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What is Buddhism?

Buddhism may be defined and explained from various standpoints as follows:

  1. Buddhism, the teachings of the Buddha (the Enlightened One), proposes to develop humankind through purity (by means of morality), calmness (by means of concentration) and clarity (by means of wisdom).
  2. Buddhism is a religion founder by the Buddha for the welfare of many, for the happiness of many and for helping the world. People from all walks of life can apply the teachings to practice in accordance with their ability and free will.
  3. Buddhism is a religion of reason and practice for self-help and self-reliance and for extending a helping hand to others out of loving-kindness and compassion.
  4. Buddhism is both a philosophy and practice. Though it accepts the existence of divine beings, it did not put belief in a supreme being as a significant part of the religion. Instead it teaches the followers to have qualifications such as moral shame and moral fear, making one devine in the Dhamma in this life; to be endowed with right faith, morality, learning, generosity, and wisdom. Furthermore, Buddhism teaches that one who is free from defilement's of greed, hatred, and delusion is reckoned as superior.
  5. General information about Buddhism is as follows:

Country of Origin: India

Date of Origin: Sixth Century BC (Buddhist Century)

The Founder: The Buddha (The Enlightened One - previously Prince Siddhattha of Gotama clan within the Sakya lineage.

Doctrinal Tenets: To avoid all evil, to do good, and to purify the mind

Type of Religion: Universal, spreading out to many countries of the world; Atheistic, regarding no divine being as the centre of the teaching

Main Divisions: Theravada and Mahayana

Unity of Diversity: The World Fellowship of Buddhist is the world organization for unity of all Buddhist throughout the world. It has one hundred twenty three regional centers in 37 countries (B.E. 2539 (1996)). The permanent headquarters of the World Fellowship of Buddhist is in Thailand.

 

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