Buddhism interesting facts
- 'Bauddha Dharma' (Buddhism) can be translated as 'Religion of the Buddha' or 'Way of Buddha'. Thus it means following the teachings of the enlightened one.
- Buddhism was founded in the north-eastern part of India (Between India and Nepal)
- Buddhism is a nontheistic religion (Independent from the belief or non-belief of God); Mahayana tradition is considered polytheistic.
- Gautama Buddha is considered the founder of Buddhism. (He himself acknowledged that there had been many enlightened ones in the past and there will be many in the future; however the teachings of Buddhism as it is today is largely based on the teachings of the Gautama Buddha)
- Theravada ("The School of the Elders") and Mahayana ("The Great Vehicle") are the two major branches of Buddhism.
- Buddhism teaches that the 'Middle Way' is the best path towards liberation. Neither too much worldliness nor too much of asceticism are good to one's spiritual advancement.
- Fig tree is revered in Buddhism because it was under a Fig tree that Buddha got enlightened.
- Tripitaka (3 baskets) is considered the most important text of Buddhism, it has 3 volumes: Sutta Pitaka, Vinaya Pitaka and Abhidhamma Pitaka.
- Buddha is one who is perfected and purified and has no more cravings and thus no more births.
- Full moon day is a sacred day, especially the Buddha Poornima, the birthday of Buddha, also the day of his enlightenment and Death (Nirvaana and Parinirvaana).
- Viharas are the sacred places of Buddhists where they worship, meditate, read scriptures, discuss and attend lectures.
- Visitors do not wear shoes inside the Viharas.
- Candles and incense sticks are lit during worship, they symbolize light(knowledge)
- Pali is the original languages of the Buddhist scriptures, it is also the language used during Buddha's era.
- Purpose of Life is to attain liberation from the cycle of birth and death which is the cause of suffering.
- Buddhism was founded in the 6th Century BC (528BC-448BC).
- Buddhism is the 4th Largest religion by population behind Christianity, Islam, Hinduism.
- The '3 Jewels of Buddhism' are: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Taking refuge in these is considered to be one's way out of misery.
- There are 4 Noble truths: There is suffering, origin of suffering, there is an end to suffering, way to end suffering.
- Noble Eightfold Path to end suffering: Right view, Right intention, Right speech, Right action, Right livelihood, Right effort, Right mindfulness, Right concentration.
- There are 6 realms or types of existence: Naraka beings, Preta, Animals, Human beings, Asuras and Devas.
- There are 4 immeasurables, 4 virtues and practices for their attainment: loving-kindness, compassion, Empathetic joy .
- There are 12 sources of suffering and they are interdependent.
- There are 5 precepts which are the guidelines to be followed by a serious Buddhist.
Teachings of Buddhism
- There is suffering in Life and there is a way to end it forever.
- Nothing in the creation has any intrinsic nature, thus there is emptiness.
Important aspects/ Beliefs
Three Jewels of Buddhism:
Four Noble Truths
- There is suffering
- The ways of Origin of Suffering
- There is a permanent end to suffering
- The path of Ending Suffering
Noble Eightfold Path to end suffering
Eight fold living and practices that help one rise above suffering:
- Right view or understanding: Viewing reality as it is, not just as it appears to be.
- Right intention or thought: Intention of freedom and purity.
- Right speech: Speaking in a truthful way.
- Right action
- Right livelihood
- Right effort
- Right mindfulness
- Right concentration
The repetitive cycle of birth and death is Samsaara. One is believed to die and born in the physical and Psychological realms repetitively because of his ignorance.
Every (mental) action bears fruit. Everything we think of becomes fruitful in later stages of life or the next lives. Thought is like a seed, it is bound to germinate. 'As you sow, so you reap.'
Birth is not the beginning, death is not the end of us. Birth and death are just transitory events. Every one that dies will be born in another form until that one gets rid of all ignorance and achieves the higher state of Complete Liberation.
6 Realms of Existence of Life
- Naraka beings: Beings of many types of hells.
- Preta: Ghosts which sometimes live among humans, but mostly invisible.
- Animals: Lower forms of life other than humans which do not have capable nervous system and brain for enlightenment.
- Human beings: Form of life where liberation is possible.
- Asuras: Daityas, demons; these are powerful and driven by passion; lack purity of intellect.
- Devas: These are demi-gods, angels, deities and pure spirits; these are still bound by samsaara to some extent.
4 virtues and practices for their attainment
- Empathetic joy
The Path of moderation away from the two extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification.
Three Marks of Existence
Twelve Nidaanas (inter-dependant causes of Suffering)
- Avidyā (Ignorance): Ignorance of the nature of reality.
- Saṃskāra (formations): Previously created formations of the mind (dispositions, volitional formations, conditioning, fabrications) ('Karma' can also mean Samskaara)
- Vijñāna (discernment): Discrimination, discernment; thought it is a good is also the cause of suffering when intermingles with other causes
- Nama-rupa: mind and body; name and form.
- Ṣaḍāyatana (Six sense bases):eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind.
- Sparsha (contact): impression, stimulation
- Vedanā (Sensation): feeling
- Tṛṣṇā (Craving): thirst, desire
- Upādāna (Attachment): clinging or grasping
- Bhava (Becoming): status of being/ existence
- Jāti (Birth):
- Jarāmaraṇa (Aging and death)
All existence is without self-nature in its truest form, meaning things lack intrinsic reality, intrinsic objectivity, intrinsic identity or intrinsic referentiality. Lacking such static essence or substance does not make them not exist, it makes them thoroughly relative.
Is the end of all suffering, the cessation of desire. The state of enlightenment achieved by the purified spiritual seekers.
- Ahimsā: To refrain from violence towards sentient life forms
- To refrain from taking that which is not given
- To refrain from sensual (including sexual) misconduct;
- To refrain from lying (speaking truth always);
- To refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness (drugs, alcohol etc).
List of 28 Buddhas
There are 28 Buddhas including Gautama Buddha that the Buddhists revere and pay respects to, They are the Buddhas of the past who taught Dharma to populace just like Gautama Buddha.
- Kassapa/ Kashyapa
Five Dhyani Buddhas