What is Buddhism?
Buddhism, a religion most prominent in Asia, was founded late in the 6th century by Siddhartha- better known as "Buddha". Buddha was born 563 B.C.E. in a place called Lumbini near the Himalayan foothills. He was said to have been born into royalty(dad being a king and mom being a queen). All of his teachings are said to be of his real life experiences.
Beliefs and key rules
"The 4 Nobles Truths"
- The truth of suffering - Was basically buddha explaining that we all "suffer" and that should be understood. Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, sickness is suffering, dissociation from the loved is suffering, and not getting what you want is suffering.
- The truth of the cause of suffering - It was said that any and all suffering could be caused by ignorance and personal desire.
- The truth of the end of suffering - The final goal or product of buddh's teaching. Essentially where everyone wants to end up. If you follow his directions you will get here.
- The truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering - the final truth; Buddha says: "those who avoid the extreme of indulging one's desires and opposite extreme of torturing one's mind and body unreasonably, will find happiness, peace of mind and Enlightenment."
"The eightfold plan"
- RIGHT UNDERSTANDING is the knowledge of the Four Noble Truths. Knowing who you are.
- RIGHT THOUGHTS
- The thoughts of renunciation which are opposed to sense-pleasures.
- Kind Thoughts which are opposed to ill will.
- Thoughts of harmlessness which are opposed to cruelty. These tend to purify the mind.
3. RIGHT SPEECH: basically no lying, stealing, slandering, harsh words and "frivolous talks".
4. RIGHT ACTION: no killing, stealing or adultery. It helps one to develop a character that is self-controlled and mindful of rights of others.
5. RIGHT LIVELIHOOD: the five kinds of trades that should be avoided:
- trade in deadly weapons
- trade in animals for slaughter
- trade in slavery
- trade in intoxicants
- trade in poisons
6. RIGHT EFFORT: The 4 following:
- the endeavor to discard evil that has already arisen.
- the endeavor to prevent the arising of evil.
- the endeavor to develop that good which has already arisen.
- the endeavor to promote that good which has not already arisen.
7. RIGHT MINDFULNESS: 4 major concepts:
- mindfulness with regard to body
- mindfulness with regard to feeling
- mindfulness with regard to mind
- mindfulness with regard to mental objects.
8. RIGHT MEDITATION: The practice of focusing your mind on when thing for a brief amount of time is essential to growth in buddha's eyes. It helps build character.
Buddhavacana- all of buddha's teachings and life experiences. It's the most sacred text because buddha's life was said to "hold all the answers" so a book with his words and life experiences meant lot to buddhist people.
The Buddhavacana can still be purchased today.
Sutras - more of buddha's teachings and scriptures
Abhidhamma: A rewritten form of sutras in a language sacred to the buddhist people.
Starting in middle asia Buddhism has spread internationally, but most widely spread in japan, india, and china. It changed the way these cultures think and act to this very day. A Lot of chinese philosophers used buddhist philosophies in thier work.
As far as today, it has influenced equality-which of course is a much needed idea in today's society. Buddhist culture also promoted and education and literature. Most Buddhist homes had a wide collection of books.
In roughly 300 BC Indian emperor Ashoka the Great established a kingdom greatly influenced by buddhist concepts and ideas.
In everyday life we all use different rules and concepts from every religion. If you think about it there's really nothing but good that can come from religion. They're just rules and concepts that help us live together peacefully.