Buddhist Religion

The Buddhist religion is thought to have evolved from the Hindu religion in that it shares beliefs in karma, dharma and reincarnation.

Karma is the total of a person’s actions of body, speech and mind, good, bad and neutral taken in their current and previous lives.

Dharma refers to two things:

The teachings of the Buddha, a person’s path to enlightenment are the fundamental principle’s that order the universe.

Reincarnation is the rebirth of a living being after death, into a new body, that is either human, animal or a supernatural being.

The Buddhist religion does not involve the recognition or worship of deities and does not profess the existence of the human soul.

It was founded in Northern India by Siddhartha Gautama, around 500 BC and is recognized as one of the Dharmic religions.

There now exist 6 recognized forms of the Buddhist religion:

  • Theravada Buddhism – It is sometimes called Southern Buddhism and is the dominant type of Buddhism in Southeast Asia since the 13th century. It is found in Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Laos.

  • Mahayana Buddhism – It is sometimes called Northern Buddhism and is largely found in China, Japan, Korea, Tibet and Mongolia.

  • Vajrayana Buddhism – It is also known as Tantric,

  • Mantrayana, Tantrayana, Esoteric or True Words Sect.

  • Tibetan Buddhism – This sect developed in isolation from the other sects because of Tibet being remote.

  • Zen Buddhism – This developed from the Chinese Mahayan sect known as Chan. It is becoming more popular in the rest of the world.

    Buddha’s Teachings There are four noble truths:

  • There is suffering.
  • There is cause for suffering.
  • There is cessation of suffering.
  • There is path leading to the cessation of suffering.

    These four noble truths are presented in a written format known as the Tipikata.

    The aim of a Buddhist is to attain final liberation called Nibbana and one must use mind and body to attain this by following the Noble eight-fold path.

  • Right View – To understand wholesome deeds, unwholesome deeds and comprehend the law of Karma.
  • Right Intention – The intention of non-greed, non-hatred and non-delusion.
  • Right Speech – Abstaining from false speech, malicious speech, harsh speech and idle chatter.
  • Right Action – Abstaining from killing, stealing and sexual misconduct.
  • Right Livelihood – Abstaining from wrong and corrupt means of livelihood.
  • Right Effort – Awakening zeal for abandoning of unwholesome states and arising and sustaining of wholesome states.
  • Right Mindfulness – The four foundations of mindfulness (satipattana) namely contemplation on body, contemplation on feelings, contemplation on mind and contemplation on mind-objects.
  • Right Concentration – Abandoning of five hindrances, lust, ill will, sloth-torpor, worry agitation and doubt through jhanas.


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