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
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.