Buddhism: World Religions

Buddhism was founded between the 6th and 4th centuries in India as a Sramna tradition; separate from Vedic tradition; by Siddhārtha Gautama. Buddhism has over 520 million followers worldwide. Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement. “The times of Gautama’s birth and death are uncertain. Most historians in the early 20th century dated his lifetime as circa 563 BCE to 483 BCE.”[1][30] 

Gautama was a rich prince in India who later renounced his position and wealth to live as and ascetic. It was as an acetic, emaciated, that he passed out until a stream revived him. He then discovered the Middle Way and the Noble Eight-Fold Path:

  1. Right belief
  2. Right efforts
  3. Right thinking
  4. Right ideals
  5. Right works
  6. Right deeds
  7. Right way of earning a living
  8. Right meditation

The Eight-Fold Path is similar to the Ten Commandments. Karma is similar to what the Bible says in Galatians 6:7-9, ‘reaping what you sow.” Christians do not believe in reincarnation, but believe in a literal time of judgement. They believe that love is the secret of life, and only by banishing hatred can it be achieved. Christians say that God or Yahweh is the embodiment of love and that if you love God you will love one another and follow the way of Christ, his teachings. The ultimate goal of life is Nirvana, a state of peace in nothingness. Buddhists see God as an impersonal being. And they believe righteousness is achieved by doing good works. Buddhists do not have prophetic writings, so the sharing of Bible prophecy could be a useful approach for dialogue between Christians and Buddhists. 

 

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