For two and half
thousand years, people have followed a religion based on the
teachings of a man they called they called the Buddha,
meaning the Enlightened One.
point in Buddhism is mankind and the way in which they
suffer not just physical pain but the general feelings of
dissatisfaction with life, the carving to achieve or have
something more, the fear of change and death. It seeks to
gives a person peace of mind and to encourage and develop
loving compassion towards all living beings.
Buddhism is not
a dogmatic religion in the sense that it does not require a
person to accept fixed beliefs and ideas. It does not
concern itself by debating whether or not there is a God. It
regards all such beliefs as secondary importance. The main
thing is to help people overcome suffering and to achieve a
The goal of
Buddhist religion is enlightenment which means to be fully
awake to the reality of life, to have an understanding of
why there is in the teaching of the Buddha they find a path
which will eventually lead them to achieve this
enlightenment for themselves.
There is a great
variety within Buddhism. There are two main Branches of the
religion-Theravada or Hinayana Buddhism in the South and
Mahayana Buddhism expressed in what is called the Triple
Jewel (Tri Ratna). The Buddha (the enlightened one), the
Drama (teaching) and the Sangha (community of monks)..
opinions and arguments arising from time to time caused the
formation of new sects. Finally there arose two sects of
thought which are known as Hinayana and Mahayana.
adhered more to the concept of four noble truths and
eightfold paths which were primarily a philosophy with rules
of conducts and ethics. For them the worship of deities was
secondary. The conception of Nirvana was the freedom from
the cycle of rebirth.
its name because this doctrine is meant for the individual
salvation where each person has to work out his own destiny.
Comparatively few are able by their own efforts to obtain
emancipation and achieve a Nirvana. Hinayana Buddhism is
also called Theravada Buddhism.
stressed that the goal of each individual was to seek
freedom from the chain of rebirth and thus from all
sufferings and death. The word used to describe this goal
was Nirvana. Although there were many different
philosophical schools, the religion centred around the
institution of the monastery, with its ordained monks and a
lay congregation that supported the monastery. The ritual
were simple and minimum. Meditation and introspection were
encouraged. Each individual sought his own Nirvana. Where as
in Mahayana Buddhism the concept of Boddhisatwa., the being
who desired highest enlightenment for the welfare of other
and his practice of six Parmita (Dana, Sila, kshanti, Birya,
Dhyana, Prajna) is emphasized. The function of the
Boddhisatwa was to postpone his own final leap into Nirvana
and to remain in the round as long as a single sentient
beings remained undelivered from suffering. This form of
Buddhism came to be known as Mahayana (the great way) or the
The goal of
Mahayana is to attain Buddhahood, the method of attaining
was modified, Buddhism changed through Mahayana into an
altruistic faith oriented system in which in addition to
meditative practices, devotion to a Boddhisatwa was regarded
as an equally valid way to reach Buddhahood. The goal was
now characterised as the state of Tatatha, emptiness and
which is dominated by Mantras is known as Mantrayana
Tantrayana or Vajrayana. It is chracterised as the path
which leads to perfect enlightenment. Vajrayana literally
means the adamantine path or vehicle, but its techmical
meaning isthe 'Sunya Vahicle' where is use to a special
sense to represent vajra. Vajra also means 'Thunderbolt' or
'diamond' and yana means 'path, way or Vehicle'.
connoting diamond, was chosen as the name of the tantric
Buddhist tradition because oft he diamond's
indestructibility as well as of its physical ability to cut
through all substances. Vajrayana constitutes the last major
stage in the development of Buddhism.
Buddhism accepts all assumption of Mahayana, but expands and
celebrations them further adding a few of its own. The goal
is now characterised as Boddhi Nature (the matrix of
Enlightenment). Every sentient being is a potential Buddha,
but he or she is unaware of it because of it because of the
dense fog of ignorance that clouds the mind. The fog is said
to be discursive thought, which discriminates and polarises
all concepts. Once it is moved Boddhi nature will emerge
like a clear light. This state of reality it achieved by
combining Prajna" (knowledge, wisdom or insight) with "Upaya"
(means of fitness of action which is the same as karuna or
compassion). Thus, both literally and figuratively Vajrayana
is the belief in the twin principles of insight and
compassion and it's their "sahaja" (so-emergence) which
leads one to the state of Mahasukha (greatbliss).