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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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