Buddhism: Past and Present

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Overtime many significant events have shaped history, from natural disasters, wars and the never ending feud of politics they have all played a significant role in history. But there is one that has had the most influential effect of all, religion. Throughout time there has been an abundance of different religions and practices formed over the years, from Christianity to Judaism, each of them having their own impacts on culture and society, one of the major religions that formed was Buddhism. Today we will discuss how Buddhism was founded, the practices of it, and how it has changed as it has entered a new area and interacted with a new people.

Buddhism was founded by or Siddhartha Gautama also known as “Buddha” was born about 2565 years ago in what is now part of Nepal. A contemporary of Mahavira and came from the same warrior social class, born the son of a chief of one of the tribes in the Himalaya (McKay, 2012). At the age twenty-nine, he became unsatisfied with his life of comfort, he left home to become a wandering ascetic. He traveled south to the kingdom of Magadha, where he studied with yoga masters (McKay, 2012).

According to ancient traditions Buddha was mediating under a tree when he reached enlightenment which is defined as the perfect insight to the process of the universe, after this process he began to preach his beliefs to mass groups of people and began to attract a diverse audience (McKay, 2012). His teachings of concise human analysis and human condition were attractive to crowds as it was a change from the rigid social structure of North India at the time, it allowed people from every walks of life be accepted(Namgyal Monastery Institute).

During his first mass sermon he outlined his messages and beliefs ...

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Buddha was able to define and practice a set of beliefs that could truly be applied to how society works, by focusing on your inner self and following the Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path you can only help improve your religious state of mind and being.

As you can see Buddhism has had prominent and everlasting effect on religion in history, from the very beginning with Siddhartha Gautama meditating under a tree, to the present of the religion being practiced in countries worldwide, it will always be one the most influential and vital religions of the world.


McKay, John P., et al. A History of World Societies. 9th ed. Vol. I: To 1600. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012.

http://www.namgyal.org/a http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/socialSciences/ppecorino/PHIL_of_RELIGION_TEXT/CHAPTER_2_RELIGIONS/Buddhism.htm bout/buddhism.cfm

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