Buddhism

	 Buddhism
Many people interpret Buddha as a big fat guy, that will give you luck if you rub his belly. This may be true, but Buddhism is much bigger than that. Buddhism began in Himalaya region and has been around since the first century. In Buddhism, the nature of God is a man named Shakyamuni Buddha. In this paper, we are going to look a little more into Buddhism. We will review responses from an actual Buddhism worshipper. We will also compare Buddhism to other religions.
Although the Buddha was apparently an historical figure, what we know about him is sketchy. His prolific teachings were probably not collected in written form until at least four hundred years after his death. One example of a sacred biography is Buddhacarita, by Asvaghosa. Some of the other texts that describe Buddha are Tripitaka, Mahayana sutras, and The Tibetan book of the dead. Buddhism is a religion of wisdom, enlightenment, and compassion. Buddha is said to be an immanent presence in the universe with three aspects, or ?bodies?: first, the enlightened wisdom of a Buddha, which is formless; second, the body of bliss, celestial aspect of Buddha hood that communicates the dharma to bodhisattvas; and the third body of transformation, by which the Buddha principle becomes human to help liberate humanity. It was in this third body that the Buddha appeared for a time on the earth as the historical figure Shakyamuni Buddha. After taking a look into what Buddhism is and learning about the history, I have decided to go out in the world and meet with a real follower of Buddhism. I had the pleasure of interviewing a guy by the name of Carlos Requejo. The interview went as follows:
Q: What made you decide to follow this religion?
A: The most difficult part to becoming Buddhist was to go against the religion that I was taught to follow as a child which was Catholic. I had a very open mind, so when I tried to follow the Catholic religion, I didn?t see any results that fulfilled my spiritual life. Therefore, when I started learning about Buddhism and started to practice it, I seen that it gave me better results and I felt better in my spiritual life.
Q: How long have you followed this religion?
A: ?I have followed this religion for six years.
Q: How has this religion affected you in the modern day lifestyle?
A: This religion affects me in a very good way. People believe that a religion gives you rules to live by; however, Buddhism is not like that. In Buddhism, sin and guilty feelings for doing bad things does not exist. Therefore, your lifestyle doesn?t change if you don?t want it to change, but it makes you more conscious about what you are doing. In my personal life, I feel that I am the same whether I do something or not, it?s not because of the religion, not because somebody is going to punish me, but because I really want to do it.
Q: What conflicts do you face from people that do not follow this religion?
A: I have found no conflicts because as I said before, I was not convinced about the Catholic religion so it was very easy for me to change religions. Nobody gave me problems about changing religions because I was 29 years old; therefore I was mature enough to make my own decisions. I had no conflicts with society or anyone else.
Q: What is God for you?
A: Buddhist believes in eternal life, but the biggest difference is that I do not believe in a God that created us. For me, God does not see me, help me, create me, or give me things or punish me. Therefore, the things that other religions look for in God are really found inside us. Everybody has the potential to do everything on there own without exception. For that reason, important figures such as: Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, etc., do not consider themselves to be Gods. They see themselves as humans, more developed, but humans anyway and anybody also can do it if they are able to develop themselves. We also believe in reincarnation and the law of Karma.
Q: What are reincarnation and the law of Karma?
A: Reincarnation and the law of Karma are together. Buddhist? believes that a person reincarnates many times, that means they are born again in a different body. Reincarnation is not something that happens without a cause. We reincarnate following the law of Karma. That is the law of cause and effect. Therefore, every cause is going to have an effect whether negative or positive. For that reason, at the end of our lives, we have a balance and we reincarnate according to our Karma. Karma is the reactions of positive and negative actions while we are alive. For that reason we reincarnate in specific social and economic conditions.
Q: How do you approach your God?
A: As I explained earlier, God doesn?t exist for us. The Buddhist believes in the capability to take out the potential inside us not outside. Therefore, the Buddhist prayers are directed to ourselves, not to somebody or something that is outside. The prayers depend on what kind of Buddhism we follow. There are some types of Buddhism that are more complicated than others.
Q: What kinds of ritual tools are associated with your religion?
A: The Gohonzon. It is the representation of Buddhism. It is something objective that helps us to pray. It is not needed, but it helps us to concentrate and to make the practice easier. It is not an object; it is a representation of what is inside of us.
Q: Does your family also follow this religion?
A: My family also follows this religion.
Q: Do you think you have found true enlightenment?
A: At least to me, I do not think this religion helped me find spiritual peace, but that is not the point. People always have problems, difficult moments are normal. What I found is the confidence that all problems have a solution.
Q: What does a person have to do to become a follower of Buddhism?
A: Nothing. It is very simple to do, all they have to do is the practices that is say a prayer and direct it to them, and concentrate on something they want or want to change. Time doesn?t matter, the prayer can last a minute or an hour. It is also important to study to obtain more knowledge. In summary, they only have to try it, that?s it. If they want to quit they can, if they want to come back late, that?s fine, if they want continue that?s good. When they see change; that is when they will start to follow it, that is how I started following Buddhism.
Following the interview, I decided to take a look at Buddhism and how it compares to Christianity. First of all, we will take a look at the similarities. One similarity is that both Jesus and Buddha do not consider themselves to be Gods. Buddhism and Christianity both share a basic rule of behavior that governs how they are to treat others. Both Buddhism and Christianity teach that a person?s personality continues after death, but they both convey different ways of the afterlife. Buddhism teaches that humans are trapped in a repetitive cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. One?s goal is to escape from this cycle and reach Nirvana. Once this is attained, the mind experiences complete freedom, liberation and non-attachment. Suffering ends because desire and craving ? the causes of suffering ? are no more. Christianity has historically taught that everyone has only a single life on earth. After death, an eternal life awaits everyone: either in Heaven or Hell. There is no suffering in Heaven; only joy. Torture is eternal without any hope of cessation for the inhabitants of Hell. (Robinson, B. A 2007) They also share themes of morality, justice, and love. Now we will take a look at the differences between Buddhism and Christianity. Buddhism does not share most of the core beliefs of Christianity. Buddhism believes there is no God, God is Nirvana. Buddhism believes the soul is uncreated. Buddhism does not teach any of the following that Christianity does: An original golden era in the Garden of Eden, and a subsequent fall of humanity. Original sin shared by all present-day humans, derived from Adam and Eve, the need for a sinless personal savior whose execution enabled individual salvation through atonement. A god-man savior who was born of a virgin, executed, resurrected and ascended to heaven. Salvation achieved through good works or through specific beliefs and/or sacraments, eternal life spent in either a heaven or hell after death. The return of a savior to earth at some time in the future, an end of the world as we know it in the near future.(Robinson, B.A. 2007) All of the things mentioned above are Christian beliefs, not Buddhist. Buddhist followers believe in themselves more than anything, they find peace by meditating and seek enlightenment by praying for things directed to their selves.
In conclusion of this paper, we have looked at the beginning of Buddhism and where it started, how it became what it is today, and why so many people follow Buddhism. We have also looked at the point of views of a follower of Buddhism by conducting an interview. The interview was most insightful and uncovered new meanings to Buddhism. We learned that in Buddhism, the followers do not have a God. We learned that a Buddhist follower makes their own decisions based on what they feel is right and wrong and do not worry about punishment for making bad decisions. One other thing we learned from the interview is the law of Karma and reincarnation. We also looked at Buddhism compared to the biggest religion in the world which is Christianity. We learned that Buddhism does not share many of the same beliefs that Christian followers do. We also learned that many Christians have become more interested in the Buddhist ways and have tried to adopt some of there beliefs.

Buddhism 7 of 10 on the basis of 852 Review.