Buddhism Research Paper

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More than two millennia ago in India, Siddhartha Gautama became “the Buddha” and began to teach that one can only escape suffering and sorrow by living along a righteous path that ends with the extinction of desire and ignorance. The Buddha’s teachings lie at the core of what has become one of the world’s largest religions.

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Buddhism is the world’s fourth-largest religion after Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. Buddhism is approximately twenty-five hundred years old and has influenced cultures, events, and thought for generations. It is devoted to the improvement and eventual enlightenment of people, primarily through their own efforts.

The Indian philosopher Siddhartha Gautama founded Buddhism. The traditional dates of his life are 566 to 486 BCE, although recent studies suggest that Gautama was born as much as a century later. Gautama became known as “the Buddha” (the Enlightened One) after achieving enlightenment. He was born a prince of the Sakya clan in a small Indian kingdom in what is now Nepal. He had every luxury of the day and on the surface an apparently satisfying life. He married, had a son, and was destined to inherit his father’s kingdom. However, at the age of twenty-nine he became dissatisfied with his life of ease after being exposed to the true lot of humankind: suffering, old age, disease, and death. His father had protected him from these things because of a prophecy that Siddhartha would become either a great king or a great spiritual leader. His father’s hopes for a powerful successor were dashed when Siddhartha walked away from this life of ease and became an ascetic, a wandering holy man.

For six years he studied and learned from various gurus and holy men while depriving himself of all but the most meager nourishment. Siddhartha discovered that the extremes of self-deprivation were no better than the extremes of luxury and self-indulgence, so he sought the “Middle Way,” another name for Buddhism. Gautama found enlightenment while meditating under a bodhi tree. The Buddha achieved nirvana—the extinction of all desire and ignorance—and proceeded to teach others how to achieve the same state for the next forty-five years. Through discussions, parables, teaching, and living, the Buddha taught the “path of truth or righteousness” (Dhammapada). The scripture (sutta), “The Foundation of the Kingdom of Righteousness,” contains a succinct exposition of the major points that the Buddha taught.

Basic Beliefs

The Buddha preached “the Four Noble Truths” that define the existence of humankind: (1) Life is sorrow or suffering, (2) this suffering is caused by our selfish craving and desires, (3) we can remove sorrow by removing our desires, and (4) the removal of our desires is achieved by following the Noble Eightfold Path. The Noble Eightfold Path defines the “correct” behavior as right conduct, right effort, right speech, right views, right purpose or aspiration, right livelihood, right mindfulness, and right contemplation or meditation. The Buddha had few prohibitions but listed “five precepts” that good Buddhists should generally adhere to: not to kill, not to steal, not to lie, not to imbibe intoxicants, and not to be unchaste or unfaithful.

The Buddha taught that skandas (experiential data) create our existence from moment to moment and that only karma (the law of cause and effect) operates through our experience and is never lost. However, everything is changeable and impermanent. The Buddha made few concrete statements about the afterlife or the nature of “god”—realizing that the Middle Way can be taught but that each person must experience dharma—the realization of nirvana. His final admonition to his followers was to “work out your salvation with diligence” (Buddhist suttas 2000, 114).

After the Buddha—Growth in India

The Buddha was a practical teacher who knew that people need instruction, and he established the sangha (community of Buddhist monks and nuns) to carry on his work and the work of their own salvation. The Buddha instructed the sangha that it could change or delete any of the lesser rules after his passing if the sangha saw fit. Ultimately, the Buddha urged his followers to be “a lamp unto themselves.” Buddhism provides a system that demonstrates where we err and how to correct our errors not by miracles but rather by hard work and contemplation.

One of the most noted people who helped to expand Buddhism was the Mauryan ruler Asoka, who ruled from 272 to 231 BCE. The Maurya Empire (c. 324–200 BCE) grew from the state of Magadha after the time of the Buddha and rapidly expanded after Alexander of Macedon invaded India in the 320s bce, creating the first really unified kingdom in India. Asoka became a convert to Buddhism and helped to expand it by providing for missionaries and monks, so that Buddhism became a world religion while Hinduism remained confined to India. He is often compared with Roman emperor Constantine in the West, whose conversion to Christianity in 312 CE helped that religion to grow. Inscriptions on pillars and rocks throughout Asoka’s realm encouraged the citizens of the empire to follow the dharma, limit the killing and cruelty to animals, and live a righteous life. Like Christianity, Buddhism may also have provided Asoka and the Mauryans with a code of conduct and a way to help manage, enlarge, and consolidate the empire. Buddhism also benefited from the patronage of a king who helped it to reach beyond the borders of India.

Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana Sects

The Maha-Parinibbana Sutta (Book of the Great Decease) concerns the final days and death of the Buddha and is important because the Buddha did not consider himself to be a deity. It illustrates the relationship between the Buddha and Ananda, a cousin of the Buddha who was a disciple and his personal servant. A warm, trusting relationship between the two shines through the text. The first Council of Buddhism met to organize and retain the teachings of the Buddha several months after his death. The Buddhist Suttas, probably recorded by the first or second century BCE, is the canon of the Buddhist faith.

