Buddhist Beliefs

Fast Facts: Buddhist Beliefs
Overview Varies: Theravada atheistic; Mahayana more polytheistic. Buddha taught nothing is permanent.
God(s) Buddhist deities include buddhas, bodhisattvas, arhats, gods and goddesses; such as Tara, Kuan Yin, and Amida Buddha.
Human Nature There is no self or soul. Human existence is nothing more than a combination of five impermanent components (khandas).
Meaning of Life Escape the cycle of rebirth and attain nirvana (Theravada Buddhism). Become a boddhisatva then help others attain enlightenment (Mahayana Buddhism).
Afterlife Rebirth or nirvana. Nirvana is seen simply as the cessation of suffering by some and as a heavenly paradise by others.

Buddhism centers on correct understanding of human nature and ultimate reality. The Buddha was, after all, called the "Enlightened One." He taught that the way to eliminate suffering began with understanding the true nature of the world.

However, the Buddha considered knowledge important only insofar as it remains practical. He rejected speculation about such matters as God, the nature of the universe, and the afterlife, urging his followers to focus instead on the Four Noble Truths by which they can free themselves from suffering.

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Further Reading

  • Dhammananda Maha Thera, Venerable K. Sri, What Buddhists Believe (The Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation, 1993).
  • Boeree, C. George. An Introduction to Buddhism. .
  • Boeree, C. George. An Introduction to Buddhism. .

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Title Buddhist Beliefs
Last UpdatedJanuary 29, 2021
URL religionfacts.com/buddhism/beliefs
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MLA Citation “Buddhist Beliefs.” ReligionFacts.com. 29 Jan. 2021. Web. Accessed 22 Jan. 2022. <religionfacts.com/buddhism/beliefs>