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Misconceptions of Buddhism - Research Paper Example

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Misconceptions of Buddhism

When it comes to religions, people are often guided by misconceptions and wrong beliefs. The way in which everybody understands and comprehends religious texts and traditions leads to the movement of all these misconceptions. For many years, Buddhism has suffered a number of misconceptions regarding its traditions, beliefs and practices. Among the misconceptions include the three ways of life, practices and beliefs (Nielsen, 2004). 2.0 Misconceptions of Buddhism. Buddhism is termed to be a pagan religion that involves worship of many gods rather than one accepted Christian God. There is also a misconception that Buddhists believe in reincarnation. It is termed that all Buddhists welcome suffering in their lives; they believe that when one suffers or is poor, then she/ he is regarded as a sincere Buddhist. All Buddhists in the world are to wear robes as part of their clothing. This is a misconception. Another misconception about Buddhism is that Buddhists must endure gruelling meditations in their entire life. Majority of people perceive that when Buddhist faithful put their hands together and bow their heads they are praying for a good fortune to come to their lives. It is stated that in America, members of ‘shin Buddhism’ are only Japanese and if not it is for Japanese- American citizens only (Tudge, 2002). Another misconception is a reflection on the appearance of a Buddhist, where a Buddha, is believed to be a Chinese monk who is a fat guy, and are always bald (shaving their heads completely), leaving no sign of any hair on their heads). All Buddhists in the world are said to be vegetarians, taking only vegetables as part of their diets. One of the wide misconceptions about Buddhism among the Buddhists is that all of them meditate more often and always, and they do so while sitting in full lotus. The Buddhists believe that all roads lead to the same mountain tops -but Buddhism is termed as the clear route to the top of the mountain (Nielsen, 2004). Majority of people think and believe that Buddhists live in monasteries as either monks or lay people who are secluded from the rest of the people. It is believed that one must be a monk or a lay nun to get enlightened. From the strange behaviours, beliefs and dressing, a misconception has been raised that Buddhists are Idol worshippers. The respect that they give Dalai Lama leads to misconception that Dalai Lama is the head of Buddhism. The social and interaction among individuals and Buddhists have led to a misconception that Buddhism is a pessimistic religion, an illusion created, and Buddhist behaviour is a dreadful one; serious individuals who don’t wear any kind of make-up, and in most cases they do not leisure at all. The Buddhism religion is termed as one that is boring and rigid that does not allow its faithful to desire any kind of earthly thing such as engaging in sports. The last misconception is that Buddhism is a reformation or upgrade of Hinduism (Tudge, 2002). 3.0 Reasons for and against misconceptions of Buddhism Buddhism is not a pagan religion just because Buddhists don’t concern themselves about God or gods; they put their concerns on ‘Dharma’ who is not a god or gods but the truth or reality. Their belief in reincarnation is true as the majority of the sects in Buddhism believe in reincarnation in the same way Christians do in God. The misconceptions of the Buddhism of ...Show more

Summary

MISCONCEPTIONS OF BUDDHISM Institutional affiliation Date: 2nd March 2012 1.0 Introduction Buddhism is a religion that involves a diversity of traditions, beliefs and practices which are highly based on teachings attributed to Buddha…
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