However, by the second and first centuries BCE Buddhism had already begun to diverge into schools of thought that evolved into the major sects of Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. The Theravada claimed to adhere closely to the original teachings of the Buddha and evolved along more monastic lines to spread through Southeast Asia to Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, and Cambodia. Theravada is also known as “Hinayana,” which means “lesser vehicle.” Mahayana (greater vehicle) Buddhism became the more adaptive Buddhism. With an emphasis on compassion and flexibility, it meshed with the cultures it encountered to spread to China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Mahayanists also developed the idea of the bodhisattva (a being who compassionately refrains from entering nirvana in order to save others and is worshipped as a deity). Vajrayana (diamond vehicle) Buddhism is also known as “tantric Buddhism” and spread to Central Asia, primarily Tibet.

The Silk Roads and the Spread of Buddhism in Asia

A network of trade routes called the Silk Roads made travel possible from China to the Mediterranean and to India from about the second century CE to approximately the fifteenth century, connecting the world in ways it had not been before. Religions in particular found their way to new lands and different cultures via the Silk Roads. Buddhism originated in India and spread to the Kushan areas, part of what is today Pakistan and Afghanistan, by the first century CE. Buddhism developed a number of sects, built many monasteries, and became a consumer of many of the luxuries of the day, especially silk. Buddhist monasteries often provided solace for weary travelers, and Buddhist monks, nuns, and their devotees acquired massive quantities of silk for ceremonial functions. A symbiotic relationship existed whereby the growth of Buddhist monasteries increased demand for silk while also supporting its trade and movement.

The earliest schools of Buddhism to spread along the Silk Roads were the Mahasanghikas, Dharmaguptakas, and Sarvastivadins, eventually to be subsumed by the Mahayana sect. As Buddhism spread to Central Asia and China, pilgrims began to seek the origins of Buddhism, visiting its holy sites and bringing home its sacred texts. The travels of fifty-four Buddhists, starting as early as 260 CE, are documented in Chinese sources.

Xuanzang, also known as Hsuan-tsang, was a Chinese Buddhist monk; like many others he sought a more in-depth understanding of his faith by seeking out original documents and visiting places where the faith began in India. Xuanzang began his 16,000- kilometer journey in 629 CE and returned in 645. As Xuanzang began his journey, the Tang dynasty (618–907 CE) emperor, Taizong, was beginning to restore China and make it a powerful force in Central Asia.

Xuanzang encountered Buddhist stupas (usually dome-shaped structures serving as Buddhist shrines) at Balkh and two large Buddhist figures at Bamian in Afghanistan. Although many areas of former Buddhist expansion were in decline, Xuanzang found in Kashmir one hundred Buddhist monasteries and five thousand monks. Welcomed in India at Nalanda by thousands, Xuanzang found a place of intellectual ferment. Cave paintings at Dunhuang record the triumphant passage of Xuanzang back to China; Xuanzang finished The Record of the Western Regions in 646 to document his journey. Gaozong, Taizong’s son and successor, built the Big Wild Goose Pagoda at Xuanzang’s urging to house relics and Buddhist scriptures.

A chaotic period of religious exchange and development began with the rise of the Mongols during the 1100s and 1200s. The Silk Roads’ pivotal role in cultural and religious exchange eventually declined with the advent of the Age of Exploration during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Additionally, Muslim control of long-distance trade routes helped to enhance the Islamization of Central Asia. Central Asian peoples apparently therefore accommodated themselves to those people who were the major participants in their trade connections. Trade led to cultural exchange; thus trade was an important factor in spreading the world’s great religions.

Buddhism in China and Japan

Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam spread in various areas, but to truly make a home in foreign lands these faiths often accommodated themselves to the local culture and modified or even changed some of their values or traditions. In China Buddhists spreading the faith emphasized the compassionate aspects of the faith rather than the disciplined aspects of Theravada Buddhism, and Nestorian Christians used Daoist (relating to a religion developed from Daoist philosophy and folk and Buddhist religion) or Buddhist terms, calling the books of the Bible “sutras” (precepts summarizing Vedic teaching).

Buddhism reached China by the first century CE, and a number of Mahayana sects developed there, including Tiantai, Huayan, Pure Land, and Chan. Pure Land developed as a way to reach the general population without its members having to grasp all the intricate philosophical teachings of Buddhism. Followers of Pure Land simply were to call or chant the name of Amitabha Buddha for salvation in paradise or the Pure Land.

The Indian monk Bodhidhanna is reputed to have brought Chan Buddhism to China during the sixth century CE. The word Chan (Zen in Japanese) derives from the Sanskrit word dhyana and means “meditation,” so Chan is meditation Buddhism. Towering figures such as Huineng (638–713) and Zhaozhou (778–897) strengthened Chan so that by the ninth century major schools of Chan called “Linji” and “Caodong” had developed and would later be exported to Japan as the Zen sects of Rinzai and Soto.

Buddhism had already arrived in Japan from China and Korea during the 500s CE. During the Kamakura period of Japanese history, from 1185 to 1333, Buddhism experienced dramatic growth and reinvigoration. Energetic and charismatic figures such as Nichiren (1222–1282) founded new sects. The medieval period has been characterized as one of the most religious times in Japanese history.

