Buddhism is believed to have originated about 2500 years ago, near 500 BC in on the border of Nepal and India. Its founder, Gautama Buddha (Prince Siddhartha) was raised in a well-to-do family and lived surrounded by excess. Though raised in this way, Siddhartha was not convinced of the true value of these material items. After seeing the “four sights” sent by the gods, Siddhartha "born a prince and raised in luxury, renounced the world at the age of 29 to search for an ultimate solution to the problem of the suffering innate in the human condition." ("Buddhism," 2013). His goal would become the principle of the Buddhist religion finding the way to total liberation from suffering. Often described as a nontheistic religion, the Buddhists to do not pray to or believe in a God as a creator. The goal of the Buddhists, known as Nirvana, is to attain enlightenment and to be released from the cycle or rebirth and death. The foundations for the Buddhists teachings, the Four Noble Truths were prescribed at the very first sermon: 1.
Life involves suffering, dissatisfaction and distress.
Suffering is caused by craving, rooted in ignorance.
Suffering will cease when craving ceases.
There is a way to realize this state: the Noble Eightfold Path.
The Noble Eightfold path is a systematic approach that Buddhists subscribe to in order to remove themselves from suffering and achieve ultimate liberation. This path offers ways for Buddhists to purify the mind and live a happy life. Buddhism has nothing to do with “salvation” by a creator, rather, the only goal is to attain this state of Nirvana. By letting go of desires, cravings and attachments, and dispelling ignorance, the Buddhists believe Nirvana is a reachable goal. "The five basic moral precepts, undertaken by members of monastic orders and the laity, are to refrain from taking life, stealing, acting unchastely, speaking falsely, and drinking intoxicants." "Buddhism," 2013). Buddhists also do...
References: Buddhism. (2013). In The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th ed.). The Columbia University Press. Retrieved from http://www.questia.com
Fisher, M.P. (2014). Living Religions. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.
Hinduism. (2013). In The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th ed.). The Columbia University Press. Retrieved from http://www.questia.com
Karma. (2013). In The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th ed.). The Columbia University Press. Retrieved from http://www.questia.com
Nayak, A. (1997, July). No Other Gods: Christian Belief in Dialogue with Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. International Bulletin of Missionary Research, 21(3), 140+. Retrieved from http://www.questia.com
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