Buddhism

Buddhism Overview
Overview

Buddhism Overview

Buddhism was founded in northeastern India during the 5th or 4th century BCE by a man named Siddhartha GautamaAlthough best known by his Sanskrit name, “Siddhārtha Gautama,” the Buddha’s original name in Pāḷi was Siddhattha Gotama. In addition, he is frequently known as Śākyamuni (c. 6th- c. 4th cen. BCE). After attaining nirvana, Gautama became known as the Buddha. The goal of the Buddhist religion is to eliminate suffering by achieving the same enlightenment as Gautama. Although Buddhism

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Original Enlightenment
Beliefs

Original Enlightenment

The doctrine of original enlightenment  is exclusive to the Tendai  sect of Mahayana Buddhism practiced only in Japan.  According to this view—prominent from the 11th through the 16th century—perfect buddhahood is already manifested by all sentient beings; it is no longer an aim for all Buddhists to achieve.  Even mundane aspects of life such as sleeping are seen as related to enlightenment itself. Pictured is a Japanese Buddhist statue; the Japanese sect Tendai is the o

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Denominations

Madhyamaka Buddhism

Madhyamaka Buddhism is a Mahayana Buddhist denomination. Its name can be attributed to an ideology of the legendary 2nd century CE Buddhist philosopher, Nagarjuna. Rather than believing that all things in the world are eternal, or that all things in the world do not inherently exist, he took a "middle way," believing that all things in the world exist, but are inherently empty. Madhyamaka Buddhism is primarily a philosophical denomination. Adherents reject the idea that all phenomena in the w

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Practices

Asceticism

Within the context of Indian religions, asceticism is a general term for various practices that involve intense self-denial and other spiritual training.  Practitioners of asceticism—called ascetics—are spiritually called to voluntarily reject their families, their possessions, and most importantly, their places in the world. This practice calls for complete withdrawal from the secular world in order to embrace personal, spiritual experiences. These experiences may involve receiving the re

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