You are in a prison of your own making, “hindered by ignorance and chained by craving” (SN 15.1). The answer depends on how you define religion and philosophy, and that would take hundreds of cards. We would like to offer a third definition: religion is that which posits a nonmaterial spiritual reality (whether God or mind) and asserts we continue in some way after death. It also depends on which source you consult. First, there’s no creator or god. So Buddhism is both. As Michael Molloy states, “We may accept as a ‘religion’ whatever manifests a reasonable number of the following characteristics:” He then lists belief system, community, ethics, characteristic emotions (like devotion, liberation, inner peace, and bliss), ritual, and sacredness (7). Then again, you may not know us at all. The Dhammapada, the most popular Buddhist scripture, sums up the Buddhist way of life this way, “Avoid doing harm, cultivate good conduct, and purify one’s mind: This is the instruction of the Buddhas” (Dhp 183). There is, consequently, no universally accepted definition of religion, and quite possibly there never will be” (Crawford 3). I am currently reading another book on Buddhism which is called Entering The Stream. We rely significantly on advertising and newsstand sales to support our work — both of which have dropped precipitously this year. Our sincere wish is that these Buddhist teachings, guided practices, and stories can be a balm in these difficult times. But Buddhism goes further. — Buddhism is atheism in sense of anti-theism, i.e. Why Buddhism Might Not Be A Religion. But to them, religion was mostly dealing with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. God is subject to karma. Is Buddhism a Religion? Religion or at least the tenets of any true religion should also be a way of life. “The practitioner will find great joy and attain the state of final rest by having confidence in the Buddha’s religion, discovering the happiness of ending mental conditioning” (Dhp 381). But it is a unique religion. As Tim Crane writes, “We should try to understand religion because without such an understanding we lack an adequate sense of a fundamental part of human civilization and its history, and we therefore lack a proper understanding of ourselves” (xi). As a result there is a great variety of religious theories of the nature of religion. Is Buddhism a religion, a philosophy, or a way of life? Moral Character and Intention in the Dhammapada. So Buddhism is not related to the Divine, but it is related to the sacred. Suffering is all around us. Copyright © 2020 Jay N. Forrest. Does it even exist? Download and Read online Buddhism A Way Of Life And Thought ebooks in PDF, epub, Tuebl Mobi, Kindle Book. Learning more about this religion and culture has really changed the way I look at life now. God did not make the law of karma, it is part of the system. In the view of many practitioners and scholars, Buddhism is a religion—or rather, a family of religions—with myriad philosophical aspects. Alex Moyao REL 1000-07 Professor Jensen 7, Nov 2020 Buddhism a religion, philosophy, or simply a way of life? We do the same if we find ourselves in a cycle of negative thinking. Here are two translations of the Dhammapada: “When a bhikkhu applies himself when still young to the religion of the Buddha, he illuminates the world, like the moon breaking breaking away from a cloud” (Richards Dhp 382). Buddhism is much more like an applied form of cognitive-behavior psychology. It is created for the scholar’s analytic purposes by his imaginative acts of comparison and generalization” (xi). We keep in mind the antidotes to quiet down and counter these mental and emotional disturbances, and apply and sustain them until we’ve regained our composure. So Buddhism is a religion. It is very informative as well and more of that book is easier to comprehend. But as the religions of the East began to be known, they didn’t fit this mold. The teachings of the Buddha have been a way of life for millions of people in the East for over two and a half thousand years. Because ritual rather than belief is at the heart of Shinto, Japanese people don't usually think of Shinto specifically as a religion - it's simply an aspect of Japanese life. Buddhism is a way of life to get rid of suffering. Too broad would be defining religion as “Ultimate Concern.” Too narrow would be defining religion as “the belief in and worship of a God or gods.” Too biased would be defining religion as a “virus” or an “illusion.”. Get Free Buddhism A Way Of Life And Thought Textbook and unlimited access to our library by created an account. Buddhism says the moral law existed before God. They are the Buddha, the Doctrine (Pali, dhamma), and the Community (Pali, sangha). But our definition of religion should be descriptive not prescriptive. An interesting holiday. One the... A Rohatsu Meditation James Ishmael Ford Zen priest Tom Hawkins once... Today I’m going to talk to you about the Buddha. We’re the Shambhala Sun Foundation. To many, Buddhism goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy or 'way of life'. Buddhism is an Indian religion founded on the teachings of a mendicant and spiritual teacher called "the Buddha" ("the Awakened One", c. 5th to 4th century BCE). Buddhism as a Non-Religion. But, philosophy or way of life. Sign up for the Lion's Roar weekly newsletter and follow Lion's Roar on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Its purpose, therefore, is to help us understand a human phenomenon. The third truth is that we can awaken and cease our attachments and aversions, and therefore we can end suffering. On the other hand, most people define religion as believing in some sort of God or Creator, which Buddhism does not. By sacred I mean, that which is honored, respected, and even reverenced. