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Researched and edited by: Lorenz, Cherry, Mohak, Liam Daniels,
Kelly




How did the religion develop? Did someone found the religion?
The religion was found by Siddhartha Gautama (now known as Buddha). He was born in “Lumbini now known as Nepal” in 563 BC. He was the prince. One day a priest came to them and said Siddhartha would either be a great king or a holy man.His father wanted him to be a great king when he too small. So, his father wanted him to be a great king and never let him go anywhere. At the age of 29, “despite his father’s efforts”, he managed to go out of the palace sometimes. He encountered an “old man, a sick man, a corpse and ascetic man”. He was really surprised to see so much pain in the real world. He never thought suffering had even existed. He went to his teacher and mastered the way of meditation. Later, he found that did not result to any conclusion of solving suffering. He then sat under a Bodhi tree and meditated there. At that period, he had fought all the demons of life and got enlightenment. Later he taught people about life. After his death, his teachings were passed out as becoming a new religion.

Buddhism was founded by Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who was from Lumbini, which is in Nepal. He sought enlightenment, found it, and became the Buddha.

Siddhartha Gautama, an Indian prince later known as the Buddha.

The founding of Buddhism are The Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma (the teaching), and the Sangha (the community).

Buddhism was develop buddha, Dharma.

Are there any important days? Which ones? What happens on those days?

Buddhist New Year, Vesak, Magha Puja Day, Asalha Puja Day, and Uposatha.

Songkran,Loy Krathong (Festival of Floating Bowls),The Ploughing Festival,The Elephant Festival etc.


There are some important days. Here is the list of the festivals and what happens in that day.

Sangha day- It is a day where a community of monks join together. They share presents, pray/chant and light lamps. This is important so that people can make decisions and join together.

Dharma day (or truth day)-This is the time when Buddha had got enlightenment. To celebrate this, buddhists celebrate this with praying and readings sculptures.

Losar-This is the new year for the buddhists. The monks come clean with new clothes and the temples are decorated really nicely. Then the monks do some chants too keep the evil spirits away.

Kathina-In this festival, the people will give a three meters of cloth to someone in the sangha community. Then the person will be sewing and stitching much of the cloth. When it is done, the people will give the robe to a person from the sangha community.

Parinivara- This is the day when Buddha had died. To celebrate this, the monks g to the temple and start meditating.

Wesak-This is the day when Buddha was born. All the Buddhist decorate their homes, give and receive gifts and look really new. This is one of the most important festivals for Buddhists.


There are many holidays. Here are a few of the more important ones:

Buddhist New Year
Buddhist New Year is celebrated on different days around the world. In Thareravadin countries (Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos) it is celebrated for 3 days from the 1st full moon in April. In Mahayana countries it occurs from the 1st full moon in January. Tibetan Buddhists start from the first full moon in March.

Vesak (Buddha Day)
Vesak is the most important festival because it celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. It is celebrated on the day of the first full moon in May. Vesak is named for the month in the Indian in which it occurs.

Sanhga Day (Magha Puja Day/Fourfold Assembly Day)
Sanhga Day is held on the first full moon of March. It marks Buddha's visit to Veruvana Monastery in the city of Rajagaha when 1250 Arhats spontaneously returned from their wanderings to visit the Buddha.


Songkran

  • They celebrated it for several days in the middle of April
  • They pour water on each other
  • They believe that pouring the water will bring good luck and success

Loy Krathong
  • Takes place in Thailand
  • When the river and canals are full of water, they make floating bowl with leaves and flowers lights up candles in the center of the bowl with an sticking a incense sticker
  • As you let go of the bowl onto the river, gently push it to make the bowl float away, this means that the bad lucks will disappear as the bowl of leaves float away

Vesak or Visakah Puja (Buddha Day)
  • Main celebration in the year
  • Celebrating the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha on the same day
  • On the first full moon day in May

Asalha Puja Day (Dhamma Day)
  • Celebrates Buddha's first teaching of the turning of the wheel of the Dhamma (Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta) to the five ascetics
  • On the full moon day of the 8th lunar month

Ulambana (Ancestor Day)
  • This is celebrated throughout the Mahayana tradition
  • Celebrated from the first to the fifteenth days of the eighth lunar month.
  • They believe that the gates of Hell are open and the ghosts will visit the world for fifteen days
  • Food offering were made for the ghost to relieve their suffering
  • On the fifteenth day of the celebration, people visit cemeteries to make offerings to the departed ancestors

How many gods does the religion have?
Buddhists do not have a specific number of gods they believe in. They can believe in more than one or even none.
Buddhists do not have gods. They worship the Buddha, but do not see him as a god. They also worship the Dharma, which is kind of an ideal.

