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Buddhism - Research Paper Example

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Instructor Name: Buddhism One of the most followed and a native religion of the Indian subcontinent is Buddhism, which incorporates numerous cultures, customs, beliefs which are solely created on the teachings of Siddarth Gautama…
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Gautama Buddha also introduced the concept of Nirvana, which stated that after doing all the good deeds possible, a person would achieve the highest level of eternal happiness. Buddhism can be categorized into Theravada and Mahayana and is spread over the countries including Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Japan and other eastern nations in the Asian continent. The branch of Vajrayana is mainly practiced in Tibet and Mongolia, making Buddhism the most practiced religion in the region of Asia. “Estimates of Buddhists worldwide vary significantly depending on the way Buddhist adherence is defined. Lower estimates are between 350–500 million” (Lopez). The fundamentals of Buddhist customs, cultures and practices are ritually based on the Three Gems, the Buddha, the teachings and the society. “Taking refuge in the triple gem has traditionally been a declaration and commitment to being on the Buddhist path and in general distinguishes a Buddhist from a non-Buddhist” (Padmasambhava, Kontrul and Kunsang). There are other different practices in the religion of Buddhism too. These particularly include moral principles, support of society and the community, putting aside the luxurious manner of life and adapting to the type of the life that Gautama Buddha lived. It also promotes the personal development through the development of the mind and meditating whenever required. Furthermore, there is preferment of achieving a higher level of wisdom and intelligence by gaining of the worldly and the divine knowledge, especially, the teachings of Gautama Buddha, conducting a thorough study of the manuscripts and devoting one’s self to the cause of the welfare of others. With these Gautama Buddha had aspired for an ideal society, for he believed that practicing his beliefs would not only lead to a peaceful and a harmonious society, but also ensure that there are no violations of human rights. If the history of the religion of Buddhism is brought under philosophical analysis, it would become evident that Buddhism had its roots embedded in the religious status quo of India, at that time, which is believed to be a few years before the birth of Christ. During this period, the Indian regions as well as other countries of Asia were mired by the social differences. There also existed tumult on the end of the religion, since India was divided into the caste system, which was a major result of social divide in the country. “It was challenged by numerous new ascetic religious and philosophical groups and teachings that broke with the Brahmanic tradition and rejected the authority of the Vedasand the Brahmans” (Warder).  Looking at the inspiration from where the religion of Buddhism commenced, it is obvious that Gautama Buddha too gave up his life in order to achieve the aforementioned eternal peace and happiness, which he termed as Nirvana. After seeing the cruelty and injustice in the society, “Gautama was determined to complete his spiritual quest. At the age of 35, he famously sat inmeditation under a sacred fig tree — known as the Bodhi tree — in the town of Bodh Gaya, India, and vowed not to rise before achieving enlightenment. After many days, he finally destroyed the fetters of his mind, thereby liberating himself from the cycle of suffering and rebirth, and arose as a fully enlightened being. Soon thereafter, he attracted a band of followers and instituted a monastic order. Now, as the Buddha, he spent the rest of his life teaching ... Read More
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