The Three Major Schools of Buddhism Essay

2177 WordsDec 5, 20129 Pages
The Three Major Schools of Buddhism Buddhism happens to be one of the most ancient religions known to man The religion has a tremendous number of followers, somewhere in the 300 millions, most of whom are located in Southeast Asia and it’s neighboring countries. Buddhism derives from the Sanskrit word Budi which literally means, “to awaken.” The religion came about almost 2,500 ago, when a man named Siddhartha Gautama, became truly enlightened at 35 years old. Siddhartha Gautama was born into a royal family in 536 BC. His father, King Suddhodana, tried the very best he could to prevent him from ever seeing human suffering. He was not allowed to see any elderly, sick, deceased, or aesthetic people. For a very long time, Siddhartha’s life was full of only beauty and health. But once he saw each of the types of suffering he was so closely guarded from for so long, he realized that luxury and health did not guarantee happiness. At 29 years old, Siddhartha went off on his own spiritual journey. He meditated and studied different religions for six years until he became truly enlightened. After becoming reaching nirvana, Buddha spread his teaching of Dharma all around the world until he died at the age of 80. Buddha is not a God, and never claimed to be. He was just a man who shared his own path to enlightenment in order to help others achieve the same. This is why, to many, Buddhism is not only a religion, but also a philosophy and way of life that can lead one to true happiness and enlightenment. Buddhists do not worship idols. They will however, pay homage to images of the Buddha. This is not to be mistaken with praying to the Buddha or asking him for favors. They bow down to the image solely out of respect for his teachings. According to Ferdinand Herold, author of Life of Buddha, “there are basic concepts in Buddhism can be summed up by the Four Noble

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