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Ancient India - Index

Hinduism Hindu Religious Texts

Buddhism

   

Buddhism

Beliefs

Practices

Founder

  • Siddhartha Gautama, (a prince around 540 BC)

Reason religion was founded

  • His father wanted him to be a warrior and ruler, but he was unhappy with his life of luxury. He turned to religion and led a life of denial, with extreme fasting. This was unfulfilling as well. So, he decided to take a middle path, rejecting both luxury and denial.

Awakening

Great Enlightenment

  • While in a state of meditation, he became filled with a deep understanding about the nature of suffering and the way to overcome it.

The Buddha

  • Siddhartha Gautama becomes the Buddha or “the Enlightened One”

Ultimate goal

Nirvana

  • The ultimate goal of Buddhism is to let go of greed, hatred, and ignorance. This leads to a state of eternal bliss known as nirvana.

The cycle of rebirth

Reincarnation

  • The cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth. By achieving good Karma, one can achieve a higher station in the next life. Bad Karma dooms one to a lower station in the next life. The ultimate goal is to break this cycle and achieve enlightenment, or nirvana.

Four Noble Truths

  1. Suffering is a normal part of life . Life is suffering. Birth, aging, and dying are suffering.
  2. Suffering is caused by us, when we wish that what we had would be different. Our desire for change is what brings us our suffering.
  3. Acceptance of the reality of what is can bring an end to suffering. Ending our desire for change leads to nirvana.
  4. Following the Eight-Fold Path helps us accept what we have and who we are .

The Eight-Fold Path

  1. Understanding – Realizing that our own desires bring us suffering; and realizing that by letting go of this desire, we can achieve peace.
  2. Thought – Freeing your mind, educating yourself, and meditating in order to let go.
  3. Speech – Speaking to others using words that are honest, kind, nurturing (uplifting), and worthy (valuable).
  4. Action – Look deep in your heart and you will know what is right. Do the right thing at the right moment.
    Golden rule of Buddhism: Do no harm.
  5. Lifestyle – Living life in such a way as to end suffering and bring peace (and to help others do the same).
  6. Full Effort – When we have realized the truth of suffering, and are willing to seek freedom from desire with the same effort as a drowning man struggles for breath.
  7. Mindfulness (Awareness) – Pay careful attention to your body, feelings, mind, and mental state.
  8. Concentration – Using meditation, focus on following the path to peace (the Eight-Fold Path) in order to achieve nirvana.
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