A lot of people have misconceptions about Buddhism. Below are a few facts most people seem to get wrong.
1) Siddhartha Gautama never traveled away from India but his teachings did. Siddhartha Gautama was obviously a spiritual teacher in Ancient India who founded Buddhism. It is very important keep in mind that he would have been a Vedic Brahman (Hindu by today’s standards) lots of his ideas were originally section of the ancient traditional religions of the local historical period. He is thought to have lived from around 563 BCE to a number exceeding 483 BCE because he is believed to own died at 4 decades old. He traveled and taught down the Ganges River Valley starting near his home, near precisely what is now Nepal.
2) He’s sometimes called Shakyamuni Buddha, or Prince of the Shakyas, as a consequence of Ssakya Mountain Range that was his father’s (King Suddhodana) kingdom. He was created a prince but made a decision to be a holy man. He was raised in wealth and shielded from the exterior but became curious about what people’s lives away from palace could possibly be like. Many legends surround his birth, but all that is in fact known is the fact that his mother was supposed to have died in childbirth or soon (days) afterwards. His father have been warned right after his birth he would become a great military leader or possibly a great spiritual leader. His father, the king, had his or her own ideas of the was proper for Siddhartha, but, around 29 years, with the help his charioteer, he escaped the palace walls and ventured outside to learn what life was like for some. He witnessed the results of final years, sickness, and saw a corpse, making them aware of death. Finally, he saw an ascetic. Siddharha’s charioteer explained the ascetic was individual who had renounced the world and sought release from concern with death and suffering.
3) Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha as a way to end the suffering (dissatisfaction) of all humans. He realized the fact that many of us are impermanent and decided to go on a spiritual search for enlightenment. He studied because of the best teachers of faith and philosophy which he may find back then and learned how to meditate but decided that somehow wasn’t enough for him.
4) The guts Way: He still had much to find out and turned to the ascetics of the time to follow in time learned that the extremes they endured weren’t employed by him. He followed their means of self inflicting pain and enduring it, fasting until he was weak, and holding his breath. This didn’t satisfy him while he decided it was merely another ego inflating technique of self-gratification, proving yourself through self-abuse. He thought we would turn using their strict abeyance to rules about starving yourself and eating unclean things, as he realized however need strength to carry on his quest, so he developed what is known as “the middle way”. When his disciples saw which he wasn’t following the way they thought necessary, they decided to leave him. He left and decided to sit under a sacred fig tree until he had discovered the result. The tree was that which was considered a sacred fig tree near Bodh Gaya, the tree being named later, the Bodhi Tree. From Wikipedia * “…The Bodhi Tree, also referred to as Bo (from your Sinhalese Bo), would be a large and incredibly old Sacred Fig tree (Ficus religiosa) in Bodh Gaya (about 100 km (62 mi) from Patna from the Indian condition of Bihar), this agreement SiddhÄÂrtha Gautama, the spiritual teacher and founding father of Buddhism later referred to as Gautama Buddha, is said to get achieved enlightenment, or Bodhi….”
5) His Awakening: In the deep state of meditation (samadhi) for several days he became enlightened so when he rose from his deep meditation, he asserted that he some techniques to the questions he’d sought. He imparted the wisdom in the four noble truths as well as the eightfold path that can in order for a reason. Devoid of the previous, the rest would be impossible to realize. 6)The Four Noble Truths
1) Suffering (dukkha) exists. (All humans suffer during birth, pain, sickness, and death.
2) The reason for suffering is desire. Everyone has desires which are either selfish or unrealistic. This can be considered “delusional”.
3) There’s a strategy to reach cessation of suffering.
4) The cessation of suffering comes through practicing the eightfold path. (Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path.)
7) The Eightfold Path
1) Right View Wisdom
2) Right Intention Wisdom
3) Right Speech Ethical Conduct
4) Right Action Ethical Conduct
5) Right Livelihood Ethical Conduct
6) Right Effort Mental Development
7) Right Mindfulness Mental Development
8) Right Concentration/Meditation Mental Development
8) Buddhist Principles: By striving towards the right thing one lessens selfish desire, therefore reaching a state of happiness internally that is not dependent on conditional circumstances. Mindfulness in all things is a key ingredient. If one understands that any tangible thing that we desire is impermanent and ceases to be “attached” to these things that we cannot keep, then one becomes more at peace. We can not become attached to any views since we will become passionate about this and when circumstances change, our view will no longer be important or pertinent.
9) Buddhism is not a self help program: Beware of those who call themselves a master or try to sell you “enlightenment”. There are many books and centers out there which try to use words like enlightenment” that is something that actually has to be attained personally, it can’t be given or taught in a paint by the numbers program that promises some things. First, the word enlightenment is not used in any of the texts from Siddhartha Gautama was concerned that people might rush into this without understanding and this would lead to repeating traditional ceremonies without understanding, which will lead to disappointment because of the lack of benefit from practice. Do not come to an understanding of Buddhism lightly or quickly, take your time and be sure. This will take investigation. Investigate completely, any facets that you don’t understand until it makes sense. Also, practice with others and a good teacher are the best method of learning.
10) Buddhism IS A RELIGION: It disturbs some Buddhists that some people feel that Buddhism is just a philosophy. Some people feel there has to be a main book or one religious deity to worship in order for a religion to be real. Most modern practitioners of Buddhism see that all religions are filled with mythology and they understand that most deities and mythological objects in Buddhism are analogies for science and nature or our own mental make up that early man could not explain. Some practitioners, especially in Asia, still believe in the physical existence of some of these objects and deities. We have to remember that early Buddhist teachings came from Siddhartha Gautama in India, who was a Vedic Brahman. It then traveled across Asia to China where it adapted to Confucianism, which relied strongly on Filial Piety. It then traveled through to Japan, where it adapted to Shinto, which is still practiced side by side with Buddhism in Japan. Buddhism was created to adapt to all other learning. Siddhartha Gautama likened it to “a raft to get to the other side” in a parable he taught. “The Parable of The Raft ” When speaking to his followers Gautama Buddha said, “When you come to a river and the current is too fast to allow you to swim across and there is no bridge then you might decide to build a raft. If after crossing the river you would have some choices as to what to do with the raft. a) You could tie it to the bank to be used by someone else later. b) You could set it afloat for someone else to find. c) You could say to yourself, “What a wonderful raft”, and then pick it up and carry it around on top of your head from now on. Which would be proper use of the raft? Buddhism is practiced in most countries around the world, although Buddhists make up only about 7% of the world’s religious population. Only a few modern Buddhist sects use an evangelical approach, trying to convert everyone around them. Most Buddhists refrain from trying to propagate their religion to anyone who doesn’t seek it.
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