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Buddhism - Essay Example

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Buddhism is one of the oldest religions in the history which is based on old traditions and cultural norms of the Eastern world. The main peculiarity and distinction of this religion is that it emphasizes meditation practices. Buddhism shows the universal character based on the ritual doctrines and unique practices which awake human spirit and consciousness…
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Download file to see previous pages It is considered that the religion was founded on teaching of Gautama Buddha (500 B.C.E). The traditional date of the birth of the Buddha is 560 B.C.E. The Buddha is believed to have been born in northeastern India, and was a prince. He followed ascetic way of life and devoted himself to meditations and spiritual development. One day, he meditated near the Ganges River, and came to conclusion that asceticism did not work and did not help a person to achieve spiritual development. He understood that a person should eat a sufficient amount of food to have a good heath, should take enough rest but not too much, and meditate. In 525 B.C.E, the Buddha achieved Enlightenment and began to preach (Lyons and Peters 1985). As with other major world religions, the history of Buddhism has long been characterized by an ongoing tension between attempts to preserve traditional ideals and modes of practice and the need to adapt to changing social and cultural conditions (Lopez 2002). Many developments in Buddhist history, such as the infusion of esoteric rituals, the arising of forms of devotionalism and lay movements, and the assimilation of warrior practices, reflect the impact of widespread yet fundamental social and cultural changes on traditional religious structures. ...
In 480 BC was established the first Buddhist Council at Rajagriha in Bihar. At this council, the Vinaya and Sutra texts were standardized. As with most religions, the early years of Buddhism are shrouded in obscurity. But the period between that event and the reemergence of Buddhism into the light of history around 250 B.C.E. is somewhat unclear. Buddhist tradition holds that there was a meeting, or council, held immediately following the Buddha's death (Lopez 2002). The major concern of this meeting was to stabilize the Buddhist scriptures by coming to an agreement as to what were the accepted scriptures as spoken by the Buddha. For a variety of reasons, no such agreement seems to have been reached, although there was some general agreement on the basic message of the Buddha. Leaving the canon, that is to say the total collection of Buddhist scriptures, open in this way was to lead to disagreements later in Buddhist history. The second Buddhist Council at Vaisali marked the first division of the Buddhist Order (386 BC). In 244 BC, the third Buddhist Council called by Asoka. This council fixed the canon of Theravadin Buddhism (Lyons and Peters 1985). To other regions of the world, Buddhist tradition was spread with merchants. For instance, Buddhism was introduced to Southeast Asia in C. 200. Since C. 300, Buddhism is a prominent religion in China and begins to penetrate Korea. c. 750 Buddhism officially established in Tibet (beginnings of the Vajrayana school). c. 800 Ch'an and Pure Land Buddhism become dominant schools in China; establishment of Tendai and Shingon schools in Japan. Only, in 1893 World Parliament of Religions ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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... believed in him and in his teachings began to be called as the Buddhists. This paper tends to explore the major principles and teachings of Buddhism and its influence on other religions. Teachings of Buddhism One of the major aims of Buddhism was to give people insights on the true nature of reality regarding death and sufferings. For the spiritual development as foreseen by Buddha, a complete change, both mental and physical, was essential. Since life involves a process of constant changes, man has to change for a better state than the present. It is one’s mind that plays the crucial role in changing oneself. So, Buddhism developed many a number of methods for working on the mind. The major tool used by Buddhists to change people in order...
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... to a constant desire to either crave for something or avert something (Ba Khin & Confalonieri, 1999, 168). According to the Buddha, if one took control of such desires completely, one would end his suffering and become awakened and would have reached the state known as nirvana (Ba Khin & Confalonieri, 1999, 168). This brings me to my research statement which would be to discover whether Buddhism seems to revolve around the life and teachings of the Buddha alone or the ultimate end of suffering by controlling craving and ignorance is the main motive of following this religion? Since Buddhism took shape from Asia it still remains to garner the most following from this part of the world, however it is observed to be practiced the world over...
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... of followers until meeting his death at the age of 80 (Gethin 19). The Basic Tenets of Buddhism Reincarnation According to Buddhism, human beings possess the ability to get free from sufferings by observing, meditation and cultivating a lifestyle as prescribed by Buddha. Buddha gave a number of teachings known as Dharma. The wheel is a distinguished symbol in Buddhism since it depicts the perpetual cycle of life and death. According to Buddhism, after human beings die, they are born in a new form. They could either take the form of a deity, a human being, a ghost, an animal or even an inhabitant of hell. It is the belief that all the positive thoughts and people’s actions bring good karma, and may direct an individual into getting reborn...
