What do Buddhists believe?

Buddhism is one of the world's most popular religions. It originated in South Asia around the 5th century BCE with Siddhartha Gautama and has since spread throughout the world.

BlogFaith & Spirituality What do Buddhists believe?

Buddhism is one of the world's most popular religions. It originated in South Asia around the 5th century BCE with Siddhartha Gautama and has since spread throughout the world.

Buddhists believe that life is a cycle of suffering and rebirth, but that enlightenment (nirvana) is possible. There is also a path to achieve enlightenment.


Theravada, originating from Sthaviriya, the ancient teaching of the Elders, is the world's oldest surviving branch of Buddhism. It teaches that enlightenment comes entirely through the effort of individual Buddhists without any assistance from gods or other external forces.

It emphasizes self-power rather than devotion to an external deity, and meditation is central to its practice. Theravada also views karma, the act of causing and bringing about good or bad results, as an important aspect of its philosophy.

Theravada's earliest extant texts, the Pali Canon, are divided into three "baskets" or "tita" (tripitaka): Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka and Abhidhamma Pitaka. During the 5th century CE, Acariya Buddhaghosa was responsible for collecting and editing these commentaries, which he compiled into a compendium of Theravada doctrine known as the Visuddhimagga.


Vajrayana is an esoteric and mystical branch of Buddhism that originated in India and flourished in Tibet. It has also been embraced by peoples throughout the Himalayan region, as well as Mongolia.

The tradition focuses on philosophy, visualization, mind training, body-mind yogas, meditation practices and rituals. It also emphasizes a spiritual guide, the guru.

In addition, it employs complex chanting and other esoteric verbal formulas as well as mandalas (diagrams and paintings) to aid in meditation and visualization practices. Many ritual implements and tools are used as well, such as a bell, vajra, hand-drum or a dagger.

While some tantric texts may seem more than a little nefarious to those outside the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition, those who study and practice this system have shown extraordinary transformation. This is due in part to the fact that it emphasizes a non-duality perspective.


A sutra is a short teaching in the form of an aphorism or brief statement of belief. They are usually written but may also be oral teachings that have been passed down orally.

Buddhists believe that humans are made up of five aggregates or “bundles” (skandhas). These are the body, feelings, perceptions, predispositions, and consciousness.

Each of these is an individual combination that is subject to change over time. The Buddha taught that these aggregates are not separate self-entities, and that they do not create a permanent, independent self.

This teaching is called the doctrine of anatman. The Buddha argued that belief in a separate self or soul created egoism, craving, and suffering. In turn, the practice of meditation and cultivating a lifestyle prescribed by the Buddha freed people from these illusions and opened their hearts to compassion.

The Four Noble Truths

The Four Noble Truths are the foundation of Buddhist philosophy. The Buddha taught them during his lifetime and later codified them into teachings which are still used today.

The first truth is that suffering exists. Birth, old age, sickness, death, and separation from loved ones are all examples of suffering.

This is because humans exist as a collection of five aggregates or "bundles" (khandhas). These include matter, feeling, perception, mental formations, and consciousness.

These aggregates are constantly changing and are not permanent, but the Buddha taught that they are all a part of one single, unified self. However, Buddhists do not believe that these aggregates form a soul or atman. Instead, they see them as a means of understanding the true nature of the mind.


Meditation is a technique that can help train your attention and awareness to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. It can also improve your health, including how you sleep and how well your heart and blood pressure function.

Buddhists believe that meditation can help you become free from suffering. They also believe that meditating helps you develop mindfulness, which is a way of bringing your mind to the present moment.

Many studies show that meditation can benefit your mental health and overall wellbeing. It can improve your ability to think, concentrate and solve problems. It can also reduce stress, anxiety and depression.


Monday, February 27, 2023