The Nature of Religion - Buddhism

Essay by dorianaHigh School, 12th gradeA, April 2006

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Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha meaning the 'enlightened one', founded Buddhism in southern Nepal in the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. The Buddha achieved enlightenment through mediation and gathered a community of monks to carry on his teachings. Buddhism teaches that meditation and the practice of good religious and moral behavior can lead to Nirvana, the state of enlightenment.

There are many symbols associated with the Buddhist tradition which brings about a strong emphasis in the life of a follower. The lotus flower is a symbol of purity and dedication. The lotus flower symbolises the complete purification of the destructing of the body, speech and mind, and the entire emerging of wholesome deeds in peaceful liberation. Another symbol existent within the Buddhist religion includes the 'golden fish'. The golden fish symbolises the fortunateness of all beings in a state of fearlessness, without threat of drowning in the ocean.

Fish are also an important symbol within the Buddhist religion as the never close their eyes, thus, representing diligence. Both the lotus flower and sculptures of the 'golden fish' were seen throughout shrines in the temple. Buddha was also sitting on a lotus in bloom in many representations. Also, on the floor of the Main Shrine was the Dharma Wheel. This represents the Eightfold Path- the Ways which lead to Liberation.

Red and gold are seen as colours of prosperity within Buddhism, and are used in temples and palaces. Photograph A shown in the Appendix reveals the importance of the colours red and gold within Buddhism. The photograph portrays the interior of the Shrine at Nan Tien Temple, and thus, makes evident the significance of colours within Buddhism.

Beliefs are another important feature within Buddhism. Beliefs are referred to as 'views' in Buddhism. Buddhism does not deal through beliefs, but...