Buddhism is a major religion that has numerous followers from all over the world.  Many people consider themselves Buddhists. But what is the history of Buddhism? What is Buddhism about? 

In ancient India, there were many philosophies and religions. In the sixth century BCE, the Buddha was born. His teachings have changed society, and are still relevant today. Buddhism was started by Siddhartha Gautama who was born in Lumbini, India in 563 BCE. He spent much of his childhood studying with great teachers in his home country. When he was 17 years old, he became deeply concerned about the suffering of the world. He felt that if people had more understanding and compassion, the world would be a better place. In the years that followed, the Buddha traveled all over India and taught people what he learned from his teachers. The Buddha then left India and moved to Nepal. It was during this time that he began teaching about his view of Buddhism.

Buddhism teaches that all people are inherently good. We were not put on this Earth to suffer, but to enjoy our lives. Unfortunately, most people do not take advantage of their opportunities for joy. People are often motivated by greed, anger, and delusion. These are the causes of much of the pain and unhappiness in the world. Greed makes people accumulate more money than they need. Anger leads them to get angry with other people who have more money than them. Delusion leads them to believe that having more money will make them happy. The truth is, it doesn’t. Money can buy you food, clothing, shelter and medicine. But it cannot buy you love, happiness, or peace of mind. Only you can do that. Money can help you achieve your goals, but it cannot replace the goals themselves. Buddhists believe that we are all responsible for our own actions. If you decide to be rich, it does not mean that God has decided that you should also be miserable. You made that decision yourself. Therefore, you bear the responsibility for the consequences.

1Absolutely no one is exempt from suffering in the world. All people experience pain in some form. This can be physical pain, emotional pain, or spiritual pain. All people suffer because they are caught in the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. It is said that there are three things that can end this cycle: 

— You must understand the true nature of suffering

— You must accept the fact that you cannot control everything

— You must choose to let go of the illusion of separation. 

Understanding the true nature of suffering helps us see that we do not need to suffer. We are all interconnected. We are all part of the same fabric of life. We are all related to each other. And we can all help to ease the suffering of others. Buddhism teaches that there are four Noble Truths. The first one states that there is an inherently unsatisfactory nature to our existence. The second one is that you can be free from this unsatisfactory nature if you learn how to live your life properly. The third one is that this life is characterized by impermanence, which means that everything is constantly changing. The fourth one is that this change can lead to suffering. When you understand that everything in this world is temporary, and that nothing will remain the same, it becomes clear that you should try to avoid being caught up in the drama of the world.

Buddhism emphasizes that the world is not what we see, but what we think about. Our thoughts determine our feelings. Feelings in turn affect our actions. Therefore, our actions and reactions shape our lives. We become what we think about. People often think that their lives are not in their control. They are afraid to make decisions because they feel as though they are making themselves unhappy. However, we are all capable of creating a better life for ourselves. We have the power to create our own happiness. It is easy to get caught up in the daily routine of work, and forget to live. We forget to take time to enjoy life. We forget to be happy. That is why Buddhists often meditate. They spend time thinking about the things that make them happy. They focus on the things that bring them joy. They practice mindful living. Mindfulness is being aware of your surroundings and being aware of your feelings. It is having the courage to do the right thing. As the Buddha taught, the way to achieve happiness is through self-discovery. We must learn about who we really are. We must learn to be compassionate. We must learn to be free from our greed, anger, and delusion. We must learn to be grateful for what we have.

In contrast to many other religions, Buddhism teaches that there is no god who takes care of us. We must take responsibility for our own lives. We have to take care of ourselves. We must stop blaming everyone else for the problems in our lives.  The main teachings of Buddhism are the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. The Four Noble Truths teach that suffering exists in the world, that it is caused by desire, and that you can free yourself from it. The Eightfold Path is a framework of teachings that will help you to live a meaningful life. It teaches that the key to achieving happiness is a life of virtue. The Eightfold Path teaches that we should strive to: — Live a life of wisdom — Practice good conduct — Seek out the company of the wise — Be mindful of your feelings — Practice meditation — Think carefully about your actions — Avoid intoxicants — Be generous Buddhists believe that there is no permanent self, or soul. They believe that everything in the universe is made of matter, which has three properties:  — It is impermanent — It is unsatisfactory — It is not permanent.  It is said that everything you experience in this life is due to karma. Karma is the law of cause and effect. Everything we do in this world has a cause and an effect. When we act, we are creating new causes and effects.

In contrast to Western society, where we strive to acquire material possessions, Buddhism teaches us to be content with what we have. We are all born into this world with a certain amount of karma. When we die, we are reborn into a new existence. This is called reincarnation. Karma is the cause for our suffering in the future. It is what causes us to repeat the same thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions over and over again. This is called the Law of Cause and Effect. The more we act in a particular way, the more we get what we expect. We attract to ourselves the things that we are. We create our own destiny. We cannot change the past. However, we can change the way we think. We can change the way we feel. We can choose to let go of fear and anger. We can choose to be happy. Buddhism teaches that we can have a good life. We can be free from suffering. We can be happy. We can be at peace. We can find happiness. That is why Buddhism teaches us to develop loving-kindness. We can love ourselves, other people, and all things. If we do this, we will be happy. We will be at peace. We will be free from suffering.

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