The Origin, Spread and Teachings of Buddhism

BUDDHA PURNIMA 2022: Buddhism was founded by Lord Buddha around the 6th century BCE. It started in India but is now practiced by many countries including Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal, Tibet, China and Japan. The Buddha is said to have been born as Siddhartha Gautama into the royal family of a small Lumbini kingdom on the Indo-Nepal border.

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Despite a privileged upbringing, he was shaken from his sheltered life after realizing the harsh realities of life, namely old age, illness and death. These things made him ponder the meaning of life and one night he left his palace and all the comforts behind him to search for answers to his questions.

He attained “enlightenment” after several days of meditation under a Bodhi tree in Magadh (now Bihar) and became Buddha, which means “the awakened one” or “the enlightened one”. After becoming the Buddha, he realized that all people had the ability to unfold their potential and some only needed a little help to do so. This is why he decided to help people grow towards enlightenment through his teachings.

The first sermon given by Buddha is known as the Dhammacakkakappavattana Sutta which means “Spinning the Wheel of Dhamma”.

The eight spokes of the wheel represent Right View, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. Buddha gave the first teachings to five ascetics who became his first disciples.

What does Buddhism teach?

The teachings of Buddhism see life as a process of constant change, which means that one can change for the better. It focuses on how to live a happy and peaceful life. It’s not about learning strange beliefs from distant lands, but about teaching us to look at and reflect on our own lives. He shows us how to understand ourselves and deal with our daily problems in a fair way.

Buddhism has developed many methods to control one’s mind and one of the most important and effective ways to do this is through meditation. It is a way to develop more positive states of mind that are characterized by calm, focus, awareness and emotions.

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