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What Is Buddhism?

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Published on May 5, 2012

What Is Buddhism? (link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZLph_... )
Buddhism is a religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who lived about 25 centuries ago in what is now Nepal and northeastern India. He came to be called "the Buddha," which means "awakened one," after he experienced a profound realization of the nature of life, death and existence. In English, the Buddha was said to be enlightened, although in Sanskrit it is bodhi, meaning "awakened."

In the remaining years of his life, the Buddha traveled and taught. However, he didn't teach people what he had realized when he became enlightened. Instead, he taught people how to realize enlightenment for themselves.

Spread of Buddhism in Asia and the World: In the centuries following the Buddha's life, Buddhism spread throughout Asia to become one of the dominant religions of the continent. The most common estimate of the number of Buddhists in the world today is 350 million, which makes Buddhism the fourth largest of the world's religions.
1:07 How is Buddhism distinctive from other religions?
Buddhism is so different from other religions that some people question whether it is a religion at all. For example, the central focus of most religions is God, or gods. But Buddhism is non-theistic. The Buddha taught that believing in gods was not useful for those seeking to realize enlightenment.

Instead of teaching doctrines to be memorized and believed, the Buddha taught how we can realize truth for ourselves. The focus of Buddhism is on practice rather than belief.

Basic Teachings of Buddhism: The foundation of Buddhism is the Four Noble Truths.
The Truths are: 1. The truth of suffering (dukkha) 2. The truth of the cause of suffering (samudaya) 3. The truth of the end of suffering (nirhodha) 4. The truth of the path that frees us from suffering (magga)

The Four Truths of Buddhism don't seem like much. But beneath the Truths are countless layers of teachings on the nature of existence, the self, life, and death, not to mention suffering. The point is not to just "believe in" the teachings, but to explore them, understand them, and test them against one's own experience. It is the process of exploring, understanding, testing and realizing that is Buddhism.

Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit About.com.
Link: http://video.about.com/buddhism/What-...

Related:
The Significance of Vesak - Buddha Day http://www.buddhanet.net/vesak.htm
The Four Noble Truths: the essence of Buddha's teaching http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vjm2zd...
Vesak http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vesak
බුදුදහම හා බටහිර විද්‍යා කතන්දර http://www.divaina.com/2012/05/06/nal...

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