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Understanding Basic Buddhist Beliefs

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Have you ever been to Thailand? As Bangkok is the most visited city in the world, the chances are you may have.

If you have, you’ll know that as well as being known for beautiful beaches, its also known as being a deeply religious city full of stunning Buddhist temples. You may have visited them and felt how peaceful they were.

But what are they all about? Why do so many Thai people practice Buddhism? And what do Buddhists believe? 

Read on to learn more about Buddhist beliefs.

What is Buddhism?

Buddhism is a religion founded by Buddha. It is the fourth-largest religion and has over 500 million followers worldwide. Siddhārtha Gautama – Buddha – lived sometime between 400-500BCE. 

It is said he lived somewhere on the border on India and Nepal though details about his life vary. 

His beliefs and teachings about leading a more peaceful and spiritual life informed what became known as Buddhism following his death. 

People often pray to statues of Buddha and wear mala prayer beads to aid with the process. 

The Four Noble Truths 

The four noble truths reveal that we live in a permeant state of flux. They are states of emotion that we are supposed to be able to overcome. 

The first truth is that life itself is a process of suffering while the second truth is about understanding that suffering is caused by overindulgence. The third truth is about realizing we can be happy and overcome suffering.

The fourth truth is a roadmap known as the 8-fold path to enable us to lead happier lives. 

Important Buddhist Beliefs   

There are some important Buddhist beliefs as well as the four noble truths that inform the religion as a whole. 

Saṃsāra

We become attached to objects and possessions which are not permeant but we can never be satisfied and are constantly ‘dying’ and being reborn to conquer this. 

To escape from this we can enter the world of Nirvana, a state of bliss and peace if we can come to terms with our life.  

Rebirth

Buddhists do believe in the concept of being reborn after death. But what you are reborn as depends on how you have behaved during your present life. 

You could be reborn as a heavenly creature, a demi-god, a human once more, animal or worse a ghost or a hellish creature. If you behave better in your next life after being demoted you can move back up.

Karma

This is probably the most famous Buddhist belief. It is the idea that if you are negative and express negative behavior it will eventually come back to haunt you. Equally, if you put out positive behavior you will be rewarded. 

All your energy will be gifted to you, if not in this life, but perhaps in the next one and it can inform what creature you are reborn as. 

Buddhist Beliefs Are An Important Way of Looking at the World

Buddhist beliefs have changed the way many people look at the world. The central belief that money and material goods are merely temporary objects of desire that cannot bring us true happiness is an important concept in today’s money-orientated world. 

The concept of karma and the importance of doing good to everyone we meet is also vital to living a more fulfilled life. 

If you are interested in reading more about Buddhism then be sure to check out the rest of our site. 

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