Buddhism Essay

Topics: Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, Mahayana Pages: 3 (1333 words) Published: March 3, 2015
Introduction:
Buddhism is a religion known for spreading peace and harmony, wisdom and tranquillity. Having been originated in northern India, by Siddhartha, it was began in the 6th century BC. It started from the birth of Siddhartha Gautama in Lumbini Nepal. He was born a warrior prince in Nepal, where he lived a royal life in his early life. By the age of twenty nine he was moved on to finding himself spiritually and he decided to do this in a forest surrounded by nature. After six years he attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, India. He was subsequently requested to teach and as Venerable Geshe Kelsang says in Introduction to Buddhism: ‘As a result of this request, Buddha rose from meditation and taught the first Wheel of Dharma. These teachings which include the Sutra of the Four Noble Truths and other discourses, are the principal source of the Hinayana, or Lesser Vehicle, of Buddhism. Later, Buddha taught the second and third Wheels of Dharma, which include the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras and the Sutra Discriminating the Intention respectively. These teachings are the source of the Mahayana, or Great Vehicle, of Buddhism. In the Hinayana teachings Buddha explains how to attain liberation from suffering for oneself alone, and in the Mahayana teachings he explains how to attain full enlightenment, or Buddhahood, for the sake of others. Both traditions flourished in Asia, at first in India and then gradually in other surrounding countries, including Tibet. Now they are also beginning to flourish in the West.’1 The many teachings of the Buddha have lead to the celebrations of festivals and rituals in different countries which hold sacred places of worship in the Buddhist culture. Although over the years the festivals and rituals are changed to accommodate the changes in the lives of the people and the ever changing world it is important to note that people still celebrate these festivals in with the same passion and enthusiasm....
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