The Dharma Wheel
The Dharma wheel ( known as the Dharma chakra ) is the holy symbol of Buddhism. Buddhists believe Buddha gave his first teachings on the Wheel of Dharma. The word Dharma came from the Sanskrit noun "to hold, maintain, keep".
The Eightfold Path
- Right view - all actions have consequences after death, as death is not the end.
- Right thought- do not think badly be loving, caring and calm, adopt a life of a religious mendicant.
- Right speech- no lying no rude speech no telling someone what another says about them.
- Right behaviour- no killing or injuring, don't steal and no material desires.
- Right livelihood- beg to feed, only possess what is essential in life, live simply.
- Right effort- put care into life, care about religion care about rules, do not ignore anything.
- Right mindfulness- never be absent-minded, be conscious of what you do. Encourage the awareness of your body, listen to your mind and your soul.
- Right meditation- practice the four stages of Dhyana (which means training the mind from automatic responses and thoughts) and develop bojjhaga (being aware of reality, have concentration).
The Four Noble Truths
The Four Noble Truths are truths Buddhists believe in. They base everything around the world on these truths.
The truths are:
- Dukkha, the truth of suffering.
- Samudaya, the cause of suffering.
- Nirvana, the truth of the end of suffering.
- Magga, The truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering.
The Pali Canon (The Three Baskets)
The Pali Canon is the sacred text of Buddhism. It falls into three categories known as the three baskets. They were written about 1000 years after Buddha's death. It is written in Sanskrit so it is vital for Buddhists to know Sanskrit. The first basket, Vinaya Pataki contains all the rules of Buddhism including the Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths. The second, Sutta Pataki contains information and poems about the Buddha this is the largest basket. The third basket, Abhidhamma Pataki contains information about meditation.
Feasts of Buddhism
The main five feasts in Buddhism is:
Vesak which is Buddha's birthday, Nirvana day which is the day Buddha got enlightened, Katina, when new robes are offered to monks as they wear only one robe until someone gives them another one, Asalha Puja which celebrates Buddha's first teachings on the first full moon he has ever seen. There are also small festivals every time there is a full moon.
Life After Death
Buddhists believe in reincarnation; they believe that death simply leads to rebirth. Although unlike Hinduism, Buddhists believe that the only way to reach moksha is to be enlightened.
How Buddhism Affects Everyday Life
Buddhism affects every moment of daily life. Buddhism affects what you say, what you do, what you think and to help there are many teachings in the Pali Canon. They follow the Noble Eightfold Path, the Five Precepts and the Four Noble truths and they believe in non-harm and non-violence. So that makes most of them vegetarian. They practice meditation every day, working with the mind and developing awareness which helps them to be kinder.
Similarities between Buddhism and other Religions
Buddhism is very much like Hinduism because Siddhartha was a Hindu before he left the palace. So a lot of the morals in both religions are the same for example both religions believe in reincarnation, karma, dharma and moksha. The similarities between Buddhism and Christianity is that the five precepts of Buddhism are a lot like the 10 commandments this is a lot like Judaism as well.