Buddhism had evolved in China to the point that, during the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279), Chan or Zen dominated Buddhist teachings. Scholars usually credit Myozen Eisai (1141–1215) for introducing Rinzai Zen and Dogen Kigen (1200–1253) for introducing Soto Zen. The Rinzai sect emphasizes koan (spiritual exercise) as its prime tool for achieving understanding and enlightenment, whereas the Soto sect emphasizes zazen (sitting meditation). Both Eisai and Dogen studied in China under Chan masters, receiving recognition of their enlightenment—an official document of lineage is important in Zen and helps to provide credentials to teach upon one’s return home. During the twentieth century, appreciation of Dogen’s work grew, and today Dogen is perceived as one of Japan’s greatest geniuses and the most noted Zen figure in Japan.

With the influx of Chinese masters during the 1200s and 1300s, Japanese Zen more closely resembled its Chinese Chan counterpart. In fact, the Five Mountains system of temple organization, which arose during the late 1300s, was based on the Chinese model. The ironic aspect of Zen growth is that Zen had few real practitioners. Its primary role initially was transmitting Chinese culture to Japan. The Japanese and Chinese masters achieved influence and success because of their access to Chinese culture during the Song dynasty (960–1279).

Buddhism and the West

Much of the early Western exposure to Buddhism came through the Japanese. Eight people, including three Buddhist priests, represented Japanese Buddhism at the World Parliament of Religions in 1893, held in Chicago. The writings of D. T. Suzuki helped to open Western eyes to Buddhism and began to popularize Zen Buddhism. During the last half of the twentieth century, new patterns of immigration and many U.S. and European citizens who turned to non-Western faiths helped Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Daoism have an impact on Western culture. Older and recent emigrants from Asia—Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese, and Tibetans—have played a large role in establishing a Buddhist foothold in the West and exposing Westerners (Euro-Americans) to the traditions of Asia.

Buddhism’s rise in the United States can be attributed to people’s search for answers and the rapid changes brought about by a modern and consumer-driven society. Buddhism’s rise is also because of dedicated teachers, such as Sylvia Boorstein, Chogyam Trungpa, and Jon Kabat-Zinn, who have helped to popularize the faith. The Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh has had an important influence on U.S. Buddhism. The Dalai Lama (the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism) also has promoted a more engaged Buddhism with his pleas for Tibetan freedom from China. The Tibetan diaspora (scattering) has opened up access to teachers and lamas (monks) who, until the Chinese occupied Tibet in 1959, were little known outside their own country. The Dalai Lama himself has come to symbolize for many the face of Buddhism shown to the world. His character and compassion in the face of difficulties for his own people exemplify for many the best attributes of the Buddhist life.

Shunryu Suzuki was a Japanese Zen priest who came to the United States in 1959 and settled at a small temple in San Francisco. He is credited with establishing the first Zen monastery in the United States at Tassajara, California, in 1967. The Three Pillars of Zen (1965) by Philip Kapleau was one of the first books in English that discussed the practice of Zen Buddhism. The book has had an impact far beyond the students of Kapleau because many people in the United States lacked access to a Buddhist teacher but were shown how to begin meditating and practice on their own by Kapleau’s book. Much of the Buddhist faith in Asia is centered on the sangha, whereas in the United States no real sangha exists.

Buddhism and Change

Buddhism flowered in the West during the last three decades of the twentieth century, and Zen became a cottage industry. What attracted Westerners, particularly well-educated and professional people, to the faith? The beliefs of Buddhism “are more compatible with a secular scientific worldview than those of the more established Western religions” (Coleman 2001, 205).

In a world that grows smaller each day, the Internet has provided a link to the Buddhist communities of the world and has begun to house the vast amount of Buddhist scriptural writing. The Internet may hold hope for many who practice alone or who are in ill health to have access to qualified teachers. Nonetheless, Buddhism is uniquely suited to isolated practice and meditation. Whether Buddhism will continue to broaden its appeal in the West is difficult to say. Even in Asia monasteries and monkhood are difficult choices in an ever-broadening world consumer culture. Buddhism, like many of the great faiths of the world, has found ways to adapt and survive for centuries. Buddhism continues as a way, the Middle Way, to work toward peace, compassion, and enlightenment. Yet, we have only to look back to the Buddha’s own words to find the future of Buddhism. The Buddha said that the only really permanent thing in this world is change.


