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  Buddhism  is  one  of  the  ancient  and  most  popular  religions  in  India.

 This   religion  began  by  a  man  name  Gautama.  Gautama  said  he  was  awoken  to  the   awareness  of  the  nature  of  humans;  his  awakening  is  called  Budh.     Gautama  was  born  given  the  name  Siddhartha.  He  was  born  into  the   Kshatriya  caste.  Gautama  was  pampered  ever  since  he  was  young  and  married  a   beautiful  woman.  However,  he  believed  these  satisfactions  were  temporary.  He   traveled  and  faced  the  harsh  realities  of  the  world  in  an  episode  of  the  Four  Passing   Sights:  old  age,  disease,  death,  and  an  ascetic  who  chose  to  live  in  solitude  to  find  his   way  to  salvation.  Influenced  by  the  ascetic,  Gautama  decided  to  leave  his  house  and   abandon  his  luxuries.     Gautama  wanted  to  earn  salvation,  but  not  through  other  mendicants’   methods.  He  grouped  with  5  men  and  practiced  asterism  to  gain  salvation.  In  the   brink  of  salvation,  Gautama  believed  that  decreasing  the  body  would  increase  his   spirit.  He  only  ate  one  grain,  one  sesame  seed,  and  one  piece  of  fruit  per  day.  But   starvation  did  not  bring  salvation;  therefore,  Gautama  ate  rice  and  drank  milk  for   another  quest.  He  then  learned  the  Buddhist  doctrine  of  Middle  Way.  Spiritual   happiness  required  physical  happiness  as  well,  thus  he  ate  more  to  become  healthy.     Gautama  sat  underneath  a  tree  on  a  lotus  and  determined  not  to  leave  the   spot  till  he  gains  enlightenment.  Mara  was  scared  of  Gautama  and  used  her   daughters  representing  discontent,  delight,  and  desire  to  scare  Gautama  away.  They   have  failed.    During  First  Watch,  Gautama  saw  his  previous  lifestyle  and  the  cycle   and  birth  and  death.  During  the  Second  Watch,  he  saw  deaths  and  births  of  all  living   beings.  Lastly,  during  the  Third  Watch,  Gautama  saw  the  Four  Noble  Truths:  the   summation  of  the  human  conditions  and  ways  to  transcend  it.  Through  the  Four   Noble  Truths.  Gautama  gained  enlightenment  and  became  a  Buddha.     Gautama  was  able  to  escape  into  nirvana,  or  eternal  bliss  that  is  ultimate   salvation.  However,  wanting  to  spread  his  discoveries,  Gautama  stayed  in  earth  to   spread  his  ideas.  He  taught  his  ideas  to  the  5  mendicants  who  quickly  grasped  the   ideas  and  became  arhats.  The  first  Buddhist  community  called  the  Sangha  was   formed.  Today,  Buddhists  take  refuge  in  the  tradition’s  Three  Jewels,  or  three  focal   elements:  Buddha,  Dharma,  and  Sangha.       When  Gautama  was  80,  Buddha  became  sick  because  of  good  poisoning.   Before  he  died,  he  said,  “All  the  constituents  of  being  are  transitory;  work  out  your   salvation  with  diligence.”  Gautama  died  and  passed  into  nirvana.     Dharma  is  the  principal  Buddhist  teaching.  They  are  gained  through  deep   meditation,  as  how  Buddhism  is  not  dependent  of  divine  beings  rather  on  deep   meditation  and  self-­‐reflection.  Buddhism  is  similar  to  Hinduism  as  Hindus  say  but   Buddhist  are  against  Hinduism.  Buddhist  believes  that  time  is  cynical  just  like   Hindus.  They  believe  that  one  lives  numerous  times.  They  also  believe  in  the   doctrine  of  Sasmsara,  or  the  wheel  of  rebirth.  Buddhists  can  only  escape  this  cycle   through  moksha  and  reach  spiritual  perfection.    Buddhists  also  believe  that  they   control  their  destination  and  life.       Buddhism  is  different  from  Hinduism  in  many  ways.  Buddhist  does  not  take   deities  heavily.  They  believe,  quite  frankly  that  they  are  useless.    They  also  rejected   the  caste  system.  This  is  apparent  in  the  text  called  Pali,  a  local  dialect  spoken  by  the   common  people.  This  shows  Buddhists  acceptance  of  all  social  levels.  By  noting  the  

