A Very Brief Summary of Buddhism

A Very Brief Summary of Buddhism

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When you think of Buddha, Buddhism, you often think of a big obese bald man with a big smile on his face. Buddha has many faces throughout different religions. The face that you visualize is that of the Laughing Budai which is the Chinese interpretation of Buddha. It is a common misconception of Americans to associate that face to the face of Buddhism, but the father of Buddhism is Siddhartha Gautama. Buddhism has been able to morph with religions in Asia, as you can see with the Chinese; this helped keep the religion a live throughout centuries. After watching the video, “Buddhism; The Great Wheel of Being,” I learned the roots of Buddhism.
The video describes Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, as a man living in the lap a luxury, never wanting anything. One day Buddha stepped out of his royal palace and visualized all the suffering in the world. After viewing such suffering, death and disease, Buddha felt sorrow and guilt for the way he was living. He knew that this was not going to be the way to his salvation. Buddha then struck out for his redemption. Buddha went the extreme opposite of extreme luxury, too that of nothing. He took part in penance or self mortification, a voluntary self punishment for his salvation. Buddha found that this too was not the path to his salvation. Buddha, himself practiced Hinduism. Buddha morphed the religion of Hinduism, he took some beliefs of Hinduism, and left out the living in either extreme indulgence or self mortification as a way to salvation, and developed a middle path to salvation. This is how Buddhism came to be a religion.
It is hard to believe that Buddha could be so wise after his time of living in complete luxury. I guess that is why the name Buddha means the “awakened one” (Estella Films. 1995). Buddha thought of a way to heal the world and the individual. In today’s society not many people practice Buddhism, which if we did we probably would not have the wars we have today. Buddhism is the practice of peacefulness.
As the awakened one, Buddha developed the doctrine of the four noble truths to lead to salvation. It could be considered a four step program. The first truth is the truth of suffering. This could be a man dying from a disease. The second truth is the origin of suffering. In this case it would be the disease causing the man’s death, or the anxiety related to the fact of dying.

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The third truth is the stoppage of suffering. This can be completed by the man not fearing his death. This leads to the last truth; this truth is the termination of suffering. The man went through a journey of self recognition to lead to the ultimate salvation, the true enlightenment and the path to his salvation.
After researching and listening to the video, I feel that Buddhism is not only a religion but a way to live your everyday life. We should all strive to practice Buddhism. Buddhism is about walking a line between over indulgence and under indulgence. It is about moderation. Buddhism teaches you self improvement, which we can admit we all need in our self indulgent society we have created today.
In conclusion I feel that if everyone would practice Buddhism we would have a more peaceful society. Buddhism has never been apart or responsible for any wars. Buddha once used a proverb to prevent a war between to societies fighting over the ownership of a river; “compare the value of earth and water to the value of people and human blood” (Sanderson. 2005). Buddha asked them to think and reflect before causing war. Christianity and Buddhism share a link, “both Buddha and Jesus believed in the rejection of violence and the exhalation of love” (Estela Films. 1995). To better myself I feel that Buddhism would be a great religion to practice, in fact both Buddha and Jesus beliefs were similar in the fact that they both believed in rejection of violence and the happiness of love. Buddhism may have started out in the 6th century, but the religion definitely stands the test of time.


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