Buddhism 1. Introduction – I recently started to wonder about other world religions and things like that. And so Ive started reading up about different religions and I came across one that really caught my attention. The religion is Buddhism. Today Im going to tell you a little bit about its history, some basic beliefs, and some of the different kinds of Buddhism.

2. Thesis 1. Subject – Buddhism 2. Initial Summary 1. The Origin of Buddhism 2. Basic Beliefs of Buddhism 3. The Two Kinds of Buddhism 3.

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Body 1. The Origin of Buddhism 1. More than 25,00 years ago Buddhism was started by Siddhartha Gautama, an Indian Prince, commonly known was the Buddha. 2. Fortune tellers told his father that Siddhartha would leave home when he found out about sorrow, sickness, and death.

3. Siddhartha was kept in a palace where all his desires were fulfilled until he wandered into the groves and met four men who changed his way of thinking. 2. Basic Beliefs of Buddhism 1. For a Buddhist to achieve enlightenment and be able to reach Nirvana, the Buddhist version of heaven, they must believe in the four noble truths. 2.

To help stop desire and craving for worldly things a Buddhist must follow the Eightfold Path. 3. Buddha did not believe in a soul but he did believe in something eternal in humans. He called this thing Karma which is the sum of ones good and bad deeds. If you have good Karma in your present life you will come back as something good in your next life.

3. The Two Kinds of Buddhism 1. Theravada Buddhism is a personal religion in which salvation is something that each person must accomplish themselves. 2. Mahayana Buddhism believes that there are many Buddhas who can aid humanity in finding salvation.

3. Mahayana emphasizes the part of the Buddhas life after his enlightenment when he stayed on earth to help others. Theravada emphasizes the Buddhas way to enlightenment. IV Conclusion 1. Closing Summary 1. The Origin of Buddhism 2.

Basic Beliefs of Buddhism 3. The Two Kinds of Buddhism 2. Final Statement – Thats basic Buddhism. I hope you all learned a little something about the religion. Buddhism I recently started to wonder about other world religions and things like that. And so Ive started reading up about different religions and I came across one that really caught my attention. The religion is Buddhism.

Today Im going to tell you a little bit about its history, some basic beliefs, and some of the different kinds of Buddhism. Buddhism began more than 25,000 years ago. It was started by an Indian Prince named Siddhartha Gautama. Siddhartha became dissatisfied with the beliefs of the Hindu religion and sought to find the peace of mind he wanted. When Siddhartha was born, fortune tellers told his father that when Siddhartha learned about sickness, sorrow, and death he would leave his home.

His father did everything he could to prevent this from happening, including building a special palace for Siddhartha to grow up in and provided all he desired. Siddhartha lived in the house for a long time but on a visit to the groves behind the palace he met four men, a sick man, an old man, and a corpse. The fourth man explained why all these things were happening, thus teaching Siddhartha about sickness, sorrow, and death. So Siddhartha left his home and went in search of inner peace. Through much meditation he found his own ideas about heaven and reaching the ultimate state of bliss.

He found enlightenment under a fig tree and this became Buddha, or the enlightened one, he could then enter nirvana, the Buddhist place of eternal bliss or stay on earth and help others find salvation. Buddha didnt believe in exactly believe in a soul but he did believe that there was something eternal inside people or they could not be born again. He called this eternal part of humans Karma. Karma is the sum of ones good and bad deeds. It determines what a person will come back as in their next life.

In his first sermon Buddha revealed the Four Noble Truths which form the basis of the Buddhist beliefs. The Four Noble Truths: 1. All lives, from birth to death, are filled with suffering. 2. This suffering is causes by the craving for worldly things.

3. Suffering will stop when one learns to suppress desire. 4. We can learn to suppress desire by following the Eightfold Path. He also revealed the Eightfold Path, which is a Buddhists way to overcoming desire and destroying Karma. The Eightfold Path: 1.

The Right View. Understanding of the Buddhas Four Noble Truths. 2. The Right Thought. Having friendly thoughts about people and all other forms of life.

3. The Right Speech. Speaking kindly and truthfully while avoiding bitter words against anyone or anything. 4. The Right Action. Acting skillfully and with sympathy while avoiding vain or violent effort.

5. The Right Work. Earning a living in a way that will not harm another. 6. The Right Effort.

Using ones time for self-improvement. 7. The Right Mindfulness. Keeping the right state of mind – self awareness and compassion. 8.

The Right Concentration. Removing other concerns from ones mind in order to concentrate properly on religious meditation. There are two main kinds of Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism. Theravada Buddhism is a personal religion. It tells that salvation is something that each person must accomplish themselves and that teachers can only point the way and help us to understand laws and concepts. They believe that Buddha was a man – a superman, perhaps, but still a man.

