My Way of Life - 1 ... What Is Buddhism?
Buddhism is a religion which supports the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (Budda).
Siddhartha Gautama lived about twenty five centuries ago in Nepal of northeastern India.
He lived to be called "the Buddha," which defines "awakened one", after he underwent a heartfelt awareness of the nature of life, death and existence.
In English, the Buddha was defined as enlightened though in Sanskrit it is Bodhi, means "awakened."
In the rest of his life, He traveled and educated. Nevertheless, he did not educate people what he had perceived when he turned enlightened. Instead, he educated people how to comprehend enlightenment for themselves.
In the centuries of the Buddha's life, Buddhism outspread all over Asia to transform one of the important religions of the continent. 350 million are the most common approximate number of Buddhists all over the world today, which certainly shows Buddhism the 4th largest of the world's religions.
Buddhism is so dissimilar from the other religions. Thus some people argue whether it is a religion at all.
For instance, the key focus of many religions is God, or gods. However, Buddhism is a type of religion which does not have or involve a belief in god.
The Buddha educated that believing in gods might not be beneficial for those who desire to realize enlightenment.
Instead of educating doctrines to be remembered and believed the Buddha taught how we can come to know the truth for ourselves. The key focus of Buddhism is on application rather than belief.
"Basic Teachings of Buddhism" The base of Buddhism is the “Four Noble Truths”. The Truths are:
- “The truth of suffering (dukkha)”
- “The truth of the cause of suffering (Samudaya)”
- “The truth of the end of suffering (Nirhodha)”
- “The truth of the path that frees us from suffering (Magga)”
By themselves, the Four Noble truths do not seem very effective.
But under the Truths are innumerous layers of teachings on the nature of survival, the self, the life, and the death, not to mention suffering.
The main focus is not to just "believe in" the teachings, but to consider them, comprehend them, and examine them against one's own experience.
It is the process of exploring, considering, comprehending, examining and perceiving that is Buddhism.