Buddhism believe in the afterlife and is an Eastern religion and philosophy that originated in the 6th century BC in India. It subsequently spread throughout much of Central and Southeast Asia. It is estimated that about 500 million people worldwide, or about 10% of the population, practice Buddhism. Reading this article, you will understand what Buddhism is, what Buddhism believe in, and the main differences between Buddhism and Christianity.
According to the Buddha’s teachings, Buddhism believe the secret to happiness is simple: want what you already have and don’t want what you don’t have. The fat Buddha that people often see in restaurants as decorations is not the real Buddha but a character from Chinese folklore called “Buddha.” Legend has it that the Buddha lived to the age of 80. He supposedly died between two trees, which miraculously blossomed then. Scientists who have studied the brains of Buddhist monks during meditation have concluded that impulses in the brain change, increasing feelings of happiness.
Buddhism has fascinated world leaders, actors, and even scientists. The Buddhism beliefs, religion, and folk philosophy that originated in India have been embraced by an estimated 500 million people worldwide.
What does Buddhism mean?
Religions are so numerous globally that it is almost impossible to keep track of all the practices in the name of faith. Each individual tries to find God, no matter what religion they have adopted. Yet, although they are so different, they all have in common the idea of bonding and teaching about love. What is Buddhism, and what does Buddhism believe in?
Buddhism is an Eastern religion and philosophy, originating in the sixth century BC India. It spread throughout most of Central and Southeast Asia. Based on the teachings of Gautama Siddhartha, an Indian thinker and spiritual leader. Buddhism has undergone many splits and is now a divided religion. With no common sacred language and no strict, formulated dogma.
Buddhism remains one of the most fascinating and unique ways to live and choose to believe in something. Especially if you are not familiar with that belief. The fourth most widespread religion globally, at around 7% of the planet’s population, Buddhism is not just about meditation or silence.
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Buddhism and Christianity
Buddhism is a very divided religion without a strict and formulated dogma. Also, Buddhism is widespread in China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Korea, Mongolia, the Union of Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Buddhism and Christianity are very different. While similarities can be found between Christianity, Judaism, Martyrdom, and Islam, it will be seen below that there are very few similarities between Christianity and Buddhism, with predominating differences between Buddhism and Christianity.
Buddhism is the only religion whose founder declares himself neither God’s prophet nor his messenger and rejects the idea of a God who is a Higher Being.
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Where does Buddhism originate?
Buddhism belongs to the group of Dharmic religions, along with Hinduism and Jainism. They retain a strong influence on the main elements of these two religions. New contemporary scholars confirm the teachings of the Enlightened One, despite old theories that considered Buddha a mythological figure.
Buddhism originates from the earliest account of the prophet’s life, which abounds with fantastic and legendary elements. Buddhists believe that Prince Gautama was born in Lumbini. And he was raised in Kapilavastu, near the India-Nepal border. The Buddha’s father was the leader of the Sakya tribal group. After dreaming of his son leaving his palace as a hermit, he decided to protect him from hostilities, lest he chooses the asceticism path.
Asia, a visionary of the region, foretold the infant prince of a prominent destiny in the priestly sphere. The Buddha manages to make four forays outside the palace, encountering a feeble older man, a sick man, a dead man, and a monk. The first three reveal to him the impermanence of material existence due to old age, sickness, and death, and the monk tells him how to overcome human suffering in all its forms through meditation.
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What does Buddhism believe in?
Buddhism was founded in the 5th century and is considered by some to be a religion and, by others, a philosophy or practice based on meditation. There are many different philosophies in which compassion, love of neighbor, concern for the sufferings of others, and self-effacement are of fundamental importance regardless of the air.
Buddhism strongly believe that the most precious thing is compassion and even practices it. They genuinely believe that if we have a good heart and kind feelings, we will be happy and content with ourselves.
Buddhism does not contradict science. It does not refuse medicine, nor is it in opposition to other faiths. Buddhism shows that no one likes suffering, but all beings experience it until they reach enlightenment. It is also a tool for liberation from conditioning.
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Buddhism major beliefs
The founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Guatama (born 560 BC, died 480 BC, according to modern historians), was born into a royal family in India. He lived a life of luxury, his family trying to protect him from pain and suffering by limiting his contact with outsiders.