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137 Buddhism Essay Topics

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  • The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism.
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  • Karma and Rebirth in Buddhism.
  • Buddhist Art and Iconography.
  • Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana Comparison.
  • The Eightfold Path: Exploring the Pathway to Spiritual Liberation.
  • Buddhism and the Life Teaching of Siddhartha Most scholars observe that the roots of Buddhism are very deep, and though Siddhartha contributed a lot to the development of the religion.
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  • Self-Concept in Buddhist Reductionism This paper investigates the idea of self in its relation to the Buddhist perception of suffering and discusses the notion of objectual and intentional properties.
  • Death and Dying in Christianity and Buddhism Using Christianity and Buddhism as two diverse religious perspectives, this discussion explores how patient’s health demands can be met by healthcare practitioners.
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  • Buddhism and Classical Hinduism Concept and Values Buddhism and classical Hinduism are the oldest religions in the world. It is worth to note that both religions originated from India.
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  • Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist Teachings Theravada and Mahayana are both schools of Buddhism. The primary differences that exist between the two came into existence after Buddha’s death.
  • Beliefs in Buddhism and Classical Hinduism This paper shows that Buddhism progressed from Hinduism, with the main difference being that they do not share similar beliefs.
  • Buddhist Religion and Western Psychologies Buddhists believe that any conception of “self” is an illusion; no separate “self” exists, only a collection of parts.
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  • Buddhism, Caring and Moral Obligations This paper argues that the Buddhist account of the personality and the self provides an applicable approach to caring as well as moral obligations.
  • Zen Buddhism in America Zen Buddhism is a separate school of Mahayana Buddhism that emphasizes mindfulness and meditation practices as the path to achieving enlightenment.
  • Death & Dying Ethics in Christianity and Buddhism The paper will discuss the attitude toward the deliberate ending of life from the viewpoint of Christianity and Buddhism.
  • Incurable Disease in Christianity and Buddhism This paper examines Christianity and Buddhism in regards to views on life and death and applies the concepts to the case study of a patient with an untreatable illness.
  • Death & Dying Ethics in Buddhism and Christianity The paper describes the ethical challenge the patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is facing and the best approaches to support him using religious values or ideas.
  • King Asoka Spreading Buddhism Along the Silk Road King Asoka’s commitment to Buddha’s Four Noble Truths and the encouragement of missionary work substantially facilitated the transmission of Buddhism to distant states.
  • Hinduism and Buddhism: Similarities and Differences Buddhism and Hinduism are two very similar religions. They both believe in reincarnation, they both believe in their religion focusing on more than one god.
  • The Religious Position of Women and Men in Buddhist Countries: Sri Lanka The position accorded to women in all spheres of activity has been a subject of considerable interest in recent decades.
  • Personality Psychology and Zen Buddhism Zen Buddhism is a movement that occurred in the 1960s and involves monks, their feats and their monasticism, and the study of doctrines.
  • Buddhist Culture in Thailand In Thailand, Buddhism is the official religion of the state based on century-old traditions and principles.
  • Zen Buddhism: Basic Teachings The principles and beliefs of Buddhism is what has given it popularity and a vast fellowship. These beliefs are founded on human experience.
  • Zen Buddhism: Brief Giude The major point of Zen Buddhism is single – every human being is a Buddha and he or she needs only to realize this by reaching enlightenment.
  • Christianity and Buddhism: Religion Comparison Christianity only became a religion, in full sense of this word, when materialistic spirit of Judaism was being transformed into something opposite to what it originally used to be by European mentality.
  • Zen Buddhism: Main Features Zen Buddhism can safely be considered as a philosophy due to its lack of a “god” aspect. It is a religion that is based on basically the act of meditation.
  • Cosmogony: Catholic and Buddhist Approaches This paper presents a dialogue between two believers- a Catholic and a Buddhist concerning creation of the world.
  • Tibetan Buddhism and Zen Buddhism Comparison The Five Tibetan rituals are considered to be life changing which helps the Tibetan’s in the spiritual and religious obligations they desire. It’s also actually great for your body
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  • Buddhism: New Religions and Human Balance The paper indicates that Buddhism, one of the fundamental world religions, has been introduced in a series of new forms over the past years.
  • Comparison Between Buddhism and Christianity This paper seeks to compare and contrast the two religions’ differences and similarities based on three key aspects such as Afterlife, Suffering, and Rituals.
  • The Dukkha Concept in Buddhism Dukkha is a traditional element of the religious philosophy of Buddhism, aimed at describing the prevailing situation in the surrounding material world.
  • Basic Beliefs of Hinduism and Buddhism This paper gives an insight into how the concepts of Karma and Rebirth are practiced in the religious traditions of both Hinduism and Buddhism.
  • Christianity and Buddhism: Interreligious Relations There are many similar points between Christianity and Buddhism, but the differences are likely to outweigh them.
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  • Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism: The Afterlife Concepts The purpose of this paper is to compare the afterlife, as presented in Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, through an examination of both primary and secondary sources.
  • Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity in Society This paper analyses three of the most common religions: Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity, in order to identify their role in the life of society.
  • The Pragmatic Theory of Truth in Buddhism and Christianity Pragmatically, the Buddha belief and the Christians’ beliefs are true as believers tend to achieve their desired effects.
  • Buddhism in the Novel “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse In “Siddhartha”, Hermann Hesse presents the theme of enlightenment as a quest for the truth, which he considers essential for a connection with the world.
  • Buddhism and Hinduism: Differences and Comparisons Buddhism and Hinduism are two ancient world religions, which have their origins in India. These religions share many similar concepts and terminologies.
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  • World Religions: Researching of Buddhism Buddhism will be examined from the perspective of the crucial concepts within the philosophy, namely the Four Noble Truths, the wheel of birth and death, karma, and Nirvana.
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Buddhism Research Paper

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mainstream Christian America; spokespeople such as Richard Gere and the Dalai Lama, a celebrity in his own right, help fuse American and Buddhist cultures.

