Buddhism Beliefs And Practices Pdf

buddhism beliefs and practices pdf

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With about million followers, scholars consider Buddhism one of the major world religions.

Using the Spiritual Life Study of Chinese Residents data, this article examines the association between religious faith and happiness in China. We treat religious faith as a multidimensional construct and explore the possible effects of religious identity, belief, and practice on happiness among Chinese citizens.

Buddhism: Basic Beliefs and Practices

It originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia.

Vajrayana , a body of teachings attributed to Indian adepts , may be viewed as a separate branch or as an aspect of Mahayana Buddhism.

Buddhism is an Indian religion [16] founded on the teachings of a mendicant and spiritual teacher called "the Buddha" "the Awakened One", c. The details of Buddha's life are mentioned in many Early Buddhist Texts but are inconsistent. His social background and life details are difficult to prove, and the precise dates are uncertain.

The evidence of the early texts suggests that Siddharta Gautama was born in Lumbini and grew up in Kapilavastu , [note 2] a town in the Ganges Plain , near the modern Nepal—India border, and that he spent his life in what is now modern Bihar [note 3] and Uttar Pradesh.

Finding these teachings to be insufficient to attain his goal, he turned to the practice of severe asceticism , which included a strict fasting regime and various forms of breath control. He famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree now called the Bodhi Tree in the town of Bodh Gaya and attained "Awakening" Bodhi. Buddha's teachings were propagated by his followers, which in the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE became various Buddhist schools of thought , each with its own basket of texts containing different interpretations and authentic teachings of the Buddha; [45] [46] [47] these over time evolved into many traditions of which the more well known and widespread in the modern era are Theravada , Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism.

The term "Buddhism" is an occidental neologism, commonly and "rather roughly" according to Donald S. Lopez Jr. The Four Truths express the basic orientation of Buddhism: we crave and cling to impermanent states and things , which is dukkha , "incapable of satisfying" and painful. The truth of dukkha is the basic insight that life in this mundane world, with its clinging and craving to impermanent states and things [53] is dukkha , and unsatisfactory.

The clinging and craving produces karma , which ties us to samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth. Dukkha ceases, or can be confined, [82] when craving and clinging cease or are confined. This also means that no more karma is being produced, and rebirth ends.

By following the Buddhist path to moksha , liberation, [62] one starts to disengage from craving and clinging to impermanent states and things. The term "path" is usually taken to mean the Noble Eightfold Path , but other versions of "the path" can also be found in the Nikayas. The theory of rebirths, and realms in which these rebirths can occur, is extensively developed in Buddhism, in particular Tibetan Buddhism with its wheel of existence Bhavacakra doctrine.

The later Buddhist texts assert that rebirth can occur in six realms of existence, namely three good realms heavenly, demi-god, human and three evil realms animal, hungry ghosts, hellish. Rebirth refers to a process whereby beings go through a succession of lifetimes as one of many possible forms of sentient life , each running from conception to death.

The Buddhist traditions have traditionally disagreed on what it is in a person that is reborn, as well as how quickly the rebirth occurs after each death. Each rebirth takes place within one of five realms according to Theravadins, or six according to other schools — heavenly, demi-gods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts and hellish. In East Asian and Tibetan Buddhism , rebirth is not instantaneous, and there is an intermediate state Tibetan " bardo " between one life and the next.

A notable aspect of the karma theory in Buddhism is merit transfer. Nirvana literally means "blowing out, quenching, becoming extinguished". The nirvana state has been described in Buddhist texts partly in a manner similar to other Indian religions, as the state of complete liberation, enlightenment, highest happiness, bliss, fearlessness, freedom, permanence, non-dependent origination, unfathomable, and indescribable.

Pratityasamutpada , also called "dependent arising, or dependent origination", is the Buddhist theory to explain the nature and relations of being, becoming, existence and ultimate reality. Buddhism asserts that there is nothing independent, except the state of nirvana. The 'dependent arisings' have a causal conditioning, and thus Pratityasamutpada is the Buddhist belief that causality is the basis of ontology , not a creator God nor the ontological Vedic concept called universal Self Brahman nor any other 'transcendent creative principle'.

