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. But to them, religion was mostly dealing with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. On the other hand, most people define religion as believing in some sort of God or Creator, which Buddhism does not. Also, send me the Buddhist Newsletter and special offers. The answer depends on how you define religion and philosophy, and that would take hundreds of cards. 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. 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. by Jayaram V. Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life because life, worship and religious duties are inseparable in Hinduism. Is it a religion, psychology, or way of life? If we’ve already acted this way, we stop immediately before we do or say something worse. 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. Identity Politics vs. Transactional Politics. This, of course, is something people are divided on. Early texts have the Buddha's family name as "Gautama" (Pali: Gotama). God did not make the law of karma, it is part of the system. 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. So Buddhism is not related to the Divine, but it is related to the sacred. 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. Theistic God is 1) personal and 2) the creator of the world. The Buddhist worldview sees life through the conceptual framework of the Four Noble Truths. But such a definition is short-sighted. The problem is not your relationship to God, your problem is your relationship to reality. The answer is really about how you define religion. 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 Buddhism, it is the Three Jewels that are sacred. Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! There is no other word for these human concerns. We do the same if we find ourselves in a cycle of negative thinking. This year Hanukkah begins tonight. Moral Character and Intention in the Dhammapada. We’re the Shambhala Sun Foundation. It helps us distinguish a human activity that is different from what animals do. Buddhism is much more like an applied form of cognitive-behavior psychology. 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). But as the religions of the East began to be known, they didn’t fit this mold. Buddhism Is More Than A ‘Religion,’ It’s A Way Of Life. 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. Religion isn’t what we say it is, it should be descriptive of activities that deal with the transcendent or sacred. It is probably safest to say that Buddhism is both a religion and a way of life, as are many religions. Suffering is all around us. Introduction. 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). From ignorance spring attachment and aversion, which causes suffering. Buddhism as a Non-Religion. 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). It would be incorrect to conclude that Buddhism is a way of life. Most religions talk about getting right with God through repentance, faith, and obedience. A common debate among people in modern times, especially among Westerners, is that Buddhism is not a religion. But first: who are “we”? 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. But Buddhism goes further. Please also opt me in for Exclusive Offers from Patheos’s Partners. The Buddhist way of life of peace, loving kindness and wisdom is just as relevant today as it was in ancient India. 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. Today, Buddhist temples are seen everywhere in North America. And it includes spiritual disciplines such as chanting and meditation. That means that there are at least three elements in a religion, a worldview, a way of life, and something sacred. with them Buddhism, a religion which has been rooted in Vietnam since the second century. As a result there is a great variety of religious theories of the nature of religion. 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. An interesting holiday. Buddhism is a way of life to get rid of suffering. So Buddhism is both. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 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. My definition of religion is that it is a worldview and way of life that is related to the Divine or sacred. Others take a more functional approach to religion. COVID-19 has brought tremendous suffering, uncertainty, fear, and strain to the world. They knew of the gods of ancient Greece and Rome, and the Pagans. 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. with them Buddhism, a religion which has been rooted in Vietnam since the second century. Can you help us? Fast Download speed and ads Free! 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. We rely significantly on advertising and newsstand sales to support our work — both of which have dropped precipitously this year. 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. But since when does the world revolve around the West. Sign up for the Lion's Roar weekly newsletter and follow Lion's Roar on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. You may very well know us as the publishers of two Buddhist magazines, the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma. While there are religious aspects of Buddhism it is not what one would consider a traditional religion to be. Topics: Atheism Agnosticism & Secularism, Beginner's Mind, FAQs, God, Lion's Roar - July '18, Philosophy, Religion, Science, We’re glad to have you here. To many, Buddhism goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy or 'way of life'. Is Buddhism a religion, a philosophy, or a way of life? And I must admit, it is a change for the better :) I hope others enjoy the read as well! It is very informative as well and more of that book is easier to comprehend. 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). In addition to the ethical way of life, there is also a religious way of life. Buddhism is a religion because it is a worldview and way of life that is related to the sacred. 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). The Original Teachings of the Buddha. People are correct when they say that religion is a way of life. Unfortunately the followers of most religions do not practice what their religious philosophy/doctrine says. Alex Moyao REL 1000-07 Professor Jensen 7, Nov 2020 Buddhism a religion, philosophy, or simply a way of life? About 500 million people associate themselves with this particular religion. 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. This of course, is something people are divided on and really depends on various technicalities in how one defines religion. 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). Bhikkhu Sucitto defines Buddha-sasana as “the Buddhist religion” (Sucitto 52). I have been two other religions in my life (Catholic and Hindu) before becoming a Buddhist (with a Tibetan lama as my local teacher). Buddhism A Way Of Life And Thought. So religion had to do with God and the worship of God. Buddhism says the moral law existed before God. Since then millions of people around the world have followed the pure spiritual path he revealed. “The monk yet young, who unto Buddha’s religion devoteth himself, brighteneth this world, as the moon from cloud set free” (Edmunds Dhp 382). The social scientist J. Milton Yinger states, “Many studies of religion stumble over the first hurdle: the problem of definition” (3). To them, the problem is human sin. But religion is a useful word. Then again, you may not know us at all. First, there’s no creator or god. Only humans are religious. By sacred I mean, that which is honored, respected, and even reverenced. Well, that is partially true. Can you lend your support to Lion’s Roar at this critical time? Copyright © 2020 Jay N. Forrest. 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. Buddhism is a religion because it is a worldview and way of life that is related to the sacred. But what of one were to tell you this is more so a philosophy than a religion? But these gods are of little relevance to Buddhism, because they are, just like humans, stuck in the same cycle of rebirth. 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. All Rights Reversed. 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