A salvation religion, founded in north India in the fifth centuryBCE (the exact dates are the subject of scholarly controversy) by Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha (meaning Enlightened One). Buddhists may be defined as those who revere the so-called Three Jewels: the Buddha himself; the Dharma or doctrine taught by him; and the Monastic Community-those monks and nuns who renounce the married household to live out the doctrine in full. Buddhism as taught by the Buddha was a universalist humanism not unconnected with the emergence of urban culture in north India. According to it, anyone (male or female, high-born or low) can escape from the endless cycle of rebirths by following the practice of morality, meditation, and insight.
Today, two main types of Buddhism survive, the Theravada and the Mahayana. The former is found in Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka; the latter in Nepal, Tibet, China, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Missionaries and immigrants have carried both throughout the world in modern times. Theravada Buddhism is the more conservative form: it has few and simple rituals and focuses on the worship of the Buddha itself. Mahayana Buddhism is a slightly later development, having more elaborate ritual, a baroque pantheon of saints (bodhisattvas), more numerous scriptures, and (sometimes) a married clergy. Mahayana Buddhists believe that their form of Buddhism offers an easier route to salvation than that provided by Theravada Buddhism.
Although Buddhism is a form of religious individualism, it has always accepted spiritual hierarchies, the most dramatic of which was the Mahayana theocratic state, under the Dalai Lama, which ruled Tibet for many centuries. In the modern world, new forms of Buddhism have arisen which combine it with nationalism, socialism, rationalism, and even social welfare activities.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Buddhism — • The religious, monastic system, founded c. 500 B.C. on the basis of pantheistic Brahminism Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Buddhism     Buddhism      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Buddhism —    Buddhism is an indigenous religion of a number of Russia’s ethnic groups and national minorities, including the Kalmyks, Tuvans, and Buryats. Nationwide, there are approximately 70,000 Buddhists in the Russian Federation. Nearly all of these… …   Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation

  • Buddhism —    Buddhism is a term popularly applied to the many and varied schools of thought which grew and developed from the teachings of the Buddha in India more than 2,500 years ago. Its influence has spread throughout the world and it has been an… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture

  • Buddhism — Bud dhism, n. The religion based upon the doctrine originally taught by the Hindu sage Gautama Siddartha, surnamed Buddha, the awakened or enlightened, in the sixth century b. c., and adopted as a religion by the greater part of the inhabitants… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Buddhism — 1801, from BUDDHA (Cf. Buddha) + ISM (Cf. ism) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Buddhism — ► NOUN ▪ a religion or philosophy, founded by Siddartha Gautama (Buddha; c.563 c.460 BC), which teaches that elimination of the self is the route to enlightenment. DERIVATIVES Buddhist noun & adjective Buddhistic adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • Buddhism — [bo͞o′diz΄əm, bood′iz΄əm] n. a religion and philosophic system of central and eastern Asia, founded in India in the 6th cent. B.C. by Buddha: it teaches that right thinking and self denial will enable the soul to reach Nirvana, a divine state of… …   English World dictionary

  • Buddhism — Buddh redirects here, for the Race Circuit, see Buddh International Circuit Standing Buddha. One of the earliest known representations of the Buddha, 1st 2nd century CE, Gandhara …   Wikipedia

  • Buddhism — Buddhist, n., adj. Buddhistic, Buddhistical, adj. Buddhistically, adv. /booh diz euhm, bood iz /, n. a religion, originated in India by Buddha (Gautama) and later spreading to China, Burma, Japan, Tibet, and parts of southeast Asia, holding that… …   Universalium

  • Buddhism — The religion founded in India in the 5th century BC by Siddhartha Gautama (usually 563–483 BC; an alternative date of death based on Chinese sources is 368 BC), the Buddha or enlightened one. Buddhism teaches salvation through escape from samsara …   Philosophy dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”