By TammyWhite
2 years ago

Buddhism. What do Buddhists believe in?

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Buddhism is one of the main religions of the world in terms of adherents, geographic distribution, and socio-cultural influence. While it has long been an "Eastern" religion, it has been gaining increasing popularity and influence over the Western world as well. It is a unique religion in the world in its own right, although it has much in common with Hinduism in that the two can be called "oriental" religions, which believe in karma (ethical cause and effect), māyā (the illusory nature of the world ), and samsara (the cycle of reincarnation) among other things. Buddhists believe that the ultimate goal in life is to achieve "enlightenment" as they perceive its existence.

Its founder Siddhārtha Gautama was born into royalty in India about 600 years before Christ. According to the story, he lived a life of luxury and still got married and had children having very little contact with the outside world. His parents tried to distance him from the influence of religion and any exposure to pain and suffering. However, it did not take long, before his fragile refuge was penetrated and he could glimpse an old man, a sick man and a corpse. His fourth vision was that of a peaceful ascetic monk (who refused luxury and comfort). Seeing his gentle character, he decided to become an ascetic himself. He abandoned his life of wealth and influence and sought enlightenment through austerity. He was very skilled in this kind of self-mortification and intense meditation. He was a leader among his peers. Eventually he let his efforts culminate in a final gesture. He "consented" himself with a plate of rice and then sat under a fig tree (also called the bodhi tree) to meditate until he reached "enlightenment" or died trying. Despite his grief and temptations, by the next morning, he had already attained enlightenment, for which he was known as "the enlightened one" or the "Buddha." Based on his new accomplishment, he began to teach his fellow monks, among those who had already gained great influence. Five of his companions became the first of his disciples.

What had Gautama discovered? That the illumination lies in the "middle way", neither in luxurious complacencies, nor in self-mortification. Moreover, he discovered what would be known as the "Four Noble Truths" - (1) living is suffering (Dukha), (2) suffering is caused by desire (Tanha, or "binding"), (3) one it can eliminate suffering by eliminating all ties, and (4) this is achieved by following the noble eightfold path. The "eightfold path" consists of having one correct: 1) understanding, 2) thought, 3) word, 4) action, 5) occupation (being a monk), 6) effort (recanalize the bad instincts and feed the good ones), 7) attention (meditation), and (8) concentration (focus). The Buddhist teachings were gathered in the Tripitaka or "three baskets." [Win Corduan, Neighboring Faiths (IVP; 1998): 220-224].

After these distinctive teachings, there are common teachings with Hinduism, called Reincarnation, Karma, Maya, and a tendency to understand reality as Pantheism in its orientation. Buddhism also offers an elaborate theology of deities and exalted beings. However, like Hinduism, Buddhism can be hard to pin down considering your opinion of God. Some currents of Buddhism could legitimately be called atheists, while others might be pantheists, and even other theists, such as Pure Land Buddhism. However, classical Buddhism tends to remain silent about the reality of a higher being and is therefore considered atheist.

The current Buddhism is very diverse. It is more or less divided into two large branches of Theravada (small vessels) and Mahayana (large vessels). The Theravada is the monastic form in which the ultimate enlightenment and nirvana are reserved for monks, while Mahayana Buddhism extends its goals of enlightenment also to the laity, that is, to those who are not monks. Under these categories you can find numerous branches, including Tiantai, Vajrayāna, Nichiren, Shingon, Pure Land, Zen and Ryobu among others. Therefore, it is important for strangers who seek to understand Buddhism, who do not pretend to know all the details of a school of Buddhism in particular, when all they have studied is classical historical Buddhism. [Corduan, 230]

It is important to be aware that Buddha never considered himself as a god, or a divine being of any kind. Rather, he considered himself as a 'road pointing' for others. Only after his death, he was exalted to the level of a god by some of his followers, although not all his followers saw it that way. However with Christianity, it is clearly stated in the Bible that Jesus is the Son of God (Matthew 3:17) - "And there was a voice from heaven, saying:" This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased " and that He and God are one (John 10:30) - "I and the Father are one." One can not really consider oneself a Christian without professing faith in Jesus as God.

