The name Buddhism comes from the word “budha “ which means “wake up“ . So, Buddhism is philosophy of awakening which comes from the experience of the man, prince Siddhata Gotama. It is the teaching of Buddha.
The founder of Buddhism is Siddhata Gotama. In the year 623 B.C he was bourn into a royal family in northern India. He grew up in wealth and luxury but he didn’t find the fully happiness in his life. After encountering an old man, an ill man, a corpse and an ascetic, he renounced his princely title and became a monk. When he was 29, he left his wife and child. After six years study and meditation, he finally understood how to be free from suffering and ultimately to achieve salvation Siddhata Gotama, Known as the Buddha, who was himself awakened at the age of 36. He lived for another 45 years in which time he traveled all over northern India, teaching others what he had discovered.
There are many different types of Buddhism. It means many different ways of practicing but Buddhism is the same. There are mainly two types of Buddhism in the world; Theravada and Mahayana. The southern Asian countries are practising Theravada like Myanmar, Srilanka, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. The northern Asian countries are practicing Mahayana, like Japan, Korea, Vietnam and China. For example they look like Catholic and Protestant. Theravada looks like Catholic and Mahayana Looks like Protestant. The goal of the Theravada is Nirvana. But the goal of the Mahayana is to be enlightened essence; “Bodhisava” to save others like a god. This is a great difference between them.
According to the chronicles, legends of various pagodas, and oral traditions, Buddhism reached Myanmar even during the life time of the Buddha, but did not make a lasting impression. Then the great Ashoka sent a religious mission to the kingdom of Thaton, in the same way as he sent religious missions to Ceylon and other countries of south east Asia. The Theravada Buddhism in our country begun to flouris since 11th century, during the Bagan period till now. It arrived in Thailand in 12 th century and Cambodia in 13 th century.
Buddhists have a right believing and worshipping. They convince these three gems; Buddha,Dhama ( teaching of Buddha ) and Sanga ( monks ).
The essence of Buddha’s teaching is the Four Noble Truths. They are
(1) the truth of suffering
(2) the truth of the cause of suffering.
(3) The truth of the end of suffering and
(4) The truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering.
This path is called the Noble Eightfold Path. They are
(1) Right Uderstanding
(2) Right Thought
(3) Right Speech
(4) Right Action
(5) Right Livelihood
(6) Right Efford
(7) Right Mindfulness
(8) Right Concentration.
The basis of Buddhist’s morality is the Five Precepts. These are;to avoid killing living beings
(1) to avoid stealing
(2) to avoid sexual misconduct]
(3) to avoid lying and
(4) to avoid alcohol and other intoxicating drugs.
Buddhist believe in Karma. It does not refer to preordained fate. Karma refers to good or bad actions which a person takes during her lifetime. Karma play out on the cycle of rebirth. Nirvana is the ultimate goal of Buddhism. Nirvana is an experience of great and highest happiness. How we can achieve to get Nirvana is only one solution. That is meditation.
Meditation is a conscious effort to change how the mind works, Meditation helps to develop the awareness and the energy needed to transform mental habit patterns. Meditation is essential for our mental health and well- being.The Buddha taught many different types meditation. But the two most common and useful types of meditation are Mindfulness of Breathing and Loving Kindness meditation .
Buddhism is now 2550 years old and has about 350 million followers world-wide. It is being practiced not only in Asian countries but also in Europe and America. Buddhism is getting enlarged and more and more practicing all over the world; about 20 % of the world population.
Because of the meditation in most of the Buddhist countries, people look peaceful, get content and whenever they have stronger desire and greed, do not dwell on that for long and come to know walking from the middle way.
Buddha said that do not believe in what you have heard, do not belive in traditions, because they been handed down for many generations; do not believe in anything, because it is rumoured and spoken by many; do not believe merely because a witten statement of some old sage is produced; do not believe in conjectures; do not believe in that as truth to which you have merely the authority of your teachers and elders.
To abstain from evil
To do good
To purify the Mind
These are the teachings of the Buddhas.
Buddhist people share their peacefulness to the others. Whenever the clients visit to the Buddhist countries, they got the peace of mind.