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Suggested Answers to Discussion Questions for
Learning Guide to LITTLE BUDDHA

Discussion Questions:

1.  See Discussion Questions for Use With any Film that is a Work of Fiction.

2.  What are the Four Noble Truths? Suggested Response: See Helpful Background Section.

3.  What is the Eight Fold Path? Suggested Response: See Helpful Background Section.

4.  What was Buddha's approach to religion? Suggested Response: Buddha approached religion as a therapy to cure the inevitable tragedy of life rather than an effort to ascertain cosmological truth.


5.  Did Buddha tell people what to believe about God? Suggested Response: No. Buddha wasn't concerned with metaphysics.

6.  Did Buddha teach that he was a divine being? Suggested Response: No. Buddha held himself out as an ordinary man who was a teacher.

7.  Buddhism arose out of Hinduism. What religions in the West have grown out of other religions? Suggested Response: Christianity grew out of Judaism. Islam also grew from Judaism.

8.  Buddha was a great teacher and moral leader and the founder of a religion. Name some other men who also founded new religions. Suggested Response: Jesus Christ, Muhammad.

9.  Can you see any parallels in the lives of Buddha and Jesus? Suggested Response: They were both great teachers. Their teachings gave rise to great religions adhered to by millions of people. They both passed tests which were very similar (power on earth, bodily pleasures, etc.).

10.  Give another name for the term "the will to separate personal fulfillment." Suggested Response: The ego.

11.  Watch how the use of color in this movie plays on our subconscious emotions. What colors are used in the scenes in the U.S.? What colors are used in the scenes in Tibet? What message is the director trying to send? Suggested Response: The colors in Seattle are blue and cool and the colors in Tibet and in the story of Siddartha are warm colors: yellows, reds, oranges, and browns. The concept is that Tibet and the story of Siddartha are where the subject of the film can flourish while the U.S. is a sterile environment.

Social-Emotional Learning Discussion Questions:

No questions.

Moral-Ethical Emphasis Discussion Questions (Character Counts)

Discussion Questions Relating to Ethical Issues will facilitate the use of this film to teach ethical principles and critical viewing. Additional questions are set out below.


(Do your share to make your school and community better; Cooperate; Stay informed; vote; Be a good neighbor; Obey laws and rules; Respect authority; Protect the environment)

1.  Buddha gave up his life of luxury to find enlightenment, but once he had attained that state, he did not rest. What did he do and how does it relate to the Citizenship pillar of ethical conduct? Suggested Response: Buddha became a teacher and sought to share with others his discovery of a cure for pain and despair. He worked hard to benefit society.

Last updated July 28, 2007.

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