View Video of Buddhist Prayer
dates from around 500 B.C. when the Buddha
Siddhartha Gautama founded the religion in northern India. It eventually
expanded to all of India and most of Asia, gaining great influence in the
courts of China and Japan by 1000 A.D.
Buddhism in the 20th century has not been so fortunate. Like many other
religions, Buddhism faces various challenges that threaten their traditional
practices. To stall this trend, Buddhist leaders have tried to appeal to
people by focusing or the more rational aspects of Buddhist thought and
meditation, as opposed to tradiational practices.
Still, once Buddhist nations are no longer adherents. In Vietnam, Cambodia
and Laos, war and the resulting political shift shattered what were once
thriving Buddhist cultures. Nothing illustrates this more vividly than the
pictures of calm Buddhist monks and nuns, driven to the desperate act of
self-immolation to draw the world's attention to the oppression that the
religion suffered. In China, the Cultural Revolution dealt a near-fatal
blow to Buddhism already weakened after years of political turmoil. A thriving
Buddhist community, however, still exists in Thailand and Myanmar.
Worshippers of Buddhism usually go for prayers at the nearest temple at
their home and tend to worship any gods that are in the temple. They buy
joss-stick or in some cases, flowers, as offerings. Some Buddhists chant
as well for an extended period of time.
Terms used in Buddhism
Dharma: Sublime religious Truth
Nirvana: Rock on which Buddha sat
Bodhi Tree: Tree under which Buddha sat
Sangha: Community of monks like a Western monastery Wheel of Rebirth
Page: Origins of Buddhism