Can someone explain the Buddhist religion to me?

Im so confused, Im studying a religion class and Buddhism was confusing to everyone in the class even my teacher had a hard time explaining it. I heard they believe in reincarnation and then eventually they go into Nirvana which is no existence. Whats the point of being Buddhist if you just want to disappear and fade away into Nirvana. Why pray and be monks? It just sounds like a hopeless road to live and then just fade away. please explain

Um first of all buddhists don’t believe in reincarnation.

Hindus believe in reincarnation, buddhists believe in rebirth – these terms mean completely different things, no they are not interchangable.

Nirvana is not ‘no existence’. If i were to explain buddhism to you in christian terms that i’m sure you’re familiar with, Nirvana is equivalent to heaven in chrsitianity. It is not a ‘no existence’ it is supposedly pure happiness just like heaven is suppose to be.

We don’t want to just dissapear and fade away.

Also not all buddhists are monks, the amount of buddhists that are monks is equivalent to how many christians are priests. About 1% you know.

Actually buddhism is a very uplifting religion.

Well buddhism is a very logical religion. A lot of the great ideas in buddhism are often lost in mystical mumbo jumbo, theres little to no mysticism in buddhism.

There has never been a religious war in the name of buddhism in all of history and buddhism is 500 years older than christianity

It started with a man who was born of royalty. A prophet claimed that he would either be a great ruler or a powerful religious man. His father wanted the first come true so he cut him off from the world and any form of suffering. He lavished riches, women, and other things upon him but one day the prince this man – named siddhartha gautama wanted to go outside the palace. His father cleaned up the street so it too would appear wondeful as the palace did. However while he was out he saw one elderly person, one sick person, and one dead. He asked his cart driver what these things were, as he had never heard of or experienced them before.

He then realized it doens’t matter who you are, all of these things happen to every person and we are all equal on this basis, no matter how much we do we will all end up the same. So he ran away and lived a life of deprevity for many years until he was just a skeleton. A woman from a local village nursed him back to health and while meditating under a bodhi tree he achieved enlightenment and then created the four noble truths that lead to the middle way.

1. Life is frought with suffering (this is the correct version of the first noble truth – it is not ‘life is suffering’.

For you see we can’t escape it, happiness is very fleeting. If you want a new car, to eat at your favorite resteraunt, or a new pair of shoes that can make you happy – but it’s not permanent it will leave and gain you will return to a state of unhappiness wishing for something else to fill that void (this is speaking on a very general level – realize)

2. We suffer because we grasp for things

As i explained about we search for happiness outside of ourselves – hoping that some inanimate object will make us happy but it won’t. Now this doesn’t mean abandon all material posessions and live in a box in the woods. No, you can still take simple pleasure from these items but realize and do not delude yourself into thinking that you can always be happy with only these things or that these things will make you happy forever.

3. We can end this suffering, it is not inevitable

This perhaps sounds like a waste of a noble truth. But basically this is about hope. We are not doomed, we can save ourselves. We can realize that we already have everything we need inside of ourselves to be happy and that we can change – its never too late.

4. The way to do this is by the middle way or the eightfold path

The middle way i can best explain by goldilocks and the three bears. This porrige is too hot, this porrige is too cold – this one is just right. Live your life by just right. The eightfold path is another story of explanation – message me if you would like to know about it.

Other ideas in buddhism are the ideas of impermanence as nothing lasts forever. Also the concept of no-self which does not mean that we don’t exist but merely that we exist in a dependent fashion. No person could live alone without anyone else we all need each other. We all make up some part of the universal puzzle. we’re starting to realize just how much this is true with things like global warming and ecological issues.

Also wikipedia is an awful source when it comes to buddhism, they’re not that accurate. If you want to know more message me i’ll be happy to explain.

The ultimate goal in buddhism is to become awake, or achieve enlightenment and pull yourself out of the cycle of rebirth (think of earth and life as equal to christian purgatory). By acheiving enlightenment you don’t gain any powers or become a God, it just means your awake. The term Buddha is just sanskrit (another language) for awake. We don’t worship the buddha and the whole god thing varies per person. Some buddhists are athiests and others believe in a God, etc. The religion itself doesn’t cover this but doesn’t ban it either.

Does this all make sense to you?

