Sunday, September 15, 2019
Organization of Buddhism Essay
Buddhism is the religion founded by Siddhartha Gautama Buddha in Indian about 500 B.C.Ã Buddhism is the chief religion of Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Kampuchea, Laos and China. Buddhism is one of the oldest and biggest religions of the world. Its central deity was Buddha, Ã¢â¬Å"the Enlightened OneÃ¢â¬ . It was founded by Siddhartha Gautama who was born 563 B.C. in Kapilavastu, just inside the borders of what is now Nepal. Buddhism beganin India as a revolt against Hinduism. The origin of the religion is described in the article Buddha. Buddha himself did not leave any writings, and his teachings were not written down until several hundred years afte rhis death. Like Christianity and Islam, Buddhism is a missionary religion. Within 300 years after BuddhaÃ¢â¬â¢s death, it had spread throughout India and reached Ceylon (Sri Lanka).Ã Monks and travellers carried it to other parts of Asia. Japan adopted it about the seventh century A.D. About the same time the religion reached Tibet. Here it was combined with native religions. The two major divisiobs of Buddhism probably developed in Indian monasteries before 100 A.D. A. The Life of Buddha Siddhartha Gautama was born in Kapilavastu, India (now Nepal) in about 563 BCE. At his birth, legend says, a wise man told his father that Siddhartha would either become a great ruler or a great holy man, depending on what he saw of life. Determined that his son should rule after him, his father did all he could to shield Siddhartha from the problems of the outside world. Siddhartha grew up in great luxury in his fatherÃ¢â¬â¢s palace. He married a beautiful princess and had a son. Despite this, he felt that something was missing from his life. At the age of 29, Siddhartha had an experience that changed his life. On a secret chariot ride outside the palace, he saw a sick man, an old man and a dead man. It was the first time that he had seen people suffering. Then he saw a holy man who was happy and content, despite being poor. Siddhartha vowed to give up his luxurious life and become like the holy man. That night, he left the palace and began his search for the answer to the suffering he had seen. After many years of fasting and hardship, Siddhartha came to the village of Bodh Gaya. Sitting under a great tree, he closed his eyes and began to meditate. There, at last, he gained enlightenment and became the Buddha. He realized that people suffered because they always wanted more than they had. The Buddha spent the rest of his life as a monk. He traveled around India with a group of followers, teaching people how to overcome suffering. He died, aged 80, in the town of Kushinagara in India. B. Its History Ã¢â¬âÃ Buddhism Buddhism began in India as a revolt against Hinduism. The origin of the religion is described in the article Buddha. Buddha himself did not leave any writings, and his teachings were not written down until several hundred years after his death. Like Christianity and Islam, Buddhism is a missionary religion. With 300 years after BuddhaÃ¢â¬â¢s death, it had spread throughout India and reached Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Monks and travelers carried it to other parts of Asia. Japan adopted it about the seventh century A.D. About the same time the religion reached Tibet. Here it was combined with native religions and developed into Lamaism oÃ Ã Buddhism According to Buddhism, liberation is attained through understanding and practice of the Four Noble Truths: 1. There is suffering in life. 2. Suffering is caused by desire for pleasure, existence, and prosperity. Suffering and rebirth cease when one ceases such desires, leading to enlightenment, or Nirvana, a blessed state in which peace, harmony, and joy are attained. 4. The way, or path, to Nirvana is the Eightfold Path, summarized as: Ã¢â¬âÃ Right understanding Ã¢â¬â Right thoughts Ã¢â¬â Right speech Ã¢â¬â Right conduct Ã¢â¬â Right occupation Ã¢â¬â Right meditation Ã¢â¬â Right mindfulness Ã¢â¬â Right effort The Eightfold Path is also called the Middle WayÃ¢â¬âbecause of its emphasis on avoiding such extremes as following sensuous pleasures on the one hand, and self-punishment on the other. The Buddhist must at all times observe the high moral principles described in the Eightfold path, which emphasizes nonviolence and the brotherhood of all. Perhaps the best-known Buddhist scriptures are the Tripitaka (Ã¢â¬Å"Three BasketsÃ¢â¬ ), first written down in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in authoritative edition was prepared by the Sixth Buddhist Council at Rangoon, Burma, in 1954-56. The three Pitakas are about four times as long as the Bible. C. Other Beliefs of Buddhism BuddhismÃ¢â¬â¢s beliefs and teachings are derived from Hinduism although there may be some slight variations in some concepts. Karma is a Sanskrit word of Ã¢â¬Å"actionÃ¢â¬ . The action refers to volitional acts (thoughts, deeds or spoken words that are in the control of a person) as well as the forces that arise resulting form these acts. The law of Karma describes the connection between actions and the resulting forces, like good action results to good Karma while bad action results to bad Karma. Good actions are described in a Buddhist belief in the Noble Eightfold Path. A Noble Eightfold Path is a path of life that has eight stages or phases. This path consists of the right views, right aspiration, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration. Furthermore, the law of Karma states that there is a connection between the moral quality of manÃ¢â¬â¢s action to the resulting condition or states. The life he has now is largely dictated by what he said and did in his past life while his next life will be determined by what he is doing and saying now. In other words, the Karma of past, present and future events are connected by the law of cause and effect. For example, if one does something wrong like hurting or killing another human being; he will have to suffer the negative consequences of these actions in his present life or another lifetime. Similarly, if he does something right he will enjoy the positive consequences of that deed in his present or subsequent lifetimes.Ã It is important to note that the law of Karma is final. No one (including divine intervention) or nothing can stop the law of Karma from operating in a personÃ¢â¬â¢s life. In other words, manÃ¢â¬â¢s destiny is dictated only by the law of Karma itself. Rebirth as the name implies, is a process of being born over and over again (unless a person attained Nirvana or release from the cycles of birth). In simpler terms, rebirth is nothing more than a movement from oneÃ¢â¬â¢s old body at death to a new body at birth or conception. Rebirth is necessary for the execution of Karma which needs more than one lifetime to be completed so that it can be rightly said that rebirth is nothing more than the transmission of oneÃ¢â¬â¢s karma. Only when all accumulated karma is paid for and craving is rooted out from a personÃ¢â¬â¢s life that one can enter the stream that leads to Nirvana. But as long as there is delusion, greed, and aversion, which consequently fuels the desire to live, man generate karma. The Buddhists idea of Rebirth, like Karma, is derived from an Indian philosophy of Hinduism. However, the Buddhist concept of rebirth is different from Hinduism because in the Hinduism theory of rebirth there is a transmigration of souls while the Buddhist denies the existence of self or soul (the immortal version of self).Ã In Buddhism the idea of self or soul is merely an illusion for perceptions, consciousness, mind and body that makes up Ã¢â¬Å"selfÃ¢â¬ is changing. The Buddhists argue that how can there be a self when in fact its composition is not permanent. Furthermore, Buddhists explained that the body is mortal and when it dies, consciousness and all mental activities cease, hence there is no more self and consequently there is no soul. According to Buddhism, liberation is attained through understanding and practice of the Four Noble Truths. First, is that there is suffering in life; Second, suffering is caused by desire for pleasure, existence and prosperity; Third, suffering and rebirth cease when one ceases such desires, leading to enlightenment, or Nirvana, and joy are attained; Fourth, the way or path, to Nirvana is the Eightfold Path summarized as; right understanding, right thoughts, right speech, right conduct, right occupation, right effort, right mindfulness and right meditation.