Buddhism is a religion. Buddhism is based on teachings of Siddhartha Gautam Buddha, it is about 2500 years old dharma. This religion is followed by 350 million Buddhists worldwide. Siddhartha Gautam was sitting under a boddhi tree, when he had first three enlightened revelations.
The most common Buddhism symbol is the Buddha’s footprint. It is a religion about suffering & the need is to get rid of it. The concept of Buddhism is Nirvana, a state without suffering.
Buddhist path can be defined as:
- To lead a moral life
- To develop understanding
- To be aware of actions
Real Buddhism is very tolerant & not concerned with ‘Christian’, ‘Muslim’, ‘Hindu’, and ‘Buddhist’.
Buddhism Symbols are the Buddha’s footprint. The footprints of the Buddha represent the body of the Lord. Symbols are swastikas, lotuses & dharma wheels. The footprints exist in India, China, Japan, Sri Lanka & Singapore.
- Wheel of Life: It represents the cycle of life, death & rebirth. The Buddha taught about eight ways of life. It is also called as Dharma. It is wheel of the law.
- The Lotus Flower: It represents purity & divine birth. It rises in mud at the bottom of a pool, but rises above to become beautiful flower. It means that in life nothing is impossible. It can be any color except blue.
- Swastika: It is a well known good luck symbol from India. In India, Hindu uses the swastika to mark the doors, account books. The right hand swastika is a solar symbol. It is favorite symbol. It is found in Mayan & Navajo art.
- Stupa: It is a monument where the ashes of the holy monk are kept.
- Triratana: The three jewels – the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha.
- Chattra: A protection against all evil.
- Dhvaja: The victory of the Buddha’s teachings.
- Deer: The Buddha which was held in the deer park of Benares.
- Naga: The snake king. It is protector of the Buddha and the Dhamma.
The Buddha teaching is divided into three parts:
1. The Three Signs of being are:
Change- It means nothing in the world is fixed or permanent. We ourselves are not the same people either physically, mentally and emotionally.
Suffering- the Buddhist believes that life is all suffering. They believe that there is a joy in life, but cannot be all joy thus life must be suffering.
No ‘I’- It means more difficult. There is nothing everlasting or unchangeable in human beings no soul or self.
2. The Four Noble Truths-
Dukkha- It is one of the three signs of being the other being. Annatta-no permanent self.
Samudaya- Dukkha is seen as originating in Tanha, a craving that cannot be satisfied- results in rebirth.
Nirodha Marga- The cessation of Dukkha overcoming of tanha. This way is often known as the middle way of life. The four noble truth is the way of life overcome dukkha by following the noble eight fold path.
3. The Noble Eightfold Path:
The Noble Eight fold Path is as follows:
Right Understanding- It means proper understanding of Buddha’s teaching.
Right Intention- It means thinking kind or wise thoughts.
Right Speech- It means not telling lie, speaking honestly.
Right Action- It means behaving peacefully & honestly.
Right Livelihood- It means not harming anyone.
Right effort- It means think before acting.
Right Mindfulness- It means paying full attention to what is going on.
Right Meditation- It means paying full attention in meditation.
The Buddhist Flag:
The Buddhist Flag was designed in 1880. It was hosted in 1885 in Sri Lanka. It is symbol of faith & peace. The five colour of the flag represents the color of the aura, when Buddha attained enlightens.
Blue Co lour Loving kindness, peace
Yellow (The middle path): Avoiding extremes emptiness
Red (Blessing of Practice): Dignity, wisdom, achievement & fortune
White (Purity of Dharma): It leads to liberalization, outside of time or space
Orange (The Buddha’s teaching): Wisdom
Buddhists Worship Places :
Buddhists worship at home or at a temple. Worshipers may sit on the floor, facing an image of Buddha. Many visit temples in full moon days or festivals. Buddhist worship in the shrine room in front of an image of Buddha, they have bow 3 times with their hands together. Each bowl stands for 3 jewels, Buddha, dharma and sangha.
Buddhism Five Precepts
The Buddha have passed the 5 precepts are as follows.
- No killing- Respect of life.
- No stealing- Respect for other’s property
- No sexual misconduct- Respect for our pure nature
- No lying- Respect for honesty
- No intoxicants- Respect for a clear mind.
Buddhism Main Traditions
There are two main movements in Buddhism are as follows.
Theravada Buddhism (Way of the Elders) – It maintains the importance of the community of monks. They mostly live in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos & Thailand. They are Southern Buddhism.
Mahayana Buddhism- Mahayana Buddhism is eastern Buddhism. This Buddhism opens a wider range of authoritative texts & ideas.
Buddhists have many festivals throughout the year. The festivals are as follows.
- Buddha Day- The most important event of the year is the celebration of the birth of the Buddha, his enlighten & Nirvana. It comes on full moon day in May.
- Dharma Day- Asalha puja known as Dharma day is celebrated during full moon in July.
- Sangha Day- It means the close relationship between the sangha & laity. Sangha day or kathina day is usually held in October.
- Ullambana- It is based on the story of Mavdgalyayana a discipline of the Buddha.