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Buddhism is one of the world's largest religions and originated 2,600 years ago in India. Buddhists believe that human life is one of suffering and that meditation, spiritual and physical labour and good behaviour are the ways to achieve enlightenment or nirvana. 1 Siddhartha Gautama, a prince who resigned his privileged upbringing for the lifestyle of an ascetic (e.g., Basham 1967; Davids 1910; Lamotte 1988; Lopez 2001), is said to be the founder of Indian Buddhism around the fifth or sixth century BCE (archaeological history of Buddhism). Siddhartha attained enlightenment after many hardships, discovering the way to terminate the cycle of reincarnation and misery. He taught this method to an expanding number of disciples for the rest of his life. Following his death, his students proceeded to spread the Buddha's teachings and founded the sangha, a community of monks and nuns. Members of the sangha2 were originally roaming ascetics who lived outside of society, begging for sustenance and practising meditation and other ascetic practises. In contrast to the sangha's austere practises, the Buddhist laity began making pilgrimages to important places in the Buddha's life, as well as to burial sites-stupas-that housed cremated remains. The goal of this research is to look at the cultural, economic, and social effects of Buddhism. Buddhism had a significant impact on Magadh's culture, political structure, and socioeconomic situations. The story of Buddhism might be said to have begun with a loss of innocence. Siddhartha Gautama, a young prince of the Shakhya clan in India, had been raised in a life of royal ease, shielded from the misery and cruelties of the world outside the palace gates, distracted by sensual pleasures and luxurious living. But one day the fateful encounter with the real world occurred, and Siddhartha was shaken to the core. 2 There in his kingdom, not far from his gardens and delights, he encountered people suffering from sickness, old age and death; he brooded over these things, deeply disturbed that such was the fate of all beings. Then he encountered an ascetic holy man, a renunciate dedicated to liberation. The prince then undertook the great renunciation, forsaking his family, fortune and kingdom in pursuit of the path of liberation. The central, profound question that burned in Gautama was this: "How may suffering be ended?" He became a wandering ascetic, practised yogic disciplines and meditation, studied with various teachers, and attained high states of consciousness; but still, he did not find the answer to his question. He practised severe forms of asceticism, almost to the point of death by starvation, all without gain. Finally he sat under a Bodhi tree, determined not to rise from meditation until he had gained the

research paper for buddhism

Review of Pain and its Ending: The Four Noble Truths …

L.S. Cousins

Nathan Michon

A look into how living Buddhist traditions used the Four Noble Truths with a comparison to how they have been referenced in Western academia. This paper aims to show the gaps still existing in academic discourse versus lived tradition and the potential Protestant assumptions still influencing discourse in Buddhist Studies

Christian Schumy

A short paper about the Four Noble Truths, the Depending Co-Arising and the Three Characteristics.

The Journal of Medical Humanities

Ronald Y Nakasone

Evangelical Missiological Society, North Central Conference

The ultimate purpose of this article is to show the value of Ecclesiastes by using the book's message to restate the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism in Christian terminology. To some degree, Christians relatively agree with Buddhists on the first and second Truths, that all of existence is suffering and that this suffering is caused by an unhealthy attachment to desire of the worldly. However, while Buddhists, in their primarily atheistic worldview, teach that man must eliminate desire, Christians, in their theistic worldview, can restate the Four Noble Truths to teach that man must simply reorient his desire toward someone non-worldly. The article begins with an overview of both the diagnosis-cure model for understanding religions and an overview of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. Then, I provide a few of the most pertinent similarities and differences between the two religions. After showing the relevance of Ecclesiastes to Buddhists, I employ the book to present the "Four Noble Truths of Christianity," as a contextualized message for missionaries to present in their attempts to make the gospel known to Buddhists.

This article explores the Four Foundations of Mindfulness as expounded by the Buddha in the Mahā Satipatthāna Sutta in the Dīgha Nikāya. The emphasis is on the objects of meditation within the dhammā-nupassanā, the Fourth Foundation, and its object of the Four Noble Truths. The article posits that the meditator can access the Four Noble Truths in their true nature as eternal laws of the Dhamma. By accessing these eternal laws the meditator can understand the truth of suffering in itself, giving them a better understanding of what the true nature of suffering is and thus, giving the meditator a better understanding of how to react to suffering with true compassion. link https://1drv.ms/b/s!Ards-K15JPw-uQb478zq5BSboSI8

Nader Ghotbi

Siddhārtha Gautama attained Buddhahood by ‘awakening’ or ‘enlightenment’. Having spent many years in the struggle to find the truth about suffering, he was finally enlightened after spending days in meditation under a tree in Bodh Gaya, India. Later he started on a journey to spread his teachings, what is currently known as Buddhism with about 360 million practitioners worldwide. This paper examines the teachings of Buddhism in a bioethical perspective to hypothesize on what awakening or enlightenment meant to the Buddha. The paper argues that the concept of reincarnation, cycle of suffering, and compassion are closely knitted in Buddha’s realization of enlightenment; suffering follows a cyclic pattern through life and unless the cycle is broken, it is inclined to repetition. This cycle starts with birth which is then afflicted with illness, aging and death. However, all living things are connected through the unity of life, like a river that flows. The ‘truth’ is that we are all but one living organism. Compassion can reduce suffering, though suffering can only be stopped when one is so overwhelmed with pure compassion that ‘oneness’ with all life is realized. This allows one to lose the illusion of self so that the cycle of suffering may be brought to an end. Therefore, compassion, altruism, giving and receiving are only ‘natural’. Those who do not realize the truth, stay within the cyclic pattern of suffering that only changes form along the time. Purity and perfection of compassion is the key to end suffering. It can be concluded that the concept of enlightenment is based on Buddha’s philosophical comprehension of the unity and connectedness of life as understood in biology today.

