Religion, Origin, Cultural Practices and Its Influences Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

religion, origin, cultural practices and its influences on Confucianism.

Buddhism is a religion and philosophy that is developed from the life and teachings of Buddha. Buddhism has almost 380 million followers all over the world. The number has been increasing at a greater proportion in the modern era. The religion started over almost 2500 years ago. The main message of Buddhism is that a soul should attain enlightenment. The religion preaches a way of living which is based on the avoidance of self denial and self indulgence. One interesting factor about Buddhism is that there is no superior God in Buddhism.

Buddha (in Sanskrit means the "Awakened One") lived in mid 6th- 4th century Before Christ, a teacher in the North of India. Siddhartha Gotama, who later became Buddha, was born in a well off rich family. He had a simple and luxurious life but decided to give up all his comforts in order to search for enlightenment. He tried a number of techniques and after failing various times, after six years of hard work while meditating he became enlightened under a Bodhii tree. After being enlightened he decided to dedicate his rest of life in spreading this message. Buddha was treated as a God by his followers. Buddha initiated a concept of Four Noble Truths; according to him all the answers lie in these four parameters.

Buddhists follow the example of Buddha. They all try to meditate in the same way as Buddha did and hope to awaken to truth, in the same way as their leader did. Buddhist countries have many temples where Buddhists pray in their own way. They use "malas" in their prayers which are their prayer beads. "Uposatha" is their main ceremony, in which they...
...There are five moral percepts in the religion of Buddhism. These five moral percepts restrain them from sexual misconduct, harming others, lying, taking what is not theirs and taking intoxicating substances.

Buddhism offers a very unique concept of culture. This concept is not found in any other religion. The Buddhists countries are live examples of what Buddha's teachings were related to the cultural activities. Buddha regarded that only those traditions and customs should be observed that are adding some value to life and are useful for the society. The main emphasis is on spending a meaningful life. Buddha wanted men to be trained in such a way that he continues his journey without looking backwards, without considering the possibilities what could had happened, without living in the past; a man needs to continue his journey of life. In the same manner he explained the culture, as it should only be aiding the human development and contributing to moving ahead in the pursuit of enlightenment.

The cultural practices in the Buddhists countries nowadays vary from country to country. Therefore it is important that while viewing the culture of these countries we do not generalize the practices. Some of the practices are a part of traditions while others are mere rituals. Chinese Buddhism is different from Sinhalese Buddhism. There are a lot of political influences on the religious practices these days which is harming the reputation of the religion. This has created a lot of disharmony among the society and a great confusion for the outsiders.

One common practice in the Buddhists societies is holding a house warming ceremony i.e. when a Buddhists shifts to a new home or locality, he invites a monk to perform some religious actions which…

Sources Used in Documents:

References:

Miyamoto, Musashi. A Book of Five Rings, translated by Victor Harris. London: Allison & Busby; Woodstock, New York: The Overlook Press. 1974

Sun Tzu. The Art of War: Sun Zi's Military Methods. Columbia University Press. 2007

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