What Is Buddhism?
Some people say Buddhism is a religion; some say it is a philosophy. But it is none; but the realization of the truth. You will understand this when you go through the definitions of the words ‘religion’ and ‘philosophy’.
1. The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
2. Details of belief as taught or discussed.
1. The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, esp. when considered as an academic discipline.
2. A set of views and theories of a particular philosopher concerning such study or an aspect of it.
But our great Buddha and his teachings don’t belong to either category since he is a Human Being who developed his mind to the ultimate and realized the absolute truth of life and found the ultimate solution to all problems and suffering.
He is not a God or a Saint, but a Super Human.
His teachings are not based on beliefs, but on the truth; the reality.
Worshipping, praying and idolizing our Great Buddha in ignorance won’t give us anything valuable; but following his teachings and trying to realize the truth would bring us ultimate happiness. It is us, who should find that happiness. Our Great Buddha cannot do it for us. But, he has shown us the way.
We should show our devotion and trust in our Great Buddha, his teachings (Dhamma) & his disciples (Sangha) with a true knowledge and pray, which would result in us getting merit endowed with wisdom.
Do remember this, Buddha is above any God.
What did Buddha say about the beginning and the ending of this world?
The Universe and everything that’s in it is controlled by independent, ageless rules. These rules have been in use for the immeasurable past and will continue into the infinite future. According to Buddha’s teachings, there never was a beginning since it is beyond the comprehension of a human being except a Buddha who has the absolute wisdom to understand and see such things; and, there will never be a final end. The Buddha said that there are at least a billion other solar systems like our own, and, as these grow old and perish, new solar systems arise. Buddhism believes that neither the world, nor the man was created by an external source; but, by the laws of nature.
If man is created by an external source, then he must belong to that source and not to himself. Buddhists believe that man does belong to himself and that he is responsible for everything he does. They believe that man is here today because of his own actions. He is neither punished nor rewarded by anyone but himself according to his own good and bad actions which is called Karma. The scientific discovery of gradual development of the world-system conforms with the Buddha’s teachings.
Do Buddhists believe in Gods?
Buddhists do not deny the existence of various gods or deities who are more fortunate than human beings who possess certain powers which human beings usually lack. However the powers of these deities are limited because they are also transient beings. They exist in happy abodes and enjoy their life for a longer period than human beings. When they have exhausted all the good karma they have gathered during previous births, these deities pass away and are reborn somewhere else according to their good and bad karmas.
(Read the article on ‘Karma Vipaka (Actions & their Results) and the ‘Three Planes of Existence’ on our website)
According to Buddha, human beings have more chances to accrue merits to be born in a better condition and the gods have less chances in this respect. Whether they are great or small, both human beings and deities are perishable and subject to rebirth. Worshipping and offering in the name of such deities cannot bring anybody the final bliss, the Nirvana, the uprooting and final dissolution of the volitional formations (referred to as samskaras or sankharas), structures within the unconscious mind that are the cause for the material incarnation of the beings. Which means the END OF SUFFERING. The person who attains Nirvana is never born again.