Information about Buddhism of Nepal and Bhutan

Here is information about Buddhism of Nepal and Bhutan: As all people who lived in Nepali is proud to inform you, the Lord Buddha was born in Nepal…

Siddhartha Gautama was born in about 563 BC. Raised as a prince in Lumbini, along the Indian and Nepalese border, he had all the material goods a man could desire at the time. One day, he ventured outside his palace and for the very first time, he en-countered suffering. He decided to renounce his privileged status—an act called the Great Renunciation—to live as an ascetic and seek Enlightenment, which would end the everlasting cycle of death and re-birth. After practicing yoga and strict asceticism, he entered a lengthy meditation that led to his Great Enlightenment, in Bodhgaya under the bodhi tree. He called it the Middle Way to Enlightenment.

Transformed, Siddhartha went to Sarnath, near Varanasi in India, and preached his revolutionary sermon on the dharma (truth), also called “The Setting in Motion of the Wheel of Truth or Law.” His discourse set forth his Four Noble Truths, which define the essence of Buddhism:

  1. Life is suffering,
  2. a suffering that arises from insatiable desires and a self-centered nature;
  3. once one understands the cause of his suffering, he or she can overcome it by following
  4. the Eightfold Path.

The Eightfold Path includes right views and right aspirations, which lead to wisdom. Right speech, right behavior, right means of livelihood, and right efforts to follow the path to salvation relate to proper and intelligent conduct. Right meditation and right contemplation bring wisdom and, ultimately, nirvana (supreme bliss).

Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha (Enlightened One), or Sakyamuni (Sage of the Sakya clan). His faith became Theravada Buddhism, a religion of compassion and reason in which images were not worshipped, the existence of a permanent soul (atman in Hinduism) was denied, and the authority of the Hindu Vedas was rejected.

In the first century AD, a second school, Mahayana Buddhism, was formed that introduced the concept of the bodhisattva—the enlightened being who postpones his own nirvana to help others. Unlike Theravadans, who meditated only before symbols, such as the Buddha’s empty throne or his footprints, Mahayanists also worshipped before depictions of the various Buddhas, other gods and goddesses, and revered bodhisattvas. Over time, Ma-hayana Buddhism divided into subsects, based on differences in philosophical systems or ritual practices. These subsects include Nyingmapa, Kargyu, Sakya, and Gelug. The Gelug achieved spiritual pre-eminence in Tibet. Their leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, is considered the God King of Tibet and is currently living in exile in Dharamsala, India.

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