Buddhism Basic Beliefs and Teachings By Barbara O'Brien Updated December 29, 2015. Here is a basic introduction to Buddhism. What Is Buddhism? Buddhism is a religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who lived about 25 centuries ago in what is now Nepal and northern India. He came to be called "the Buddha," which means "awakened one," after he experienced a profound realization of the nature of life, death and existence. In the remaining years of his life, the Buddha traveled and taught. In the centuries following the Buddha's life, Buddhism spread throughout Asia to become one of the dominant religions of the continent. The most common estimate is 350 million, which makes Buddhism the fourth largest of the world's religions. Read More: The Life of the BuddhaRead More: What's a Buddha? How Is Buddhism Distinctive From Other Religions? Buddhism is so different from other religions that some people question whether it is a religion at all. Read More: Buddhism: Philosophy or Religion? Basic Teachings
Basics of Buddhism The Four Noble Truths The Four Noble Truths comprise the essence of Buddha's teachings, though they leave much left unexplained. They are the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. The Four Noble Truths are a contingency plan for dealing with the suffering humanity faces -- suffering of a physical kind, or of a mental nature. The Third Noble Truth, the truth of the end of suffering, has dual meaning, suggesting either the end of suffering in this life, on earth, or in the spiritual life, through achieving Nirvana. History of Buddhism | About Buddhism The founder of Buddhism in this world is Buddha Shakyamuni. He was born as a royal prince in 624 BC in a place called Lumbini, which was originally in northern India but is now part of Nepal. ‘Shakya’ is the name of the royal family into which he was born, and ‘Muni’ means ‘Able One’. His parents gave him the name Siddhartha and there were many wonderful predictions about his future. He was subsequently requested to teach and as Venerable Geshe Kelsang says in Introduction to Buddhism: ‘As a result of this request, Buddha rose from meditation and taught the first Wheel of Dharma. In all Buddha Shakyamuni gave eighty-four thousand teachings.
Buddhism World religion, founded by the Buddha Buddhism (/ˈbʊdɪzəm/, US also /ˈbuː-/) is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists.[web 1] Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravada (Pali: "The School of the Elders") and Mahayana (Sanskrit: "The Great Vehicle"). Theravada Buddhism has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Life of the Buddha Buddha in Sarnath Museum (Dhammajak Mutra) "The Great Departure", relic depicting Gautama leaving home, first or second century (Musée Guimet) The problems of life: dukkha and saṃsāra Saṃsāra Rebirth Karma
What is Theravada Buddhism? Theravada (pronounced — more or less — "terra-VAH-dah"), the "Doctrine of the Elders," is the school of Buddhism that draws its scriptural inspiration from the Tipitaka, or Pali canon, which scholars generally agree contains the earliest surviving record of the Buddha's teachings. For many centuries, Theravada has been the predominant religion of continental Southeast Asia (Thailand, Myanmar/Burma, Cambodia, and Laos) and Sri Lanka. Today Theravada Buddhists number well over 100 million worldwide. In recent decades Theravada has begun to take root in the West. Many Buddhisms, One Dhamma-vinaya The Buddha — the "Awakened One" — called the religion he founded Dhamma-vinaya — "the doctrine and discipline." Pali: The Language of Theravada Buddhism The language of the Theravada canonical texts is Pali (lit., "text"), which is based on a dialect of Middle Indo-Aryan that was probably spoken in central India during the Buddha's time. Ven. A Brief Summary of the Buddha's Teachings
The Life of the Buddha -- Biography of Siddhartha Gautama, the Founder of Buddhism Siddhartha Gautama's Early Life Siddhartha Gautama was born about 583 BCE, in or near what is now Nepal. His father, King Suddhodana, was leader of a large clan called the Shakya. His mother, Queen Maya, died shortly after his birth. When Prince Siddhartha was a few days old, a holy man prophesied the Prince would be either a great military conqueror or a great spiritual teacher. The Four Passing Sights One day, overcome with curiosity, Prince Siddhartha asked a charioteer to take him on a series of rides through the countryside. Finally, he saw a wandering ascetic. The Renunciation For a time the Prince returned to palace life, but he took no pleasure in it. One night he wandered the palace alone. He realized then that he could no longer be content living the life of a prince. The Search Siddhartha began by seeking out renowned teachers, who taught him about the many religious philosophies of his day as well as how to meditate. The Enlightenment of the Buddha The Teacher Last Words
Religions - Buddhism: Buddhism at a glance A Bite of Buddhism The four sublime mental states are qualities of mind that we cultivate in order to alleviate the suffering we experience in everyday life and to feel more connected to others—and the worries and fears we all share. In the language of the Buddha (Pali), they are called the brahma viharas , which means "the dwelling place of awakened beings." The good news for us unawakened beings is that it's easy to begin cultivating the brahma viharas . Indeed, they are an integral part of other religious, spiritual, and humanistic traditions. I present them here with a distinctly Buddhist "flavor." Metta . I like to think of metta as the simple act of well-wishing. Sylvia once said that she practices metta by just looking at a person and silently saying, "I love you." Karuna . The Vietnamese Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh, helped me learn to cultivate compassion for myself. Mudita . Just as metta is an antidote for our judgmental tendencies, mudita is the perfect antidote for envy. Upekkha .
