Today, I thought I’d kick start the new year on Grunge Rock My Socks with reasons as to why I’m so fond of Buddhism. I would say I’m more spiritual than ‘religious’ and these are some reasons why it’s for me.
So, let’s begin:
1. There is no God
As I said before, Buddhists do not believe in a God. Sure, there had to be someone who started the practise, Siddhartha Gautama to be exact, but he didn’t see himself as some divine being or a deity, but in fact a human being. What I like about this is that he didn’t see himself as any better than the rest of us, making us all equal, and equality is important. He was just a man who led a positive life through meditation and consequently became Enlightened. After this, he encouraged others to do the same.
2. Guidelines and Advice
After learning about the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path and the Five Precepts, I believed them to be guidelines and his beliefs about marriage, adoption and what should happen at funerals etc. were all just realistic advice that people could easily follow. For example:
Even though the Buddhist texts are silent on the subject of monogamy or polygamy, the Buddhist laity is advised to limit themselves to one wife. The Buddha did not lay rules on married life but gave necessary advice on how to live a happy married life.
Maybe the aim was for followers to take responsibility for their own actions and choose what they think is morally right, and if they choose the wrong decision, then let it be a lesson learned.
3. Preaching seems to be non-existent
There doesn’t seem to be any demand for Buddhism’s adherents to do everything by the book and seems much more relaxed then some practises out there. I think by being a little tolerant, it allows room for free-will, exemption and independence, which I think is absent in some religions. I believe that because they do not pressure or try to convert others, like the non-religious, it doesn’t cause conflict or hostility between groups. Through my experiences out and about, I haven’t come across any Buddhists forcing out flyers or preaching about meditating or the Five Precepts.
4. No War has Involved Buddhism
The title kind of explains itself in a way. A lot of wars that have gone on are because of conflicting religions. But it’s safe to say that Buddhism has had no part in any, which just goes to show that it really is about the positives and leading a good life. Many religions talk about suffering and how we should treat others with respect and look after each other, but it is ok to fight for your religion? These points seem to contradict each other really. We shouldn’t harm other human beings but we must fight for our religion.
5. Buddhism really cares and suffering, and sticks to it
This is my last point on why I feel so passionate about Buddhism. The Four Noble Truths, which is all about suffering, are ideas that sum up the key teachings of the philosophy and they are:
The Truth of Suffering
The Truth of the Origin of Suffering
The Truth of the Cessation of Suffering
The Truth of the Path to the Cessation of Suffering
These four principals were what the Buddha came to finally understand during his meditation. It teaches how to recognise suffering, how to identify it’s cause and that there is a cure. The fourth Truth is how to achieve a release from suffering and how it can turn into a positive.
So, this is the end of my rather deep post about Buddhism and why I like it as much as I do. All of the points I have made today are my opinions and beliefs. I have not taken them from any other source but my own knowledge. The only exception being the quote about marriage which is linked above.