October 19, 2009

Buddhism Facts

Buddhism is the fourth largest religion of the world. Founded by Gautam Buddha, it is a path of spiritual development that helps a person in finding the true nature of life. Buddhism emphasizes on experiencing, rather than teaching or learning. It considers meditation as the means to enlightenment and is based on a number of principles. The followers of Buddhism do not worship any God and follow the noble eightfold path to lead a meaningful existence.

In the following lines, we have provided some quick information on Buddhism in a brief form. Read on to know some facts about Buddhism …

Meaning: System taught by the Buddha
Date founded: c. 520 BCE
Place founded: Northeastern India
Founder: Siddharta Gautama ("the Buddha"), an Indian prince
Adherents: 360 million
Size rank: Fourth largest world religion
Main locations: China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia
Major divisions: Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana
Spiritual leader: Monk (lama in Tibetan Buddhism)
Ultimate reality: None. Nothing is permanent.
Human nature: There is no self or soul. Human existence is nothing more than a combination of five impermanent components (khandas).
Afterlife: Rebirth or nirvana. Nirvana is seen simply as the cessation of suffering by some and as a heavenly paradise by others.

Three Jewels/Three Refuges:
1. The Buddha
2. The sangha (monastic community)
3. The dharma (truth or teachings)

Three Delusions:
1. Ignorance
2. Desire
3. Anger or hatred

Three Trainings:
1. Moral discipline
2. Concentration
3. Wisdom

Three Marks of Existence:
1. Impermanence (anicca)
2. Unsatisfactoriness (dukkha)
3. No-self (anatta)

Four Noble Truths:
1. All of life is marked by suffering.
2. Suffering is caused by desire and attachment.
3. Suffering can be eliminated.
4. Suffering is eliminated by following the Noble Eightfold Path.

Four Immeasurables or Sublime States:
1. Equanimity (upekkha)
2. Loving-kindness (metta)
3. Compassion (karuna)
4. Sympathetic joy (mudita)

Four Reminders:
1. Human life is precious.
2. Death is inevitable.
3. The laws of karma cannot be avoided.
4. Suffering permeates all existence.

Four Bodhisattva Vows:
1. I vow to rescue the boundless living beings from suffering.
2. I vow to put an end to the infinite afflictions of living beings.
3. I vow to learn the measureless Dharma-doors.
4. I vow to realise the unsurpassed path of the Buddha.

Five Precepts:
1. Do not kill.
2. Do not steal.
3. Do not engage in sexual misconduct.
4. Do not lie.
5. Do not use intoxicants.

Five Powers:
1. Faith and confidence
2. Energy and effort
3. Mindfulness
4. Samadhi
5. Wisdom

Five Hindrances:
1. Sense craving
2. Anger or ill will
3. Sloth and torpor
4. Restlessness and worry
5. Doubt and the inner critic

Five Dhyani (Wisdom) Buddhas:

Six Perfections:
1. Concentration
2. Effort
3. Ethical behavior
4. Generosity
5. Patience
6. Wisdom
Six Realms of Existence:
1. Hell-beings
2. Hungry ghosts
3. Animals
4. Humans
5. Anti-gods or demigods
6. Gods

Noble Eightfold Path:
1. Right beliefs
2. Right aspirations
3. Right speech
4. Right conduct
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right meditational attainment

Ten Paramita:
1. Giving or generosity
2. Virtue, ethics, morality
3. Renunciation, letting go, not grasping
4. Wisdom and insight
5. Energy, vigour, vitality, diligence
6. Patience or forbearance
7. Truthfulness
8. Resolution, determination, intention
9. Kindness, love, friendliness
10. Equanimity

Twelve Links of Dependent Arising:
1. Ignorance
2. Karmic formations
3. Consciousness
4. Name and form
5. Six senses
6. Contact
7. Feeling
8. Craving
9. Grasping
10. Becoming
11. Birth
12. Aging and Death

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