Buddhism : The World 's Oldest And Most Significant Religion Essay

Buddhism : The World 's Oldest And Most Significant Religion Essay

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Buddhism stands as one of the world’s oldest and most significant religion throughout the continent of Asia as well as the Western hemisphere. Approximately 350 million individuals, claim Buddhism as their religion, making it the fourth largest religion in the world. Buddhism continues to be significantly practiced in over 11 Asian countries. A few of those countries include Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Bhutan, where nearly all or the majority of their population follow the religion [BuddhaNet].
Like Hinduism, Buddhism originated in India around mid-500 BC. Buddhism shares similar aspects to the Hindu religion as a result such as the concepts of nirvana and samsara. Unlike Hinduism however, which does not have a known founder, Buddhism rose from the life experiences from the Buddha, whose name is Siddhartha Gautama. The term “buddha’ means the awakened one, which describes how Siddhartha achieved inner peace by eliminating desires hence eliminating suffering. Buddhism itself, is a nontheistic religion, and centers around the beliefs on how to eliminate human suffering [Molloy].
Today Buddhism continues to be a central religion amongst Asian countries with a growing number of followers in Western countries. In a rapid moving, highly stressed world, people turn to Buddhism to learn how to meditate and achieve spiritual enlightenment.
It would be impossible to fully describe the teachings of the Buddha because neither he nor his disciples wrote down any of his teachings. However, Buddha’s teachings remain simple and practical like the Buddha himself. The Buddha is though of as an ideal human being who others should model after. The two main questions that Buddha concentrated on was “How can we minimize suffering- both our ow...

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...gave up his possessions, cut off his long black hair, and left his home to seek answers on how to overcome suffering.
For six years he practiced austerity, and self-mortification. A peasant girl named Sujata noticed the starving Buddha and pleaded to him to eat. At that point, Siddhartha decided to find a middle ground between a life of luxury and a life of self-mortification. Siddhartha sat in the Bodhi tree facing east until he found enlightenment and understanding. Myth states that an evil spirit named Mara, and his daughter tempted Siddhartha during his meditations, but Siddhartha resisted. Siddhartha reached a state of understanding called the Enlightenment, and became further known as the Buddha.
Shortly after the Buddha 's enlightenment, there stands a myth that a cobra raises himself over the Buddha to protect him from the rain while he mediates.

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