BBC - Religions - Buddhism: Buddhism at a glance
But the gods knew that Gotama must become the Buddha, and so they . of enlightenment and achieve at last the perfect wisdom which surmounts all need. For centuries, Buddhism has been the dominant religion of the Eastern world. glorified individuals whose relationship with God comes to its perfect maturity. The name Buddhism comes from the word 'budhi' which means 'to wake up' and thus is the love of wisdom or love and wisdom, both meanings describing Buddhism perfectly. If the Buddha is not a god, then why do people worship him?.
In Theravada Buddhism, bodhi refers to the realisation of the four stages of enlightenment and becoming an Arahant. Full awakening is reached in four stages.
Connecting with the Divine
According to Nyanatiloka, Through Bodhi one awakens from the slumber or stupor inflicted upon the mind by the defilements kilesaq.
According to Thanissaro Bhikkhujhana and vipassana insight form an integrated practice.
Mahayana In Mahayana-thought, bodhi is the realisation of the inseparability of samsara and nirvana and the unity of subject and object. However, in some Zen traditions this perfection came to be relativized again; according to one contemporary Zen master, "Shakyamuni buddha and Bodhidharma are still practicing. Within the various Mahayana-schools exist various further explanations and interpretations.
The ultimate goal is not only of one's own liberation in Buddhahood, but the liberation of all living beings. But Mahayana Buddhism also developed a cosmology with a wide range of buddhas and bodhisattvas, who assist humans on their way to liberation. Nichiren Buddhism regards Buddhahood as a state of perfect freedom, in which one is awakened to the eternal and ultimate truth that is the reality of all things.
This supreme state of life is characterized by boundless wisdom and infinite compassion. The Lotus Sutra reveals that Buddhahood is a potential in the lives of all beings. Bodhi is the final goal of a Bodhisattva's career [ It is absolute and identical with Reality and thus it is Tathata. Bodhi is immaculate and non-conceptual, and it, being not an outer object, cannot be understood by discursive thought.
It has neither beginning, nor middle nor end and it is indivisible. It is non-dual advayam [ But if by poor you mean a poor quality of life, then perhaps some Buddhist countries are quite rich.
- Buddhism at a glance
- Nirvana (Buddhism)
America for example, is an economically rich and powerful country but the crime rate is one of the highest in the world, millions of old people are neglected by their children and die of loneliness in old people's homes, domestic violence and child abuse are major problems. One in three marriages end in divorce and pornography is a major industry.
Rich in terms of money but perhaps poor in terms of the quality of life. Now take traditional Buddhist countries. Some are economically backward but parents are honored and respected by their children, their crime rates are relatively low, divorce and suicide are almost unheard of, domestic violence and child abuse, pornography and sexual license are not common.
Economically backward but perhaps a higher quality of life than in a country like America. But even if we judge Buddhist countries in terms of economics alone, one of the wealthiest and most economically dynamic countries in the world today is Japan where a large percentage of the population call themselves Buddhists.
Why is it that you don't often hear of charitable work being done by Buddhists? Perhaps it is because Buddhists don't feel the need to advertise about the good they do. Several years ago the Japanese Buddhist leader Nikkho Niwano received the Templeton Prize for his work in promoting inter-religious harmony. Likewise a Thai Buddhist monk was recently awarded the prestigious Magsaysay Prize for his excellent work among drug addicts. In another Thai monk, Ven.
Kantayapiwat was awarded the Norwegian Children's Peace Prize for his many years of work helping homeless children in rural areas. And what about the large scale social work being done among the poor in India by the Western Buddhist Order? They have built schools, child minding centres, dispensaries and small scale industries for selfsufficiency. Buddhists see help given to others as an expression of their religious practice just as other religions do but they believe that it should be done quietly and without self-promotion.
Thus you don't hear so much about their charitable work. Why are there so many different types of Buddhism? There are many different types of sugar: It is produced in different forms so that it can be used in different ways.
Buddhism is the same. Buddhism has evolved into different forms so that it can be relevant to the different cultures in which it exists. It has been reinterpreted over the centuries so that it can remain relevant to each new generation. Outwardly, the types of Buddhism may seem very different but at the center of all of them is the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. All major religions, Buddhism included, have split into schools and sects. But the different sects of Buddhism have never gone to war with each other, they have never been towards each other and to this day, they go to each other's temples and worship together.
Such tolerance and understanding are certainly rare Buddhism started in India but it eventually died out there. The Buddha's teachings grew to become one of India's major religions but gradually it went into decline and finally disappeared just as Christianity started in Palestine but eventually died out there.
Enlightenment in Buddhism
No one really knows why this happened. Perhaps a combination of political and social changes combined with wars and invasions made it difficult such a gentle and peaceful religion to survive. However long before it disappeared in India is spread from there to the furthermost corner of Asia. You certainly think highly of Buddhism. I suppose you think your religion is right and all the others are wrong. No Buddhist who understands the Buddha's teaching thinks that other religions are wrong.
No one who, has made a genuine effort to examine other religions with an open mind could think like that either. The first thing you notice when you study the different religions is just how much they have in common.
Connecting with the Divine
All religions acknowledge that mankind's present state is unsatisfactory. All believe that a change of attitude and behavior is needed if the human situation is to improve.
All teach an ethics that includes love, kindness, patience, generosity and social responsibility and all accept the existence of some form of Absolute. They use different languages, different names and different symbols to describe and explain these things; and it is only when they narrow-mindedly cling to their one way of seeing things that religious intolerance, pride and self-righteousness arise. Imagine an Englishman, a Frenchman, a Chinese and an Indonesian all looking at a cup. The Englishman says, "That's a cup.
My dictionary says so. And besides, more people speak Chinese than any other language, so it must be a pet. After he has drunk, he says to the others, "Whether you call it a cup, a tasse, a pet or a cawan, a cup is meant to be used. Stop arguing and drink, stop squabbling and refresh your thirst. I have read that Buddhism is just a type of reformed Hinduism. According to Lindtner, this lead him to taking a "paradoxical" stance, for instance regarding nirvana, rejecting any positive description.
There are two stages in nirvana, one in life, and one final nirvana upon death; the former is imprecise and general, the latter is precise and specific. The nirvana-after-death, also called nirvana-without-substrate, is the complete cessation of everything, including consciousness and rebirth.
Nirvana (Buddhism) - Wikipedia
This is the final nirvana, or parinirvana or "blowing out" at the moment of death, when there is no fuel left. And what, monks, is the Nibbana element with residue remaining? Here, a monk is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, who has lived the holy life, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, reached his own goal, utterly destroyed the fetters of existence, one completely liberated through final knowledge.
However, his five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable, still feels pleasure and pain. It is the destruction of lust, hatred, and delusion in him that is called the Nibbana element with residue remaining. And what, monks, is the Nibbana element without residue remaining? Here, a monk is an arahant For him, here in this very life, all that is felt, not being delighted in, will become cool right here.