Three  Marks  of  Existence,  Gautama  revealed  his  understanding  of  the  changing   world.  Buddhists  believe  in  a  common  paradox,  Anatta:    there  are  no  ultimate  reality   within  or  any  substratum  that  is  real.  This  is  the  first  mark  of  existence.  The  second   mark  of  existence  is  the  Annica,  which  means  “impermanence.”  This  states  the  idea   that  things  are  constantly  changing.  The  last  Mark  of  existence  is  the  Dukkha.  This   says  the  “suffering”  and  is  the  result  of  Anicca  and  anatta.     If  there  is  so  self,  why  is  there  rebirth?  It  is  just  a  transfer  of  a  bundle  of   energy,  which  is  decided  among  ones  karma.  Karma  is  the  moral  law  of  cause  and   effect.  Personal  identity  is  depended  heavily  upon  karma.  The  moral  life  or  karma   requires  5  percepts:  not  lying,  not  stealing,  not  engaging  in  sensuous  misconduct,   not  killing,  and  not  drinking.  These  are  the  five  precepts.   During  the  Third  Watch,  Gautama  perceived  the  four  noble  truths.  First,  to   live  is  to  suffer.  Second,  suffering  is  brought  by  desire.  Third,  Suffering  can  be   brought  to  cessation.  Lastly,  solution  is  the  Noble  eightfold  path.     The  first  noble  truth  is  Dukkha.  This  is  implying  that  life  needs  repair.   Dukkha  is  physical  and  emotional.  Everyone  is  subject  to  Dukkha  and  Dukkha  is   inescapable.  Buddha  gave  few  lectures  on  how  he  saw  the  most  apparent  dhukka   during  his  lifetime.     The  second  noble  truth  is  tanha,  which  means  desire  or  thirst.  Tanha  is   distinguished  through  its  selfish  personality.  Tanha  is  inescapable  as  well  and  is   broken  only  through  great  difficulty.  How  does  one  handle  such  pessimism?   Buddhists  are  in  fact,  actually  happy  and  aware  of  the  diseases  and  how  it  can  be   rooted  out.     The  Noble  Eightfold  Path  encompasses  all  aspects  of  life.  It  is  a  8  steps  that   should  be  mastered.  First  you  need  right  views;  second,  right  intentions;  third,  right   speech;  fourth,  right  conduct;  fifth,  right  livelihood;  sixth,  right  effort;  seventh,  right   mindfulness;  eighth,  right  meditation.     When  all  these  steps  are  achieved,  one  can  achieve  Nirvana  once  dead.   Nirvana  cannot  be  comprehended  until  it  is  experiences.  The  living  ones  are  arhats   who  are  forever  transformed  but  awake.     Buddhism  is  divided  into  three  great  rafts,  or  vehicles.  They  are  the   Theravada,  the  Mahayana,  and  the  Vajrayana.  These  have  regional  as  well  as  belief   differences.  Theravada  follows  the  earliest  texts  and  agrees  with  the  original   teaching  of  Buddha.  Mahayana,  who  believes  they  are  superior  over  Theravada,  is   the  largest  dominant  form  of  Buddhism.  Mahayana  focuses  on  Buddha  over   Buddha’s  teachings.  The  last  raft  is  Vajrayana  who  believes  that  nirvana  is  attainable   any  time.    All  these  rafts  are  distinct  but  they  all  want  to  achieve  Nirvana.   Buddhism  is  a  unique  religion.  It  focuses  on  the  spiritual  individual  not  the   divinity.  Buddhism  also  agrees  with  modern  scientific  theories.  They  believe  that   meditation  is  the  best  way  to  nurture  wisdom  and  earn  transcendence.