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are by the author, some of which are modifications of the public domain translation by Bhikkhu Sujato for SuttaCentral. with them Buddhism, a religion which has been rooted in Vietnam since the second century. I wanted to examine a film that did not focus on mainstream Christianity and see what could be learned from a more foreign angle. In this one line, we have the ethical and spiritual aspirations of Buddhism. Tina Turner claims Buddhism “saved” her life. “The monk yet young, who unto Buddha’s religion devoteth himself, brighteneth this world, as the moon from cloud set free” (Edmunds Dhp 382). Only humans are religious. Get updates from The Buddha Said delivered straight to your inbox. The Buddhist worldview sees life through the conceptual framework of the Four Noble Truths. So if religion is defined by belief and worship of God, Buddhism, Daoism, and Jainism are not religions. And it includes spiritual disciplines such as chanting and meditation. Buddha explained that all our problems and suffering arise from confused and negative states of mind, and that all our happiness and good fortune arise from peaceful and positive st… The 81-year-old singer – who has spoken about the domestic violence she suffered at the hands of her late ex-husband Ike Turner – is thankful she was introduced to the religion when she was going through particularly hard times. In view of both the importance and the difficulty of accomplishing the Noble Eightfold Path, the Buddha and early Buddhists advocated the monastic life as the surest way to enlightenment. Either way, please allow us to re-introduce ourselves: People are correct when they say that religion is a way of life. On one hand, Buddhism looks a lot like every other religion, with monastics, temples, sacred texts, rituals, congregations, etc. Buddhism, Daoism, and Jainism are religions and any definition of religion must not exclude them. But since when does the world revolve around the West. Over the past month, over 400,000 readers like you have visited our site, reading almost a million pages and streaming over 120,000 hours of video teachings. Buddhist tradition is steeped with devas and gods, but not a creator. And I must admit, it is a change for the better :) I hope others enjoy the read as well! COVID-19 has brought tremendous suffering, uncertainty, fear, and strain to the world. It helps us distinguish a human activity that is different from what animals do. Buddhism is one of the top five major religions around the world. I have been two other religions in my life (Catholic and Hindu) before becoming a Buddhist (with a Tibetan lama as my local teacher). The answer is really about how you define religion. This is called samsara, which I translate as the “prison of rebirth.”. They consider the concept of “nontheistic religion” a contradiction in terms, so they label Buddhism as a philosophy, way of life, or science of mind (and many Buddhists in the West agree). Dr. Jay N. Forrest is an American Buddhist teacher, an Ordained Humanist Minister, a Certified Meditation Teacher, and the author of over a dozen books. Everything around us changes, breaks, dies, and fails to give lasting happiness. I would argue that life itself is also sacred in Buddhism, since abstaining from taking life is the first of the Five Precepts of Buddhism. The social scientist J. Milton Yinger states, “Many studies of religion stumble over the first hurdle: the problem of definition” (3). Buddhism is only seen as different because it is relatively new to America and people here are still new to meditation and the philosophies as related to Buddhism. This is part of a series of short videos answering some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about Buddhism. The Five Precepts are (1) to abstain from taking life; (2) to abstain from taking what is not given; (3) to abstain from sexual misconduct; (4) to abstain from false speech; and (5) to abstain from intoxicants that cloud the mind. by Jayaram V. Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life because life, worship and religious duties are inseparable in Hinduism. Buddhism as a modern way of life by this highly qualified scholar who has a special gift to interpret the Dhamma to people from every walk of life. They knew of the gods of ancient Greece and Rome, and the Pagans. Church and ministry leadership resources to better equip, train and provide ideas for today's church and ministry leaders, like you. The “religion without God” has baffled Western thinkers for hundreds of years. The second definition is by William E. Paden, he says “religion is generally used to mean a system of language and practice that organize the world in terms of what is deemed sacred” (10). As mentioned earlier by the Buddhist Centre, Buddhism doesn’t follow a central god, which is why many don’t consider it to be an officially recognized religion, but rather a way of life in the same sense as Hinduism and Jainism. The first truth is that suffering characterizes the unawakened life. God forbids it because it is the law of conditioned existence. So we need a definition of religion that is not too broad, not too narrow, and not biased. It seems there are as many definitions as there are academic disciplines. Let’s start with the word religion. All Rights Reversed. The Buddhist way of life of peace, loving kindness and wisdom is just