Estimated year of creation of Buddhism: Buddha lived from 563 to 483 BC, but the first Buddhist council, which codified the doctrine, was held in 477 BC. of C., but the denominated tipitakas, the definitive texts of the canon, were not fixed until the third council, in the year 245 a. of C. Nevertheless, already in the second, in the year 377 a. of C., serious differences took place that caused the appearance of the diverse currents in which the Buddhism was fragmented.
Headquarters / Capital in the world: India and Nepal.
Number of faithful around the world: According to some statistics, the estimated number of Buddhists varies between 230 and 500 million, the most likely figure could be 350 million. But, this figure is relative because Buddhism has been syncretized with ancient Chinese beliefs to the point of having the same deities with different names.
God or Buddhist Prophet: The central figure of Buddhism is Siddharta Gautama, the enlightened, Buddha, who lived around 500 BC and it can be said that his followers (but not Buddha), created a doctrine, without God.
Main symbol of Buddhism:
The wheel of dharma, also known as dharmachakra, is the best known and probably oldest symbol of Buddhism. The dharmachakra is an eight-spoke wheel and there are different interpretations of its meaning.
Main book of Buddhism:
The sacred book of Buddhism is the Tipitaka (in Pali The Three Baskets: ti = three, pitaka = basket) is a set of Buddhist texts that is usually called the Pali Canon (the pleasant book of Buddhism), it refers to the language in that were originally written.
Main prophets of Buddhism:
Maitreya Buddha, Avalokiteshvar (Buddha of Compassion)
Bhaisajyaguru (Medicine Buddha)
Nāgārjuna (founder of the Madhyamaka school)
Nichiren (founder of Nichiren Buddhism)
Padmasambhava (founder of the Tibetan school)
Rinzai (founder of Zen Buddhism)
Hotei, Kūkai, ThíchNh ấ tHạnh, WalpolaRahula, XuYun, Xuanzang
Daisaku Ikeda, Sangharakshita
XIV Dalai Lama
Basic principles of Buddhism:
Buddhism is not a religion, but a doctrine or practice that is always open to everyone. In order to understand and practice it, you must first know what is called the principles of Buddhism. The basic principles of Buddhism are based on two pillars: suffering and happiness. According to Buddhism, all phenomena and things that happen to beings in the Universe have an origin and an end, in interconnected causes. However, the Zen principles of Buddhism are based on the fact that just as in this life a person is predestined to suffer, he is also predestined to find happiness. One cannot exist without the other. This can also be interpreted as that the ethical principles of Buddhism are divided into two levels; the understanding of interdependence (what is understood as the ultimate truth) and that of non-violence (which is understood as the conventional truth).
The four fundamental principles of Buddhism.
Apart from its basic principles, Buddhism also has what is known as "the four principles of Buddhism." These are encompassed in the principles of Buddhism and are the most important for anyone who follows the discipline of Buddha.
They are also known as the four noble truths of the Buddha, which were revealed in his Sarnath sermon:
Life is suffering
In the principles of Tibetan Buddhism, this would be the first great truth. Throughout our lives we will experience many moments of suffering, but this does not mean that everything will be bad. For Buddhism, suffering is fundamental in life, in order to be able to ascend to a higher plane and find happiness.
For Buddhism, ascension is achieved by one's own work, not in the presence of a third entity.
The origin of suffering are desires and ignorance
Perhaps one of the most important ethical principles of Buddhism. Desire is the origin of another desire, according to Buddhists. To achieve this desire, the man would have to have previously had another desire. And what happens once the man has fulfilled his wish? That he will look for another to fulfill that wish.
The non-existence of desire facilitates access to an enlightened and suffering-free existence.
Suffering can be overcome
The third great pillar of the principles of Buddhism is based on overcoming suffering. Because of encountering difficulties in life, we cannot give up. If you want to access the state of happiness and enlightenment, you have to learn how to overcome that suffering that causes us so much damage. The latter today could be interpreted as the fight against ignorance.
But not ignorance towards knowledge, but to the perception that we cannot avoid suffering, but we can learn how to overcome it.
The Eightfold Path
This last great truth would be the achievement of the principles of Buddhism. This path is represented by the wheel of Dharma, which for Buddhists has the same meaning as the cross for Catholics. But what does this last great truth mean? It means leading an existence with high morals in each of the behaviors of our life.
Such moral behavior will be reflected to us and others. Thanks to a correct moral behavior, suffering to others and us is avoided, which allows us to achieve enlightenment. It could be said that the latter would be the most important principle of Buddhism, since it teaches us to avoid pain to our loved ones.
Short description of Buddhism.
Buddhism was created by Siddharta Gautama (the enlightened one), who lived during the 6th century BC Buddhism is derived from Brahmanism which, in turn, was born in the transition from Vedism to Hinduism. For this reason Buddhism is considered as a split from Hinduism, however, Buddhism is considered as "wisdom" or discipline, not as religion, since there is no figure of a creator. nor is the need to worship their gods upheld. In some currents, due to the principle of impermanence (everything mute) and the cyclical nature of the universe, the figure of the creator is denied or is not taken into account, thus being an agnostic position in every sense of the word. In any case, Buddhism does have deities or bodhisattvas, Sakyamuni Buddha being one of them. Each Buddha is, in fact, a reincarnation of another bodhisattva who has become enlightened through the practice of compassion and meditation. The most important holy book is the Pali Canon.
Currently, there are four main streams of Buddhism:
Zen Buddhism, especially developed in Japan.
The first difference between Buddhism and Hinduism, Christianity or Islam, is that Buddha did not proclaim himself as a prophet, Messiah or God. Buddha means only the Enlightened One, or a person in perfect holiness. The legend about this extraordinary figure (there is a reasonable certainty of the existence of Buddha as a human being), indicates thatpersonally he is called Sidarta or Siddharta, and he was aprince of the Sakyas tribe, located in northern India, on the border with Nepal approximately, during 566 BC. Heir to the throne of the country, Sidarta separated himself from royalty and at 29 years of age, he left the comfort of his home to find a meaning to the suffering he saw around him. After six years of arduous training in various disciplines, including Yoga, Sidarta abandoned the path of self-mortification to meditate deeply under the tree of enlightenment. It is said that on the full moon in May, with the arrival of the morning star, Siddhartha Gautama became Buddha, "the enlightened one."
Buddha walked the plains of Northeast India for the next 45 years, teaching the path (Dharma) that he had discovered that day. Around him grew a community (Sangha) of monks and, later, nuns, drawn from each tribe and caste, dedicated to the practice of this path. Around 486 BC, at the age of 80, Buddha attained Eternal Nirvana. It is said that his last words were ...
All created things are unstable;
Buddhism is a path of practical teachings. Buddhist practices, such as meditation, are a means of transforming oneself, developing the qualities of awareness, goodness, and wisdom. The experience developed within the Buddhist Tradition over thousands of years created an incomparable resource for those who wish to follow a path of spiritual development. The Buddhist path leads us to what is known as Enlightenment or Buddhism.
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