Buddhists have one or many gods.
​Buddhism does not have a specific number of gods. In face Buddha did not confirm the existence of God. However some Buddhists do consider Buddha as their God.

Buddhism is a very unique religion and they have many gods (buddha) which cannot actually count

The religion does not have any god. Buddha has never approved of any god.
How do the followers contact or pray to their gods?

Buddhists may pray for god, but to within themselves, they look for enlightenment. Tibetan Buddhists prays in a special way, they believe that if some sound (Mantras) are repeated, they can open up their mind.

They pray singing a mantra (prayer) while meditating. It is believed that it enlightens the spirit and removes all the evil spirits from a person and makes then enlightened. This frees one from miseries of this
world.

Buddhists do not worship anyone or anything.

Buddhists worship the Dharma by becoming the embodiment of it.

What are the rules? What do people have to do in their lifetime?


Buddhism doesn't have really hard rules, there are five rules.
1. Trying your best not to kill
2. Do not to steal
3. Do not to be involved in prostitution
4. Try your best not to lie
5. Try your best not to be involved in any kind of food / drinks that may cause the loss of consciousness, eg. alcoholic drinks, drugs etc.

1. Do not take the life of a living being.
2. Avoid things which were not intended for you.
3. Avoid sensual misconduct, including, but not limited to, sexual misconduct.
4. Refrain from false speech.
5. Abstain from substances that may cause intoxication and/or heedlessness.

Buddhism don’t has many rules, their rule is:
  • Don't kill
  • Don't steal
  • Don't speak abusively
  • Don't tell lies
  • Don't engage in idle gossip
  • Abandon ill will
  • Abandon greed


I won’t be able to say them all but here are some. The person should be nice to every living thing and respect it. One should never kill anyone or anything. One should not be greedy or try too hard to satisfy the desires. One should not exploit nature and harm it but instead should love it. One should be vegetarians since Buddhists don’t like to kill animals. But in Tibet they eat meat since it is hard to grow vegetables. Last and final thing is that one should never take drugs or get intoxicated.

Are there any sacred books? What are they called?


The holy writing of Buddhism is the Tipitaka, was written in ancient Indian language called Pali, which is close to what Buddha himself spoke. The Tipitaka is a very large book, the English translation of it takes up forty volumes.

Buddhist holy scripts are called the Tripitak. These were first passed down by mouth and later it was written. It is a really long book. The three sections or “three baskets of wisdom” are:
Vinaya Pitaka- The rules for monks and nuns. There are 227 rules for monks and more for nuns.
Sutta Pitaka- The real experiences of Buddha.
Abhidhamma Pitaka- An explanation of the teachings of Buddha.

The holy book, called the Tipitaka, is written in Pali, a language similar to the one that the Buddha spoke. It is very long, and the English translation fills nearly 40 volumes.






The sacred book of Buddhism is called the Tripitaka

What do the holy buildings look like?


external image Shwedagon-Pagoda-in-Yangon-Myanmar-500x428.jpgHoly buildings are also known as Buddhist temples, they have statues of Buddha and many Buddhist temple I've seen are triangularly shaped with the color gold, and has a statue of Buddha inside the temple.]

They come in many different ways. Normally they have got a triangular shaped dome on the top of the temple. Inside they have got a statue of lord Buddha.

There are two types of holy building, the Pagoda and the Stupa


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What happens to you when you die?


You get reincarnated (karma). When you did something bad in your first birth, then in the second birth something bad will happen to you. If you did something good in your first birth, something good will happen to you in the second birth.

Depending on your Karma, you will reincarnate into one of six regions: Heaven, Human, Asura, Hungry Ghost, Animal, and Hell.

Are there any religious symbols and writing?



external image BuddhistSymbols.jpg
Chart from: http://www.sabaidesignsgallery.com/collections/buddhist-art/

The religious symbol is the wheel of life. It is a complex picture that shows life,death,suffering and rebirth.The center represents the evil part. It shows a snake eating a pig. The outer part represents the cycle of life.
There are many ways Buddhists write their text. Normally they write in Pali,Tibetan Mongolian and Chinese.
But some old text that were found are written in Sanskrit and Buddhist hybrid Sanskrit.


The main Buddhist symbols are “卍" or "卐" this is called swastika in english and Sanskrit in ancient indian language. People think that this symbol means good fortune, the original meaning of this symbol is that it is a mark that represents the Buddha’s level and status in heaven. The Buddha of Tathagata level only has one swastika on their body, other levels of Buddha could have more. The swastika is found on the Buddha’s chest.

