Buddhism's Origin, History, Scripture, Belief, Festivals, Founder of Buddhism Religion


Introduction

           Buddhism is a religion that helps us to find the happiness and satisfaction we seek. It is a religion to about 300 million people around the world. The founder of Buddhism was Buddha Shakyamuni who lived and taught in India some two and a half thousand years ago. The word Buddhism comes from ‘buddhi’ means ‘to awaken’. It has its origins about 2500 years ago when Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened (enlightened) at the age of 35.

           Buddha explained that all our problems and suffering arise from confused and negative state of mind, and that all our happiness and good fortune arise from peaceful and positive states of mind. He taught various methods to be happy.

Symbol Of Buddhism:

* Dharma Wheel - Symbol of Buddhism

              Among the earliest and most common symbols of Buddhism are the stupa (and the relics therein), the Dharma wheel, the Bodhi tree (and the distinctively shaped leaves of this tree) and the lotus flower. The dharma wheel, traditionally represented with eight spokes, can have a variety of meanings.


Buddhism's Belief:

  • There is no belief in a personal god. It is not centered on the relationship between humanity and God.

  • Buddhists believe that nothing is fixed or permanent and that change is always possible. The path of enlightenment is through the practice and development of morality, meditation and wisdom.

  • Existence is endless because individuals are reincarnated over and over again, experiencing suffering throughout many lives.

  • Buddhists believe we are in control of our ultimate fates. The purpose of Buddhism is to take conscious control of our behavior.

  • Buddhists believe that our present action can affect our next life because according to them karma has implication beyond this life. Good or bad action in previous life can follow a person into their next life and can affect him accordingly.

Main Scripture of Buddhism:

∗ Tripitaka (Pali Canon)

             The Tripitaka (Tipitaka in Pali) is the earliest collection of Buddhist teachings and the only text recognized as canonical by Theravada Buddhists. Many commentaries have been added over the centuries however. Tripitaka means “three baskets”, from the way in which it was originally recorded the text was written on long , narrow leaves, which were sewn at the edges then grouped into bunches and stored in baskets. The collection is also referred as the Pali Canon, which means “the word of Buddha”, includes some of the Buddha’s discourse, but it also incorporates the teachings of his pupils.


Festivals of Buddhism:

             Vesak or Visakah puja is celebrated as Buddha Day, because of Buddha’s birthday. Vesak is the major Buddhist festival of the year as it celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha on the one day, the first full moon day in May, except in a leap year when the festival is held in June. This festival is called Vesak being the name of the month in the Indian calendar.


Worship In Buddhism:


Buddhist temples are designed to symbolize the five elements:

  1. Fire

  2. Air

  3. Earth, symbolized by the square base

  4. Water

  5. Wisdom, symbolized by the pinnacle at the top.

             All the temples contain an image or a statue of Buddha. Worshipper may sit on the floor barefoot facing an image of Buddha and chanting. They listen to monk’s chanting from religious texts, perhaps accompanied by instruments, and take part in prayers.



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