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Buddhism

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Introduction of Buddhism

Buddhism preaches on Non violence and attainment of Nirvana (the ultimate Mukti in life and overall peace).  Buddha lived in the Indian continent’s eastern part during 6th and 4th centuries BCE. Theravada and Mahayana meaning Elders’ school and Great Vehicle respectively are two types of sub divisions of Buddhism and is a more popular religion in the Asian Continent as also in other parts of the world.  It has different theories on liberation and one’s living style and renunciation.

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.

 

Buddhism's Symbol

This wheel is also called the dharma chakra or the dhamma chakka and is often used to represent Buddha himself. It has also universally become the symbol for Buddhism. The dharma wheel has eight spokes, which represent Buddha’s Eightfold Path.

The Dharma Wheel indicates that, having attained these two uncommon qualities of Buddha, we are able to lead all living beings to permanent liberation from suffering, principally by turning the wheel of Dharma that is by giving Dharma teachings. This is our final goal.

 

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History

Siddhartha Gotama was born into a royal family in Lumbini, now located in Nepal, in 563 BC. At 29, he realised that wealth and luxury did not guarantee happiness, so he explored the different teachings religions and philosophies of the day, to find the key to human happiness. After six years of study and meditation he finally found 'the middle path' and was enlightened. After enlightenment, the Buddha spent the rest of his life teaching the principles of Buddhism — called the Dhamma, or Truth — until his death at the age of 80.

6th Century BCE dates back to the Buddhism which commenced with the birth of Buddha Siddhartha Gautama in Indian continent in Lumbini of Nepal and happens to be one of the oldest religions of the world.  It has its further movement towards from northeastern region of Indian sub continent to the Central area, Eastern and Southeast Asia region thus becoming instrumental in influencing most parts of the Asian continent.  Many schools of thoughts have been raised, including Theravada Mahayana and Vajrayana resulting in the periods of spread and retreat. Gautama Buddha is considered to be one who has awakened many and gave them the real understanding of life and relief from sufferings, which is termed as a state of Nirvana (or Mukti).

 

Karma

Karma is the law that every cause has an effect, i.e., our actions have results. This simple law explains a number of things: inequality in the world, why some are born handicapped and some gifted, why some live only a short life. Karma underlines the importance of all individuals being responsible for their past and present actions. How can we test the karmic effect of our actions? The answer is summed up by looking at (1) the intention behind the action, (2) effects of the action on oneself, and (3) the effects on others.

 

Buddhism’s Holy book

Tripiṭaka also referred to as Tipiṭaka or Pali Canon, is the traditional term for the Buddhist scriptures. These are canonical texts revered as exclusively authoritative in Theravada Buddhism. The Mahayana Buddhism also reveres them as authoritative but, unlike Theravadins, it also reveres various derivative literature and commentaries that were composed much later.

 

Buddhist worship

Buddhists can worship both at home or at a temple. It is not considered essential to go to a temple to worship with others.

Buddhists will often set aside a room or a part of a room as a shrine. There will be a statue of Buddha, candles, and an incense burner.

Buddhist temples come in many shapes. Perhaps the best known are the pagodas of China and Japan.

Another typical Buddhist building is the Stupa, which is a stone structure, built over what are thought to be relics of the Buddha, or over copies of the Buddha's teachings.

 

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