Buddhism is a world religion of many world-wide manifestations, cultures, and languages. Its influence on modern society and education is significant and its wide growth throughout the world is a tribute to its benignity and enduring spirituality. It gives everybody hope and provides a social environment where unity, compassion, empathy, trust, sincerity, dignity, and goodness thrive in a world that is becoming overwhelmingly bleak, cold, and separated by fear and mistrust.
Important facts about Buddhism
- Buddhism was founded by Gautama Buddha in the 6th century BC.
- Concept of the noble 8-fold path:
- The theme of Dharma Chakra Pavartana Sutta.
- Path to be away from miseries of life and attain Nirvana.
- Four Noble truth of Buddhism:
- There is suffering,
- There is a cause of suffering,
- There is a cessation of suffering,
- There is a path leading to cessation to suffering.
- Sutta Pitaka: Sermons and teachings of Buddha
- Vinaya Pitaka: Collection of rules governing the sanghas and monks.
- Abhidhamma Pitaka: Philosophy of Buddhism.
- Karmapa Lama belongs to the Kagyupa sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
- Anitya – “the world is unstable and transient” – the essential doctrine of Buddhism.
- Buddha – “Light of Asia” a book by Sir Edwin Arnold.
- The Statue of Buddha was the first human statue to be worshipped in India.
- In Mahayana Buddhism, the Bodhisattva Avalokiteswar was also known as Padmapani.
- The doctrine of Void (Shunyata) was propounded by the Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna (School of Madhyamika).
- The doctrine of Anatta (substanceless) – It means, in human, no permanent underlying substance that can be called soul. Instead, human is compounded of 5 factors.
- Sautrantika and Sammitya are sects of Buddhism.
- Avoidance of extremities of penance and enjoyment was prohibited in Buddhism, not in Jainism.
- Vallabhi University (Gujarat) – Centre of Buddhist learning.
- Nalanda University (Bihar) – flourished under the Gupta dynasty.
- During the Sultanate period, the Vajrayana sect of Buddhism was most popular.
- Therigatha is a Buddhist scripture.
- Chaukhandi Stupa is an ancient Buddhist site located in Uttar Pradesh.
- Borobudur in Java is famous for a Buddhist Temple.
- Vipassana is a form of Meditation – belongs to the Theravada sect of Buddhism.
- Khuddaka Nikaya – related to previous birth of Gautama Buddha.
- Padmasambhava – a pivotal figure in the establishment of Tibetan Buddhism and often called as the 2nd Budhha.
Why Buddhism Declined?
By the Early Medieval times, Buddha considered as one of the incarnations of Vishnu and became part of Vaishnavism. This led to the decline of Buddhism.