What is Buddhism?

Buddhism is not a Religion, because it is not centered on any god or goddess. Buddhism is not a Philosophy, because it is not contain an elaborate system of theories and facts. Buddhism is not a Ethical System, because it much more than the ordinary morality.

Then What is Buddhism???

buddha image2What is know as Buddhism consists of three aspects, the doctrinal (pariyatti), the practical (paripatti), and the realizable (pativedha), which are interdependent and interlated. the doctrine is preserved in the Tipitaka. This Tipitaka which contains the word of Buddha is estimated to be about 11 times the size of the Christian Bible. As the word itself implies it contains of Three Baskets, namely the Basket of Discipline (Vinara Pitaka), the Basket of Discourses (Sutta Pitaka), and the Basket of ultimate things (Abhidhamma Pitaka).

The Vinaya Pitaka which is subdivided into five books deals with the rules and regulations of the order of monks and nuns, and give a detailed account of the life and ministry of the Buddha, and also in some instance by his distinguished Disciples such as the Ven-Sariputta Moggallana, Ananda etc. Divided into 26 books it is rather like a collection of prescriptions for the sermons were propounded to suit the Occasion and the temperament of different individual. The Abhidhimma Pitaka however, is the most important and the interesting because it elaborates the four ultimate things i.e. consciousness (Citta), mental properties (mental concomitant), cetasika, matter (material quality, rupa) and Nibbana.

Thus we see that Buddhism is concerned with truth and facts and nothing to do with Theories and Philosophies which may be accept as gospel truth today and may be thrown overbook tomorrow. The Buddha has present us with no news astounding Philosophical theories nor did he venture to create any new material science, rather did he explain to us what is within and without so far as is concerns our emancipation, and ultimately he laid out a part of deliverance which is unique.

It should be understood that the Buddha did not preach all that he knew. On one occasion while he was passing through a forest the Buddha took a handful of leaves and said to some Bhikkhus, 'O Bhikkhus, what I have taught is comparable to the amount of leafs in my hand, and what I have not taught is comparable to the amount of the leaves in the forest, for he taught us only that which is necessary for our emancipation. Incidentally, taught, he has made some statements which are accepted as Scientific truths today.

Buddhism is not merely to be to be preserved in books, nor is it a subject to be studied only from an historical or literary point of view: on the contrary, it is to be learned and put into practice in the course of one's daily life, for without actual practice one cannot appreciate truth. Study and practice come fast, but above all it is realization, self-realization, which is its ultimate goal. As such, Buddhism is comparable to a raft which is meant for the sole purpose of escaping from the ocean of samsara (the circle of rebirths): Buddhism, therefore cannot strictly be called a philosophy.

Is it then a Religion?

Neither is it a religion in the sense in which that word is commonly understood, for it is not a system of faith and worship. Buddhism does not demand blind faith from its adherents: here mere belief is dethroned and replace by confidence, Saddha, as it know in Pali, based on knowledge of truth. The confidence placed by a follower in the Buddha is like that of a sick man towards the physician, or that of a student towards his teacher. A Buddhist seeks refuge in the Buddha because he who discovered the path of deliverance. A sick man should be used the remedy which the physician prescribes in order to be cured, and the pupil should study what his teacher says in order to become learned. In just the same way, a Buddhist who possesses saddha should follow the Buddha's instruction in order to gain deliverance.

The starting point of Buddhism is reasoning, or understanding, or in other words samaditthi. To seekers after truth the Buddha says, "Do not believe in anything on mere hearsay; do not believe in anything that is traditional just because it is old and handed down through generations; do not believe in rumors or anything because people talk about it; do not believe simply because the written testimony f some ancient sage is shown to thee:; never believe in anything because the custom of many years leads thee to regard it is true; do not believe in anything on the mere authority of the teacher or priests. According to thine own experience, and after through investigation, whatever agrees with thy reason and is conductive to thine own well-being and to that of all other living beings, accept that truth and live accordingly'.

Is Buddhism, then, an ethical system?

It no doubt contains an excellent code of morals which is adaptable to all climes and ages, but is much more than ordinary morality. The Singala Sutta, (Sigalovada Sutta), Mangala Sutta, Metta Sutta, Vassla Sutta, Dhammika Sutta etc., should be read carefully to understand the high stadnard of morality; but morality, sila, is only A,B,C of Buddhism.

Buddhism, therefore, is neither a philosophy nor a religion, nor ordinary ethical code, it is doctrine of actuality, a means of deliverance; or as it is called in Pali, the Dhamma.

As for the conclusion, Buddhism is based on the teachings of the Buddha Originating in India, Buddhism gradually spread throughout Asia to Central Asia, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, Myanmar (Burma) as well as the East Asian countries of China, Mongolia, Korea, and Japan.

Buddhism teaches followers to perform good and wholesome actions, to avoid bad and harmful actions, and to purify and train the mind. The aim of these practices is to awaken the practitioner to the realization of anatta (none self, non echo, the absence of a permanent or substantial self).

Buddhist morality is underpinned by the principles of harmlessness and moderation. Mental training focuses on moral discipline (sila), meditative concentration (samadhi), and wisdom (panna).

To make overall, and very brief

1.To refrain from all evil
2.To do what is good
3. To purify the mind

This is the teaching of the Buddha.

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