What is Buddhism?
Buddhism is a religion and a dharma that surrounds diversified beliefs, traditions and spiritual practices that are in line with the accredited teachings of the Buddha. More than 7% of the world population are followers of Buddhism. The main purpose of religion is enlightenment, which means a state of unconditional and permanent happiness. Buddhism indicates believers to lasting values in this temporary world and provides them with relevant information relating to the facts of situations. Buddhists reach the potential of realizing the ultimate goal of enlightenment through their practical understanding of the cause and effect of the law.
Origin of Buddhism
Buddhism was born between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE in ancient India. From India, it progressed in much of Asia, after which it declined in India at the time of the Middle Ages. The roots of Buddhism lied at the time of intellectual ferment and the period of socio-cultural change in the Vedic period. Due to the growth of new ideas in Vedic traditions, ṇramaṇa’s movements grew. The movements subsequently developed in the phases of Paccekabuddha and Savaka. This last period was the last stage of the emergence of Buddhism alongside Jainism. The oldest Buddhist texts contain Brahmanical motifs that introduce and explain the idea of a Buddhist.
Buddhism in India
Buddhism began in India through Prince Siddharts Gautama in a kingdom near the modern border of Nepal and India. The followers of Siddharts Gautama began to call him Buddha because of his enlightenment to sit under a pipal tree, now known as the Bodhi tree. Ancient Buddhism is the first phase of religion in Indian Buddhism. The other successive phases are sectarian Buddhism, early and advanced Mahayana Buddhism and Vajrayana Buddhism in respective order.
Buddhism of modern times
Buddhism is growing in many corners of the world. There is a growing number of Buddhist texts translated into local languages. Buddhism is traditional and familiar in the East but progressive in the West. Some countries like Bhutan and Cambodia have Buddhism as state religion and receive support from country administrations. However, there are some places, like Pakistan, where Buddhist monuments are places of destruction and violence.
New forms of Buddhism are developing from modern influence that withdraws from traditional practices and beliefs. A significant number of Buddhist movements developed in the late twentieth century to go against the traditional doctrines of religion. One of these movements is the Navayan School which abolishes ideas such as a rebirth, nirvana, karma, meditation, renunciation and samsara, among others. The Dhammakaya movement in Thailand, the Soka Gakkai in Japan and Buddhism won in Korea are some of the modern movements of Buddhism.
Fundamental values of Buddhists
Buddhism consists of a variety of traditions, but most of them have a common set of fundamental beliefs. The central idea of Buddhism is reincarnation, which is the concept of life after death. The fundamental teachings surrounding the central belief include the Four Noble Truths, the Three Universal Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.