Jesus taught that He is the way, and not simply one that shows the way, as confirmed by John 14: 6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. "By the time Gautama died, Buddhism had acquired a greater influence in India. Three hundred years after his death, Buddhism had spread so widely that it encompassed almost all of Asia. The scriptures and sayings attributed to Buddha were written about four hundred years after his death. This later period between his death and the writings or commentaries containing his messages, caused that many challenges of scholars arose, about the authenticity and reliability of the Buddhist writings.

The Buddha lived and died long before the time of Jesus. His travels never took him more than two hundred kilometers from his home. The Bible and its message seem not to have been known by Buddha, and in fact, he never spoke of God, or Jesus; consequently, Buddhists do not generally speak of God as Christians do. In its classical form, Buddhism does not speak of any personal God or Divine Being.

Sin is mostly understood as ignorance. And where it was understood they considered it a "moral error," the context within which "good" and "evil" are understood, is immoral. Karma is understood as a natural balance and is not imposed personally. Nature is not moral; therefore karma is not a moral code, and ultimately sin is not moral. Therefore we can say, according to Buddhist thought, that our error is not ultimately moral, since ultimately it is only an impersonal error and not an interpersonal violation. The consequence of this thought is devastating. For the Buddhist, sin is more like a mistake than a transgression against the nature of an omnipotent God. This understanding of sin is not in accordance with the innate moral conscience that man is condemned for his sin before a holy God (Romans 1-2).

Since sin is an impersonal and correctable error, it is not in accordance with the doctrine of depravity, which is a basic doctrine of Christianity. The Bible tells us that the sin of man is a problem of eternal and infinite consequence. The Buddhist opinion about sin differs greatly. Therefore there is no need for a Savior to rescue people from their condemnable sins. For the Christian, Jesus is the only means of redeeming eternal damnation for our personal (and imputed) sins. For the Buddhist there is only an ethical life and the use of meditation towards exalted beings for the hope of perhaps attaining enlightenment and eventually nirvana. But most likely, one would have to go through a number of reincarnations to pay for the vast accumulation of karma debt. For the true followers of Buddhism, religion is a philosophy of morality and ethics, encapsulated within a life of renunciation of self-centeredness. One can appeal to countless Bodhisattvas ("Buddhas in process") or Buddhas (Gautama is later seen as one among many Buddhas) [Ibid., 229]. But the ultimate reality is impersonal and not relational, so it is not loving. Not only is God seen as illusory, but by dissolving sin in a non-moral error and by rejecting all material reality as māyā ("illusion") we ourselves still lose our "being." Personality itself becomes a delusion.

When asked how the world began, what or who created the universe, it is said that the Buddha was silent because in Buddhism, there is no beginning or end. Instead there are endless circles of birth and death. One might ask, what kind of Being would create us to live, endure much pain and suffering, and then die, again and again? It can lead one to consider, what is the object, why bother? Christians know that God sent His Son to die for us, just once, so that we do not have to suffer for an eternity. He sent His Son to let us know that we are not alone, and that we are loved. Christians know that there is more to life than suffering and dying (2 Timothy 1:10 "... but that now has been manifested by the appearance of our Savior Jesus Christ, who took death and brought life and immortality to light for the gospel. "

Buddhism teaches that nirvana is the highest state of being, a state of pure existence. And it is achieved by means relative to the individual. Nirvana defies rational explanation and logical order and therefore can not be taught, only realized. In contrast, Jesus was very specific. He taught us that our physical bodies die, but our souls ascend to be with Him in heaven (Mark 12:25) - "For when they rise from the dead, they will not marry or be married, but they will be like angels they are in heaven. "For Buddhists there is no merciful Father in heaven, who sent His Son to die for our souls, for our salvation, to provide us the way to reach His glory. The Buddha taught that people do not have individual souls because the individual being or ego is an illusion.


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2 years
Lorso Thank you 💓
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Smokey2017 Thank you Tammy
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Ravidxb very good. thanks dear
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dorageorg So nice!
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Violeta Thank Tammy😘
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soncee Very good
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Lucia5 Super
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fortune Nice informative article
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fabio26 wonderful article dear!
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