What is Buddhism?
Buddhism is a religion and dharma that surrounds diversified beliefs, traditions, and spiritual practices which are in line with the teachings accredited to the Buddha. More than 7% of the world population are followers of Buddhism. The religion’s primary goal is enlightenment which means a state of unconditional and permanent happiness. Buddhism points the believers to the enduring values in this temporary world and provides them with relevant information relating to facts of situations. Buddhists reach the potential of realizing the ultimate objective of enlightenment through their practical understanding of the law cause and effect.
Origin of Buddhism
Buddhism came into existence between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE in Ancient India. From India, it advanced in much of Asia after which it diminished in India at the time of Middle Ages. The roots of Buddhism lied at the time of intellectual ferment as well as the period of socio-cultural change from the early Vedic period. Due to the growth of new ideas in Vedic traditions, Śramaṇa movements grew. The movements later developed to Paccekabuddha and Savaka phases. The latter period was the ultimate stage of the emergence of Buddhism alongside Jainism. The oldest Buddhist texts contain Brahmanical motifs that introduce and explain the idea of a Buddhist.
Buddhism in India
Buddhism began in India through Prince Siddharts Gautama in a kingdom close to the modern-day border of Nepal and India. The followers of Siddharts Gautama started calling him Buddha because of his enlightenment of sitting under a pipal tree, now known as the Bodhi tree. The Early Buddhism is the earliest phase of the religion in Indian Buddhism. The other phases after this are the Sectarian Buddhism, Early and Late Mahayana Buddhism, and Vajrayana Buddhism in respective order.
Buddhism is growing in many corners of the world. There is an increasing number of Buddhists’ texts translated to local languages. Buddhism is traditional and familiar in the East but progressive in the West. Some countries such as Bhutan and Cambodia have Buddhism as the state religion, and it receives support from the countries' administrations. However, there are some places, like Pakistan, where the monuments of Buddhists are spots of destruction and violence.
New forms of Buddhism are developing from the modern influence which withdraws from traditional practices and beliefs. A significant number of Buddhism movements developed in the late twentieth century to go against the traditional doctrines of the religion. One such movement is Navayana School that abolish the ideas like a rebirth, nirvana, karma, meditation, renunciation, and samsara among others. Dhammakaya movement in Thailand, Soka Gakkai in Japan, and Won Buddhism in Korea are some of Buddhism's modern day movements.
Buddhists Core Values
Buddhism consists of a variety of traditions but most of them have a common set of foundational beliefs. The central idea of Buddhism is reincarnation, which is the concept of life after death. The core teachings surrounding the central belief include the Four Noble Truths, The Three Universal Truths, and the Noble Eightfold Path.