An Introduction To Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion. Currently in 2014 there are more than 300 million people who study Buddhism spread across the world. The religion name was derived and means to be awakened. Buddhism has been practiced for more than 2,500 years. This happened when Siddhartha Gotama, also known as Buddha, awakened when he was just 35 years old.
Although a religion for most Buddhist it is far more than simply a religion. It is a way of life. Siddhartha Gotama was born into royalty in 563 BC. He decided that his money did not bring happiness to him, nor would it to anyone else. At the age of 29 he began teaching different religion views that tradition. They reflected on the happiness of the human being. He spent six years studying the religion and teaching people his views and beliefs, and after enlistment began teaching Buddhism. He spent the remainder of his life teaching people about his beliefs and how they could live their lives happy and free of stress and worry. The Buddha passed away at the age of 80. He lived his entire life devoted to these teachings until this age and his death.
What is Buddhism?
Buddhism practices following three basic practices:
- To develop a strong sense of wisdom and gain understanding
- Living a sound and moral life
- To be aware and in control of all of your thoughts
Living Happy Lives
Those who study Buddhism are able to lead lives that are fulfilled and happy. This is the key to life. This is one of the reasons that more people are practicing Buddhism. But there are other reasons as well. It answers problems that we face in the world and helps those who are studying gain a better, deeper understanding of their mind. Worshiping of Buddha is also common.
There are many people who practice Buddhism around the world. These people study this region, or philosophy of life, for a number of different reasons. Those who do choose to study the religion are usually leading healthy, happy and productive lives since this is the focus of the religion’s being on another life. Buddhism has a long history in the world as well as many people who practice it on a daily basis. There is a reason for this popularity, and there is no question the number of people practicing will only continue to rise in the years ahead.
Classified as one of the largest religions in the world, Buddhism is heavily concentrated in the Indian subcontinent. Buddhism is seen as a religion that leads more to spiritualism rather than religious teachings. Founded by Buddha, one must achieve their own spiritual awakening, or nirvana, through meditation and ethical living. Most Buddhists spend a large portion of their time in self-reflection or meditation as a way to liberate themselves from perceptions of inadequacy. One must reflect on the actual consciousness of being in order to liberate them into nirvana.
Through human desires, Buddhists believe that suffering is an imperative part of life’s existence. Due to the temporary time spent in human life, suffering is inevitable whether from the beginning or to the end of one’s life. Buddhists have developed a way to end that suffering by following the teaching of the Four Noble Truths. The four dukkho, or sufferings, undertaken in one’s life consist of suffering from the beginning or understanding that suffering exists, craving to be or not to be part of the intimate world, removing all suffering from one’s life and finally the actual cessation of the suffering from one’s life. Many things can cause suffering in one’s life from physical and mental, people and situation or the feeling of inadequacy.
Buddhists also follow an eightfold path of wisdom (views, intention, knowledge and liberation), ethical conduct (speech, action and livelihood) and concentration (effort, mindfulness and concentration). All of these paths can be achieved together or individually depending on the individual. Buddhists are deemed to be peaceful while trying to maintain all ethical conduct in order to achieve their spiritual nirvana. Being in the right mind and choosing the right actions and conducts allow for a better moral upbringing in order to not bring corruption or harm to themselves or to others. For many, this is seen more so as a philosophy of spirituality than of a religion as the teachings are specific to goodwill over teachings from a deity.
Followers of Buddha ask their bodhisattvas or highly awakened beings for protection and blessings as a sign of reverence and respect over that of worship. Buddhists do not worship any deities nor Buddha, but rather pray and worship for their own inner peace. Sects of Buddhism exist throughout Southeastern Asia, but one thing remains in stone for all followers of Buddhist teachings: one needs to spend their time working on spiritual nirvana as a way to remain whole.