Buddhism Is A Religion Based On The Teachings Of Buddhism Essay

2067 Words Apr 1st, 2016 9 Pages
Buddhism is a religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. Siddhartha Gautama lived about 2500 years ago in what is now Nepal and northern India. After undergoing a profound realization of the nature of life, death, and existence, Gautama became known as "the Buddha," which means "awakened one.” The Buddha taught people how to realize enlightenment for themselves through direct experiences, not through beliefs and dogmas like in other religions. Although Buddhism was founded in India, it is mainly practiced in countries such as China, Taiwan, Mongolia, Tibet, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, and Korea. There are two main branches of Buddhism: Mahayana and Theravada. Mahayana means “great vehicle,” while Theravada means “teaching of the elders.” Each branch of Buddhism has its differences and similarities. Theravada is said to be the oldest branch of Buddhism and has maintained many of its original beliefs and teachings, while Mahayana Buddhism tends to change with the times. The Mahayana and Theravada branches of Buddhism share some of the same practices, beliefs, and views; however, there are many differences between the two branches. These differences can be seen in their religious goals, concepts of higher powers, and teachings. To begin with, Mahayana Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism share many of the same practices. Both branches of Buddhism practice meditation. Meditation is a vital part of Buddhism because it helps promote a calm…

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