Symbol of Buddhism:

 

This wheel is also called the dharma chakra or the dharma chakra and is often used to represent Buddha himself. It has also universally become the symbol for Buddhism. The dharma wheel has eight spokes, which represent Buddha’s Eightfold Path.

 

Origin:

The origin of Buddhism  dates back to the year 580 BC, which started with the birth of Buddha Siddhartha Gautama. Born in the Lumbini, Southern Nepal, Siddhartha left his home at a young age of 29 years, in search of enlightenment. After going through a life of self-denial, discipline and meditation, he attained enlightenment, which resulted in the alleviation of all his pain and suffering. He then set on a journey of teaching people the path to enlightenment that would liberate them from the cycle of life and death.

History of Buddhism:

 

At the age of twenty-nine Siddhartha Gautama, prince of a ruling house in Nepal, abandons the luxuries of home, and the affections of a wife and a young son, to become a wandering ascetic. According to the traditional account (first written down in the 3rd century BC) Gautama follows an ascetic life for six years before deciding that a middle path between mortification and indulgence of the body will provide the best hope of achieving enlightenment. The first council of Buddhism Sangha was organized a few months after Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana. It was held in Rajagaha, with the aim of developing an agreement on his teachings. However, the teachings of Buddha were not written down even then.

 

 Ashoka, the first Buddhist Emperor, was the ruler of the Magadhan empire. Initially a ruler obsessed with the aim of expanding his empire, he changed after witnessing the brutal carnage at the battle of Kalinga. He laid the foundation of numerous stupas and spread the teachings of Lord Buddha throughout the world.

 

From the seventh century, Buddhism went on a downward spiral in India, because of growth of Hinduism, decline of Buddhist universities and Muslim Turk invasions of northwest India.

Beliefs of Buddhism:

 

Three Universal Truths

1. Everything in life is impermanent and always changing.

2. Because nothing is permanent, a life based on possessing things or persons doesn't make you happy.

3. There is no eternal, unchanging soul and "self" is just a collection of changing characteristics or attributes.

 

Four Noble Truths

1. Human life has a lot of suffering.

2. The cause of suffering is greed.

3. There is an end to suffering.

4. The way to end suffering is to follow the Middle Path.


Misconceptions:

1. All Buddhists meditate.

2. The primary form of Buddhist meditation is mindfulness.

3. All Buddhists are vegetarians.

4. All Buddhists are pacifists.

5. Buddhism is a philosophy and not a religion.

6. The Buddha was a human being, not a god, and the religion he founded has no place for the worship of gods.

7. Zen rejects conventional Buddhism.

8. The four noble truths are noble.

9. Zen(monk) is dedicated to the experience of “sudden enlightenment,” which frees its followers from the extended regimens of training in ethics, meditation, and wisdom found in conventional forms of Buddhism.

10. All spiritual traditions, Buddhism included, are different paths to the same mountaintop.