By breaking the circuitous links of the Twelve Nidanas, Buddhism asserts that liberation from these endless cycles of rebirth and dukkha can be attained. It is the view that there is no unchanging, permanent self, soul or essence in phenomena. In Madhyamaka philosophy, emptiness is the view which holds that all phenomena dharmas are without any svabhava literally "own-nature" or "self-nature" , and are thus without any underlying essence, and so are "empty" of being independent.

This doctrine sought to refute the heterodox theories of svabhava circulating at the time. All forms of Buddhism revere and take spiritual refuge in the "three jewels" triratna : Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

While all varieties of Buddhism revere "Buddha" and "buddhahood", they have different views on what these are. Whatever that may be, "Buddha" is still central to all forms of Buddhism. In Theravada Buddhism, a Buddha is someone who has become awake through their own efforts and insight.

They have put an end to their cycle of rebirths and have ended all unwholesome mental states which lead to bad action and thus are morally perfected. Theravada generally sees Gautama Buddha the historical Buddha Sakyamuni as the only Buddha of the current era. While he is no longer in this world, he has left us the Dharma Teaching , the Vinaya Discipline and the Sangha Community. While this teaching reflects the true nature of reality, it is not a belief to be clung to, but a pragmatic teaching to be put into practice.

It is likened to a raft which is "for crossing over" to nirvana not for holding on to. It also refers to the universal law and cosmic order which that teaching both reveals and relies upon. In that sense it is also the ultimate truth and reality about the universe, it is thus "the way that things really are. The Dharma is the second of the three jewels which all Buddhists take refuge in.

All Buddhas in all worlds, in the past, present and in the future, are believed by Buddhists to understand and teach the Dharma. Indeed, it is part of what makes them a Buddha that they do so. The third "jewel" which Buddhists take refuge in is the "Sangha", which refers to the monastic community of monks and nuns who follow Gautama Buddha's monastic discipline which was "designed to shape the Sangha as an ideal community, with the optimum conditions for spiritual growth.

The Sangha is seen as important because they preserve and pass down Buddha Dharma. As Gethin states "the Sangha lives the teaching, preserves the teaching as Scriptures and teaches the wider community.

Without the Sangha there is no Buddhism. The Sangha also acts as a "field of merit" for laypersons, allowing them to make spiritual merit or goodness by donating to the Sangha and supporting them. In return, they keep their duty to preserve and spread the Dharma everywhere for the good of the world. The Sangha is also supposed to follow the Vinaya monastic rule of the Buddha, thereby serving as an spiritual example for the world and future generations.

The Vinaya rules also force the Sangha to live in dependence on the rest of the lay community they must beg for food etc and thus draw the Sangha into a relationship with the lay community. There is also a separate definition of Sangha, referring to those who have attained any stage of awakening , whether or not they are monastics. Aryas have attained the fruits of the Buddhist path. In early Buddhism and in Theravada Buddhism, an arhat literally meaning "worthy" is someone who reached the same awakening bodhi of a Buddha by following the teaching of a Buddha.

A bodhisattva "a being bound for awakening" meanwhile, is simply a name for someone who is working towards awakening bodhi as a Buddha. According to all the early buddhist schools as well as Theravada, to be considered a bodhisattva one has to have made a vow in front of a living Buddha and also has to have received a confirmation of one's future Buddhahood.

It thus promotes the bodhisattva path as the highest and most worthwhile. One of these is the unique interpretation of emptiness and dependent origination found in the Madhyamaka school. According to Paul Williams these Sutras suggest that 'all sentient beings contain a Tathagata' as their 'essence, core inner nature, Self'.

While the Noble Eightfold Path is best-known in the West, a wide variety of paths and models of progress have been used and described in the different Buddhist traditions.

An important additional practice is a kind and compassionate attitude toward every living being and the world. Devotion is also important in some Buddhist traditions, and in the Tibetan traditions visualisations of deities and mandalas are important. The value of textual study is regarded differently in the various Buddhist traditions. It is central to Theravada and highly important to Tibetan Buddhism, while the Zen tradition takes an ambiguous stance.

An important guiding principle of Buddhist practice is the Middle Way madhyamapratipad. It was a part of Buddha's first sermon, where he presented the Noble Eightfold Path that was a 'middle way' between the extremes of asceticism and hedonistic sense pleasures. In the early texts, numerous different sequences of the gradual path can be found. This can be found in various discourses, most famously in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta The discourse on the turning of the Dharma wheel.

