BuddhismWhat is Buddhism? Buddhism is a religion to about 300 million people around the world. The word comes from ‘budhi’...
getting what you want does not guarantee happiness. Rather than                 not outside. The Buddha asked all his foll...
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  1. 1. BuddhismWhat is Buddhism? Buddhism is a religion to about 300 million people around the world. The word comes from ‘budhi’, ‘to awaken’. It has its origins about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened (enlightened) at the age of 35. Founded in Northern India by Siddhartha Gautama in the sixth century BCE. Buddhism shares with Hinduism belief in Matt Watson & Brooke Thompson karma, dharma, and reincarnation. The birth, enlightenment and parinirvana (death with no rebirth) took place on the day of the full moon during the month of May. This has been declared Buddha Day by the United Nations.Is Buddhism a Religion? Buddhism goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy or ‘way of life’. (1) to lead a moral life (2) to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions (3) to develop wisdom and understanding.Who Was the Buddha? Siddhartha Gotama was born into a royal family in Lumbini, now located in Nepal, in 563 BC. At 29, he realized that wealth and luxury did not guarantee happiness, so he explored the different teachings religions and philosophies of the day, to find the key to human happiness. After six years of study and meditation he found ‘the middle path’ and was enlightened. After enlighten- ment, the Buddha spent the rest of his life teaching the principles of Bud- dhism — called the Dhamma, or Truth — until his death at the age of 80.Was the Buddha a God? He was not, nor did he claim to be. He was a man who taught a path to en- lightenment from his own experience.Do Buddhists Worship Idols? Buddhists sometimes pay respect to images of the Buddha, not in worship, nor to ask for favours. A statue of the Buddha with hands rested gently in its lap and a compassionate smile reminds us to strive to develop peace and love within ourselves. Bowing to the statue is an expression of gratitude for Reliquary with scenes from the life of the Buddha, the teaching. ca. 10th century. India or Pakistan Bone with traces of color and gold paintHow was Buddhism Spread? Metropolitan Museum of Art Along with trade and migration, the world’s oldest international highway, the Is Buddhism Scientific? Silk Road, spread Buddhism through Central Asia. The transmission was Science is knowledge which can be made into a system, which launched from northwestern India to modern Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central depends upon seeing and testing facts and stating general natu- Asia, Xinjiang (Chinese Turkistan), China, Korea & Japan. ral laws. The core of Buddhism can be tested and proven byAre There Different Types of Buddhism? anyone. Buddha himself asked his followers to test the teaching There are many different types of Buddhism, because the emphasis changes rather than accept his word as true. Buddhism depends more on from country to country due to customs and culture. What does not vary is understanding than faith. the essence of the teaching — the Dhamma or truth. What did the Buddha Teach? Theravada Buddhism: dominant school of Buddhism in most of Southeast The Buddha taught many things, but the basic concepts of Bud- Asia since the thirteenth century, with the establishment of the monarchies in dhism are summed up by the Four Noble Truths & the Noble Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Laos.” Eightfold Path. Mahayana Buddhism: mostly China, Japan, Korea, Tibet and Mongolia. Vajrayāna or Tantric Buddhism: Considered both a part of Mahayana Bud- What is the First Noble Truth? dhism and a third Buddhist path. There is suffering. Life includes pain, getting old, disease, and Tibetan Buddhism: Developed largely in isolation from Theravada and Ma- ultimately death. We also endure psychological suffering like hayana Buddhism because of the remoteness of Tibet. loneliness frustration, fear, embarrassment, disappointment and Zen Buddhism: Developed from within the Chinese Mahayana school known anger. This is an irrefutable fact that cannot be denied. It is re- as Chan. Zen Buddhism is becoming increasingly popular in the West. alistic rather than pessimistic because pessimism is expecting Modern Buddhism: has emerged as a truly international movement. It started things to be bad. lnstead, Buddhism explains how suffering can as an attempt to produce a single form of Buddhism, without local accretions, be avoided and how we can be truly happy. that all Buddhists could embrace. What is the Second Noble Truth?Are Other Religions Wrong? There is cause for suffering. The second truth is that suffering Buddhism is also a belief system which is tolerant of all other beliefs or re- is caused by craving and aversion. We will suffer if we expect ligions, do not preach and try to convert, only explain if an explanation is other people to conform to our expectation, if we want others to sought. like us, if we do not get something we want,etc. In other words,
