About Buddhism Religion
2,500 year ago in India
Gautama Siddhartha known as Buddha, who was the most recent
in a long series of Buddhas.
“Tripitakä” (three baskets of wisdom) is for the Therävada sect. It
is written in the Päli Präkrit language. It contains discourses
(Sutta), rules of conduct (Vinaya), and analysis of doctrine
“Sutras” is for Mahäyäna sects. The major Sutras are Anguttara
Nikaya, Dhammapada, Sutta Nipatta, and Samyutta Nikaya. They
are written in Sanskrit overlapped with Päli language.
There are two main sects, Theräväda (Hinayäna) and Mahäyäna.
The Theräväda, or “Way of the Elders,” is the more conservative
of the two. It is dominant in Sri Lankä, Burma, and Thailand.
The Mahäyäna, or “Great Vehicle,” is more diverse and liberal. It
is mainly found in Taiwan, Korea, and Japan, and among Tibetan
peoples, where it is distinguished by its emphasis on the Buddhist
Tantras. Zen Buddhism is a major sect of Mahäyäna.
Over 300 million in China, Japan, Sri Lankä, Thailand, Myanmar
(Burma), Indonesia, Korea, and Tibet.
The primary goal of Buddhism is Nirvana, defined as the end of
change, and literally meaning “to blow out” as one blows out a
candle. The Theräväda tradition describes the indescribable as
peace and tranquility. The Mahäyäna tradition views it as
emptiness and the unchanging essence of the Buddha and
Nirvana is synonymous with release from the bonds of desire, ego,
suffering, and rebirth. Buddha never defined the term except to
say, “It is unborn, unoriginated, unmade, and uncompounded”.
Nirvana is not a state of annihilation, but of peace and reality.
Buddhism does not believe in a creator God and thus no union
Path of Attainment
Buddhism takes its followers through progressive stages of
spiritual progress, namely Dhyäna, Samapatti, and Samädhi.
• Dhyäna is meditation, which leads to moral and
intellectual purification, and to detachment, which leads
to pure consciousness.
• Samapatti, or further Dhyäna, leads to a state that is
perfect solitude. This leads further to Samädhi.
• Samädhi is the attainment of supernatural consciousness
and finally to Nirvana.
The goal of life is Nirvana. Buddha’s essential teachings contain
the four Noble Truths:
Life is permeated by suffering or dissatisfaction. Being born, old
age, sickness, and death are all suffering. Union with what we
dislike is suffering; separation from what we desire is suffering.
This is the essential nature of life.
Cause of Suffering:
Desire or craving is the cause of suffering. It is the force of desire
that leads to rebirth and further suffering, accompanied by delight
Cessation of Suffering:
The complete cessation of desires or cravings will end the
suffering. Forsaking, relinquishing, and detaching of ourselves
from desire and craving will automatically end the pain, pleasure,
birth and rebirth.
Path to end the Suffering:
By practicing the noble eight fold path, one can end the suffering:
• Right belief
• Right thought or aim
• Right speech
• Right action
• Right livelihood or occupation .
• Right effort or endeavor
• Right mindfulness
• Right meditation
The first two concern the preliminary frame of mind of the aspirant;
the next three are the ethical requirements; the last three concern
meditative training needed to realize ultimate truth and peace. This
attainment of peace is called Nirvana.
The Supreme is completely transcendent and can be described as
Sunya, a void, an emptiness, or state of non being.
The Four Noble Truths are:
• Suffering exists
• Desire is the cause of Suffering
• Cessation of Desire or Thrust ends Suffering
• To end Desire one must follow the Eight Fold path
Life’s aim is to end suffering through the annihilation of individual
ego, desire, or thrust and hence its existence and absorption into
Individuals have three characteristics – suffering (Dukkha),
absence of an eternal self (Anattä), and impermanence (Aniccä).
Man’s true nature is divine and eternal, yet his individuality is
subject to change that affect all forms and is therefore transient,
dissolving at liberation into Nirvana. The no-self doctrine implies
that living beings have no eternal souls.
In the sanctity of the Buddha and in the sacred scriptures of
Buddhism; the Tripitaka (three Baskets of Wisdom) and the
The greatness of self giving love and compassion towards all
creatures that contain merit exceeding the giving of offering to the
Dharma (the path), Karma (cause and effect), Reincarnation,
Sangh (unity of seekers), and the passage on earth as an
opportunity to end the cycle of birth and death.
The Middle Path consists of living moderately and avoiding
extremes of luxury and asceticism.
The monastic life is necessary to attain Nirvana.
The duties of an individual are defined in the Five precepts
(Panchashila) – Nonviolence (also towards all animals), Non-
stealing, Truthfulness (speak only harmless truth otherwise
observe silence), Immoral sensual relationship, and Avoidance of
Drugs and Alcohol.
Wheel: The Dharma chakra or the Wheel of the Law is the most
important symbol of Buddhism.
The wheel signifies the circle of births and deaths due to karma,
which a person personally keeps in motion through his thirst
(Tanha) for life.
It also symbolizes a constantly changing universe, and the
impermanence of everything in the world. The hub of the wheel
represents the three causes of pain: ill-will, ignorance, and lust.
The eight spokes of the wheel represent the eightfold path. The
wheel cannot survive without the spokes. Even so, Dharma cannot
be sustained without the practice of these eight virtues.
Buddhist holidays celebrate important moments of the life of the
Buddha such as His birth, Enlightenment, and entry into Nirvana;
his teachings; and aspects of the interaction of monks and
laypeople. It is marked with home decorations, pageantry,
processions, and devotional practices. Buddhist holiday dates vary
widely from one Asian country to another, and from one tradition to
American Zen Buddhists celebrate the Buddha’s birthday as
Buddha Day in May. Hana - Matsuri (April 8) is a Japanese
celebration of the Buddha’s Enlightenment.
The birthday of Rinzai Zenji, the founder of the Rinzai school of
Zen Buddhism is celebrated on January 10. Zen Buddhist holidays
involve sitting meditation (zazen), chanting, singing, drumming,
Mindfulness is waking up and living in harmony with
oneself and with the world and appreciating the fullness of
each moment of life.
All problems of existence are essentially problems of harmony