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About Buddhism

Buddhism is an ancient and one of the most followed religions in the world, which has its roots in India. Buddhism very simply gets its name from the Buddha, or the enlightened one. Buddhism is at least 2500 years old and the man now known and revered as the Buddha was born a prince, Siddhartha Gautama. This prince was to inherit and rule a region that now lies in Southern Nepal when growing discontent with his comfortable life and needing answers to many of life’s questions caused him to abandon all the material trappings of his life. Shielded from the harsh realities outside the palace walls, the prince escaped with his charioteer often and saw his people, some of whom were old and sick and he even saw a corpse. The charioteer then showed him an ascetic who had renounced the world and was therefore free of the fear of suffering and of death. This changed his outlook and he himself left his comfortable world and after days of meditation in Bodhgaya under a Bodhi tree understood the true path to spiritual enlightenment. It was after this that he set off to spread this awareness and was given the name of Buddha.

Today, Buddhism has about 500 millions followers worldwide and the main teachings of Buddhism are based on Four Nobel truths and Eightfold path that would lead believers to Nirvana or to enlightenment. Buddha preached these Nobel truths which briefly were:-
- Everything is suffering i.e. Attachment to material objects causes suffering
- Suffering thrives on Desire and Delusion
- Nirvana is the only solution to control suffering
- Ways to achieve nirvana

Nirvana could be achieved by an Eightfold Path that is simplified in three categories
Moral Conduct or Sila
Meditation or Samadhi
Wisdom also known as Panna

There are two main schools of Buddhism today and these are the schools of Theravada Buddhism and of Mahayana Buddhism. Buddhism is not a philosophy but a strong religion and Buddha and his followers after him used the method to spread awareness with the use of simple parables or stories. These stories have been complied into the Jataka tales and each story has a moral attached to it.

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