Is there any special clothing?


Monks wear orange robes.

Monks wear an orange cloth wrapped around them. The Dalai Lama though wears a red cloth. The cloth is wrapped around the person.


The clothing is different from culture to culture, but going to a temple or sacred place is to wear simple white dress that covers from the shoulders to ankle. Monks in Thailand wears reddish-yellow colored plain saffron or ochre robes. This color is called the kasaya or kasava,often leaving the right shoulder bare.

Where is the religion most common?

Buddhism is most common in China, India, Japan, Thailand, and some other southeast countries in Asia.
This is the percentage of Buddhist nowadays:
  1. Thailand 95%
  2. Cambodia 90%
  3. Myanmar 88%

China.

1. China
2. Japan
3. Vietnam
4. Thailand
5. Myanmar
6. Sri lanka
7. Burma
8 Bhutan

How many people believe in the religion?

The number of people that believes in Buddhism is approximately 250-500 million adherents. 6% of the worlds population. Buddhism is the fourth most largest religion.
Estimates range from 200-500 million, general consensus is about 350 million.


Approx 376 Million (2007 census)


How do the people meditate?


They meditate while sitting or standing. They sit and relax the body.Here are some things they do while meditating:
Letting go of thoughts.Do not think about anything while meditating.
Time and place. When Buddhists meditate, they meditate in a place which is quiet. They meditate at a time when they have no other work to do.
It is really important to always sit in a correct posture.
It sometimes helps to meditate with a cushion underneath.
You should also stay calm and think about the present.
This can result to an empty mind with no worries and an enlightend person.


How did Buddhism spread around the world?


The great king Ashoka had a battle against Kalinga (a place in the south of India).It was one of the most brutal battle in the Indian history. When Ashoka saw the amount of bloodshed in the battlefield, he thought that he was the main cause of this battle. When he saw the teachings of Buddha, he got inspired by the teachings and later he became a Buddhist. He went around many places especially Japan and taught the teachings of Buddha. This is the main reason why Buddhism is around the world.

Are there any different types of Buddhism? If so then which?


Yes, there are three types of Buddhism. They are called Theravada Buddhism, Zen Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism

How often do Buddhists pray, worship, or meditates?
Buddhists do not have a specific day to worship. They can meditate whenever that would like, some schools do choose a specific time for meditation. Any students could meditate at any time. They believe in that if they meditate or worship more often, the more they will have better results

Bibliography

"Buddhism." Wikipedia. Ed. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Nov. 2012. Web. 11 Dec.
2012.
Pannyavaro, Venerable Pannyavaro."Timeline of Buddhist History: Major Events."Timeline of
Buddhist History: Major Events. Venerable Pannyavaro, 1995. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.

"How Many Gods Do Buddhists Believe In?" Yahoo! Answers. Ed. Dr. Jones. Yahoo!, 2008.
Web. 11 Dec. 2012.
J.Cordeaux. "SIZE AND LOCATION." Buddhism. J.Cordeaux, 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2012.

"What Is the Buddhist Holy Book?" What Is the Buddhist Holy Book? N.p., 1995. Web. 13 Dec.
2012.

Shwedagon Pagoda, Sacred Building in Yangon, Myanmar. 2012. Photograph. Yangon, Myanmar.

"Buddhist Monks' Robes." Monks' Robes and Hats. N.p., 2004. Web. 15 Dec. 2012.

"Buddhist Studies: Number of Buddhist World-wide." Buddhist Studies: Number of Buddhist
World-wide. BuddhaNet, 1995. Web. 15 Dec. 2012.
My Bibliography

Buddhism. BBC, n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2012.

<http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/buddhism/>.

"Buddhism." Wikipedia. N.p.: Wikipidia, n.d. Buddhism. Web. 26 Dec. 2012.

<http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism>.

Halls, Gill Farrer. Buddhist Wisdom. Great Britian: Godsfield, 2000. Print.

"Kalinga War." Wikipedia. N.p.: Wikipedia, n.d. Kalinga War. Web. 26 Dec. 2012.

<http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalinga_war>.

"List of Religious Populations." Wikipedia. List of Religious Population. Web. 26 Dec. 2012.

<http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_populations>.

"What Is Tripitak?" Wki Answers. N.p.: n.p., n.d. What Is the Tripitak? Web. 26 Dec. 2012.

<http://religion.answers.wikia.com/wiki/What_is_the_tripitak>.

<http://religionfacts.com>

<http://buddhanet.net>

<http://www.sabaidesignsgallery.com/collections/buddhist-art/>