Dalai Lama tells his Facebook friends that religion "is no longer adequate" Well, he'd hardly be the first Buddhist to say something like this. From what I've read, there are already lots of Buddhists, and historical Buddhist movements in various countries, who are atheistic and who prefer to return to Buddhism's roots as a kind of self-help, personal psychological and philosophical system—and yes, I realize I'm hugely oversimplifying that ideological stripe of Buddhism—and that's fine. And if this helps the world be a better place, cool. I'm all for it. But as an atheist I had already got to this point without making sand paintings, spinning prayer wheels or staring at stupas or rock gardens to shut off all mental processes and get to Satori. Maybe I'm just doing it wrong.
Nirvana Definition in Buddhism (What Is It?) Definition: Most schools of Buddhism explain Nirvana as a state of bliss or peace, and this state may be experienced in life, or it may be entered into at death. The word Nirvana means "to extinguish," such as extinguishing the flame of a candle. This "extinguishment" is not understood by Buddhists to mean annihilation, however. In the culture in which the historical Buddha lived and taught, it was understood that fire "burns" and becomes visible when it is attached to fuel, and it stops burning and becomes invisible when it is "released" from fuel. In his book Essence of the Heart Sutra, His Holiness the Dalai Lama defined Nirvana as the "state beyond sorrows," or a "state of freedom from cyclic existence." In Theravada Buddhism, Nirvana (spelled "Nibbana" in Pali) is understood to be an "unbinding" of the mind from defilements, in particular the Three Poisons, and the mental "effluents" of sensuality, views, becoming, and ignorance. death or only after death. Alternate Spellings: Nibbana
Buddhism - Shambhala Some 2,500 years ago, an Indian prince, Siddhartha Gautama, sat quietly in a place known as Deer Park at Sarnath and began to offer simple teachings, based on his own experience. These teachings, referred to as the dharma, meaning simply “truth,” were practical instructions on how to free oneself from suffering by relating to the everyday experience of life and mind. Because his realization was profound, he became known as the Buddha, which means “the awakened one.” Buddhism is a living tradition, passed from teacher to student, as a set of pragmatic instructions and techniques for cultivating sanity and brilliance in ourselves and our world. Historical Overview The historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, was born around 560 B.C. at Lumbini, in present-day Nepal. After several years studying with many spiritual teachers, Siddhartha realized that neither worldly pleasures nor strict asceticism could bring him fulfillment. Over the centuries, Buddhism spread throughout most of Asia.
5 Minute Introduction • What is Buddhism? Buddhism is a religion to about 300 million people around the world. The word comes from 'budhi', 'to awaken'. It has its origins about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened (enlightened) at the age of 35. • Is Buddhism a Religion? To many, Buddhism goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy or 'way of life'. (1) to lead a moral life, (2) to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and (3) to develop wisdom and understanding. • How Can Buddhism Help Me? Buddhism explains a purpose to life, it explains apparent injustice and inequality around the world, and it provides a code of practice or way of life that leads to true happiness. • Why is Buddhism Becoming Popular? Buddhism is becoming popular in western countries for a number of reasons, The first good reason is Buddhism has answers to many of the problems in modern materialistic societies. • Who Was the Buddha? • Was the Buddha a God? • Do Buddhists Worship Idols?