Theravada emphasizes Buddhas path to enlightenment. Mahayana Buddhism believes that there are many Buddhas, although there is only one who can be called the Buddha. These other Buddhas are saints who can aid humanity in finding salvation. The have raised the Buddha to the rank of god. Mahayana emphasizes the part of Buddhas life after his enlightenment when he delayed Nirvana to help others reach salvation. Thats basic Buddhism.

I hope you all learned a little something about the religion. Bibliography Edmonds, I.G. (1978) Buddhism New York, Franklin Watts, Inc. Pgs. 1 – 38 Corlett, William and John Moore (1979) The Buddha Way Gard, Richard A. (1961) Buddhism New York Tze-Chiang, Chao (1959) A Chinese Garden of Serenity New York, The Peter Pauper Press Pgs.

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Buddhism Buddhism is one of the major religions of the world it was founded by Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, who lived in northern India from c.560 to c.480 BC. The time of the Buddha was a time of social and religious change, the development of trade and cities, the breakdown of old tribal traditions, and the rise of many new religious movements that answered the demands of the times. These movements came from the Brahmanic tradition of Hinduism but were also reactions against it. Of the new sects, Buddhism was the most successful and eventually spread throughout India and most of Asia. Today Buddhism is divided into two main branches. The Theravada, or “Way of the Elders,” the more conservative of the two, it is mainly found in Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand.

The Mahayana, or “Great Vehicle,” is more liberal, it is found mainly in Taiwan, Korea, and Japan, and among Tibetan peoples, where it is known by its emphasis on the Buddhist Tantras. In recent times, both branches, as well as Tibetan Buddhism, have gained followers in the West. It is almost impossible to tell the size of the Buddhist population today. Statistics are difficult to obtain because some individuals may have Buddhist beliefs and engage in Buddhist rites while maintaining folk or other religions; these people may or may not call themselves Buddhists. Nevertheless, the number of Buddhists worldwide is estimated at more than 300 million. The matter of what Buddha’s original teachings were cause of major controversy.

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Even so, it is said to have centered on certain basic doctrines. The first of the Four Noble Truths, the Buddha held, is suffering. By this, he meant not only that human existence is occasionally painful but that all beings–humans, animals, ghosts, hell-beings, even the gods–are caught up in samsara, a cycle of rebirth, a maze of suffering in which their actions keep them wandering. Samsara and karma are not doctrines specific to Buddhism. The Buddha, however, specified that samsara is characterized by three marks: suffering, impermanence and no self.

Individuals not only suffer in a constantly changing world, but what appears to be the “self,” the “soul,” has no independent reality apart from its many separable elements. The second Noble Truth is that suffering itself has a cause. At the simplest level, this may be said to be desire; but the theory was fully worked out in the complex doctrine of “dependent origination,” which explains the interrelationship of all reality in terms of an unbroken chain of causation. The third Noble Truth is that this chain can be broken–that suffering can cease. The Buddhists called this end of suffering nirvana and thought of it as a rebirth, an escape from samsara.

Finally, the fourth Noble Truth is that a way exists through which this reversal can be brought about, the practice of the noble Eightfold Path. This combines ethical and disciplinary practices and training in concentration and meditation with initial faith, which is finally transformed into wisdom. With the death of the Buddha, his followers immediately faced a crisis, what were they to do in the with their master gone? The followers who had remained householders proceeded to honor his bodily relics, which were monuments called stupas. This was the beginning of a cult of devotion to the person of the Buddha that was to focus not only on stupas but also on many holy sites, which became centers of pilgrimage, and eventually on Buddha images too. On the other hand, those Buddhists who had become monks and nuns took on the gathering and preservation of their departed master’s teachings.

According to tradition, a great council of 500 monks was held at Rajagriha, immediately after the Buddha’s death, and all the Buddha’s sermons and the rules of the discipline were remembered and recited. In the years that followed, the monks gradually unified their communal life. Like many other wandering mendicants of their time, they were always on the move, coming together only once a year for the three months of the monsoon. Gradually, these rain-retreats grew into more structured year-round settlements. As new communities developed, it was inevitable that some differences in their understanding of both the Buddha is teaching and of the rules of the order should arise. Within 100 years of the Buddha’s death, a second council took place at Vaisali, during which the advocates of certain relaxations in the vinaya rules were condemned.