D.C. Wijeratna

Oxford Dictionaries identify 'four noble truths' as a distinctive characteristic of Buddhism and defines it as 'four central beliefs' of Buddhism. Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia state that Four Noble Truths is a translation of Pali expression cattāri ariyasccāni. The meanings given by the two Encyclopedias to Four Noble Truths (Cattari Ariyasaccani) are different. Wikipedia gives Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta as the original source of cattāri ariyasaccāni. Wikipedia gives many translations of the Sutta. The English equivalents of Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta are different. This draft paper critically examines the differences in translations of Cattari Ariyasaccani and Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta.


Johannes Bronkhorst

Cheryl Graham

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Christopher W . Gowans

Suwanda Sugunasiri

Dr. Amartya Kumar Bhattacharya

Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Tapas Kumar Aich

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Pradeep Garg , Akhil K Garg

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Shoel Barua

Jhossiah Akuzwe

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Christian Irigaray

Gayan Galapitage

Journal of Indian Philosophy ([Special Issue on Ākāra in Buddhist Philosophical and Soteriological Analysis, Kellner and McClintock, eds.)

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Glenn Wallis

Dr. Surendra Pathak

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Maria Dolores Manzano Sanchez


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SuuChit Thu

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With approximately 300 million adherents around the globe today, Buddhism is one of the largest world religions. The study of Buddhism is a diverse field which combines religion, philosophy, history, art history, philology and textual studies, as well as informing a variety of comparative studies. Besides its interdisciplinary nature, Buddhist traditions vary enormously throughout the world. Because the field comprises so many varied aspects, research and scholarship is wide-reaching in its response to new discoveries, interpretations, and theoretical ideas. Much of this work has moved online so that today’s students and researchers have ready access to key primary source texts and a range of other electronic resources. Managing the ever-expanding universe of scholarly information in this field of study has proved to be a monumental if not near impossible task. Oxford Bibliographies in Buddhism provides students and scholars with a reliable and authoritative solution to the problem of information overload. Unlike traditional bibliographies and online abstracting and indexing services, Oxford Bibliographies in Buddhism offers a much-needed expert filter that relies on expertise that no algorithm can replicate.






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Buddhism - Free Essay Examples And Topic Ideas

Buddhism is a spiritual tradition and philosophy based on the teachings of Buddha. Essays could explore the basic tenets of Buddhism, its historical evolution, various schools of Buddhist thought, and its influence on culture and society. Comparisons between Buddhism and other religious or philosophical traditions could also provide a comprehensive understanding. A vast selection of complimentary essay illustrations pertaining to Buddhism you can find at Papersowl. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.

The Religion of Buddhism

Siddhartha Gautama was numerous things. He was a ruler, an educator, the Buddha and later a divine being. He showed the religion of Buddhism. Moreover, he even affected Indian history until the end of time. Buddhism has spread to numerous nations including Thailand and Mongolia. The Buddha was conceived in sixth Century BCE. He was fundamentally secured up a castle for a large portion of his initial life in light of the fact that a prescience told that his family […]

Christianity Vs Buddhism

Because I was brought up in an extremely strict Pentecostal church does not imply that I will be conceded everlasting life in the Kingdom of Paradise. In fact, it means that my curiosity for other religions has always been peaked. I have always been interested as to fundamental standards, actualities, and demonstrated sciences behind every one of them. I was instructed to place confidence in that which can't be seen, to never scrutinize the Lord or his reasonings, and to […]

Buddha’s Lost Children

This paper is devoted to one remarkable documentary made by director Mark Verkerk in 2006 called Buddha’s Lost Children (Buddha Elveszett Gyermekei). Buddha’s Lost Children is about one remarkable Buddhist monk called Abbot Khru Bah Neua Chai Kositto, who has devoted himself to the orphaned and abandoned children came from poor and problematic families of remote villages in Northern Thailand. Khru Bah used to be a Thai boxer, later he became a Buddhist monk. I would like to talk about […]

An Analysis of Buddhism on the Hermann Hesse’s Siddh?rtha

Siddhartha is a novel written by Herman Hesse. It is about a young man named Siddhartha who is the son of Brahmin. Everyone thinks that Siddhartha should follow in his father's footsteps, but Siddhartha thinks otherwise. Siddhartha practices all of the religion rituals, but he is not satisfied. He feels something is missing. He wants to find enlightenment as a munk. So he goes on a journey with his friend named Govinda and does just that. One day a group […]

The Four Noble Truths

The Four noble truths are one of the stories covered in the book "World views: Classic and contemporary readings" by Elizabeth Hair, Mike Krist, Richard Harnett and Roger West. The four noble truths are the teaching of the Buddhist path and is a summary of the awakening path. They are the key components that helps one understand Buddhism and the teachings of Buddha. It is often defined in four interdependent and logical steps. The truths have been defined differently by […]

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“4 C’s” in Buddhism

Every religion is different. They all do the things they do for different reasons. Buddhism is no exception to this. Catherine Albanese's definition of religion is "A system of symbols (creed, code, cults) and by means of which people (community) orient themselves in the world with reference to both ordinary and extra ordinary values, powers, and meanings". This definition is known as the "4 C's". The "creed" are the beliefs within the religion. The "Four Noble Truths" is the core […]

