Introduction to Buddhism

 

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By Mikayla Holt and Maddy Todd

The History of Buddhism

Buddhism began 2,500 years ago in India. Today, it is a prominent religion within India, China, and the surrounding countries.

 

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Siddhartha Gautama, known as the “Enlightened One,” developed the teachings that are now known as Buddhism. He was a Nepali prince who was astonished at the state of life outside of the palace walls. Gautama then left his luxurious life with hopes of ending suffering for all. The next 45 years of his life were dedicated to teaching the dharma and creating the sangha. Buddhism’s main goal is to end suffering and attain nirvana.

​Religion Facts. (2017, May 10). Buddhism. Retrieved from: www.religionfacts.com/buddhism

The Essentials of Buddhism

 Suffering, Impermanance, and No-Self

The Buddha believed that desire causes suffering and that human beings are impermanent. This means that human life on earth is merely a transitory state on the path to enlightenment. The no-self principle is the belief that there is no permanent self within living beings.

Karma

Karma is a moral belief within Buddhism. Essentially, good conduct produces a positive result. Likewise, bad conduct produces a negative result.

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Four Noble Truths All life is suffering

  1. Suffering stems from desire
  2. Suffering can be ended
  3. The Eight Fold Path is the means to end this suffering

Eight Fold Path

The Eight Fold Path is how one reaches nirvana. An individual must become practiced in these eight aspects:

  1. Right Views
  2. Right Intention
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Action
  5. Right Livelihood
  6. Right Effort
  7. Right Mindfulness
  8. Right Concentration

Nirvana

Nirvana is the ultimate end goal of Buddhism, but the meaning of nirvana can differ slightly. It is simply defined as the state of reaching total enlightenment.

Encyclopedia Britannica. (2019, February 7). Buddhism. Retrieved from: https://www.britannica.com/topic/buddhism

Buddhism in Thailand

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  • Theravada Buddhism is the most widespread religion within Thailand. Over 95% of the Thai population practices this specific type of Buddhism.
  • The Thai population consists over nearly 300,000 Buddhist monks.
  • Meditation is a large part of the Buddhist religion and is a consistent part of a Thai Buddhist daily life.
  • There are over 40,000 buddhist temples in Thailand.
  • Thai people believe that those who are affluent will receive good karma and those who are of lower socioeconomic levels are believed to have behaved poorly in a previous life and this is the reason they do not receive good karma.
  • Visaka Puja is a Buddhist holiday that takes place in early May. On this day, Thai’s celebrate the Buddha’s birthday, death date and enlightenment.
  • Buddhist monks are revered in Thai culture.

Iverson, K. (2017, March 28). Everything You Need to Know About Buddhism in Thailand. Retrieved from, https://theculturetrip.com/asia/thailand/articles/everything-you-need-to-know-about-buddhism-in-thailand/

 

 

 

 

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