Buddhism

Seated buddha, from the Chinese Tang dynasty

Seated Buddha, from the Chinese Tang dynasty

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Buddhism in China

General INFO

Buddhism is a religious(or, probably, a philosophical) concept, which consists of many traditions, beliefs and ritual practices. The concept is based on a doctrine, taught by Buddha in the 5th c. b.c. The whole idea is to get rid of the life’s suffering by reaching nirvana.  If you reach this condition you can escape the cycle of rebirth. There are two main schools inside the Buddhism. One is called Theravada and another one is called Mahayana.

Buddha

He was born in a family of a king in a small town of Lumbini. Before his birth he came to his mother in a dream as a white elephant. It meant that the child would be a great king or a great saint. When he was 29 he saw on the street an old man, a cripple, a corpse and a monk. This made him think of the life’s suferring and he also became a hermit. He tried to escape suffering and understand at least anything. He tried yoga and self-torture, but wasn’t satisfied. Then he sat under the tree and decided not to arise before he understands the Truth. And when he was 39 he got it. He became a Buddha, what means enlightened. Then he taught how to reach nirvana(he already reached it and could escaped in any moment) 40 years and died, when he was 80 after foundation a big community of his fellows.

Mahayana

One of the main schools inside the Buddhism conception. Its name can be translated as a “Great Vehicle”. It considers not on the Meditation in order to reach nirvana. It is a practic of volontary refuse to reach nirvana in order to make everybody else live better and escape the rebirth cycle. It’s based on the Buddha’s life, who didn’t escape, when he reached the nirvana condition. Fellows of it improve themselves through making their body, thoughts and acts perfect. Other conception, which are considered on the self interests are called the small vehicles. This type is very popular in China, where a human life never was valued.

Theravada

Is the most old and the most conservative school inside the Buddhism conception. It’s the only school from the 18th schoolf of the ancient Buddhism which survived. In a translation it means “The teaching of the elders”. Opposite to the Mahayana this school requires an aspiration to the self reaching nirvana. This is, actually, the most close school to the original Buddha’s Buddhism. Because of that this type is the most popular in the world.

Tantric Buddhism

Tantric Buddhism, also known as the Vajrayana is an alternative school inside the Buddhism. Like other schools it has a “vehicle name” – “The secret Vehicle”. But, actually, its name’s translation means “The dimond Vehicle” or “The greatest Vehicle”(but the last name is never used, because it’s offensive to other schools). Its base is in the Mahayana, but the specific of this Weltanschauung is in the clear vision of the Fuss and Vanity of the universe. Fellows of “The dimond Vehicle” except of those motivations(the clear vision and the understanding of the universe’s vanity) also have a motivation of compassion, which is the most importante. Tantric Buddhism is practiced in Mongolia, Tibet and Russia.

Nirvana

There is one very special thing about nirvana. It’s description-less. It has no definition(well, you can ask Freddy, what she feels during the Meditation). In Buddhism it’s a condition, an endless condition, which helps you to escape two things –  rebirth cycle and also suffering, which comes with it. It is an important part of Buddhism, actually its often Buddhists’ goal.

Rebirth

The Buddhism doctrine tells you that you(not your soul!!!) will rebirth after your death in one of the following types: a Hell inhabitant, an animal, a human beeing, a spirit, a god. All these hypostasises include some suffering, even gods, and only a human beeing can carry out a decision to escape from the cycle. Gods, for example, can’t do it, because they enjoy their life too much. The choice – which hypostasis to choose is detected by karma(the idea of karma is close to the induism) and desire.

Four Nobble Truths(FNT)

FNT is one of the basic doctrine inside the Buddhism. The idea was formulated originally by Buddha. You can consider on it as on the direction to Buddhism’s fellows. Those Truth, as well as the whole conception of Buddhism, are all to do with suffering.

  1. The Nature of Suffering (Dukkha):
    “This is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.”
  2. Suffering’s Origin (Samudaya):
    “This is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is this craving which leads to renewed existence, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there, that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for existence, craving for extermination.”
  3. Suffering’s Cessation (Nirodha):
    “This is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering: it is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, nonreliance on it.”
  4. The Way (Magga) Leading to the Cessation of Suffering:
    “This is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering: it is the Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.”

[A part of this text – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Noble_Truths%5D

The Noble Eighfold Path (NEP)

The NEP is one of the principal teachings of the Buddha, who described it as the way leading to the cessation of suffering (dukkha) and the achievement of self-awakening. It is used to develop insight into the true nature of phenomena (or reality) and to eradicate greed, hatred, and delusion. The Noble Eightfold Path is the fourth of the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths; the first element of the Noble Eightfold Path is, in turn, an understanding of the Four Noble Truths. It is also known as the Middle Path or Middle Way. Those “right” principles are extremely important for the Mahayama, where the idea of getting better requires the same paths.

[A part of this text – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_Eightfold_Path%5D

Meditation

Buddhism texts

Buddhist scriptures and other texts exist in great variety. Different schools of Buddhism place varying levels of value on learning the various texts. Some schools venerate certain texts as religious objects in themselves, while others take a more scholastic approach. Buddhist scriptures are written in these languages: Pāli, Tibetan, Mongolian, Chinese, along with some texts that still exist in Sanskrit and Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit. In comparison with other religions Buddhism doesn’t has a central text, because there isn’t a single idea or few commandments. It’s a really complicatad philosophical system, but not a religion in an original meaning of this word.

[A part of this text from – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism#Buddhist_texts%5D


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