Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Do you know the religious of Myanmar? Myanmar is one of the countries which devotes in “Theravada Buddhism”. What is Theravada Buddhism?
Buddhism encompass the “Three Gems: the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha.” It is not a religion in the strict sense of the word as it is not a system of faith worship. Each person must seek his own salvation, take responsibility for his own thoughts, words and deeds and not depend on a savior. Buddha only showed the way to one’s salvation and one is not expected to accept it blindly, for Buddha even advised his followers to examine his teachings, test them and accept them only when convinced of their veracity.
Buddhism has evolved into two schools: Theravada and Mahayana. The goal of the Theravada devotee is to seek his own salvation by study and understanding the canon, by practicing mindfulness meditation and through these endeavours to achieve the freedom of Nirvana (Enlightenment) so as not to be reborn into the cycle of life. Mahayana predominates mainly in North Asian countries.
The great teacher Buddha Gautama was born more than 2600 years ago as Siddhartha, an Indian prince of the Sakkya clan who lived a life of luxury until he was twenty-nine. He then became aware of the miseries of mankind and renounced his throne and family to set forth on his search for the Truth that would free mankind from suffering. After six years of meditation he found it and his principles, based on the discovery of how to lead a harmonious life, are collectively called Buddhism. He passed away at the age of eighty.
In Dhamma, the teachings of the Buddha, he stressed the need to eradicate the three roots of evil that are the causes of suffering: Lobha (greed, craving), Dosa (anger, hatred) and Moha (ignorance, delusion).
Morality is the basis of the Buddha’s teachings and the Eightfold Path also known as the Middle Way teaches adherents to avoid these three roots of evil and to live a moral life.
- Right Understanding: having insightful knowledge of the Dhamma.
- Right Thought: having thoughts that are free from lust, ill will and cruelty and thoughts of loving kindness, compassion, non-hatred and objectivity for all living beings.
- Right Speech: abstaining from speaking false words, slander, rude, harsh and abusive language and idle, frivolous gossip.
- Right Action: conduct that is moral, honourable and not harmful to others.
- Right Livelihood: avoiding a living that is harmful to others.
- Right Effort: to be diligent in the avoidance of evil by thought, word and deed.
- Right Mindfulness: to be consciously aware of all the activities of mind and body.
- Right Concentration: meditating to prevent violent emotions from arising.
Members of the Sangha, or community of monks, study Buddha’s canon and spread his teachings and live according to 227 rules that include eating only food that is donated to them.
Monks are not required to be vegetarians, as the rule is to accept any food donated to them.
Ref; Ma Thanegi (My Magical Myanmar)