Buddhism in Society

With approximately 400 million people practicing Buddhism, it is one of the largest religions in the world. Buddhism encompasses a variety of beliefs, traditions and spiritual practices that are attributed to the teachings of the Buddha. These teachings focus on spiritual personal development. The teachings and scriptures of Buddhism reiterate that violence is not a good thing and that being peaceful will lead to a better life on earth and a chance to reach nirvana. Even though Buddhism has a […]

The Fictional Character Siddhartha and Buddha

Siddhartha is a fictional character created by Herman Hesse, but that name is also the name of Buddha before he became enlightened. Siddhartha was known as a rich, intelligent and good-looking man in town he lived in. Despite being seen as someone with intellectual prowess he left home because he was not content with what he was being taught. He believed the knowledge he was learning with his father was true and wise, yet he believed there was more for […]

Buddhism in Myanmar

Buddhism in Myanmar was very early spread into Myanmar. Buddhist missionaries from Gangetic India who reached Upper Burma through Bengal and Manipur. Others, amongst whom is Rhys Davids, supposed that Buddhism was introduced from China. It is not unlikely, however, that the Burmese obtained both their religion and their alphabet through the Talaings. The Burmese alphabet is almost the same as the Talaing, and the circular form of both strongly indicates the influence of the Singalese, or the Tamulic type […]

What is Buddhism?

Buddhism is one of the most privilege religions, spread throughout Vietnam, China, Japan and most parts of Asia. Buddhism has opened a door for many people to practice mindfulness especially the right way to meditate to relieve the stress and help them forgive that past or things that shouldn't be on their mind. Buddha has taught people many things that people can apply to daily life, and also bring a good environment to other people surrounding them. "There is no […]

History of Meditation

The Axial Age: the earliest written records of meditation come from the Hindu tradition of Vedantism around 1500 B.C.E. The Vedas discussed the ancient traditions of meditation which came from India. In the fifth and sixth century, B.C.E. meditation seems to develop other forms in Taoist China and Buddhist India. Dyhana in early Buddhism takes effect in Vedanta somewhere around century B.C.E. Buddhist meditation exact organs are still under debate by most scholars. Multilevel of meditation are seen in Buddhism’s […]

Christianity and Buddhism

Christianity originated during the 1st-century in Israel, starting with the birth of Jesus Christ, while Buddhism originated in the 6th-century India from the birth and life of Siddhartha, Buddha. While Buddhism and Christianity began with a single founder who sacrificed their lives for the suffering of humans, they did not share the same views on God. Christians put their faith in God while Buddhists ignored the widespread religious belief in a controlling higher power other religions adapted to. Built on […]

What are the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism?

According to The Register and InfoPlease, Buddhism has become one of the top five religions of the world while being one of the top three most practiced. Buddhism originated in eastern central Asia and it encompasses the idea of reaching enlightenment by following the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. Buddhism has increased in popularity over the centuries because of its stance as not only a religion, but as a philosophy. Buddhism focuses on compassion and does not preach about reaching the […]

Buddhism – the Four Noble Truths

"Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional" –Buddha. Suffering is something that all human beings in society must endure over the course of their lifetime. It is perceived to be a negative part of life and something that cannot be avoided. However, has one ever dug deeper into the roots of suffering? Why do humans suffer? Is it something that can be further understood and better overcome? Buddhism explores the notion of suffering through its path to enlightenment by practicing such […]

Buddhism in my Life

The foundations of Buddhism are built upon the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. The Four Noble Truths are a summary of the things that the Buddha witnessed and examined in his life, such as Dukkha or suffering, Dukkha is the result of tanha or selfish desire, the cure is get rid of tanha and to get rid of tanha you must follow the Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path involves eight steps to reach nirvana, including right knowledge, right […]

“Three Legged Buddha”

The "Three Legged Buddha" is a structure influenced by the Buddhist philosophy and ideas. The creator Zhang Huan was greatly inspired by the catastrophe of ruins and destroyed monasteries from the time of the Cultural Revolution in Tibet. Zhang collected copper and steel from the leftover fragments of Buddhist sculptures in Tibet to construct the "Three Legged Buddha". The sculpture was created in 2007 and stands at the height of twenty-eight feet tall and forty-eight feet wide. The sculpture, given […]

Rituals in Buddhism

In Buddhism, rites and rituals expressed by human condition, including our relationships to others and to our spiritual life. As ways of being mindful, rites and rituals can bring a heightened awareness of the interpretation of life and humanity. Through both mental and physical trainings, rites and rituals set followers onto the passage toward their personal goals. Spreading world-wide in all directions and into numerous languages since around 2,500 years ago, Buddhism teachings have developed into many brunches. Among all […]

Buddhism and Islam Worlds Apart

Buddhism and Islam are both major religions of the world. World religions are divided into two areas Eastern and Western. Buddhism is an eastern religion and Islam is a western religion. In this paper, I plan to showcase the similarities as well as differences in the two religions. Buddhism and Islam seem on the surface worlds apart. While some major differences do exist the core teachings and beliefs are essentially the same. Both Buddhism and Islam have dealt with stereotypes […]