Other suttas such as the Tevijja Sutta , and the Cula-Hatthipadopama-sutta give a different outline of the path, though with many similar elements such as ethics and meditation. According to Rupert Gethin, the path to awakening is also frequently summarized by another a short formula: "abandoning the hindrances, practice of the four establishings of mindfulness, and development of the awakening factors.

The Eightfold Path consists of a set of eight interconnected factors or conditions, that when developed together, lead to the cessation of dukkha. This Eightfold Path is the fourth of the Four Noble Truths , and asserts the path to the cessation of dukkha suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness.

The Noble Eightfold Path is grouped into three basic divisions , as follows: [] [] []. Theravada Buddhism is a diverse tradition and thus includes different explanations of the path to awakening.

However, the teachings of the Buddha are often encapsulated by Theravadins in the basic framework of the Four Noble Truths and the Eighthfold Path. Some Theravada Buddhists also follow the presentation of the path laid out in Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga. This presentation is known as the "Seven Purifications" satta-visuddhi.

There many different presentations of soteriology, including numerous paths and vehicles yanas in the different traditions of East Asian Buddhism. All the various Tibetan schools have their own Lamrim presentations.

Mahayana Buddhist teachers such as Yin Shun also state that hearing the Dharma and study of the Buddhist discourses is necessary "if one wants to learn and practice the Buddha Dharma.

Traditionally, the first step in most Buddhist schools requires taking of the "Three Refuges", also called the Three Jewels Sanskrit : triratna , Pali : tiratana as the foundation of one's religious practice. The three refuges are believed by Buddhists to be protective and a form of reverence. The ancient formula which is repeated for taking refuge affirms that "I go to the Buddha as refuge, I go to the Dhamma as refuge, I go to the Sangha as refuge. One of the most basic forms of ethics in Buddhism is the taking of "precepts".

This includes the Five Precepts for laypeople, Eight or Ten Precepts for monastic life, as well as rules of Dhamma Vinaya or Patimokkha adopted by a monastery. The five precepts are seen as a basic training applicable to all Buddhists. They are: [] [] []. The five precepts are not commandments and transgressions do not invite religious sanctions, but their power has been based on the Buddhist belief in karmic consequences and their impact in the afterlife.

Killing in Buddhist belief leads to rebirth in the hell realms, and for a longer time in more severe conditions if the murder victim was a monk. Adultery, similarly, invites a rebirth as prostitute or in hell, depending on whether the partner was unmarried or married. The monastic life in Buddhism has additional precepts as part of patimokkha , and unlike lay people, transgressions by monks do invite sanctions. Full expulsion from sangha follows any instance of killing, engaging in sexual intercourse, theft or false claims about one's knowledge.

Temporary expulsion follows a lesser offence. Lay people and novices in many Buddhist fraternities also uphold eight asta shila or ten das shila from time to time.

Faith and Happiness in China: Roles of Religious Identity, Beliefs, and Practice

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The basic doctrines of early Buddhism, which remain common to all Buddhism, include the four noble truths : existence is suffering dukhka ; suffering has a cause, namely craving and attachment trishna ; there is a cessation of suffering, which is nirvana ; and there is a path to the cessation of suffering, the eightfold path of right views, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. Buddhism characteristically describes reality in terms of process and relation rather than entity or substance.

Buddhism Religion by Mandy Barrow. The religion is 2, years old and is followed by million Buddhists worldwide. Buddhism is the main religion in many Asian countries.

Buddhism is a major global religion with a complex history and system of beliefs. The following is intended only to introduce Buddhism's history and fundamental tenets, and by no means covers the religion exhaustively. To learn more about Buddhism, please look through our Web Resources section for other in-depth, online sources of information. Historians estimate that the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, lived from ? The son of an Indian warrior-king, Gautama led an extravagant life through early adulthood, reveling in the privileges of his social caste.

Buddhism, founded in the late 6th century B. Buddhism has assumed many different forms, but in each case there has been an attempt to draw from the life experiences of the Buddha, his teachings, and the "spirit" or "essence" of histeachings called dhamma or dharma as models for the religious life. However, not until the writing of the Buddha Charita life of the Buddha by Ashvaghosa in the 1st or 2nd century C. The Buddha was born ca. His erain general was one of spiritual, intellectual, and social ferment.

However, most traditions share a common set of fundamental beliefs. One central belief of Buddhism is often referred to as reincarnation -- the.


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It originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia.

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