BUDDHISM Name Tutor Course College Date Buddhism is a religion that is traced to the indigenous Indians of the Indian part of the Asian continent. They have a variety of beliefs and traditions that describe their culture traced back to their founder Buddha…
Most of the Buddhists describe Buddha as a true teacher who awakened them from their ignorance. By this, Buddha ensured that they attained the highest form of happiness that humans can ever achieve. After all these years, Buddhists still believe and practice their culture. I interviewed Ashoka, a strong Buddhist, on some aspects of their religion and I was surprised at some of their practices. Beliefs One of the strongest beliefs of Buddhists is that there is no supernatural being, unlike other religions such as Christianity and Islam. Their god was human and so they believe that all people are equal and should respect each other. Buddhists also believe that whatever they hear or read has to be tested. This is unlike most religions that discourage testing of anything that has been said by their gods. Buddhists, however, believe that if something is written in their holy books, then they have the right to test it to be assured that it is true. This, therefore, creates a faith that is transparent and where followers are not subjected to impossible temptations that they cannot overcome and question. Buddhists have the right to question their holy books as well as their god if they have evidence to do so (Patrick, 1982). Buddhists also have many gods. Unlike most religions which followers only believe in one god, Buddhists have a varying number of gods. Some have as many as thousands of gods while others have no god at all. For this, Buddhists believe that one should never argue about the existence of god and they have a saying that they would rather die than argue on god’s existence. The other major belief of Buddhists is the karma belief. This is the belief given especially to children. They are told that if they do wrong, they will get karma which in most cases is considered to be the exact equivalent of what wrong the child has done. Due to this, most of the Buddhist children are upright and in most cases would avoid wrong things. One of the most practiced beliefs about Buddhists which Ashoka gave me a quick review of is the importance of listening to teachers. Buddhists believe that it is very important for people to listen to their teacher’s advice. They believe that teachers are chosen by Buddha and if one wants to prosper and avoid bad ways, they have to listen to their teachers. It is for this reason that most of the Buddhist teachers are always elderly due to the experience that is needed to attain that position. Teachers are, therefore, much respected people in the society and a Buddhist will never disobey their teacher’s advice. Festivals According to Ashoka, festivals are like the only factor that unites Buddhists all over the world. She informed me that during those early days, it was a tradition for all Buddhists to come together and celebrate the full moon. During this time, they would all gather under the full moon and listen to various teachings and try as much as they could to meditate with their specific chants. Even though this festival is losing its taste due to the movement of Buddhists all over the world, it is still a common practice. Apart from this festival, there is the main Buddhist festival that creates a strong sense of belonging to all Buddhists. Their main ritual is known as the Puja and it is always performed by the teacher. The teacher is at the center while the other members of the group are outside and answer to the calls made by the teacher. This practice, according to Ashoka, is practiced to encourage their meditation and normal practices. Ashoka ...
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