Buddhism, like most of the great religions of the world, is divided into a number of different traditions. However, most traditions share a common set of fundamental beliefs.
One central belief of Buddhism is often referred to as reincarnation — the concept that people are reborn after dying. In fact, most individuals go through many cycles of birth, living, death and rebirth. A practicing Buddhist differentiates between the concepts of rebirth and reincarnation.
In reincarnation, the individual may recur repeatedly. In rebirth, a person does not necessarily return to Earth as the same entity ever again. He compares it to a leaf growing on a tree. When the withering leaf falls off, a new leaf will eventually replace it. It is similar to the old leaf, but it is not identical to the original leaf.
Buddhism is a philosophy of life expounded by Gautama Buddha (“Buddha” means “enlightened one”), who lived and taught in northern India in the 6th century B.C. The Buddha was not a god and the philosophy of Buddhism does not entail any theistic world view. The teachings of the Buddha are aimed solely at liberating sentient beings from suffering.
The Basic Teachings of Buddha which are core to Buddhism are:
- The Three marks of existence;
- The Four Noble Truths; and
- The Noble Eightfold Path.
- Saisuta, N., 2012. The Buddhist Core Values And Perspectives For Protection Challenges: Faith And Protection. [ebook] UNHCR. Available at: <https://www.unhcr.org/50be10cb9.pdf> [Accessed 27 April 2021].
- Faloretti, M., 2021. Religious place hidden in the forest. [image] Available at: <https://unsplash.com/photos/jbrR_ESWK2A> [Accessed 27 April 2021].