The basic principle and Buddhism’s major beliefs are compassion and love of neighbor. Amplifying love and compassion is fundamental, and the Dalai Lama says this is the religion’s main message.
Buddhism believe that Dalai Lama also argues that practicing the essentials in our daily lives is important. In this respect, there is almost no difference between Buddhism, Christianity, and other religions. All religions emphasize improvement, the straightening of the human being, the feeling of brotherhood, and love for one’s neighbor.
- Compassion (karunā)
- Unconditional love for others (pali:mettā; Sanskrit:maitrī)
All these are common to all religions. So, if we examine the essence of faith, there are no significant differences between the Buddhist and Christianity religions.
Buddhist beliefs about God
Buddhism is an Eastern religion and philosophy. It originated in India in the 6th century BC and spread throughout Central and Southeast Asia. It is based on the teachings of Gautama Siddhartha (Buddha Shakyamuni), an Indian thinker believed to have lived between 563 BC and 483 BC.
Buddhists perceive God not necessarily as a being but more as energy; they become a kind of god. They rely on traditions and the teachings of Buddha.
Over time, Buddhism has undergone many changes and is now a highly divided religion with no common sacred language and no strict, clearly formulated dogma. Widespread in China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Korea, Mongolia, the Union of Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The Buddhist Bible
The historical integrity of the founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha (623-543 BC, according to Buddhist tradition in Burma and Thailand; 560-480 BC, according to modern historians), is confirmed by most scholars today, despite old theories in the past that he was more of a mythological figure.
The official Buddhist Bible is called “The Tripitaka.” Still, no single book of Buddhist scripture is comparable to the Bible (Christianity) or the Quaran (Islam). Some followers of Buddhism consider the “Mahayana sutras” to be the Buddha’s original teachings. For others, Pāli Tipitaka (Three Baskets, refers to three collections of texts: Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka, and Abhidhamma Pitaka)
Buddhism belongs to the group of dharmic religions alongside Hinduism and Jainism, retaining a strong influence on the constituent elements of these two religions. It is also called ‘Buddha Dharma,’ which in Sanskrit and Pali (the languages of ancient Buddhist texts) means ‘the teachings of the Enlightened One.
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Meaning of Dharma Wheel
Dharma Wheel, in the shape of the wheel, as a circle, symbolizes perfection or the Dharma teachings, where the three components signify the three aspects of these teachings, relating to ethics, wisdom, and concentration. As the center of the wheel, the hub embodies the discipline and mental stability vital to meditation. The spikes are symbols of the wisdom and awareness needed to dispel ignorance, while the other represents the state of awareness that holds everything together.
The word ‘dharma’ can be translated as ‘law,’ which is why the Dharma wheel is said to be the ‘wheel of law.’ This Buddhist symbol may have its origins in Hinduism as the Hindu god Vishnu is usually depicted carrying a wheel, considered a powerful weapon capable of defeating human passions and desires.
Representation of Dharma Wheel
Buddhism death beliefs
A man’s karma is the result of a deed, as in Hinduism, and is based on the strict law of conditionalism (Pratitya-samutpada), according to which, from every phenomenon, another must result. The consequence of a deed committed in this life does not necessarily materialize in the next life but may manifest itself in the same or more distant lives.
Buddhist death beliefs involve karma. If in the pre-Buddhist religions of India, the soul (atman) was the element of the passage from one life to another through reincarnation. Buddhist death beliefs are the dying man’s very ‘thirst’ (tanha) to reincarnate into a better being for his karma as there is no eternal soul, the connection between a present individual. And one in a pre-existing life is not a physical or spiritual one but a purely karmic, moral one.
However, Buddhism believe that it is not the deed that determines karma. But instead, the intention to commit it and the perpetrator’s attitude. For example, if a person intends to do a particular deed but is prevented from doing it. This intention will influence that person’s karma, even though the act has not changed the environment.
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What is Nirvana?
A Buddhist must detach himself from karma and the cycle of reincarnation by continuing to do good deeds. But with an attitude detached from their outcome. He must let go of certain states: desire, ignorance, craving, delusion, and self-centeredness. Belief in an eternal self, and hatred, to detach himself from these human instincts.
