Review Questions For 2.1-2.2

1. Gautama (the Buddha) began his religious career as a ´sramana. Who were the ´sramanas of the 6th and 5th century BCE India, and how did they depart from the older, more orthodox religions traditions of India at that time?

2. Recount in brief, the symbolic significance of the four sights Gautama encounters in the more elaborate account of Gautama’s religious progress and enlightenment.

3. What do we know were the earliest teachings of the historical Gautama?

4. Siderits begins his discussion of the Four Noble Truths with an account of the first. What is the First Noble Truth? Into what three “layers” does the tradition analyze the suffering of which the First Noble Truth speaks? Explain each layer in detail.

5. What response does Siderits think that a Buddhist would give to the objection that the First Noble Truth strikes an unduly pessimistic note about human life?

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