  2. 2. getting what you want does not guarantee happiness. Rather than not outside. The Buddha asked all his followers not to take his word constantly struggling to get what you want, try to modify your wanting. as true, but rather to test the teachings for themselves. ln this way, Wanting deprives us of contentment and happiness. A lifetime of want- each person decides for themselves and takes responsibility for their ing and craving and especially the craving to continue to exist, creates a powerful energy which causes the individual to be born. So craving Representative Colors in Buddhism leads to physical suffering because it causes us to be reborn. The most prominent colour concept in Buddhism is that of the rain- bow body, which is the highest level of meditative achievementWhat is the Third Noble Truth? wherein the body is transformed into pure light. The rainbow body There is cessation of suffering. The third truth is that suffering can be is the highest achievement other than Nirvana, which is the essen- overcome and happiness can be attained; that true happiness and tial end-goal for Buddhists. Since the “pure light” on the spectrum contentment are possible. lf we give up useless craving and learn to contains all colors, and is white, to possess a rainbow body means live each day at a time (not dwelling in the past or the imagined future) to possess all colors, and to do some means meditating on colors then we can become happy and free. We then have more time and energy to help others. This is Nirvana. that embody specific teachings. The principle colors involved in Bud- dhism are Blue, Black, White, Red, Green, and Yellow, and eachWhat is the Fourth Noble Truth? -- except for Black -- are aligned to a specific Buddha. www.colourlo- There is path leading to the cessation of suffering. The Noble 8-fold vers.com/blog/2007/08/20/colors-of-religion-buddhism/ Path is the path which leads to the end of suffering.What is the Noble 8-Fold Path? Being moral (through what we say, do and our livelihood), focussing the mind on being fully aware of our thoughts and actions, and devel- oping wisdom by understanding the Four Noble Truths and by devel- oping compassion for others.What are the 5 Precepts? The moral code within Buddhism is the precepts, of which the main five are: not to take the life of anything living, not to take anything not freely given, to abstain from sexual misconduct and sensual overin- dulgence, to refrain from untrue speech, and to avoid intoxication, that is, losing mindfulness.What is Karma? Karma is the law that every cause has an effect, i.e., our actions have results. This simple law explains a number of things: inequality in the world, why some are born handicapped and some gifted, why some live only a short life. Karma underlines the importance of all individuals being responsible for their past and present actions. How can we test the karmic effect of our actions? The answer is summed up by look- ing at (1) the intention behind the action, (2) effects of the action on oneself, and (3) the effects on others.What is Wisdom? Auspicious Symbols/Icons 1~ The conch shell. 5~ The endless knot. Buddhism teaches that wisdom should be developed with compas- 2~ The lotus. 6~ The pair of golden fish. sion. At one extreme, you could be a goodhearted fool and at the other 3~ The Dharma Wheel. 7~ The Victory banner. extreme, you could attain knowledge without any emotion. Buddhism 4~ The parasol. 8~ The treasure vase uses the middle path to develop both. The highest wisdom is seeing http://www.baronet4tibet.com/symbolism.html that in reality, all phenomena are incomplete, impermanent and do no constitute a fixed entity. True wisdom is not simply believing what we Buddhism Quick Facts are told but instead experiencing and understanding truth and reality. Is it a religion? Yes Wisdom requires an open, objective, unbigoted mind. The Buddhist Is it an applied philosophy? Yes Founded by Siddhartha Gauthama path requires courage, patience, flexibility and intelligence. When 6th century BCEWhat is Compassion? Where How religiion spread Northern India Silk Road Compassion includes qualities of sharing, readiness to give comfort, Where practiced today Asia, Europe & the West sympathy, concern, caring. In Buddhism, we can really understand Number practicing today 300 Million others, when we can really understand ourselves, through wisdom. Main Sects Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana Is it a path to eliminate suffering? YesWhat is Dharma? In Buddhism, refers to two items: Does it endorse thatexistence of soul? permanent? the worldly things are Does it endorse the existence of worldly No No The teachings of the Buddha; a person’s path to enlightenment, and happiness? No the fundamental principles that order the universe Is it documented? Yes, in the Tipitaka When was Tipitaka documented? 83 BCEHow do I Become a Buddhist? Where was Tipitaka documented? Sri Lanka Buddhist teachings can be understood and tested by anyone. Bud- Language of Tipitaka Documented? Pali dhism teaches that the solutions to our problems are within ourselves Script Tipitaka was documented in Sinhala How large is the Tipitaka? 11 times the size of the Bible