as relevant today as it was in ancient India. Today, Buddhist temples are seen everywhere in North America. From ignorance spring attachment and aversion, which causes suffering. You could say that early Buddhism was polytheistic since it acknowledges many “angels, demons, and Gods” (AN 4.23). it rejects theistic ideas about so-called God. By Gerald Sinclair August 7, 2019 No Comments. Our three experts, Charles Prebish (“Yes”), Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche (“No”), and Joan Sutherland (“Kind of”), join the debate. The daily life of a Buddhist does contain much less worship than that of other religions but that in no way marks it as a philosophy or a way of life. Is it a religion, psychology, or way of life? All religions are meant to be “a way of life,” religion is a branch of philosophy under the category of theology. Religion isn’t what we say it is, it should be descriptive of activities that deal with the transcendent or sacred. This of course, is something people are divided on and really depends on various technicalities in how one defines religion. But first: who are “we”? Following closely the Theravada tradition and the Pali Canon, Dr. Forrest gives you a reliable guide to the transforming truths of the historical Buddha. And both these are related to the Divine or sacred. Let’s look briefly at the main arguments for Buddhism being a tradition or way of life. Is it a religion, a worldview, a philosophy, a way of life, a spiritual path? To answer the question if Buddhism is a religion or a way of life, this course helps you to understand the historical development of Buddhism from its beginning to present. This year Hanukkah begins tonight. A worldview is the belief system or conceptual framework we use to see and interpret the world. As Alfred North Whitehead pointed out, “The actual world must always mean the community of all actual entities, including the primordial actual entity called ‘God’ and the temporal actual entities” (65). To answer the question if Buddhism is a religion or a way of life/thought, this course helps you to understand the historical development of Buddhism from its beginning to present. Buddhism is an ethical system — a way of life — that leads to a very specific goal and that possesses some aspects of both religion and philosophy: It is a philosophy. Just because a religion is not like our religion doesn’t make it not a religion. Buddhism, Daoism, and Jainism have no personal creator God like the Western religions, and so their religion has little to do with worshiping God. There is no other word for these human concerns. But these gods are of little relevance to Buddhism, because they are, just like humans, stuck in the same cycle of rebirth. ), another to the Marxist, another to the mystic, another to the Zen Buddhist and yet another to the Jew or Christian. By that definition, combined with the sociological and historical realities, we come down on the side that Buddhism is a religion—and all those other things too. Buddhism Is More Than A ‘Religion,’ It’s A Way Of Life. She said: “Buddhism saved my life. Since then millions of people around the world have followed the pure spiritual path he revealed. Topics: Atheism Agnosticism & Secularism, Beginner's Mind, FAQs, God, Lion's Roar - July '18, Philosophy, Religion, Science, We’re glad to have you here. Can you lend your support to Lion’s Roar at this critical time? Most religions talk about getting right with God through repentance, faith, and obedience. Buddhism has components of religion but also outlines various beliefs that can be used to guide the individual in life. Well, that is partially true. Also, send me the Buddhist Newsletter and special offers. It is probably safest to say that Buddhism is both a religion and a way of life, as are many religions. Buddhism A Way Of Life And Thought. This includes developing virtues such as generosity, compassion, lovingkindness, and equanimity. Introduction. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And the way of life in these religions is philosophical with some prayer or meditation thrown in. Suffering, which is better translated as unsatisfactoriness, refers to the unsatisfactoriness nature of life, which is a prison of endless suffering in a cycle of births and deaths. Unfortunately the followers of most religions do not practice what their religious philosophy/doctrine says. A common debate among people in modern times, especially among Westerners, is that Buddhism is not a religion. Is murder wrong because God forbids it, or does God forbid it because it’s wrong? In Buddhism, it is the Three Jewels that are sacred. Can you help us? He is the host of the podcast “5 Minute Dharma” and a writer at Patheos. That means that there are at least three elements in a religion, a worldview, a way of life, and something sacred. Bhikkhu Sucitto defines Buddha-sasana as “the Buddhist religion” (Sucitto 52). In addition to the ethical way of life, there is also a religious way of life. You may very well know us as the publishers of two Buddhist magazines, the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma. So religion had to do with God and the worship of God. So by the “if it quacks like a duck” sociological definition, it’s a religion. They consider the concept of “nontheistic religion” a contradiction in terms, so they label Buddhism as a philosophy, way of life, or science of mind (and many Buddhists in the West agree). with them Buddhism, a religion which has been rooted in Vietnam since the second century. The first is from Tim Crane, he defines religion as “a systematic and