Â This is the fourth article in a series on "World Religions" for "Spirituality Explorers". Most people have some curiosity about and interest in learning about other religions. So far, we have learned about Jainism, Hinduism, and Islam.Today we will have a brief overview of Buddhism.
- Right understanding
- Right thought
- Right speech
- Right conduct
- Right livelihood
- Right endeavor
- Right mindfulness
- Right meditation
The spokes revolve around the hub of truth, which represents the Four Noble Truths, which include:
- Suffering is universal
- Suffering is caused by ignorance
- Ignorance can be overcome
- The way is the Eightfold Path
The outer ring of the wheel stands for harmony and unity. The wheel, like life, is always in motion.
Buddhism proclaims the dignity and worth of each living being, respect and compassion for all life, and the need for all people to find their own path to enlightenment and to an understanding of the nature of life. Simply put, its basic teachings are: first, to do no harm to any living beings; second, to do good; and third, to purify the mind.
Siddhartha Gautama, born of a king and queen in what is now called Nepal, is the founder of Buddhism. Despite being raised in luxury, he left his father's palace at the age of 29 to seek truth and enlightenment. At the age of 35, he was proclaimed the Buddha, the Awakened One. Buddhists do not consider Gautama a god, but rather a great teacher who spent the last 45 years of his life traveling northern India, sharing his message with humankind.
That message spread to China, Tibet, Mongolia, Japan, and eventually around the world. There are 252,000,000 Buddhists in the worldÂ practicingÂ a number ofÂ different forms of Buddhism. It is estimated that between four and five million Buddhists live in the United States.