Religion 201 Research Paper

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Religion 201 02 April 2014 Buddhism Buddhism was founded in India over 2,500 years ago. Today there are approximately four hundred million Buddhists (Melton). There are many different forms of Buddhism, but all forms believe in the teachings of Buddha. Buddhism is a hard religion to define and the simplest way to define it is “individuals who believe in Buddha’s teachings” (Maguire). The term ‘religion’ is “perhaps not a very good term to use in connection with Buddhism since it recognizes no God” (Zaehner). Buddha taught over 84,000 teachings (Gyasto). The word ‘Buddha’ means “Awakened One.” When someone is awakened or enlightened, then they have became a Buddha; someone who is completely “free from all faults and mental obstructions”…show more content…
Buddha’s most unique teaching was that the soul did not exist and that people live in a state of anatman. Anatman is the absence of enduring souls. He did not see gods or the necessity of worship to be relevant. Buddha’s teachings consisted of Four Noble Truths. These were his basic teachings. According to Kozak, the first was the truth of suffering. All life includes suffering. Suffering comes in many forms- old age, sickness, and death- the first sights Buddha saw when he began his journey. Second was the truth of the origin of suffering. Buddha believed the origin of suffering is desire, greed, ignorance, and hatred. Third, he taught the truth of the cessation of suffering. Suffering can be ended. The fourth Noble Truth was the truth of the path to the cessation of suffering. The fourth one tells the way to end suffering is the set of principles called the Noble Eightfold Path or the Middle Way. (Kozak). If one studies Buddha’s teachings, they will be able to “solve all [their] inner problems and attain a truly peaceful mind” (Gyasto). Without having inner peace, you cannot have outer peace. Buddhists practice ethical behavior, meditation, and devotion. Ethical behavior is “an essential component of the Buddhist spiritual path” (Landaw). Buddhism is considered the “religion of meditation” and the purpose is not to calm the mind or become uncaring, the purpose is to “experience the profound and ultimately liberating insight into the nature of reality and yourself” (Landaw). The main study for their devotion became known as The Three Jewels, which are Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha- (the great teacher, his teachings, and the spiritual
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