Buddhism is a philosophical and religious way of thought that was started by Gautama Siddhartha, also known as Lord Buddha, meaning the enlightened one. He lived and preached in the north western parts of the Indian subcontinent in and around 563 to 483 BC. His teachings spread…
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All these aim to get enlightenment and achieve nirvana, and thus be liberated from all the cycles of births and deaths and related sufferings. There are two main branches of the Buddhist religion. Theravada is the oldest surviving form of Buddhism that is still in practice mainly in Sri Lanka and in some parts of south East Asia. Mahayana form is practiced in the East Asia, while a variant of Mahayana known as the Vajrayana is often referred to as the third branch. Confucianism is a way of thinking that is more philosophical than religious, which originated in China. The founder of this form of ethical way of thinking, was Confucius (551- 478 BC), who lived around the same time as that of Lord Buddha. Confucianism deals with the ethical, moral, social, philosophical and to some extent religious aspects of life and has exerted tremendous influence in the cultural heritage of East Asia. It has become the state religion in some countries of this region. Confucianism lays stress on developing the moral ethics of a person so that a state can be governed by moral rules alone, and not by any enforced legal system. This article will explore and examine the various tenets of Theravada Buddhism and Confucianism and discuss whether these two form of practices with their absence of gods or any god like figures, and their utter lack of concern for the afterworld can be referred to as a religious traditions, or best be left to calling, as only philosophical thoughts.
Theravada Buddhism: Theravada Buddhism translated literally means ‘teaching of the elderly,’ originated in India and is said to be the oldest form of Buddhism that is still in practice today. It is a conservative form of religious practice, and its sutras are said to be the closest to original doctrines of Lord Buddha. It has been the chief religion of Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia and Burma for many centuries, and is also practiced in some parts of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, ...
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The expression of these traditions varies greatly across cultures, ranging from ancestor worship and animism in some tropical forests to highly regimented liturgical ceremonies in vast European cathedrals. The study of these religions is complex, because everyone comes from a particular cultural background, and it is difficult to be entirely neutral about what people believe and how they behave.
Having started in around the 6th to 4th centuries B.C.E, Buddhism owes many of its beliefs, practices, and traditions to the teachings of “Siddhartha Gautama, more commonly known as Buddha, who was a teacher in the northeastern Indian subcontinent” (Calyaneratne, 2011).
We have different religions with different systems of their workings. Each culture, has a set of believes and guidelines in which they practice in the daily life. This practices are referred to as religious traditions. However, as much as the religions differ, every religion composed of; doctrines, rituals, morality rules and prayer practices.
Smith (2009), on the other hand, defines religion as a personal belief and/or opinions towards the nature, existence, and worship of a particular deity or deities. Smith (2009) further asserts that religion includes divine involvement of supernatural beings in human life and the entire universe.
There are several religions throughout the world that are well-developed, these religions have a huge range of texts that are sacred in nature, along with written text, these religions even have certain amount of verbal traditions. The oral texts are mostly found in verbal form, but in certain cases, these traditions are even found in written format.
Whereas it is a question which has raised significant differences of opinion among the scholars, it is also acknowledged that there are significant similarities in the origin and worship of the three religions. Christianity and Islam have been regarded as the offshoots of Judaism which the oldest religion among the three.
Admittedly, some of the religion’s traditions might be rooted in a mythical past and few other are in a reformation movement within yet another religion. Christianity, the major world religion, traces its religious doctrines and practices to the beginning of Christian Era with the birth of Christ Jesus.
This study observes that the followers of the Eastern religions are numerous and are well spread across the world. Some of the Eastern religions include Buddhism, Hinduism, Daoism and Islam. This study intends to examine the
Understanding the vitality and richness of the world’s religion provides a compelling and clear account of the major traditional religions in the whole world (Molloy, 2010).
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