Religion: Gautama Buddha and God Essay example

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Buddhism is believed to be founded by Siddhartha Gautama in northern India, during the 5th century B.C.E (Hardy, 2008). Siddhartha witnessed the suffering of the world and sought out a way to be freed. He was soon enlightened, he became a “Buddha” an awakened one. Buddhism, however, does not worship the Buddha. In fact, this religion does not worship a personal God. Buddhism is fundamentally a religion of wisdom, enlightenment, and compassion, the qualities embodied by Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha. These qualities originate from “The Four Noble Truths”. The first of these truths taught by the Buddha is that all life is suffering. The second noble truth is that this suffering is caused by selfish desire. The third noble truth is that suffering can be eliminated if desire is removed. This experience is called Nirvana, the cessation of suffering. Finally, the last of the four noble truths prescribes a path to eliminate suffering. The Eightfold path, the way to eliminate desires and thus eliminate suffering, includes right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, mindfulness, and right meditation (Hardy, 2008). .
Buddhist ceremonies and rituals differ from all over the world (Hardy, 2008). The primary ceremonies are New Year’s, which sometimes last weeks, and Gautama’s birthday. These days of celebrations vary from country to country. However, the goals and symbols are very similar. They use lanterns with messages. The Lotus flower and incense is symbolic, and ceremonies are Buddha beliefs centered. Buddhists primarily believe all of existence is intertwined. Everything that exists takes form and eventually evolves and is rebirthed. Behaviors and moral standards dictate what form will be in rebirth. All things that exist are interrelated. Everything is one. All that exists is everlasting, only changing in form (Hardy, 2008). Good works result in good karma, Bad deeds result in bad karma. Christianity originated in Palestine, in 33 CE (Davies-Stofka, 2008). They believe in one God, a loving, caring, merciful, gracious God. God created Jesus in an image of himself as a human to come to earth and teach others of His love and forgiveness, and saw it fit to sacrifice Jesus so that all un-holiness could be dismissed. “Christianity teaches that God hates sin and will punish the transgressor” (Davies-Stofka, 2008). Human’s sin, this separates us from God, but through Jesus we are saved from eternal damnation. The Bible gives guidance and direction to how a Christian must live. Some specific ways a Christian must live are listed in the 10 commandments. A relationship with God is developed by studying the word of the Bible, with prayer, fellowship and devotion. Some rituals that are practiced are Baptism, which is when an individual accepts Christ as their savior and is then cleansed by holy water, born again. From this day forward Christians are to repent from evil and temptation. Christians celebrate the birth of Christ, and his resurrection. These days on the calendar are Easter and Christmas. Their “holy day” is the Sabbath, the day of rest. This relates to the seventh day God rested after creating the heavens and the earth. Hinduism originated in India, Hindus believe their religion has always existed (Kinnad, 2008). They believe in Karma, “what goes around comes around”. Good deeds result in good Karma, bad deeds result in bad karma (Kinnard, 2008). They pray to multiple God’s and Goddesses. Their sacred texts, guides of wisdom are; Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Vedas, Epics (Kinnard, 2008). There are many rituals throughout a Hindus life. Rituals begin as early as conception (Kinnard, 2008). Jatakarman is a ritual performed for male infants, bringing him gifts. Rituals are important in Hinduism; they have rituals for a boy’s first shave. Samavartanam is a ritual for the end of education; Vivaham is a ritual of initial…