Buddhism And The Buddhist Art

1289 Words Sep 27th, 2015 6 Pages
Buddhism is actually more of a philosophy or way of life than a religion. Approximately 350 million people around the world are Buddhists. It began about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gautama at age 35, known as the Buddha, was “awakened or enlightened”. Buddhism basically means you must lead a moral life, be aware of your thoughts and actions and try to develop wisdom and understanding. It explains a purpose to life, tries to explain injustice and inequality and provides a way of life that leads to happiness. Buddhism began in India, and the earliest Buddhist art is found there. It is the fourth largest religion in the world. During the Muslim conquest Buddhism was excluded from India after almost a thousand years of peaceful coexistence with India 's other religions. The Buddha taught that awakening comes through one 's own experiences, not through beliefs and doctrine. He experienced a realization of the nature of life, death and existence. The focus of Buddhism is on practice rather than belief. Buddhist art and literature overflow with sacred beings, creatures and symbols. The huge number of Buddhas, bodhisattvas, devas, dakinis and demons overwhelm and confuse many of us. Buddhism offers an approach involving techniques and practices that enable its followers to experience a deeper level of reality for them. Buddhism is making a comeback in India. There were two schools of Gupta Buddhist sculpture; the Mathura school, from the earlier Kushan period, and the…

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