Effects Of The Spread Of Buddhism Essay

1471 Words 6 Pages
Buddhism, had it 's beginning in the 5th century BCE with a man named Siddhartha Gautama or "Buddha." Buddhism became a widespread religion that set forth the path for effects in the personal lives of many, and also as a widespread world religion. It accomplished many things, such as carrying news ways of life to many, and appealing to the highest and lowest of levels of society. Buddhism also brought about a uniqueness not seen in the same capacity before. The spread of Buddhism starting in 453 BCE influenced many people, caused conflict, and brought new ideas and beliefs to many parts of the world.
Buddhism, started by Siddhartha Gautama , had teachings much unlike already established religions and slowly became popular throughout India
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Deepening or difference in faith was displayed during the 1st or 2nd Century BCE, when Buddhism underwent a split due to differences in belief.xvii The Mahayana 's or "the greater vehicle" held a belief in two types of people who reached nirvana, and were worshipped as gods. They believed in both Bodhisattvas who reached Nirvana and then proceeded to come back and help others reach Nirvana, and Arhats, who reached Nirvana and stayed in the state, rather than coming back. In contrast, Hinayana 's or "the lesser vehicle" believed only in Arhats, and their main goal was to be one. This split shows an evolution and deepening into Buddhism that did not exist as intensely before. Regardless of whether the Buddhist was a Mahayana or a Hinayana, they both experienced the religion as something personally beneficial. Meaning, Buddhism greatly effected the way one thought, how they acted, and what they believed. The religion based in balance and peace was more of a lifestyle, and for most, changed their lives in a big way. As Buddha said in his teaching, "the Tathagata (the one who has come and gone, namely, Buddha) has found the middle path."xviii This "finding the middle path" was personal to the followers of Buddha. The path was what they sought, and followed in hopes of reaching Nirvana themselves. The quotation shows in part, the admiration and respect that was to be had for Buddha and his Dharma. On a larger scale, the spread and adoption of Buddhism by many suggests a major change that was not confined within India, but rather spread into many places through the Silk Road and still holds in many places throughout the world

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