what’s the difference: Buddhism

March 25, 2023


~ you yourself must make the effort ~

~ Siddhartha Gautama is the founder of Buddhism, born a Hindu around 560BC at Lumbini, near the border of India (now Napal)
~ tradition says that when he was born a seer prophesied that he would become the greatest ruler in human history; the seer added that if he saw 4 things – sickness, old age, death and a monk – he would give up his earthly rule and discover a way of salvation for all
~ his father built a palace for his son to refute the prophecy, no sick, old, dead or monks were allowed in the palace
~ he grew up this way and later married Yasodhara who gave him one son
~ one day as he rode through the palace park he saw a man covered with terrible sores, a man tottered with age, a corpse, and a begging monk
~ he reported later that he began to think about the look of peace on the monks face and began to wonder if there was more to life; late that night he took a last look at his sleeping wife and son and left the palace forever
~ at 29 years of age he was determined to solve the riddle of life, he shaved his head, put on a yellow robe and wandered the countryside a beggar monk
~ first he studied Upanishads, but couldn’t find any satisfaction
~ then he tried to find salvation through self denial – he starved himself until he was a walking skeleton – but to no satisfaction

he becomes the “Enlightened One”

~ sitting under a tree for forty days and nights, he swore he wouldn’t move until he found what he was searching for
~ Mara – the evil one – tried to make him give up his quest during this time
~ at the end of the 40 days, he experienced the highest degree of God-consciousness
~ Nirvana, literally the “blowing out” of the flame of desire and the negation of suffering
~ through this experience he felt he had found salvation
~ from then on, he was known as Buddha or the “Enlightened One”
~ after this experience, he went back to the world of man, preaching about the meaning of life and his way to Nirvana
~ soon he founded the Sangha, an order of monks
~ by the time he died, many thousands had adopted his teachings

~ believed in reincarnation and karma
~ could be reborn as human, animal, hungry ghost, a demon, or a Hindu god
~ also incorporated yoga/meditation

The Middleway and the Eightfold Path

~ Middleway: a spiritual path of salvation, winding between extreme asceticism and unrestrained sensuality
– 4 main principals:
1. suffering is universal
2. the cause of suffering is desire
3. the cure for suffering is to overcome ignorance
4. suppress craving by following the Middleway
~ Buddha claimed that anyone that could follow this path would eventually reach Nirvana

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Major Branches

~ popular in India until it was absorbed by Hinduism
~ over 300 million people follow Buddhism
~ 3 main varieties:
1. Hinayana – “doctrine of the lesser way”
– refers to the belief that only a few fortunate lifelong monks will find Nirvana
– later changed to Theravada, meaning “the way of the elders”
– changed because the original term was thought to be derogatory
– the best one can hope for with Theravada is to rise to a higher level when reborn
2. Mahayana: the doctrine of the “greater way”
– teaches that Buddha believed that Nirvana is available to all
– originally taught that only you can save you
– reasons that Buddha had remained on earth 45 years when he could have gone straight to Nirvana, but decided to stay to save mankind

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~ became the first Bodhisattva – a savior to mankind who can be called on by the faithful
~ Zen – popular form of Buddhism in the West; discipline with primary goal of experincing enlightenment

~ Tantrium: a blending of Mahayana with ancient occult practices of Tibet
– uses incantations/occult signs
– contains strong elements of animism (attributing conscious life to inanimate objects or objects in nature)

Buddhism and the Bible

~ Buddhism: to live is to suffer; Bible agrees that suffering is everywhere and that a good deal of the suffering is due to misplaced desire – Bible explains that the entire world “groans” and suffers because of sin, when we put own personal desires ahead of God’s
~ Buddhism: suffering comes from craving, desire, or attachment of any kind – all desire is bad; the Bible teaches that while there are bad desires, there are also good ones – for example, we are encouraged to have great desire for God, His glory in our lives and for His kingdom
~ Buddhists deny the existence of a personal God or say that His existence is irrelevant; Christians say God is personal, omniscient, and omnipotent
~ Buddhists say Jesus is a good teacher but less important than Buddha; Christians believe that Jesus is a unique Son of God who died for mankind
~ Buddhists believe that sin is the lust that arises in one’s life and seek to rid themselves of lustful desires by self-effort or calling on Bodhisattvas for help; Christians believe that sin is any thought, deed, or desire contrary to God’s will and that salvation comes only through faith in what Christ has done for us

source: So What’s The Difference by Fritz Ridenour

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…I personally don’t believe in religion, not as it has been defined in society. All it is, is a tool to divide us. I grew up a Baptist and went to a Christian school. To this day I have questions, but I still believe – and I keep looking for answers. Having faith that God is in control and believing that He sent His son to die for our sins is all that is needed to be saved. One doesn’t need to pray on the rosary, live a life of celibacy, or not eat certain foods to be saved. Jesus paid it all!

I don’t really like being called a Christian either – I’m a believer. I believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins. I believe God is our creator. I believe when we die, and judgement has been made, we will either go to heaven or hell.

I’m not sharing the different religions to try and make any religion or religious belief look bad, only to share the differences. All religion or religious belief is the same…they all have different core beliefs, practices, etc.

hope you have a great day!
thanks for stopping by!!

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