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A Brief History Of Buddhism

The History of Buddhism begins in the 6th century BCE to the present day, it begins with the birth of the Buddha Siddhartha Guatama. Buddhist tradition states that the historical Buddha, was born to the Shakya clan, around 546 BCE, in the plains of Lumbini, thihs is noe southern Nepal. He is also known as the Shakyamuni (literally "The sage of the Shakya clan"). Buddhism has evolved with each coutnry and cultures, it is originally indian in foundations. After an early life of luxury under the protection of his father, uddhodana, the ruler of Kapilavastu, the buddha came into contact with the real world and realized that life was more about suffering and sorrow. HE renounced what he saw as a meaningless life of luxury and chose a path of selflessness. Under a fig tree, now known as the Bodhi tree, buddhi promised to never leave until he had found the actual truth. He was 35 when he became enlightened. He was then known as Gautama Buddha, or simply "The Buddha", which means "the enlightened one". The next 45 years of his life, he jounreyed central India,giving teaching to whoever was ready to listen and be learn.

The Buddha never named a scucessor, and so the Buddhism chanegd nad developed through the year,s changing into various groups and areas.

Supreme being of Buddhism

Buddhism is a non-theistic religion, meaning that the nature of God is not pertinent to Buddhist teachings. In Buddhism, gods do exist, but are largely imported from early Vedic (Hindu) teachings. However, the gods play minor roles in Buddhism as protectors of the Buddha and his teachings, and do not serve as "creators" in the sense normally found in Western, Abrahmic, religions. Additionally, in the six-levels of rebirth found in Buddhism, the highest of the realms is the realm of rebirth as a god-like being, or deva. Beings who are especially virtuous or generous may be reborn in this state. However, the Buddha cautions that this state of rebirth, like all states, is impermanent, and is not the end-goal of Buddhism. Buddhism seeks emancipation from the entire cycle of rebirth. With regard to origin of existence, Buddhism does not attribute this to a Creator. Buddhism does state that the origin is unknowable, but has existed for eons (beyond the current Universe), and is propelled into continual existence by ignorance and craving, which generates more karma.

Perception of life after death

In the teaching of the Buddha, all of us will pass away eventually as a part in the natural process of birth, old-age and death and that we should always keep in mind the impermanence of life. The life that we all cherish and wish to hold on. To Buddhism, however, death is not the end of life, it is merely the end of the body we inhabit in this life, but our spirit will still remain and seek out through the need of attachment, attachment to a new body and new life. Where they will be born is a result of the past and the accumulation of positive and negative action, and the resultant karma (cause and effect) is a result of ones past actions. This would lead to the person to be reborn in one of 6 realms which are; heaven, human beings, Asura, hungry ghost, animal and hell. Realms, according to the severity of ones karmic actions, Buddhists believe however, none of these places are permanent and one does not remain in any place indefinitely. So we can say that in Buddhism, life does not end, merely goes on in other forms that are the result of accumulated karma. Buddhism is a belief that emphasizes the impermanence of lives, including all those beyond the present life. With this in mind we should not fear death as it will lead to rebirth. The fear of death stemmed from the fear of cease to be existent and losing ones identity and foothold in the world. We see our death coming long before its arrival, we notice impermanence in the changes we see around us and to us in the arrival of aging and the suffering due to losing our youth. Once we were strong and beautiful and as we age, as we approach our final moments of life we realize how fleeting such a comfortable place actually was.

Salvation in Buddhism For a Buddhist salvation is reaching Nirvana. Nirvana is a transcendental, blissful, spiritual state of nothingness--you become a Buddha. To reach Nirvana you must follow the Noble Eightfold Path. The Noble Eightfold Path is: 1. Right Understanding: accepting the Four Noble Truths. (The existence of suffering; the cause of suffering; the end of suffering; and the end of pain.) 2. Right Resolve: renounce the pleasures of the body. Change your lifestyle so that you harm no living creatures and have kind thoughts for everyone. 3. Right Speech: do not gossip, lie or slander anyone. 4. Right Action: do not kill, steal or engage in an unlawful sexual act. 5. Right Occupation: avoid working at any job that could harm someone. 6. Right Effort: heroically work to eliminate evil from your life. Through your own effort develop good conduct and a clean mind. 7. Right Contemplation: make your self aware of your deeds, words and thoughts so that you can be free of desire and sorrow. 8. Right Meditation: train your mind to focus on a single object without wavering so as to develop a calm mind capable of concentration. Following the Noble Eightfold Path requires that a person do the above eight things. Salvation is through what a Buddhist does. It is through human works.

Perception in suffering and illness Just what the original teaching of the Buddha was is a matter of some debate. Nonetheless, it may be said to have centered on certain basic doctrines. The first of the Four Noble Truths, the Buddha held, is suffering (duhkha). By this, he meant not only that human existence is occasionally painful but that all beings - humans, animals, ghosts, hell - beings, even the gods in the heavens - are caught up in samsara, a cycle of rebirth, a maze of suffering in which their actions (Karma) keep them wandering. Samsara and karma are not doctrines specific to Buddhism. The Buddha, however, specified that samsara is characterized by three marks: suffering, impermanence, and no - self (anatman). Individuals not only suffer in a constantly changing world, but what appears to be the "self," the "soul," has no independent reality apart from its many separable elements. The second Noble Truth is that suffering itself has a cause. At the simplest level, this may be said to be desire; but the theory was fully worked out in the complex doctrine of "dependent origination" (pratityasamutpada), which explains the interrelationship of all reality in terms of an unbroken chain of causation. The third Noble Truth, however, is that this chain can be broken - that suffering can cease. The Buddhists called this end of suffering Nirvana and conceived of it as a cessation of rebirth, an escape from samsara. Finally, the fourth Noble Truth is that a way exists through which this cessation can be brought about: the practice of the noble Eightfold Path. This combines ethical and disciplinary practices, training in concentration and meditation, and the development of enlightened wisdom, all thought to be necessary. For the monks, the notion of offering extends also to the giving of the Dharma in the form of sermons, to the chanting of scriptures in rituals (which

may also be thought of as magically protective and salutary), and to the recitation of sutras for the dead. All of these acts of offering are intimately involved in the concept of merit making. By performing them, individuals, through the working of karma, can seek to assure themselves rebirth in one of the heavens or a better station in life, from which they may be able to attain the goal of enlightenment.