World Religion (Buddhism)

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Buddhism with a following of 365 million believers is the fourth largest religion in the world. Based on a series of beliefs and practices, it is considered as a religion by most.


The basis on Buddhism is constructed on recognizing the need to help living beings and truly understand their suffering. If this is achieved, the individual is capable of reaching the highest status available for all followers, nirvana: freedom from suffering and the cycle of rebirth. There are various ways of practicing Buddhism: meditation, physical exercises, devotional practices, ethical conduct and the cultivation of wisdom. Thus, Buddhism is based on teaching its followers a life that would be useful in this world and the next. Religion is an something that is practiced by its followers everyday, thus making it deeply engraved in their lives and actions. Buddhism is similar in this effect because it works to ensure that every belief or practice is beneficial not only to the follower but society as a whole. The word Budh comes from awakening and knowing (Smith 1995). Buddhism is divided into a number of branches. These are practiced and spread over different areas. Theravada is practiced in Southeast Asia and the doctrine states that a follower can lose their ignorance by understanding reality and thus reaching the end of the rebirth cycle. Mahayana is practiced in East Asia and the followers feel Buddha to be omnipotent and thus beyond the reach of the material world. Vajrayana is considered to be a part of the Mahayana sect while others see it to be the third Buddhist path. ...
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