Tenets of Buddhism

Posted: November 1, 2015 at 5:42 pm


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Bodhisattva at the National Museum, Delhi, India. CC Hyougushi at Flickr.com.

By N.S. Gill

Buddhism is the religion of the followers of Gautama Buddha (Sakayamuni). It is an offshoot of Hinduism with many variations in practices and belief, including vegetarianism, in some, but not all branches. Like Hinduism, Buddhism is one of the major religions of the world with probably more than 3.5 million adherents. Common threads of Buddhism include the 3 jewels (Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha 'community'), and the goal of nirvana.

Following the 8-fold path can lead to enlightenment and nirvana.

Emperor Ashoka (3rd century B.C.) inscribed Buddhist ideas on his famous pillars and send Buddhist missionaries to various parts of his empire. He also sent them to the king in Sri Lanka, where Buddhism became the state religion, and the teachings of the form of Buddhism known as Theravda Buddhism were later written down in the Pali language.

Between the fall of the Mauryan Empire and the next (Gupta) empire, Buddhism spread along the trade routes of Central Asia and into China, and diversified. [See the Silk Road.]

Great monasteries (Mahaviharas) grew important, especially as universities, during the Gupta Dynasty.

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Tenets of Buddhism

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November 1st, 2015 at 5:42 pm

Posted in Buddhism