To avoid all evil, to do good,
to purify the mind- that is the
teaching of the Buddhas.
Buddhism is one of the Worlds’s great religions which stresses the need for individual spiritual development leading to the goal of nirvana or liberation.
The religion of Buddhism stems from the life and teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, Lord Buddha who lived in Indian in about the 6th Century BC.
Buddhist do not stress a belief in God they emphasise the path to enlightenment is to be attained through the practice and development of morality, meditation, and wisdom. In particular Buddhists stress the importance of compassion for all living beings.
Aspects of Buddhism
The Eightfold Path
Branches of Buddhism
During the life of the Buddha there were no divisions of Buddhist teachings but over times there has developed different traditions which stress different aspects of Buddhist teachings
Theravada Buddhism is strongest in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. Theravada Buddhism places great emphasis on the original teachings of the Buddha, in particular the teachings known as the Pali Canon. Also the elders or Buddhist monks play a significant role
Mahayana Buddhism is strongest in Tibet, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and Mongolia.
Mahayana Buddhism is not a single group but a collection of Buddhist traditions including:
Pure Land Buddhism,
Theravada and Mahayana are both rooted in the basic teachings of the historical Buddha, and both emphasise the individual search for liberation from the cycle of samsara (birth, death, rebirth…). The methods or practices for doing that, however, can be very different.
- Siddharta Becomes The Buddha – A Play about the life of Lord Buddha
External Buddhist Links
Buddhist Books available at Amazon.com
Buddha.netBuddhist information and education network
The Buddhist SocietySociety dedicated to the study of Buddhism. Patron The Dalai Lama
Buddhism at the BBCIntroduction to Buddhism at the BBC religions website
Photo Credit: Kedar