Buddhism in Thailand

Introduction Religion system is one of the fundamental parts of any society, which is the practice of that connected to supernatural beings and forces. This practice modifies human's attitudes and beliefs that fulfills several social and psychological needs. Buddhism, one of the most worldwide popular religion, is a religious tradition that emphasizes spiritual growth at a personal level and focusses on the study of the nature of life. History of Buddhism can be traced back to the 6th century BC […]

History and Comparison of Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam

What is Religion? For a long time, people has been asking question about it, but no one has corrected answer whether one religion is right, or another religion is wrong. Every person explains religion in different way. Religion is a cultural system for group of people who have shared same beliefs. As any person can remember religion has been part of history for long time. There are nearly 10,000 religious where people are born into or they can choose which […]

Representation of Religion in Asian Buddha Statues

Artistic concepts are broad. Art may be interpreted either literally or symbolically depending on a person's insights. It goes a long way in the depiction of reality or imaginary insinuation, be it a person or a place. However, the study of artistic features gives more profound meaning and relates each work of art to the subjects under study for example religion. Eliade Mircea once said that the Buddha's iconography had been changed to spiritual existence from human nature[1]. Considering the […]

The Rising of Christianity and the Fall of Buddhism

Christianity is considered to be the world's largest religion today, there are more than two billion Christians worldwide. Christianity began to grow in the 1st-century from a Jewish following. Christianity has been spread and adopted throughout the nation and it became and still is a successful spiritual mission that is changing people's lives across the globe. The Christian belief is centered around the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians are monotheistic, which means that they only believe in […]

How Buddhism Agrees with Science

Compatibility is defined as the degree of agreement between two separate ideas. In relation to the Dalai Lama's discussions of modern physics and evolutionary biology as well as the article "Cosmology and Meditation" by Rupert Gethin, we can find several similarities and differences between Buddhism and scientific realism. Also, it would be appropriate to argue the compatibility between these two like-minded concepts. Buddhism is very simple in its teachings. The essence of this school of thought promotes a way of […]

Development of Buddhism under Siddhartha Gautama and Ashoka

The pioneer, innovator, and/or originator of Buddhism is said to be Siddhartha Gautama. Siddhartha was born into a wealthy royal family in Nepal, India. He lived a secluded life away from the world’s sadness, poverty, and pain. Even though his life did not have these particular challenges, he left home at 29 to explore. At that time, India was in an intellectual decay of the old Brahmanic orthodoxy. There was a strong skepticism and moral vacuum which was being filled […]

Earth-touching Buddha

This semester I took History of far Eastern Art, as a project assignment we had to visit a museum, I chose the freer gallery of art in Washington D,C. I visited the section " Encountering the buddha, Art and practice across Asia." In this section you found "collections of Buddhist art from Afghanistan, India, Southeast Asia, China and Japan(web)." My experience at freer gallery of art was great, I was able to learn a lot more from the Asian art […]

Essay about the Matrix and Buddhism

The enemy in The Matrix is ignorance, a trait that is embedded in everyone and is difficult to overcome. Although the he violence and bullets within the movie is the opposite of what buddhist believe in - they believe in peace and do not believe in violence, it can be viewed metaphorically in which it is used to show the struggle to overcome and defeat one’s ignorance and illusion of reality. However, although there are different levels of enlightenment or […]

Buddhism Meets Christanity

When you think of Christianity and Buddhism they both may appear very different from one another, but in fact, in some ways they really are very similar. The religions they have certain beliefs, and traditions that they value. Christianity and Buddhism are both the world's most significant and influential religions. A Spiritual Master that was seeking a path to salvation founded them both. They have a strong resemblance between Jesus and Buddha, with their lives and teachings. In both Christianity […]

Buddhism Vs Christianity

Religion is one of the most valued things in human society. It is what constitutes a country, group or society of individuals together. Although, in other cases it brings up problems and destroys unity between people. Religion is the belief that humans have in a divine entity which controls the Universe. In multiple religions, there is more than one of these godlike entities. Every religion has differences between each other, but the most part of them look for right morals […]

About Siddhartha Gautama

Buddha is not a name but a title which is a Sanskrit word for "Enlightened one." Siddhartha Gautama was born in 567 B.C.E. in the Himalayan region of Kapilavastu, Shakya which is now a modern Lumbini, Nepal. He born to the King Sudhodhana, who rule Kapilavastu in ancient Bharata Khanda, And Queen Maya. When he was born a Brahmin guru prophesize that young Gautama would either become an Emperor of Bharata Khanda or a very holy man, which worried his […]

Religious Perspectives on Euthanasia

Death is one of the most important things that religions deal with. All faiths offer meaning and explanations for death and dying; all faiths try to find a place for death and dying within human experience. Most religions disapprove of euthanasia. Some of them absolutely forbid it. Virtually all religions state that those who become vulnerable through illness or disability deserve special care and protection and that proper end of life care is a much better thing than euthanasia. Religions […]

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Journal of Global Buddhism

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Research articles, buddhist pro-woman attitudes towards full ordination: tibetan and himalayan monastics’ views, reimagining a buddhist cosmopolis: conveying marble buddhas from burma to china, 1890s-1930s, discussions and critical notes, buddhism and modernity: 4th international vajrayāna conference an analytical conference report, book reviews, superiority conceit in buddhist traditions: a historical perspective by bhikkhu anālayo, buddhism under capitalism by richard payne and fabio rambelli, open access logo.

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  12. Journal of Global Buddhism

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