily at home. Also it can be performed at the temple or monastery where could it be accompanied with candles, burning incense and by offerings such as flowers, drinks, food, and clothes. For example, a person can clasps his / her hands in the gesture of worship in front of Buddha statue and recites a straightforward phrase such as "Let my obeisance be to the Blessed One, the Honorable One, the Fully Enlightened One" (Patheos) which is repeated 3 x and then followed by the Three Jewels, or Three Refuges, the Fivefold Precepts, and the Bodhisattva Vows formulas also 3 x every each of them.

In addition, seated meditation is particularly significant in Mahayana Buddhism. A person sits quietly and the key focus is on person's exhalation and inhalation. It could also involve silent repeating of a single word or phrase (Fundamental Buddhism).


The Buddhist ritual of worship is fundamentally a respectful recognition of the Buddha as the fantastic spiritual teacher. The ritual also involves an expression of appreciation to the Buddha for discovering and revealing to the humans the path leading out of the world of suffering besides providing protection and guidance to devotees as well (Patheos).

At the beginning of the meditation, a person completely focuses his / her attention to today's moment. Through the meditation a person deepens in compassion from realizing the daily

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suffering and struggle of living. At the end of the meditation the individual wishes happiness to all sentient beings (Fundamental Buddhism).

Initiation Ritual in Christian Catholicism

The Baptism ceremony is usually provided in the church by way of a priest who pours water over the top of the baptized infant and says these words: "I baptize you in the name of the daddy, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. " Typically it is witnessed and celebrated by parents and godparents who take religious responsibility and care for the child in the event the child becomes an orphan.

The Confirmation ceremony follows soon after the Baptism ceremony or is delayed before person reaches ten years of age. It is performed by priest or bishop by rubbing aromatic oil on the confirmed person along with these words: "Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit. "

The Holy Communion ceremony is the last of the initiation rituals in Catholicism and is performed immediately after Baptism and Confirmation or is delayed before child reaches an acceptable age. On this ritual, a person eats the real body and drinks blood of Jesus Christ.


The Baptism ceremony is entering to the Church through water which cleans a person of guilt and punishment of the Original Sin. The beliefs in this ritual are so it removes someone's sins, so she or he won't suffer in hell. A person becomes part of a Christ, part of the Church the Mystical Body of Christ on earth, and grows in grace of God within us.

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The Confirmation is considered as a perfection of the Baptism ceremony because it bounds a person more to the Church with the aid of the Holy Spirit. It unites a person more to the Christ and Church and links her or him more deeply to the divine relationship as the son of God.

The Holy Communion ceremony brings a person in to the completeness of his / her life in Christ and influences both spiritual and physical facet of someone's life through the graces (Richter).

Death Ritual in Christian Catholicism

Before the dead body is buried in the bottom, there is a funeral ritual. During a funeral mass, a light burns and a tiny cross or a rosary with a cross is put in the deceased person's hands. Your body is sprinkled with Holy water and positioned in the casket facing the altar. The graves are laid with an east-west axis where in fact the feet face the rising sun. The priest takes control of the service which include funeral prayer, short verses, the Lord's Prayer, and blessing. Through the lowering of the body into the ground, prayer might take place. The family, friends and visitors may throw somewhat of dirt on the coffin to symbolize your body's return to the planet earth (Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry).


Only a Catholic person who received Baptism can receive a Catholic burial and become buried in the Catholic cemetery. Since a person's body is known as to be a temple of the Holy Spirit, positioning the dead body to rest is fulfilled with respect and honor. Catholics perceive death as a

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way from life on the planet earth to the everlasting life as pledged by Jesus Christ. Afterlife soul of the person can go either to Hell or Heaven which depends on folks actions during his / her life. There is also belief that by the end of their time the death body will be resurrected (Catholic Funeral Beliefs).

Worship in Christian Catholicism

The most popular worship in Catholicism is the Mass which is practiced every Sunday in the Church. Usually the Gospels, the Old Testament, and Psalms are read and folks kneel and pray. A Cross and candles are positioned besides altar. During the procession to the entrance, a chant is sung or recited by all folks or by the priest (Catholicism. org).


For Christians the Sabbath is on Sunday because Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead on that day. The mass renews the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Which means that Christ is presented in heaven and on the altar when your wine and bread end up being the Blood and Body of Christ (Richter).


I have personally found Buddhism very fascinating due to do no harm way of living where karma is the reflection of our own actions and predetermines the outcome of our next life. Also the concept of the main one universe as a whole without separate self but as part of all is very interesting. Consequently, every being deserves respect, compassion, and love due to daily suffering. In addition, the attempt that everyone has the potential to attain nirvana and

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the concept of meditation to become one with the universe through compassion will probably be worth deeper studying and further exploring. On the other hand, there are also some similarities with Christianity in which a person's actions predetermine his / her outcome for afterlife in Heaven or Hell. The idea of doing good to others with reciting prayers as type of meditation is kind of similar too. Precisely the same when a person dies, there may be concern about the spirit or the soul in both religions even although Christian concept does not have the idea of returning back again to earth to live a life another life in various form. I think the most exciting thing about religions is the fact as many religions are similar in teachings and concepts, that there are as many differences as well and that is why is it interesting for everybody. That everyone will get his own preferred way and path to his or her own truth.

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