Essay about Religion: Mahayana Buddhism

Submitted By brittlw1
Words: 1130
Pages: 5

What is Buddhism? Buddhism is the philosophy of awakening. Buddhism has been around for over 2,500 years. It was introduced by a man named Siddhartha Gautama, an Indian prince, in a place called Lumbini, now known as Nepal. Siddhartha Gautama was born around 560 B.C. 56.3 B.C. to be exact. He believed that one could free themselves from pain and suffering not by putting faith in gods, but by interpreting everyday life. Siddhartha also believed that by meditation one could be enlightened with wisdom and understanding.
There are 3 major types of Buddhism. There is the Theravada Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism, and Narayana Buddhism. The reason being is because Buddhism has grown and is practiced by different cultures. The top three countries with the highest proportion of Buddhist are Thailand at 95 %, Cambodia at 90%, and Myanmar at 88%. The top three national largest Buddhist populations are China with 102,000,000, Japan with 8,965,000, and Thailand with 55,480,000. Each culture has its own aspect on Buddhism but it all trickles down to the main belief of Siddhartha Gautama.
Theravada means “the way of the elders”. Theravada Buddhism is the most common and is more active in southern Asia more than anywhere else in the world. It is the oldest of the three forms. Mahayana Buddhism is also known as the “Great Vehicle Buddhism”. It is much more diverse and is the second most popular form of Buddhism. The Narayana form of Buddhism originated in India. Some refer this as the “Diamond” or “Thunderbolt Vehicle.” It is the highest teaching of Buddhism.
People who study practice Buddhism believe in the theory of karma. In short words karma is what goes around comes around. Even though this belief was well about it was Siddhartha Gautama who clarified the meaning and directed it to fellow followers of Buddhism. Buddha believed that we are all responsible for our own mental state. Therefore, in order to receive happiness you have to give happiness. A well-known saying of Buddha’s is "I declare, O Bhikkhus, that volition is Karma. Having willed one acts by body, speech, and thought."
Siddhartha Gautama also known as Buddha spent a lot of time teaching others of the way of life. Within these teachings was the Four Noble Truths. In these teachings he goes on to explain the cause of the suffering, the end of suffering and the cause to bring the suffering to an end. Buddha goes to breakdown the Fur Noble Truth in detail.
The First Noble truth is the “Life of Suffering” as many would call it. They go on to use the word Dukka “means incapable of satisfying” which has three aspects which is means there is suffering, Dukkha. Also that Dukkha should be understood; and that Dukkha has been understood. Means or also refers to anything that may be temporary, conditional and or compounded of different things. Something precious or either enjoyable eventually comes to an end. This noble truth goes on to discuss about suffering. Buddha states that everyone suffers no matter what and who you are suffering is a part of life and that the Noble Truths helps you understand the meaning of suffering and how it affects your life and once you realize that suffering is apart of life you can overcome it.
The Second Noble truth goes onto to explain the cause of suffering is the craving or thirsting for something that we either don’t need or that we don’t have and which we want to make ourselves happy. The Buddha taught that to thirst for something derives from ones ignorance of self. Buddha discussed that in life we grab one thing after another to find a sense of security. We connect ourselves to the ideas and opinions of the people and world around us. Then we become upset or furious when things around us don’t go our way or in our favor. Buddha explains that once we let go of this mindset that this part of the suffering will no longer exist. The attempt to control, limits us to little definition of who we are
The Third