Then, c.250 BC, the great Buddhist emperor Asoka is said to have held a third council at Pataliputra to settle certain doctrinal controversies. It is clear from the accounts of these and other Buddhist councils that whatever the unity of early Buddhism may have been, it was rapidly split into various sectarian divisions. One of the earliest and most important of these divisions was that between the Sthavira and the Mahasamghika schools. Within the former developed such important sects as the Sarvastivada and the Theravadins, whose canon is in Pali and who today are the only surviving representatives of the whole of the Hinayana, or “Lesser Vehicle,” of Buddhism. The Mahasamghika, also a Hinayanist sect, died out completely, but it is important because it represents one of the forerunners of the Mahayana doctrines.

These doctrines were to include a different understanding of the nature of the Buddha, an emphasis on the figure of the bodhisattva, and on the practice of the perfection. In addition, within the Mahayana, a number of great thinkers were to add some new doctrinal dimensions to Buddhism. One of these was Nagarjuna, the 2d-century AD founder of the Madhyamika School. Using subtle and thoroughgoing analyses, Nagarjuna took the theory of dependent origination to its logical limits, showing that the absolute relativity of everything means finally the emptiness of all things. Another important Mahayana school arose in the fourth century AD when the brothers Asanga and Vasubandhu sought to establish the doctrine of Vijnanavada–that the mind alone exists and that objects have no reality external to it.

This idealist doctrine and Nagarjuna’s emptiness were to play important roles in the further developments of Buddhist thought outside of India. Within India itself, they paved the way for yet another stage in the elaboration of the religion: the development of Buddhist tantra. Tantric Buddhism, which is sometimes separated from the Mahayana Buddhism as a distinct “Thunderbolt-Vehicle,” became especially important in Tibet, where it was introduced starting in the seventh century. It was, however, the last phase of Buddhism in India, where the religion–partly by reabsorption into the Hindu tradition, partly by persecution by the Muslim invaders–ceased to exist by the 13th century. Before its demise in India, Buddhism had already spread throughout Asia. This expansion started at least as early as the time of the emperor Asoka in the 3d century BC.

According to tradition, this great monarch, who was himself a convert to Buddhism, actively supported the religion and sought to spread the dharma. He is said to have sent his own son, Mahinda, as a missionary to Sri Lanka. Their Buddhism quickly took root and prospered, and the island was to become a stronghold of the Theravada sect. The Pali Canon was first written there in the first century BC; later the island was to be host to the great Theravadin systematizer and commentator Buddhaghosa. Asoka is also said to have sent missionaries to the East to what is now Burma and Thailand.

Whatever the truth of this claim, it is clear that by the first several centuries AD, Buddhism, accompanying the spread of Indian culture, had established itself in large areas of Southeast Asia, even as far as Indonesia. Also, tradition has it that another son of Asoka established a Buddhist kingdom in Central Asia. Whether or not this is true, it is clear that in subsequent centuries more missionaries followed the established trade routes west and north to this region, preaching the dharma as they went. Throughout Asia, wherever Buddhism was introduced, its leaders tended to seek the support of kings and other rulers of the state. The pattern of this relationship between a Buddhist king and the monastic community was given its definitive formulation by Emperor Asoka in the 3d century BC. This was a symbiotic relationship in which, in exchange for the allegiance and religious support of the sangha, the emperor became the patron and backer of the Buddhist dharma. To some extent, this pattern was extended to the laity as well. Everywhere, Buddhist monastic communities tended to depend on the laity for food and material support. Although in some places the sangha as a whole became well to do and the controller of vast monastic estates, traditionally monks were beggars and, in Southeast Asian countries, they still go on daily alms rounds. Traditionally also, Buddhist monks have been celibate.

Thus, they depend on the faithful not only for food and financial support but also for new recruits. Often children will enter a monastery and spend a number of years as novices, studying, learning and doing chores. Then, following ordination, they become full members of the community, vowing to uphold its discipline. Henceforth their days will be taken up in ritual, devotions, meditation, study, teaching and preaching. Twice a month, all the monks in a given monastery will gather for the recitation of the rules of the order and the confession of any violation of those rules. One of the pivotal concepts behind the rites and festivals of Buddhist laity and monks is that of offering.

This includes, for the laity, not just the giving of food and of new robes to the monks, but also the offering of flowers, incense, and praise to the image of the Buddha, stupas, bodhi trees, or, especially in Mahayanist countries, to other members of the Buddhist pantheon such as bodhisattvas. For the monks, the notion of offering extends also to the giving of the dharma in the form of sermons, to the chanting of scriptures in rituals, and to the recitation of sutras for the dead. All of these acts of offering are intimately involved in the concept of merit making. By performing them, individuals, through the working of karma, can seek to assure themselves rebirth in one of the heavens or a better station in life, from which they may be able to attain the goal of enlightenment.


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