This entry is part 19 of 19 in the series Understanding Buddhism

The Basics of Buddhism Beliefs. Here the two sects of Buddhism; Theraveda Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism are discussed. The Theraveda sect concentrates on meditation and yoga to attain spiritual ‘nirvana’ and is atheist in nature, whereas the Mahayana sect revolves around prayers, rituals and deities like Zen, Pure Land, etc. to attain liberation of the soul. Theraveda Buddhism is practiced in South-East Asia and Mahayana Buddhism is followed by the Chinese and Japanese followers.

Buddhism is based on practicality and not irrational speculations. Gautama Buddha is widely believed to have attained Enlightenment under the ‘Bodh Gaya’ banyan tree, after which he refused to believe anything that could not be put into practice. He urged his followers to not debate about the existence of God, about the oneness or God or superiority of religion and simply follow the four ‘Noble Truths’ specified to ease suffering.

The Basics of Buddhism Beliefs

Buddhas Rejection of the ‘Rebirth’ Cycle

As is popularized by Hinduism, the concept of the soul or the ‘atman’ leaving form on death and simply moving onto another life, called Samsara in Buddhism was discarded by Gautama Buddha. ‘No life form once having left the Earth comes back to life’ is his theory. He believed that the Universe is an inn and we are all travelers trying to escape sorrow and distress.

Buddhism preaches that the goal of human life is to overcome sorrow – however, it is quick to point out that no one really manages to escape sorrow in life. The major reasons for being tied down with melancholy is that humans are constantly on the pursuit of materialistic objects which might quench desire but seldom brings true happiness.

The Three Safe Havens for Buddhists. In order to escape sorrow and abandon the pursuit of worldly objects, every Buddhist follower ought to seek protection under the Three Jewels of Buddhism’ – the Buddha, the Sangha and the Dharma. The Buddha stands for Enlightenment, the Sangha stands for the fellow Buddhist community and the Dharma stands for Buddhist teachings.

The Basic Beliefs of Buddhism

The Three superstitions to be avoided. On all accounts, one must strive to avoid the three aberrations of Ignorance, Hatred and Anger as they corrupt your soul and make it impossible to attain salvation.

The Three claims of life. Buddhism preaches that a person has not yet attained nirvana (or is still materialistic) if he/she has the following three nuances, Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta. Anicca stands for change in the mood, Dukkha stands for pessimism and an insatiate spirit, Anatta stands for no self-control.

The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism

Buddhism strongly urges its followers to accept the ‘Four Noble Truths’ as specified by the Gautama Buddha. The truths are as follows:

  1. Life is full of suffering.
  2. The more you fancy materials and the more you are attached to them, the more you suffer.
  3. You can cease suffering.
  4. In order to cease suffering, you must follow the ‘Noble Eightfold Path’.

These wonderful books about Buddhas teachings will help you on your personal journey of self discovery. The Basics of Buddhism Beliefs is well worth the research and inner reflection:

Buddhism for Beginners: The Sacred Teachings of the BuddhaBuddhism for Beginners: The Sacred Teachings of the BuddhaBuy from Amazonuddhism Without Beliefs: Introduction on BuddhismEssential Buddhism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs and PracticesBuy from AmazonBuddhism Without Beliefs: Introduction on BuddhismBuddhism Without Beliefs: Introduction on BuddhismBuy from Amazon

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