This article provides an introduction to Buddhism, for the beginners. Find more info on basics and general
concepts of Buddhism.
Buddhism for Beginner
Buddhism was founded by Lord Buddha,
earlier known as Prince Siddhartha, in the 6th Century BC. The fourth
largest religion of the world, it provides us with a way to spiritual
development. Buddhism does not believe in worshipping God or Creator.
Rather, it has prescribed meditation and other techniques that help a
person in attaining enlightenment. Qualities such as non-violence, lack
of dogma, tolerance of differences, etc, are considered as a way of
life. In this introduction article to Buddhism, we will provide you with
all the basic elements of the religion.
The founder of Buddhism was Buddha, originally known as Prince
Siddhartha. He was born in a royal family with all the luxuries of life
at his disposal. However, by the age of 29, he encountered the harsh
realities of life and left his luxurious home to find the real meaning
of life. After following a path of first, rigorous austerity and then
meditation, He finally attained Enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in
Gaya. After attaining enlightenment, He preached others to follow the
same path and thus, laid the foundation of Buddhism.
The Four Noble Truths
Summarizing the essence of Buddhism in themselves are The Four Noble
Truths of Buddhism. They consist of
- The Noble Truth of Suffering (Dukkha)
- The Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering (Samudaya)
- The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering (Nirodha)
- The Noble Truth that leads to the Extinction of Suffering (Magga)
The Five Precepts
The Five Precepts of Buddhism, in general, consist of five abstentions,
- Abstain from harming living beings. This includes human beings,
animals and insects. However, Buddhists can eat meat, if the being
has not been killed for them specifically.
- Abstain from stealing, which means not taking what is not given.
- Abstain from sexual misconduct. This includes being unfaithful to
one's partner, involvement with prostitution or pornography, immoral
- Abstain from false speech, which includes lying, gossiping, etc.
- Abstain from intoxicating drinks and drugs, except those taken
for medicinal purposes.
The Three Marks
The three marks of existence comprise of anicca (impermanence), dukkha
(suffering) and anatta (no-self). It is said in Buddhism that there is
no self because there is impermanence and because there is impermanence,
there is suffering.
Buddhist belief of reincarnation means that the consciousness of a
person remains even after he is no more. It even manifests in his future
The concept of Karma means that what we do in our present life will
have a bearing on our future life.
Compassion and Loving Kindness
Lord Buddha has preached people to assume the feelings of compassion
and loving kindness towards all human beings. Compassion means
identifying with the suffering of others and wishing that the suffering
would come to an end. Loving-kindness means showing care, consideration
and concern towards others. These feeling should be extended to each and
every human being, without exception.
Meditation is considered as one of the necessary practices that can
lead us to enlightenment. Even Lord Buddha practiced meditation when He
was striving for enlightenment. In Buddhism, the technique of meditation
holds a lot of importance, for both a beginner as well as others.
Buddhist scriptures consist of all the religious texts and scriptures
that form a part of the religion.
The two major schools of Buddhism are Theravada or Hinayana and