Trick Tracts Facts: Buddhism

In the Chick Tract The Tycoon [tract][review], the centuries-old belief system of Buddhism is attacked. The comic is filled with misinformation and falsehoods about this religion. It says only that it is evil and God will punish you for believing in it. So what is Buddhism, and why do the Chicksters feel so threatened by it?

While I won't claim to be an expert on Buddhism, I know enough about it to know it isn't in any way, shape or form "evil". The core of Buddhism lies in the Four Noble Truths:

1. Suffering exists (dukkha)

2. Suffering arises from attachment to desires (tanha)

3. Suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases (Nibbana)

4. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path (ariya-sacca)

Buddhists follow the Eightfold Path and attempt to come to terms with the Four Noble Truths through meditation, or "zazen". A Buddhist takes a simple approach at life and focuses on their enlightenment for the better of all. Buddhists use meditation and deep inner reflection to follow a righteous path. It is a peaceful and accepting religion and way of life.

"Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: it transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural & spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity."
- Albert Einstein

More Info on Buddhism

Buddhism on
(bood´izem), religion and philosophy founded in India c.525 BC by Siddhartha Gautama, called the Buddha . There are over 300 million Buddhists worldwide. One of the great world religions, it is divided into two main schools: the Theravada or Hinayana in Sri Lanka and SE Asia, and the Mahayana in China, Mongolia, Korea, and Japan. A third school, the Vajrayana, has a long tradition in Tibet and Japan. Buddhism has largely disappeared from its country of origin, India, except for the presence there of many refugees from the Tibet region of China and a small number of converts from the lower castes of Hinduism.

Buddhism Beliefs & Practices on
The basic doctrines of early Buddhism, which remain common to all Buddhism, include the "four noble truths" : existence is suffering (dukhka); suffering has a cause, namely craving and attachment (trishna); there is a cessation of suffering, which is nirvana ; and there is a path to the cessation of suffering, the "eightfold path" of right views, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. Buddhism characteristically describes reality in terms of process and relation rather than entity or substance.

Experience is analyzed into five aggregates (skandhas). The first, form (rupa), refers to material existence; the following four, sensations (vedana), perceptions (samjna), psychic constructs (samskara), and consciousness (vijnana), refer to psychological processes. The central Buddhist teaching of non-self (anatman) asserts that in the five aggregates no independently existent, immutable self, or soul, can be found. All phenomena arise in interrelation and in dependence on causes and conditions, and thus are subject to inevitable decay and cessation. The casual conditions are defined in a 12-membered chain called dependent origination (pratityasamutpada) whose links are: ignorance, predisposition, consciousness, name-form, the senses, contact, craving, grasping, becoming, birth, old age, and death, whence again ignorance.

With this distinctive view of cause and effect, Buddhism accepts the pan-Indian presupposition of samsara, in which living beings are trapped in a continual cycle of birth-and-death, with the momentum to rebirth provided by one's previous physical and mental actions. The release from this cycle of rebirth and suffering is the total transcendence called nirvana.

From the beginning, meditation and observance of moral precepts were the foundation of Buddhist practice. The five basic moral precepts, undertaken by members of monastic orders and the laity, are to refrain from taking life, stealing, acting unchastely, speaking falsely, and drinking intoxicants. Members of monastic orders also take five additional precepts: to refrain from eating at improper times, from viewing secular entertainments, from using garlands, perfumes, and other bodily adornments, from sleeping in high and wide beds, and from receiving money. Their lives are further regulated by a large number of rules known as the Pratimoksa. The monastic order (sangha) is venerated as one of the "three jewels," along with the dharma, or religious teaching, and the Buddha. Lay practices such as the worship of stupas (burial mounds containing relics) predate Buddhism and gave rise to later ritualistic and devotional practices.

The essentials of Buddhism from srama:

The boundless states or brahmaviharas are considered friends on the way to Nirvana. They help in dissolving the idea of a separate self.

Loving kindness
Sympathetic Joy

Near enemy is a quality that can masquerade as the original, but is not the original. Far enemy is the clearly opposite quality. The boundless state serves as an antidote for the quality mentioned as the far enemy. more.

About Buddhism Links from

One of the more difficult concepts for the newcomer to Buddhism is 'dependent origination', the idea that the cycle of existence is a process containing twelve links. The condition we find ourselves in - as suffering beings - is a result of our ignorance. Because of this we find ourselves locked into the cycle of craving and suffering, decay, old age, sickness and death. Only in the attainment of nibbana is the circle more.

Overview of Buddhism from Religious Tolerance:

Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world, being exceeded in numbers only by Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. It was founded in Northern India by the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. He was born circa 563 BCE in Lumbini which is in modern-day Nepal. At the age of 29, he left his wife, children and political involvements in order to seek truth. It was an accepted practice at the time for some men to leave their family and lead the life of an ascetic. He studied Brahmanism, but ultimately rejected it. In 535 BCE, he attained enlightenment and assumed the title Buddha (one who has awakened) more.

All things Buddha from BuddhaNet:

Buddhism is a religion to about 300 million people around the world. The word comes from 'budhi', 'to awaken'. It has its origins about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened (enlightened) at the age of more.

A comprehensive look at Buddhism from An Introduction to Buddhism:

The Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama, a prince of the Sakya tribe of Nepal, in approximately 566 BC. When he was twentynine years old, he left the comforts of his home to seek the meaning of the suffering he saw around him. After six years of arduous yogic training, he abandoned the way of self-mortification and instead sat in mindful meditation beneath a bodhi more.

Well researched Buddhism links from Resources for the Study of Buddhism:

Compiled by Dr Ron Epstein, Philosophy Department, San Francisco State University more.

Essay on the history of Buddhism from ThaiBuddhism:

The three greatest religions in the world is Buddhism, Christianity and Mohammedanism. Buddhism, however, is the oldest of the three. It was founded 2,500 years ago by Lord Buddha. Buddha was a son of an Indian king. Buddha was the name he called himself after his Enlightenment, meaning " The Enlightened". His real name was Price Siddhattha. His father was King Suddhodana of Kapilavasdu, and his mother Queen Siri Mahamaaya, formerly a daughter of the King of more.

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