Sunday, February 10, 2019

Facts on Buddhism

Friends! We most of the Bhutanese are Buddhist by birth. Because of this default, we seldom study Buddhism and think we know more of Buddhism than anyone else but the fact is we know less. So friends understand these basic facts of Buddhism and equip yourself to explain if someone asks you the questions on Buddhism.

·      Meaning of name "Buddhism": System taught by the Buddha
·      Date founded: 520 BCE
·      Place founded: Northeastern India
·      Founder: Siddharta Gautama ("the Buddha"), an Indian prince born in Lumbini, Nepal.
·      Adherents:  535 (2010 estimate), with china embracing the pollution now stood at 1.6 billion.
·      Size rank: Fourth largest world religion
·      Main locations:
·       Cambodia 97%
·       Japan 96%
·       Thailand 95%
·       Taiwan 93%
·       Mongolia 93%
·       Myanmar 90%
·       Hong Kong 90%
·       Bhutan 84%
·       China 80%  
·       Vietnam 75%
·       Sri Lanka 70%
·       Laos 67%
·       Tibet 65%
·       Singapore 51%
·       South Korea 50%
·      Major divisions: Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana
·      Sacred texts: Pali Canon (Tripitaka), numerous Mahayana sutras
·      Original language: Pali
·      Spiritual leader: Monk (lama in Tibetan Buddhism)
·      Place of ritual: Temple, meditation hall.
·      Theism (the doctrine or belief in the existence of a God or gods): Varies: Theravada is atheistic (rejecting any belief in gods); Mahayana is more polytheistic (worshipping or believing in more than one god).
·      Ultimate reality: None. Nothing is permanent.
·      Human nature: There is no self or soul. Human existence is nothing more than a combination of five impermanent components (khandas).
·      Purpose of life: Theravada - Become an arhat, escapes the cycle of rebirth, and attains nirvana. Mahayana - Become a bodhisattva then help others attain enlightenment.
·      Afterlife: Rebirth or nirvana. Others see nirvana simply as the cessation of suffering by some and as a heavenly paradise.
·      Holidays: Vary by region, but often include Buddha's birthday, Buddha's enlightenment, lunar quarters 
Three Jewels/Three Refuges:
1. The Buddha
2. The Sangha (monastic community) 
3. The Dharma (truth or teachings)
Three Delusions: 
1. Ignorance
2. Desire
3. Anger or hatred
Three Trainings:
1. Moral discipline
2. Concentration
3. Wisdom
Three Marks of Existence:
1. Impermanence (anicca) 
2. Unsatisfactoriness (dukkha)
3. No-self (anatta) 
Four Noble Truths:
1. All of life is marked by suffering.
2. Suffering is caused by desire and attachment.
3. Suffering can be eliminated.
4. Suffering is eliminated by following the Noble Eightfold Path.
Four Immeasurable or Sublime States:
1. Equanimity (upekkha)
2. Loving-kindness (metta) 
3. Compassion (karuna) 
4. Sympathetic joy (mudita) 
Four Reminders:
1. Human life is precious.
2. Death is inevitable.
3. The laws of karma cannot be avoided.
4. Suffering permeates all existence.
Four Bodhisattva Vows:
1. I vow to rescue the boundless living beings from suffering.
2. I vow to put an end to the infinite afflictions of living beings.
3. I vow to learn the measureless Dharma-doors.
4. I vow to realise the unsurpassed path of the Buddha.
Five Precepts:
1. Do not kill.
2. Do not steal.
3. Do not engage in sexual misconduct. 
4. Do not lie.
5. Do not use intoxicants.
Five Powers:
1. Faith and confidence
2. Energy and effort
3. Mindfulness
4. Samadhi 
5. Wisdom 
Five Hindrances:
1. Sense craving
2. Anger or ill will 
3. Sloth and torpor
4. Restlessness and worry
5. Doubt and the inner critic
Six Perfections:
1. Concentration
2. Effort 
3. Ethical behavior
4. Generosity
5. Patience
6. Wisdom
Six Realms of Existence: 
1. Hell-beings
2. Hungry ghosts 
3. Animals
4. Humans
5. Anti-gods or demigods
6. Gods Noble 
Eightfold Path:
1. Right beliefs
2. Right aspirations
3. Right speech
4. Right conduct
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right meditational attainment
Ten Paramita:
1. Giving or generosity
2. Virtue, ethics, morality
3. Renunciation, letting go, not grasping
4. Wisdom and insight 
5. Energy, vigour, vitality, diligence
6. Patience or forbearance
7. Truthfulness
8. Resolution, determination, intention
9. Kindness, love, friendliness
10. Equanimity 
Twelve Links of Dependent Arising:
1. Ignorance
2. Karmic formations
3. Consciousness
4. Name and form
5. Six senses
6. Contact
7. Feeling
8. Craving
9. Grasping
10. Becoming
11. Birth
12. Aging and Death

Photo: I have taken at Bodhgaya

Cultivate Generous Thought and practice giving gifts to the Sanghas.

The Buddha once explained that it is a meritorious act even to throw away the water after washing one's plate with the generous thought:...