Buddhism and its direction

Buddhism, as we know, comes from India, where there are lots of similar beliefs that have emerged both before and afterformation of Buddhism. This diversity caused that Buddhism began to evolve over time and has more and more directions and factions.

The main idea of this religion, though it acknowledges no faith in God, is a self-improvement through spiritual and physical development and efforts to get a rid of suffering of all living beings, because suffering is the worst thing that can be encountered. The aim of Buddhism is to preserve the four fundamental truths, and further studies are based on those assumptions, namely, there are truths of:

  • suffering,
  • the cause of suffering,
  • the removal of suffering,
  • on the path leading to the cessation of suffering.

To overcome this suffering, the Buddha gave another eight successive guidance to supplement the first four. They concern the right views, the proper provisions, the proper acts, the right words, proper earnings, right effort, right attention and right meditation. In this way, it is possible to proceed from samsara (the endless journey) to Nirvana (liberation), and this in turn leads to the next world.

To appear in one of the six worlds one  works all his subsequent life, and can get to hell, the realm of spirits, land of animals, land of people, land of giants, land of gods. Proper  human’s  development and its appearance in one of the worlds is highly influenced by meditation, which plays a key role in many Indian religions. According to Buddhism, through meditation the man looks into himself and finds answers to his questions. Moreover, meditation develops concentration and clarity of thought.

In Buddhism, due to the geographical extent of its followers and a long history of the religion, we can distinguish three main directions:

  • Hinayana or Theravada,
  • Mahayana,
  • Mantrayana.