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...people that awakening and enlightenment comes through self realization and it has nothing to do with one’s beliefs and ideals. After Buddha’s death, his followers spread his teachings to distant places and Buddhism appeared as a new religion in Asia; today it is the fourth largest religion of the world (Fisher ). Siddhartha Gautama was born to King Suddhodana of Shakya near Nepal in 583 B.C. His mother died soon after giving birth to Siddhartha. It was predicted by one of the holy men of Suddhodana’s court that Siddhartha will be a great conqueror or a great spiritual leader in future; his father was delighted to hear this because he wanted his son to be a great conqueror. Siddhartha spent his early life in his palaces...
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... and Mahayana and is spread over the countries including Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Japan and other eastern nations in the Asian continent. The branch of Vajrayana is mainly practiced in Tibet and Mongolia, making Buddhism the most practiced religion in the region of Asia. “Estimates of Buddhists worldwide vary significantly depending on the way Buddhist adherence is defined. Lower estimates are between 350–500 million” (Lopez). The fundamentals of Buddhist customs, cultures and practices are ritually based on the Three Gems, the Buddha, the teachings and the society. “Taking refuge in the triple gem has traditionally been a declaration and commitment to being on the Buddhist path and in general distinguishes a Buddhist from a non-Buddhist...
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... religions and cultural practices that might not be able to appreciate their teaching of Buddhists in return. Buddhism In essence, Buddhists are in a position to respect the views of man and appreciate other practices without harboring any religious prejudices. Buddhists, who are not able to appreciate the ways of other religious practices, maintain their silence and refrain from confrontations of any kind thus ensuring that is peaceful co-existence through sympathetic understanding (Harvey 23). Buddhism commenced as a reform group in Hinduism; India in the sixth century B.C (Eliot, 20). It was one of the ancient religions to emerge to become international having a membership of over two hundred thousand people. It was founded by Siddhartha...
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...helped many people to grow in their spirituality. Considered less of a religion and more of a philosophy or spiritual path, Buddhism sets out to provide people with guidelines on how to live a happy, peaceful, and moralistic life. Even followers of other religious traditions can utilize the teachings of Buddhism to strengthen their primary beliefs and improve their lives. The main tenets of this tranquil tradition that are incorporated into daily life are found in two doctrines: the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. The Four Noble Truths are the foundation of Buddhism and state that life is suffering; suffering is caused by desire; suffering can be brought to an end; and the...
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... with the Supreme Being (Hughes 38). Therefore, there will be tremendous ultimate joy in this experience, allowing an individual to be free from suffering and other related negative consequences of life. Unlike any other religions that have special time or day for their worship, Buddhism only considers its followers to go to the temples when they only have time or technically when they can (Brannen 30). However, in most of the time, Buddhists go to the temple on a full moon day (Guruge 60). In a temple, Buddhists find the best education for life. They call their temple a Vihara where there is a shrine room with large statues of Buddha and his disciples. A temple shows a complete manifestation of what Buddhism is all about. For instance...
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...on humanitarian deeds rather than worship of a higher being. Buddhism ultimately chooses to find the good in humanity in society where religious warfare continues to plague society. The foundation of Buddhist tradition and practice focus around ethical perceptions. All Abrahamic religions along with Hinduism such as Christianity and Islam all have a divine God. Moreover, Buddhism tends to focus around life and suffering. This is perfectly displayed through John La Plante as he states, “Buddhism tends to adhere to the teachings of Buddha which calls for a very peaceful and humble approach” (Plante, 34). Moreover, Buddhism allows individuals to practice other religions...
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... and whether the soul is immortal upon human death. Whereby, Aristotle assertions supported the eastern religion of Buddhism that the nature of the self as an activity and that self exist within human being but it is separable from the human body. Aristotle added that self when a person dies, both the body and the self perish. He further substantiated his assertion using a knife as an example. The knife was considered as the body that has a soul whereby, during the process of cutting an object, the soul executes the task of cutting. When the knife is destroyed the act of cutting also seizes. Aristotle used this example to imply that the act of cutting is inseparable from a knife because if the knife is destroyed the act of cutting stop...
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