Buddhism as a World Religion


Buddhismas a World Religion



1.Buddhism – the World Religion 3

2.The Question of Origin 3

3.The Question of Identity 3

4.The Question of Meaning/Purpose 4

5.The Question of Morality 4

6.The Question of Destiny 5

References 6

1.Buddhism- the World Religion

Buddhism,along with Christianity and Islam, is one of the three most popularreligions in the world. A feature of Buddhism is that it is a“religion without God”. Buddhism emerged as a sect, an offshootof Hinduism. It can be mention that Buddhism – is the result ofreview and reform of Hinduism. In Hinduism, there is still theconcept of God – Brahman, which is a global thought which thinksabout the world. Buddhists do not recognize the existence of evenBrahman. They do not believe in the existence of a god or gods. Itcan be said that Buddhism – is “atheistic religion”. In modernpopular culture the idea of Buddhism received significantdistribution and popularity, so even those who do not considerthemselves Buddhists, experience some impact of these ideas. However,it is difficult to say exactly how these ideas relate toChristianity.

2.TheQuestion of Origin

Theorigin approved by the repetition of the destruction of the universecycles in Buddhist cosmology. The Buddhist religion has no concept ofcreation by supreme immaterial being – God. The appearance of eachnew universe is due to the action of the total karma of living beingsof the previous global cycle. Similarly, the cause of the destructionof the universe which held its period of existence is accumulated badkarma of living beings. Each cycle of the world is divided into fourperiods:

-Emptiness (from the destruction of the world prior to the formationof another)

-Formation of the world

-Stay (when space is in a stable state)

-Destruction (coagulation, extinction) (Gethin R., 2008, p.13).

Atthe same time, the central dogma of creation in Christianity is a“creation out of nothing”, in which the Creator is a God, whomoves all things from a state of non-existence in a state of being.God acts as the primary reason for the existence of the world.Additionally, God was not obliged to make the world, it was his freechoice, endowment act of God “from the surplus of love”.

3.TheQuestion of Identity

Buddha`sstarting point is the recognition of the suffering of human life. Thereason for the suffering is desire and attachment. For example, aperson who wants to have a good house is suffering because it doesnot have it, but if so, – suffering from a fear of losing it.However, this view coincides with the Christian – indeed, a temporaryattachment to things makes a person unhappy and unfree. But theChristian is freed from attachment to temporal things and strengthenits relationship with the eternal God.

Thegreatest affection of a man – love to himself. And so, to preventthe affection, Buddhism introduces the doctrine which assuresfollowers that the man does not exist. Due to this doctrine, the “Iam” of a man, the personality – it is also an illusion. There is no“I am”, there is no immortal soul, there is only a diverse mix oftiny particles – dharma. Christianity, on the contrary, givesmeaning to human and all that surrounds it, all that he knows fromexperience. God gives meaning to existence and to the world and man.God created intelligent beings to share with them his love and bliss(Siegmund G., 1980, p.34).

4.TheQuestion of Meaning/Purpose

Buddhistreligious and philosophical doctrine preaches strict causality, whenthe past dictates the present, and then determines the shape of thefuture. Suffering pervades all human existence. Human freedom fromearthly suffering is the result of deep concentration on the feelingof the experience, that is, self-immersion in the state of so-callednirvana, or achieving bliss, total internal (emotional) balance inabsolute detachment from the earthly mortal world. Buddhists believethat Nirvana is a perfect state of mind. An important point in theBuddhist doctrine of the image of man which distinguishes him fromthe other world religions, – denial of the existence of the soul as asingle, indivisible and permanent nature. A man is a stream ofconsciousness, consisting of dharma (Gethin R., 2008, p.116).

Christianitysays that God made man for love and to communicate with them. God isin the relationship of adoption with the man. Deification is the goalof human life. Deification is a definition of human salvation, whichis understood as the salvation of the soul. The very salvation isattainable only through deification.

5.TheQuestion of Morality

Likeany religious morality, Buddhist morality, aims to ensure theirsalvation in the next world and proved the basic provisions of thisdogmatic religion. Despite the relative complexity of Buddhistscholasticism – base of the morality, it is simple and accessiblefor the understanding of the masses. The teachings about theinevitability of earthly suffering, Buddhism asserts that thesalvation of every human being is in his own hands. Any attempt tofight for the interests of the earth is fraught with terrible risksdrifting along further suffering. The only way of salvation is the“noble eightfold path median”. This way consists of “righteousbeliefs, righteous quest, righteous speech, righteous behavior ofrighteous living, righteous effort, righteous contemplation,reflection, righteous”.

Themain feature of the Christian morality is that its main provisionsare put in a mandatory connection with the tenets of faith. As thetenets of Christian doctrine is constant, the basic rules ofChristian morality, in their abstract content, are also different dueto the relative stability remains valid in every new generation ofbelievers. Another feature of Christian morality is that it has suchmoral precepts that cannot be found in the in the non-religious moralsystems. Such, for example, the Christian doctrine of suffering,welfare, about forgiveness, love of enemies, non-resistance and otherprovisions (Esler P.F., 2002, p.15).

6.TheQuestion of Destiny

UnlikeChristians, Buddhists believe in reincarnation of the soul, but italso recognizes the concept of sin, punishment, and reward. The manwho does not sin in a previous life, receive more prosperous nextlife than the sinner. To stop the cycle of rebirth, one need to getrid of desires and association of suffering with them – this isrelease. After death, the soul is not immediately reborn. First, itmust realize that death occurred, then it passes through certainexperiences, the nature of which depends on the karma, and only afterthat the soul moves to another body.

Representativesof all Christian denominations believe that the soul after death goesto hell, heaven or purgatory, depending on how the person lived hislife. For example, the soul after a suicide, in any case, goes tohell, as a suicide is a terrible sin, and man, of course, may not beable to repent. In purgatory get the souls of those who have notcommitted serious sins, but do not deserve paradise. For example, thechild`s soul after death, if parents did not baptize him, gets intopurgatory, because in heaven there are only Christians. Somedenominations, such as the Protestant Church does not recognize theexistence of purgatory. In Paradise get the purest and sinless, it isalso assumed that sincere repentance can save any soul and any sin(Esler P.F., 2002, p.11).

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Esler,P.F. (2002). The Early Christian World. Retrieved from:


Gethin,R. (2008). Sayings of the Buddha: New Translations from the PaliNikayas.


Siegmund,G. (1980). Buddhism and Christianity: A Preface to Dialogue.University

ofAlabama Press,197.