Nirvana is profound, and is always misunderstood. Nirvana means freedom, free from all sufferings and afflictions. It is a state that can be achieved when one is alive — yes alive, not upon death. Thus, when one achieved Nirvana state, he is freed from all sufferings and afflictions, and thus he is truly the only happy and liberated man in this world. Nothing can change his emotion or take away his liberation or make him suffer. Isn’t this superior to the impermanent material joy that ordinary people can enjoy?

A person that has achieved Nirvana state can choose to cease rebirth or choose his rebirth destiny to help others (as Bodhisattvas). Compare that with ordinary people who has no idea and control over where his rebirth place is? Isn’t that again superior?

Thus, Nirvana does not mean disappear and fade away — only if you are saying sufferings and afflictions disappear and fade away.

That’s why one should be a Buddhists (including monks). This is a road full of hope.

The person who asked clearly says that this question is coz some part of Buddhism was not clear since even the teacher could not explain it properly (I guess the teacher is not a Buddhist in the first place and not at all qualified to teach Buddhism) . I assume that the person who asked wasn’t looking for a region to get converted into. I saw a decent explanation by ‘Buddhist’ and many others throwing dirt on Buddha and there by showing their culture and immaturity of their faith.

Those who think Buddha is just a dead guy and ONLY Jesus is alive, they are terribly mistaken. Jesus too is dead and his tomb is located somewhere near Kashmir (The exact location of the tomb is: 34 05 39.10 N, 74 48 58.76 E). If there is no reincarnation or rebirth (personally I am not sure of both), Jesus is JUST history. It is logical and rational to believe in what WE can SEE for ourselves than stuffs said to be going to happen after our death (that too without out any proof at all).

I am not a Buddhist and I don’t know much about its teachings. But it is said that Buddhism is one of the fastest growing religions in the US (Islam too). Unlike Christianity, it is not imposed onto others by force (or luring with money and other material benefits) but people embrace it on faith. In many case, it is the same with Islam too. It is not coz of Bin Laden that many changed to Islam.

History tells us that we had shed enough blood in the name of religion. So, its better be an atheist than believing in any religion which imparts hatred. There is no point in believing in any religion which don’t show any respect to other religions.

Fine, Let me tell explain. Yes they are trying to go to Nirvana, but no one eventually go there. You have to get the insight of the four Nobel truths, which is Suffering, Cause to suffering, Nirvana and Path to Nirvana. Without understanding the first one( suffering ) you don’t understand anything and other 3 becomes pointless. So first you have to see the suffering of the existence. Then you want the path of exit. Without a question why someone need a answer. If so, it is quite obvious you end up with this type of situation. Hope you got it.

First of all Nirvana is not non-existence.
It is the most reliable existence of all time.
Reliable in the sense that we have control over what is going to happen next.
In present life, we have little control over that.

Praying is a tradition, not part of real Buddhism.

To become monk is optional.
By becomeing monk, we are trying to reduce level ofdistractions from daily life as much as possible. This will speed up the progress.

But, we can still pracitce as a lay person.

The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.

Atisha (11th century Tibetan Buddhist master)


This website explains it as good as any one here in Tibet can.

Also: Buddhists do not pray to the Buddha, but follow his teachings!


Buddhism is more a way of life than a religion. Buddha intended it to be that way, but subsequent developments led to an organized religion. His basic message was that suffering was caused by desire, and the road to a better life was to learn to curb or eliminate that.

It’s more of a philosophy/religion. It entails a doing away with desire–for anything to achieve &quot:enlightenment&quot: blah blah blah…

The fact that it is sort of a religion makes it a steaming blob of HOOEY.

And let me tell all the atheists out there one thing: I’m really tired of supposed atheists claiming &quot:respect&quot: for buddhism and atheists who profess to be &quot:spiritual.&quot: If you say or believe any of those things, you are not true atheists, and need to be rooted out and exposed for the frauds that you are.

I had a good friend that I used to work with. He was a Buddhist. I remember mentioning to him that the God I prayed to wasn’t dead. He had admitted that he prayed to Buddah. He face turned red when I told him that. Their are a lot of good teachings a person can apply to their lives, but what good is it going to do someone when they pray to someone that is dead. The dead can’t help you. They are dead. Only a living God can help you.

It IS a hopeless road..

Buddhists worship some obese dead guy. what’s the point? He’s dead!! How can he help you??

I agree with the first answerer, Try christianity. Follow Jesus, He is ALIVE! and is waiting for you to trust Him!!

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