Nirvana is the state in which suffering is eradicated, and man is freed from the cycle of reincarnation. The ultimate goal of Buddhism is Nirvana when the ‘extinction’ of all desires is complete, and the person is transformed into another state.
Those who believe that the Buddhist religion is the true religion should ask themselves if this is the purpose of life: to live, to endure so much pain and suffering, and then to die and start again. It should raise a question mark over the point of such things. Christians know that God sent His Son to die for us, just once, so that we would not suffer for all eternity.
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You might also want to know…
The teachings of Buddhism are also common to Hinduism. Namely: reincarnation, karma, and Maya. Buddhism can be challenging to understand in terms of its relationship to God. Some streams of Buddhism could legitimately be called atheistic, while others could be called pantheistic, and others believe in something supernatural, but it needs to be more clearly defined. Classical Buddhism, however, tends to remain silent about the reality of a supreme being.
Buddhism is divided into two broad categories: Theravada and Mahayana. Theravada is the form of monasticism that reserves the highest enlightenment and Nirvana for monks, while Mahayana Buddhism is for non-monks. Buddhism has many branches: Tendai, Vajrayana, Nichiren, Shingon, Pure Land, Zen Koans, and Ryobi.
Buddha never considered himself a god. Instead, after his death, he was elevated to godhood by some of his followers, although not all Buddhists agree with this view. Buddhism does not answer the question of who created the universe because there is no notion of beginning and end in Buddhism. For Buddhists, man is subject to an endless cycle of reincarnation.
Similarities between Buddhism and Christianity
In Buddhism, there are three ‘fires’ that the practitioner tries to extinguish to find Nirvana: passion, hatred, and ignorance (delusion). This teaching is common to the Bible, which says, “So let sin no longer reign in your mortal body and do not obey its lusts.” (Romans 6:12).
At the same time, hatred and ignorance are also denounced in Scripture. There are around 70 sayings that speak of “foolishness,” and all of them are in a negative context. Hatred is also negative: “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all faults” (Proverbs 10:12).
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Differences between Buddhism and Christianity
Buddhism’s quelling of “passion” differs from the Bible’s direction. Buddhism does not see sin as a violation of a divine moral code. Instead, it recommends the elimination of all desires to get rid of all desires. Instead, God promises to fulfill the desires of our hearts so that we may enjoy Him (Psalms 37:4).
Unlike Nirvana, in the Christian view, heaven is where eternal joy and desires are fulfilled. Buddhism does not believe in the existence of the soul or eternal life. Or the presence of a creative and loving God. Thus, as in Islam, man must strive to save himself.
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- Buddhism spread throughout the Indian subcontinent and neighboring countries (such as Sri Lanka) during the first five centuries. After the Buddha’s death. It spread to Asia and other continents in the two millennia that followed.
- According to Buddhist philosophy, existence, the world in general, has three characteristics: impermanence (Skt. anitya pal. anicca); non-self (Skt. anātman pal. anatta), and dissatisfaction (Skt. duhkha pal. dukkha) or pain.
- The Buddhist eight-armed path is the way to remove suffering, the fourth part of the four Noble Truths. The eight arms can be divided into three sections: Sila (which refers to physical actions and gestures), Samadhi (which aims at meditative concentration), and Prajñā (which directs spiritual insight into the true nature of things).
Guatama meets four people: an older man, a sick man, a dead man, and a monk. The first three reveal the impermanence of material existence due to old age, illness, and death. Seeing the monk’s peace of mind, he decides to give up the life of wealth and become an ascetic to pursue enlightenment.
At age 35, he achieved enlightenment through meditation, becoming known as the ‘enlightened one’ or ‘Buddha.’ Later, he began to teach his fellow monks, among whom he had already acquired significant influence. Five of his colleagues became his first disciples. Gautama discovered that enlightenment lay on the ‘middle path, not in pampering, a life of luxury, or complete self-denial. He found what would be known as ‘the four noble truths.
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In conclusion, Buddhism believe that to achieve enlightenment; a Buddhist must detach himself from karma and the cycle of reincarnation. So he must continue to do good deeds, but with an attitude detached from their outcome. He must let go of desire (lobha), ignorance (avijjā), and craving (tanha). Delusion (moha), self-centeredness, or belief in an eternal self (attā). And hatred (dosa) becomes impersonal.