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Facts on Buddhism

Facts on Buddhism - Origins

Buddhism was founded in India by a prince called Siddhartha Gautama around 500 BC.  After he achieved enlightenment, he was called Buddha. Today, it is estimated that there are over 350 million practicing Buddhists worldwide.  China is the number one country for Buddhism with over 100 million practicing Buddhists.  If you are planning to import from China and build relationships there, you’ll need to learn the facts on the Buddhism beliefs and practices.

Facts on Buddhism - Four Noble Truths

Buddha's teachings are included in the doctrine of the four noble truths of Buddhism:  

  1. Duhkha (suffering) exists.  The beginning of one's wisdom is the acceptance of suffering as part of life.  This includes both physical and mental forms of suffering.
  2. Duhkha (suffering) has a cause which is called trishna.  This ache exists naturally in everything.  Suffering is caused by our desires.
  3. The cause can be terminated in a process called Nirvana which is described in Buddhist scriptures as supreme bliss or perfect peace without suffering.  This suffering can be eliminated by overcoming our desires.
  4. The means by which trishna can be terminated is outlined in the teachings of the Noble Eightfold Path.  Freedom from desires can be attained through meditation and practicing the Eightfold Path.

Facts on Buddhism - Eightfold Path

Buddha’s Teachings’s of the Noble Eightfold Path:

  1. Right Understanding
  2. Right thought
  3. Right speech
  4. Right action
  5. Right livelihood
  6. Right effort
  7. Right mindfulness
  8. Right concentration

The Eightfold Path can be subdivided into three elements:  wisdom, morality, meditation.  The practicing Buddhist needs to develop these three elements together in unison.

Facts on Buddhism - Eightfold Path

Wisdom

The right understanding entails the reading or listening to Buddha's teachings.  The right thought involves the correct motivation as one moves from being egocentric to being selfless. The thinking evolves to caring about the environment and providing service to the world.

Morality

Buddhists try to be aware of their moral failings and attempt to do better next time.  The right speech teaches the Buddhist to refrain from foul language or any degrading words.   It also teaches the importance of being truthful.  The Right Behavior involves doing the proper things according to the Buddhist ways.  There are five Precepts or Pancha Shila:

  1. Do not take life or kill living beings such as humans or animals.
  2. Do not take what is not yours or steal which includes money, property or even intangible things.
  3. Do not misuse your senses such as over indulge in food or any addictions in sights, sound, touch.
  4. Do not tell lies.
  5. Do not intoxicate yourself - drinks and drugs.

Meditation

It is used to free one's mind.  It allows one to see into the truth of one's self and the universe and bring enlightenment.

Facts on Buddhism - Wisdom, Morality & Meditation

Facts on Buddhism - Key Festivals

Wesak, the most important festival to the Buddhist, begins on the first full moon in May.   It celebrates Buddha's birth, his life, his teachings and when he left earth.  Shrines and temples all over the world are decorated with flowers, candles and lanterns.


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