Buddha                  and      BuddhismReading about Buddha and Buddhism @ Printsasia.com: Books on Buddhism
Introduction of BuddhaThe Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama, a prince of the Sakyatribe of Nepal, in approximately 566 BC...
History of BuddhismSoon after Buddhas death or parinirvana, five hundred monksmet at the first council at Rajagrha, under ...
with their own interpretations of various issues, and spread allover India and Southeast Asia. Today, only the school stem...
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Buddha And Buddhism

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Introduction Buddha And Buddhism

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Buddha And Buddhism

  1. 1. Buddha and BuddhismReading about Buddha and Buddhism @ Printsasia.com: Books on Buddhism
  2. 2. Introduction of BuddhaThe Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama, a prince of the Sakyatribe of Nepal, in approximately 566 BC. When he was twentynineyears old, he left the comforts of his home to seek the meaning ofthe suffering he saw around him. After six years of arduous yogictraining, he abandoned the way of self-mortification and insteadsat in mindful meditation beneath a bodhi tree.On the full moon of May, with the rising of the morning star,Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha, the enlightened one.The Buddha wandered the plains of northeastern India for 45years more, teaching the path or Dharma he had realized in thatmoment. Around him developed a community or Sangha of monksand, later, nuns, drawn from every tribe and caste, devoted topracticing this path. In approximately 486 BC, at the age of 80,the Buddha died. His last words are said to be... “Impermanent are all created things; Strive on with awareness.” Reading about Buddha and Buddhism @ Printsasia.com: Books on Buddhism
  3. 3. History of BuddhismSoon after Buddhas death or parinirvana, five hundred monksmet at the first council at Rajagrha, under the leadership ofKashyapa. Upali recited the monastic code (Vinaya) as heremembered it. Ananda, Buddhas cousin, friend, and favoritedisciple -- and a man of prodigious memory! -- recited Buddhaslessons (the Sutras). The monks debated details and voted onfinal versions. These were then committed to memory by othermonks, to be translated into the many languages of the Indianplains. It should be noted that Buddhism remained an oraltradition for over 200 years.In the next few centuries, the original unity of Buddhism began tofragment. The most significant split occurred after the secondcouncil, held at Vaishali 100 years after the first. After debatesbetween a more liberal group and traditionalists, the liberal groupleft and labeled themselves the Mahasangha -- "the great sangha."They would eventually evolve into the Mahayana tradition ofnorthern Asia.The traditionalists, now referred to as Sthaviravada or "way of theelders" (or, in Pali, Theravada), developed a complex set ofphilosophical ideas beyond those elucidated by Buddha. Thesewere collected into the Abhidharma or "higher teachings." Butthey, too, encouraged disagreements, so that one splinter groupafter another left the fold. Ultimately, 18 schools developed, each Reading about Buddha and Buddhism @ Printsasia.com: Books on Buddhism
  4. 4. with their own interpretations of various issues, and spread allover India and Southeast Asia. Today, only the school stemmingfrom the Sri Lankan Theravadan survives.Today, it is believed that there are more than 300 millionBuddhists in the world, including at least a quarter million inEurope, and a half million each in North and South America. Isay "at least" because other estimates go as high as three millionin the U.S. alone! Whatever the numbers may be, Buddhism isthe fourth largest religion in the world, after Christianity, Islam,and Hinduism. And, although it has suffered considerablesetbacks over the centuries, it seems to be attracting more andmore people, as a religion or a philosophy of life. Dr. C. George Boeree Shippensburg University Reading about Buddha and Buddhism @ Printsasia.com: Books on Buddhism

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