What is Buddhism?

Buddhism, the mere mention of it brings to
mind tranquil monks and ancient temples. It’s one of the world’s largest and oldest
religions. But if you live outside of Asia you probably
don’t know much about it. So what is the story of Buddhism and what
do Buddhists believe. Let’ find out. The story of the Buddha takes many different
forms and you’re supposed to believe whatever version helps you the most. I’ve read many different accounts of the
Buddha’s life, some portray him as a normal man while in others he’s essentially Captain
Planet. I’ve condensed the different accounts together
and left in all the import parts. The future Buddha was born, painlessly from
his mother’s right side, in modern day Nepal. To King Suddhodana and Queen Maya rulers of
Kapilavastu. The King named him Siddhartha which means
“He whose aim is accomplished”. An old hermit named Asita came to visit the
child. The apparently very trusting King and Queen
let him hold the baby. Asita claimed that this child would become
a great emperor but if the boy ever left the confines of the palace he would instead become
the spiritual leader to the whole world. King Suddhodana, who had gone to the Disney
villain school of parenting, decided to imprison his son in the palace. Never letting him see the outside world. No signs of decay were permitted. Flower petals were swept away as soon as they
fell. Sick and old staff were sent away. Siddhartha was unaware that pain, ageing,
and death existed. In order make sure his son would never leave
the King had Siddhartha married at 16 years old to Yashodara. It was love at first sight between them. They had loved each other in many previous
lives and may have mated while they were tigers at some point… They had a son named Rahula, who was not a
tiger. They all lived happily ever after in the King’s
pleasure palaces. Until a musician, damn musicians ruining everything,
came and sang of the wonders of the world. Siddhartha wanted to see this world and convinced
his father that all future emperors need to see the world they will one day rule…right? The King, confident that he had tied his son
down, decided he could trust him to go outside and not start a global religion. So at 29 years old Siddhartha left the palace. But not before the King had all the bodies
and ugly people removed from sight. Siddhartha was having a great time visiting
his kingdom. Until he came across a man with a bad cough. He asked his charioteer, Chandaka, what was
wrong with the man. Chandaka explained that the man was sick and
that everyone gets sick. Chandaka had obviously not gotten the King’s
memo. This revelation blew Siddhartha’s mind. On the next 2 trips Siddhartha saw an old
man and then a dead man. Siddhartha became depressed knowing that everyone
he loved would eventually grow old and die. On his fourth visit he met a homeless traveller. This man had renounced all material things
and was looking for a spiritual escape to life’s suffering. Siddhartha inspired by this random homeless
man decided he too needed to go on a spiritual quest. He made Chandaka take him far away. He then sent Chandaka home to tell Siddhartha’s
wife and child that he was doing this because he loved them. He needed to discover an escape to life’s
suffering and if he didn’t death was going to part them eventually anyway. Which is, eh, that’s a bleak thought. Thanks Obuddha. Moving on….After some wandering and studying
meditation Siddhartha went to go live with 5 ascetics in the woods. The ascetics practiced extreme deprivation
in order to achieve enlightenment. Siddhartha began a 6-year fast. Sitting exposed to the elements and eating
nothing but seeds that fell into his lap. This effort turned out to be pointless however. Siddhartha realised that his mind was slow
and clouded… On account of the starvation. This relation taught him that the true path
lay between indulgence and deprivation. He would later develop this concept into the
Middle Path. He gave up his fast by eating a bowl of rice
milk. His 5 ascetics friends left in disgust thinking
Siddhartha had given up. Siddhartha wandered until he came across a
fig tree. He was determined to sit under this tree,
meditating until he reached enlightenment. After 49 days of intense meditating he did
just that. At 35 years of age he had become the Awakened
One, the Buddha. The tree he sat under became known as the
Bodhi Tree. The direct descendant of this tree can still
be seen at Bodh Gaya in India. After some consideration the Buddha decided
he would share his knowledge with the world. He found his 5 acetic friends at Deer Park,
Sarnath. And there he delivered his first teaching
or Dharma. Revealing for the first time his 4 Noble Truths. The 5 ascetics became the first members of
the Sangha, the Buddhist Monk Community. The Buddha would wander the Gangetic Plain
for the next 45 years.. Gathering thousands of followers and accepting
people of all genders, class, and castes into the Sangha. He died at 80 near Kushinagar. His followers had him cremated and his remains
were spread throughout the Indian subcontinent under monuments known as Stupas. Which continue to be important pilgrimage
sights today. Buddhism would eventually spread out of the
Ganges region. First down south to Sri Lanka and South East-Asia. Then north over the Silk Road route to Central
and East Asia. It would spread from Tibet to Mongolia where
under the Mongol Empire it then made it’s way to Russia. Later on it would be exported further West. So now that we know a little bit about the
life of the Buddha let’s explore the core beliefs of Buddhism. At this point it’s important to note that
the Buddha lived around 480-400BC and his teaching were recorded orally for centuries. Because of that oral tradition there are a
lot of numbered categories. Which made it easier for people to memorise
and recite. Numbered categories like the 4 Noble Truths
which are: Noble Truth Number 1: Life is suffering. No matter what you do in life you will suffer. Ultimately everyone grows old, gets sick,
and dies. I know depressing right, it’s gets better
later on. Noble Truth Number 2: We suffer because of
craving. We are attached to impermanent things and
because of this we are destined to suffer. We need to change what we want rather than
get what we want. Noble Truth Number 3: We can escape for this
cycle of suffering. Yay! Noble Truth Number 4: The Noble eightfold
path will help us escape suffering and reach enlightenment. The Noble Eightfold Path is the Middle Way
that the Buddha discovered. It lies between the deprivation of the ascetic
and the indulgences of a young prince. You don’t follow each step one after the
other. It’s more of a wheel that you spin all together. Step 1 is Right View or Understanding: It
is understanding the 4 Noble Truths will help you stop suffering. You need to see that everything in the world
is impermanent. Step 2 is Right Intent: Why are you doing
things? If they are done out of anger or greed they
will only cause suffering. If they are done out of love and compassion
they will remove suffering. Step 3 is Right Speech: You should not hurt
people with your words. You should not deceive people, obscure the
truth through muddy language or take part in gossip. You should be truthful and clear. Step 4 is Right Action: To always strive to
do good in your actions. To not act in a way that is negative. Right Action covers the 5 Precepts. Which are like Buddhist commandments. They are; Do not harm living creatures
Do not steal Do not engage in sexual misconduct
Do not lie or harm people with words Do not take intoxicating substances Step 5 is Right Livelihood: You should earn
your living in an ethical way. You shouldn’t be involved in arms or drugs
trading or in careers that involve hurting animals or people. The Buddha spoke out against slavery in his
time. Step 6 is Right Effort: You should always
go about your life with a positive attitude and enthusiasm. You should want to improve who you are. Step 7 is Right Mindfulness: You need to pay
attention. When you walk in the park you need to live
in that moment. You shouldn’t be thinking of something awkward
you did in school or whether you’ll be promoted next year. You should be able to live entirely in the
present by being mindful. Step 8 is Right Concentration: The ability
to focus on a single object or concept. Be it a rock, Polar Bear, or Cats Gifs. Right Concentration helps you focus your mind
and see things how they truly are. Right Concentration and Right Mindfulness
are important parts of meditation. By following the 8 fold path you can reach
Nirvana. The state of enlightenment the Buddha reached
under that tree. You reach Nirvana when you extinguish all
wants and desires. Ok so let’s take a more bird eyes look at
Buddhism. Buddhism is split between two major branches,
Theravada and Mahayana. Theravada is the older of the two. It is considered to be more orthodox as well. They think of the Buddha as a more human figure
and there is a focus on using meditation as a way to reach enlightenment. Within Theravada Buddhism there is the belief
in 3 things. Nothing is permanent, life is suffering, and
there is no self. There is a huge emphasis on monastic life
and rebirth in Theravada Buddhism. Only monks can really reach enlightenment. Mahayana Buddhism, which means Greater Vehicle
is younger and considered to be more accessible to normal people. It is called Greater Vehicle because of its
inclusivity. Mahayana also contains a lot of different
schools such as Zen, Tantra, and Pure Land Buddhism. They believe that enlightenment can be achieved
in a single lifetime and that you don’t need to be a monk to achieve it. Mahayana is the more religious of the two
and has things called Bodhisattvas, which are people that have achieved enlightenment
but delay Nirvana to help others do the same. There is also more emphasis on idols and god-like
beings. Today Buddhism is the religion of around 488
million people or about 7% of the world population. Nearly all of them live in the Asia-Pacific
region at 98.7%. Every other region has fewer than 1% each. Buddhists though only make up about 12% of
the Asia-Pacific population. Half of all Buddhists live in China but there
are large Buddhists populations across Asia especially in Thailand, Burma and Japan. So there we have it. The life of the Buddha, the 4 noble truths
and the 8 fold path explained. This video is meant to be a quick introduction
to the topic and is part of a larger world religions series. I hope that I managed to teach you something
new and who knows maybe some of you are one step closer to reaching Nirvana. If you’d like to know a little more about
Buddhism why not check out these books on Audible. I have a link in the description and it’s
helps support the show.


