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Rise of Buddhism in India
Nov 27, 2013

Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development leading to insight into the true nature of reality. Buddhist practices like meditation helps in development of the qualities of awareness, kindness, and wisdom.

Gautam Buddha, born in 563 BC at Lumbinivana in Kapilvastu(now in Nepal) was the founder of Buddhism. At 29, he realised that wealth and luxury did not guarantee happiness, so he explored the different teachings religions and philosophies of the day, to find the key to human happiness. After six years of study and meditation he finally found 'the middle path' and was enlightened. After enlightenment, the Buddha spent the rest of his life teaching the principles of Buddhism — called the Dhamma, or Truth — until his death at the age of 80.

The teachings of Buddhism include Eight fold path:

  1. Right Understanding or Perfect Vision

  2. Right Resolve or Perfect Emotion

  3. Right Speech or Perfect Speech

  4. Right Action or Perfect Action

  5. Right Livelihood or Perfect Livelihood

  6. Right Effort or Perfect Effort

  7. Right Mindfulness or Perfect Awareness

  8. Right Meditation or Perfect Samadhi

Four noble truths of life taught by Buddha are:

  1. Dukha ( life is full of sorrow)

  2. Dukha samudaya ( there are causes of sorrow)

  3. Dukh nirodha (this sorrow can be stopped)

  4. Dukha nirodha gamini pratipada (there is a path leading to the cessation of sorrow)

Schools of Buddhism

There are numerous different schools or sects of Buddhism. The two largest are Theravada Buddhism, which is most popular in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Burma (Myanmar), and Mahayana Buddhism, which is strongest in Tibet, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and Mongolia.

All schools of Buddhism seek to aid followers on a path of enlightenment.

Buddhism does not include the idea of worshipping a creator god. The basic tenets of Buddhist teaching are straightforward and practical: nothing is fixed or permanent; actions have consequences; change is possible. So Buddhism addresses itself to all people irrespective of race, nationality, caste, sexuality, or gender. It teaches practical methods which enable people to realize and use its teachings in order to transform their experience, to be fully responsible for their lives.

Buddhism explains a purpose to life, it explains apparent injustice and inequality around the world and it provides a code of practice or way of life that leads to true happiness.



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