History Of Buddhist Thought Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Mythology - Religion Type: Term Paper Paper: #66497511 Related Topics: Lottery, Materialism, Buddhism, Meditation
Excerpt from Term Paper :

¶ … Buddhist Overview of Religion

In many ways, Buddhism is both a religion and a philosophy. Westerners tend to regard this religion based on its philosophical value for the simple fact that many of the core aspects of Buddhist tenets and traditions are contrary to conventional Western thought. It is critical to note that like most religions, Buddhism helps to identify a point in the cosmos of the believer, has a conception of a man who typifies the religion, and has numerous methods for helping believers to achieve a state of bliss or perfection. However, the core conception of Buddhism is that in order to achieve a higher state of being and uniformity with divine forces, adherents have to abnegate most secular aspirations -- as well as the very concept of desire itself. This rejection of desire ultimately functions as a way for believers to become one with the universe and the way deigned by Buddha as a propagation of the path to achieving such harmony (Suzuki, 1970, p. 94). Nonetheless, it is based on a carefully wrought history and traditions of considerable salience.

The history of Buddhism begins with the origins and conversion of the individual destined to become Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, who lived sometime between the sixth and the fourth century B.C. Tradition has it that the prince lived a sheltered existence within the royal luxury of his father's castle, but abruptly became an ascetic and renounced his royal claims after experiencing suffering, cold, and hunger outside of the castle walls. Soon thereafter...


It is critical to note that the Buddha was simply regarded as a wise man who could help others to achieve a state of enlightenment or nirvana along their respective spiritual paths, and is not the central deity in this religion. In fact there is no central deity, as adherents believe they need to achieve a state of harmony with the universe and universal forces of balance.

It is also critical to note that the spread of this religion has evolved over time. Whereas it was initially concentrated in India, migration of adherents and the presence of travelers facilitated Buddhism taking root throughout parts of Asia including, most prominently, China and Japan, in addition to India. Today there are numerous different scions of Buddhism, most of which follow the same core principles that are ingrained in this religion and remain as some of its fundamental traditions. For instance, if there were a goal or a desire of this religion, it would be to achieve a state of nirvana. Nirvana is the highest form of spiritual enlightenment that a person can achieve and is considered a form of perfection (Suzuki, 1970, p. 84). It entails becoming one with the universe, propagating balance and completion, and ridding oneself of all desire. Buddha reached this state initially and guided others to do so. Buddhist tradition contends that adherents can reach this state both while alive and deceased (although adherents believe that people die only to be born again, and that the universe follows a similar cycle of recreation and destruction).

In fact, this sense of uniformity with the universe is another concept in Buddha referred to as big mind. This notion is one that prior to birth, individuals were in harmony with the universe and therefore, one of the goals of their existence is to reconnect with the uniform and cohere to its oneness. Another extremely revealing tradition in Buddhism is zazen, which is the practice of meditating as a way to transcend the physical and to connect with the cosmos on…

Sources Used in Documents:


Suzuki, S. (1970). Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice. New York: Weatherhill.

Wilkinson, S. (2015). Wat Chalong in Phuket. www.phuket.com / Retrieved from http://www.phuket.com/island/wat-chalong.htm

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