Religion is the belief in and worship of God or superhuman beings. According to history.com, “Buddhism is a religion that was founded by Siddhartha Gautama (“the Buddha”) more than 2,500 years ago in India.” Buddhism is one of the largest religion that has over a million followers. Buddhist temples can be found in various countries, like in Europe and the Americas. Buddhism is a religion that still has impact in the real world.
Siddhartha Gautama is known as the Buddha, or the Awakened One. Siddhartha was born the son of a prince of the Shakya tribe in what is today Nepal, India, in the lower Himalaya Mountains (Molloy 127). When a sage studied him as a child, he saw weird marks on Siddhartha’s body, showing that he would be a famous person. Siddhartha soon found out what the normal life was and came across the Four Passing Sights. “He came across an old man, crooked and toothless; a sick man, wasted by disease; and a corpse being taken for cremation. Then he saw a sannyasin (a wandering holy man, a renunciate) who had no possessions but seemed to be at peace” (Molloy 128).
The suffering he had faced urged him to question the meaning of human life. According to Molloy, he traveled from teacher to teacher learning techniques of meditation. Some of the basic Buddhist teachings are the Three Jewels (Sanskrit: Triratna; Pali: Tiratana), that is the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha (monks and nuns). The Dharma (Sanskrit), or Dhamma (Pali), is the sum total of Buddhist teachings about how to view the world and how to live properly (Molloy 131). Buddhist teachings are practical and useful ways of living that looks into reality.
Furthermore, Buddhist teachings included the 4 Noble Truths. The Four Noble Truths shows the truths about life:
- suffering exist;
- it has a cause;
- it has an end; and
- there is a way to attain release from suffering namely, by following the Noble Eightfold Path (Molloy 134).
In Buddha eyes, living means to go through anxiety, loss, and at times, suffering. The Buddha saw that suffering comes from wanting what we cannot have and from never being satisfied with what we do have. The Third Noble Truth: To end Suffering, End Desire.
The Buddhism followers knows that everybody can be a monk, so they interpreted that everyone act peacefully no matter what happens. Therefore, the individual should aim less for happiness and more for inner peace, as well as live in the present and not the past. An individual has to accept inner peace and desire their life that is for them. The Fourth Noble Truth is that the release from suffering is possible and can be attained by following the noble eightfold path. Nirvana is important in Buddhism’s, it is the end of suffering, inner peace, and liberation from the limitations of the world. Nirvana is for individuals to obtain self-control. It is believed to end karma and come back to life after the present life, and another path that Buddhists take towards the way of inner peace and the suffering of reality.
According to the eight steps of the inner peace are:
- Right understanding I recognize the impermanence of life, the mechanism of desire, and the cause of suffering,
- Right intention My thoughts and motives are pure, not tainted by my emotions and selfish desires;
- Right speech I speak honestly and kindly, in positive ways, avoiding lies, exaggeration, harsh words;
- Right actions My actions do not hurt any other being that can feel hurt, including animals; I avoid stealing and sexual conduct that would bring hurt,
- Right work My job does no harm to myself or others,
- Right effort With moderation, I consistently strive to improve,
- Right meditation (right mindfulness) I use the disciplines of meditation (dhyana) and focused awareness to contemplate the nature of reality more deeply,
- Right contemplation I cultivate states of blissful inner peace (Samadhi) (Molloy 136).
To put it briefly, Buddhism is a religion that leaves an impact in this world. It shows how we are as a person and how some of Buddhist teachings leave a mark in our lives without us known. For instance, I agreed with the Noble Eightfold path mainly part 5, 6, and 7. I use these steps for my academic performance and basketball. I strive to improve myself in my academics to become a better student, and in basketball to be a pro and be the best basketball player that I can be. Buddhists teachings shows me to let go of anger and be more focused on inner peace. I will not convert to Buddhism, but I do admire Buddha’s aspirations on his followers. One thing that I would take from it is that life constantly changes and if I become a better person it would end my bad karma.