Luis A. Romero
Miss Karla del Villar
Buddhism is a family of beliefs and practices, it is considered by many to be a religion. A Buddhist is one who takes refuge in The Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
Various sources put the number of Buddhists in the world between 230 million and 500 million.Most Buddhists live in Asia, but adherents are found worldwide.
Buddhism is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as "The Buddha" (of our era), who live in the northeastern region of the Indian subcontinent. He probably die around 400 BCE. Buddhists recognize him as an awaken teacher who share his insights to help sentient beings end their suffering by understanding thetrue nature of phenomena, thereby escaping the cycle of rebirths with suffering.
Among the methods various schools of Buddhism apply towards this goal are: ethical conduct and altruistic behavior, devotional practices, ritual and the invocation of holy beings that help them achieve Nirvana, renunciation of worldly matters, meditation, study and the cultivation of wisdom.
Buddhism has spreadthrough these main branches:
• Theravada, which extended south and east from its origins and now has a widespread following in Southeast Asia.
• Mahayana (includes Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren and Vajrayana), which diffused from its origins west, north and east throughout East Asia.
Both branches then spread further into Europe and to the Americas.
Buddhist schools disagree on what historicalteachings of Gautama Buddha are, so much so that some scholars claim Buddhism doesn't have a clearly definable common core. Also, there is a significant disagreement over the importance of various scriptures.
For instance, the Tipitaka's Nikayas are recognized by most Buddhist schools.
Karma is the energy which drives Samsāra, the cycle of suffering and rebirth for each being. Good andbad actions produce "seeds" in the mind which come to fruition either in this life or in a subsequent rebirth. The content of unwholesome actions and the lower types of wholesome actions belongs to the subject of Śīla (from Sanskrit: ethical conduct).
In Buddhism, Karma is used specifically regarding those actions (of body, speech and mind) which spring from mental intent, and which brings about aconsequence or. Every time a person acts there is some quality of intention at the base of the mind and it is that quality rather than the outward appearance of the action that determines the effect. Karma can be either negative or positive; with its respective negative or positive result.
The suffering that is caused by the karmic effects of previous thoughts, words and deeds can be alleviatedby following the Noble Eightfold Path.
In Theravada Buddhism there is no divine salvation or forgiveness from one's Karma. In contrast, in some Mahayana scriptures it is taught that e.g. powerful Sutras (such as the Lotus Sutra, the Angulimaliya Sutra and the Nirvana Sutra) can wholly expunge great swathes of negative Karma by being heard or recited. According to the Japanese Pure Land teacherGenshin, the Buddha Amitabha has the power to destroy the Karma that would otherwise bind one in Saṃsāra.
Rebirth means beings go through a succession of lives, each running from conception to death, as one of many possible forms of sentient life. It is important to note though, that Buddhism rejects the idea of a permanent self or the concept of an unchanging, eternal soul as it isknown e.g. in Christianity or even Hinduism. As there ultimately is no such thing as a self, rebirth in subsequent existences must rather be understood as the continuation of a dynamic, ever changing process of "Dependent Arising" determined by the laws of cause and effect (karma) rather than that of one being, "jumping" from one existence to the next.
Each rebirth takes place within one of...