December 9, 2014
The Buddhism Presentation
Buddhism is one of the largest religion or way of life practiced in the world today. The objective of this presentation is to give a summarization of how Buddhism began by speaking a little about the Buddha's life, the basic teachings of Buddhism, and to explain why the choice of Buddhism school is exciting.
At the beginning of this lesson, the focal point of Buddhism began when a sage described the meaning of the markings on a particular boy born into royalty. The meaning of those markings depicted that the boy can be one of the two things; a great leader like his father or if he was exposed to suffering, his path will be a great teacher. After his father's protection blindsided him, he set out on a journey to find answers to all his questions. When he was not satisfied with the answers, he then decided to rest, meditate and come to peace that not all questions have answers.
According to Molloy (2013), "It is impossible to know exactly what the Buddha taught. He did not write down his early teachings or his disciples." It wasn't until several hundred years later that any lessons that the Buddha have taught is what was passed on orally. For centuries, it has been taught that the Buddha's teachings were just like the Buddha himself, practical. The cores of what is known as the fundamental teachings of Buddhism are the three jewels; the Buddha which depicts an ideal human being whom other people should emulate or imitate the image of him seated in meditation is a constant model of self-control and mindfulness; the Dharma, which is the sum total of Buddhist teaching about how to view the world and how to live properly; and the Sangha, the community monks and nuns. Aside from the three jewels, other fundamental teachings of Buddhism that all schools share are the marks of reality, the four noble truths, and the eightfold path.
Buddhism might have remained an entirely Indian religion, if not for the different leaders such as King Ashoka who spread Buddhist values. In the early years after Buddha's death, there were so many disagreements about the Buddha's teachings, many Buddhist schools and splinter groups arose. Some have died out, and some have survived into great branches in Buddhism known as Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana (Molloy, 2013).
One of the most compelling reasons why the Mahayana Buddhism is unique is the teaching of the great compassion that is an inherent component of enlightenment is manifest in bodhisattvas (enlightenment beings); these persons postpone nirvana (final understanding) in order to assist and guide those beings still suffering in the cycle of rebirths. Another reason is the fact that it is open for anyone to practice it (ReligionFacts.com, 2014).
Mahayana Buddhism is sometimes called Northern Buddhism. It is mainly followed by monks and nuns and is widely found throughout China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Nepal, Russia, Tibet, and Vietnam. Mahayana Buddhism is not a single group, but a collection of Buddhist traditions: Zen Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism, and Tibetan Buddhism are all forms of Mahayana Buddhism. It is also a path available to people from all walks of life- not just monks and nuns.
According to the Patheos Library (2014) website, The Mahayana tradition is more flexible about the orthodoxy of scriptures, regarding many new scriptures composed in the early centuries CE as authentic teachings. A number of new scriptures—the Lotus Sutra, the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, and the Pure Land sutras—focus on