  1. Check out other videos from the channel here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTI3P9zx-oY&list=PLPXQWpXEHYlcxghV3T-DVM4Ukdq_edWoY

  2. Buddhism is the best philosophy and religion I never heard about. I class it at the top of religions of the world.

  3. But sad thing is some peaceful tried to bomb the Buddhist Holy city of Bodh Gaya in India where the Buddha got enlightenment

  4. I just have one quick undying question. Why the hell was australia upside down? As well as the presence of an island near south america? Did anyone else noticed?

  5. Are you taking the piss with the world map?
    Australia is upside down (9 min in)
    2.5% of Australians identify as Buddhists.

  6. How can you talk about Buddhism and not mention Tibet at all?? Vajrayana Buddhism lives yet, despite the Chinese government's efforts to erase them.

  7. To all Hindus read this before claiming that they love Buddhism and showing hypocrisy
    There are some channels which I watched “satya sanatan” , “thanks bharat” and “demanding pandit” they made videos on Buddhism and in their comment section Hindus literally abused Buddha and said that they hate Buddhism whereas Hindus say Buddhism comes from Hinduism and takes all the credit that Buddhism has its teaching copied from Hinduism what a hypocrisy and you may heard of the king pushyamitra sunga who persecuted Buddhist because many becoming Buddhist at that time and destroyed stupas so first clear up. You can watch many videos made by some extreme Hindus abusing and defamaing Buddhism. And do read the comment section of their videos you will know how much hatred you all have to Buddhists.

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