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22 Vows  |  Acknowledgement  |  Buddhism  Dedication  |  Dr Ambedkar Movie  |  Education 

Introduction

Current Buddhist Year 2548.

Although one of the oldest religions, Buddhism is the only religion in the world which is based on the science and without any superstitions beliefs. Buddhism does not support the idea of God which eliminates unnecessary misguiding procedures and rituals involved in worshiping the God, particularly as practiced in India by large population. Buddhism is not strictly a religion in the sense in which the world is commonly understood, for it is not “a system of faith and worship” owing to allegiance to a supernatural God.  Buddhism does not demand blind faith from its adherents. Hence mere belief is dethroned and for it is substituted ‘confidence based on knowledge’. It is possible for a Buddhist to entertain occasional doubts until he attains the first stage of sainthood (Sotapanna) when all doubts about the Buddha, Dhamma and the Sangha are completely resolved. One becomes a genuine follower of the Buddha only after attaining this stage.

Buddhism is neither a metaphysical path nor a ritualistic path. It is neither skeptical nor dogmatic. It is neither eternalism nor nihilism. It is neither self-mortification nor self-indulgence. It is neither pessimism nor optimism but realism. It is neither absolutely this worldly nor other-worldly. It is nor extravert but introvert. It is a unique path of enlightenment.

The original Pali term for Buddhism is Dhamma, which, literally, means that which upholds or sustains. There is no proper English equivalent that exactly conveys the meaning of the Pali Term Dhamma.

Buddhism expounds no dogmas that one must blindly believe, no creeds that one must accept on good faith without reasoning, no superstitious rites and ceremonies to be observed for formal entry into the fold, no meaningless scarifies and penances for one’s purification.

Although originated in India, the Buddhism is being followed in many countries in every continent of the world over last 2500 years. It is the religion based on the Lord Buddha’s teaching. In the centuries following the Buddha's lifetime, his followers faithfully preserved his teachings and spread it not only throughout India, but also to many countries in Asia and lately even to Europe and America. It offers every individual or society a voluntary way of thought and conducts, based upon an analysis of conditioned existence, dependent upon supreme human effort, and directed toward the realization of freedom from sorrow in perfect existence.

Lord Buddha taught something from which people of every background can benefit. The Buddha was the first most active missionary in the world. He traveled from place to place for forty-five years preaching his doctrine to the masses and the intelligentsia. Till his last breath, he served humanity both by example and by precept. Buddha’s teaching is way of life which has emphasis on leading happy and stress free life.  The Lord Buddha said that everything that “We encounter in life is the result of our own actions. Consequently, we can each become master of our fate by becoming master of our actions. Each of us is responsible for the action that gives rise to our suffering. Each of us has the means to end the suffering in our actions”. Lord Buddha said “You are your own master; You make your own future”. Buddhism is a path to practice and spiritual development leading to Insight into the true nature of life. Buddhist practices such as meditation are means of changing oneself in order to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness, and wisdom. The experience developed within the Buddhist tradition over thousands of years has created an incomparable resource for all those who wish to follow a path - a path which ultimately culminates in Enlightenment or Buddhahood. The teaching of Buddha is based on the three trainings viz. Sila (Morality, purity of vocal and physical actions), Samadhi (Concentration, control of one’s mind) and Pradhnya or Panna (Wisdom, insight which totally purifies the mind). Because Buddhism does not include the idea of worshipping a God, some people do not see it as a religion in the normal, Western sense. The basic tenets of Buddhist teaching are straightforward and practical: nothing is fixed or permanent; actions have consequences; change is possible. Thus Buddhism addresses itself to all people irrespective of race, nationality, or gender. It teaches practical methods (such as meditation) which enable people to realize and utilize its teachings in order to transform their experience, to be fully responsible for their lives and to develop the qualities of Wisdom and Compassion.

There are around 350 million Buddhists in the world and a growing number of them are Westerners. They follow many different forms of Buddhism, but all traditions are characterized by non-violence, lack of dogma, tolerance of differences, and, usually, by the practice of meditation

There is ample literature available on Buddhism in the forms of books / e-books and on the websites dedicated to Buddhism. Our aim is to give a brief introduction on the Buddhism so that one can develop interest in understanding Buddhism and then one can pursue her / his study further by going into detail by reading books and discussion with the scholars on Buddhism in their respective countries.

We have referred many books and literature available on Buddhism while finalizing the text of this website. However the majority of the material presented here is based on the Books viz. 1) The Buddha and His Dhamma by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar published in 1956 and 2) The Buddha and His Teaching by Narada published by Buddhist Missionary Society, Malaysia, Edition 1988.

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