Learn the basics of belief in Buddhism including the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. Also, learn about Karma and the Cycle of Rebirth.
Basics of Belief of Buddhism
While most people have heard of Buddhism, many have no idea what the followers of this religion really believe. Belief of Buddhism has been around for thousands of years, and is quite a complex religion. This article explains the very basic tenets of this ancient faith that is still practiced today.
Belief of Buddhism: Who is Buddha?
In some religions, the god or gods were always godlike. In Buddhism this is not the case. Instead, the one who would eventually be called Buddha, which means “enlightened one”, was born and lived as a normal man.
His name was Siddhartha Guatama. He was born to a wealthy family and as he got older became obsessed with finding the meaning of life. On his spiritual journey, he came to believe that suffering came at the end of every life. He forsook his wealth and lived as a monk, seeking to further understand the purpose of life.
Belief in Buddhism: Four Noble Truths
One of the central tenets in the belief of Buddhism is the Four Noble Truths which are listed below.
- Identify the Presence of Suffering
- Learn the Cause of the Suffering
- Work to End the Suffering
- Learn the Means by Which it is Possible to End the Suffering
Belief in Buddhism: Noble Eightfold Path
Another basic tenet is the Noble Eightfold Path. Followers must strive to always be on the “right” paths.
1. Right Understanding
2. Right Thought
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration
These eight paths are part of three themes.
- Good Moral Conduct: This theme includes right understanding, right thought and right speech.
- Meditation and Mental Development: This theme includes right action, right livelihood and right effort.
- Wisdom: This theme includes right mindfulness and right concentration.
Belief in Buddhism: Karma and Cycle of Rebirth
While Buddhism is a religion in which followers care deeply for other creatures, there are also what some may consider “selfish” reasons to be a follower. One of those reasons is Karma. Karma is the belief that good actions on the part of followers will bring happiness. Bad actions on the part of followers will bring unhappiness. In others words, if you seek the Four Noble Truths and follow the Noble Eightfold Path, you have a good chance of obtaining happiness.
Another reason that those with a belief of Buddhism strive for good moral conduct is the cycle of rebirth. The belief is that when you die, you will be reborn into one of six planes. There are three fortunate planes and three unfortunate planes. The actions and life of a person on earth determines to which plane they will be reborn. Being born as a human is the ultimate gift as Buddhists believe that only humans can seek enlightenment or achieve Nirvana.