Buddhism is more a philosophy and lifestyle than a religion. Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, showed us the way to be free from sorrows, stress, pains, and also walk to the path of inner peace and enlightenment. The foundations of Buddhism depends on his teachings.
Buddha was a spiritual teacher from Northern India. He lived before the Common Era. The particular time was from mid-6th century to the middle of 4th century. From India, it spread over China, South East, and also Central Asia, Korea. Later in the 20th century, the wave of Buddhism touches the western part of the world.
Scripts On Foundations Of Buddhism
The texts and doctrines about Buddhism were in a language that has close similarities with some of the Indian languages, especially Pali and Sanskrit. Some of the words from these texts even got in the dictionary of the English language. The scripts were translated in Central Asian languages like Tibetan and Chinese. Pali and Sanskrit were the sacred language of Buddhism.
The Cultural Context Of Buddhism
There is a controversy among scholars about the time when Buddha lived. During that time, there was discontent with Brahmanic rituals and practice. In the northwestern part of India, there was a group of people who tried to initiate a religious culture that is different from the one mentioned in the Hindu Sacred book, the Veda. In this part, many societies formed and grew, which are not much influenced by the Veda or Upanishad. As a result, turmoils, unrest, and religious experiments took place intensely.
Despite the variety in religious communities, the original vocabulary mentioned in different scripts on Buddhism is followed. This vocabulary contains nirvana (transcendent freedom), yoga (union), Buddha (the enlightened one), karma (casualty), Atma (soul, self), Tathagata (one who has come or one who has gone), samsara (eternal recurrence), also dhamma (rule). Buddha taught us to practice yoga for inner peace. Thus, people said that the Buddha himself was a yogi who has got united with the omnipotent god.
Buddha, dharma, and also Sangha are the Triratna (three jewels) as per Buddhism.
Different Groups Of Buddhism And The Teachings
After the death of the founder, Goutam Buddha, his disciples made two groups. Hinayana (Sanskrit: meaning lesser vehicle) and Theravada. The opponent group gives the name Hinayana among the Buddhists. The more conservative group was called Theravada, which means the way of the elders according to the Pali vocabulary.
Buddha’s teachings are compiled and also preserved in two books named as Sutta Pitaka and Vinaya Pitaka.
Mahayana (Sanskrit word: means more magnificent vehicle) claim it as a significant group of Buddhism and also has the maximum number of followers. They also demand that Buddha taught the advance formulae to its advanced group of disciples.
Despite all these non-agreement and controversies, the basic principle of Buddhism was intact. They were in three-part in Pali. This book is called Tipitaka, as there are three parts. First was Sutta Pitaka(Basket of discourse); the second was Vinaya Pitaka (Basket of discipline), and third was Abhidhamma Pitaka (Basket of special doctrine).