Buddhism Facts

Buddhism Facts
The religion of Buddhism was founded in India approximately 2,500 years ago. Buddhism follows a variety of practices, beliefs and traditions based upon the teachings of Buddha (an Indian prince named Siddhartha Gautama) who was born in Lumbini in about 563 BC. Buddha had been sheltered as a young boy and not allowed to leave his palace, due to his father's belief that he would become a king if he was not allowed to see what life was like outside of the palace. Buddha did not obey his father and ventured outside several times, leading to the 'four sights', and eventually his enlightenment.
Interesting Buddhism Facts:
Buddha is also known as 'the enlightened one' or 'the awakened one'.
When Buddha ventured outside the palace walls he saw four sights: an old man, a sick man, a poor man, and a corpse.
The four sights disturbed Buddha and he left home to seek enlightenment through a spiritual quest.
Buddha's spiritual quest began with studying meditation, then he tried prolonged fasting, holding his breath and being exposed to pain, but this did not put an end to suffering in the world as he had hoped.
When Buddha was 35 he meditated under a fig tree, the Bodhi tree, for several days until he had attained enlightenment.
Buddha spent the rest of his life teaching his followers (in the northeastern Indian subcontinent) the path of awakening.
Buddha lived to the age of 80. He died in Kushinagar, India in 483 BC.
Approximately 360 million people in the world today follow Buddhism.
Buddhism is not practiced much today where it was born.
Buddhism is popular throughout China, Southeast Asia and Japan, and is becoming more popular in western society as well.
Although Buddhist teachings vary depending on which school or sect one belongs to, they all share the goal of putting an end to suffering and the cycle of rebirth.
The main Buddhist divisions include Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana.
Some Buddhist teachings use meditation, rituals, devotions or combinations of these.
Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world.
Sacred texts of Buddhism include the Tripitaka (Pali Canon), and a variety of Mahayana sutras.
Places of ritual in Buddhism include meditation halls, and temples.
In Theravada the goal is to become an arhat, to escape rebirth, and achieve nirvana.
In Mahayana the goal is to become a Bodhisattva and help others to achieve enlightenment, or awakening.
Some believe that nirvana is a heavenly paradise while others believe nirvana is the end of suffering.
Buddhism believes in three jewels including the Buddha, the monastic community (sangha), and truth or teachings (dharma).
Buddhism believes in three delusions including ignorance, desire, and anger/hatred.
Buddhism encompasses three trainings including moral discipline, concentration, and wisdom.
In Buddhism there are three marks of existence including impermanence, suffering, and no-self.
Buddhist tradition suggests that a Buddha is fully awakened being, with a pure mind (free of the three poisons of desire), who is no longer bound by involuntary rebirth (Samsara), and who suffers no longer.
Buddhists go to temple when they can, not at a special time of day.
A Buddhist temple is a Vihara, and has a shrine room, lecture room, library, and a meditation room.
A Buddha is not a god but a teacher.


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