practical attempt by human beings to find meaning in the world and their place in it, in terms of their relationship to something transcendent” (6). Two definitions are really good. An interview with Stephen Batchelor. About 500 million people associate themselves with this particular religion. Please also opt me in for Exclusive Offers from Patheos’s Partners. Card 1 of 15. What God is looking for is not an external display of religiosity but the transformation of our hearts. While there are religious aspects of Buddhism it is not what one would consider a traditional religion to be. A devout Hindu lives upon earth religiously, feeling the presence of God in every aspect of his life, and worshipping Him uninterruptedly in the sacrifice called life. Buddhism is not a worldview and way of life that is related to God. But such a definition is short-sighted. This clearly speaks to an active and conscientious way of life. A common debate among people in modern times, especially among westerners, is that Buddhism is not a religion -- but a philosophy or way of life. The Paperback Oxford Dictionary defines religion as, “the belief in and worship of a God or gods.” This is the only kind of religion Westerners knew for centuries. Like most philosophies, Buddhism attempts to frame the complexities of human existence in a way that reassures us that there is, in fact, some underlying order to the Universe. The second truth is that the cause of this suffering is craving, which goes back to ignorance of the true nature of reality. Buddhism is a religion because it is a worldview and way of life that is related to the sacred. • Is Buddhism a Religion? In approaching the word religion, it is good to remember the words of Jonathan Z. Smith, “Religion is solely the creation of the scholar’s study. On the other hand, most people define religion as believing in some sort of God or Creator, which Buddhism does not. This is because “there is no universally accepted definition of religion” (Crawford 3). My definition of religion is that it is a worldview and way of life that is related to the Divine or sacred. But it is a unique religion. Yet, in the West, it is only comparatively recently that many have turned away from materialism to seek answers in Buddhism. It seems like a simple question until you realize that there is little agreement on what Buddhism is or what religion is. In Pali, it is called Buddha-sasana. And the fourth truth is that the Buddha taught the Eightfold Noble Path that leads to the end of ignorance, attachment, and aversion, and therefore it leads to the end of suffering. Buddhism: A Way of Life I recently watched “The Last Samurai”, and it was the first film that came to mind when we were presented with the discussion topic of Religion and Film in class. Fast Download speed and ads Free! You can’t count on anything. Identity Politics vs. Transactional Politics. If a creator is necessary for it to be a religion, then Buddhism is indeed not a religion. Theistic God is 1) personal and 2) the creator of the world. Early texts have the Buddha's family name as "Gautama" (Pali: Gotama). We want to provide even more Buddhist wisdom but our resources are strained. The Original Teachings of the Buddha. This, of course, is something people are divided on. Buddhism is a religion because it is a worldview and way of life that is related to the sacred. This is not a definition of religion but rather a contrast to mere acts of worship and ritualistic observances that are commonly called ‘religion’” (italics added). A way of life deals with the personal, ethical, and social ways that we act in the world. The founder of Buddhism was Buddha Shakyamuni who lived and taught in India some two and a half thousand years ago. As John Hick writes: “Religion is one thing to the anthropologists, another to the sociologist, another to the psychologist (and again another to the next psychologist! To them, the problem is human sin. Others take a more functional approach to religion. Or even a way of life? It would be incorrect to conclude that Buddhism is a way of life. Today, Buddhist temples are seen everywhere in North America. The bottom line is that these Gods are of no help in attaining freedom from the unsatisfactoriness of conditioned existence. God is obligated to obey the moral law. Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. We [...], © 2020 Lion's Roar | Email: [email protected] | Tel: 902.422.8404 | Published by Lion's Roar Foundation, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), What’s “After Buddhism”? While it does not have a god or gods who are worshipped, it does retain a distinct cosmology, the cycle of samsara, realms of gods, asuras, ghosts and hell. If we’ve already acted this way, we stop immediately before we do or say something worse. But religion is a useful word. These are honored, respected, and reverenced by all Buddhists. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all worldviews and ways of life related to God. The ethical code for Buddhists, in general, is summarized in the Five Precepts, there are more for monks and nuns. Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Lion's Roar is the website of Lion's Roar magazine (formerly the Shambhala Sun) and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly, with exclusive Buddhist news, teachings, art, and commentary. The problem is not your relationship to God, your problem is your relationship to reality. What is Buddhism? No one is free from the pandemic’s impact, including Lion’s Roar. But what of one were to tell you this is more so a philosophy than a religion?