Essay about The Spread of Buddhism and Christianity

1551 Words 7 Pages
The Spread of Buddhism and Christianity

Buddhism and Christianity were each founded by one person, and then eventually grew into two of the largest religions in the world. Each religion had different reasons for the success in the spreading of each respected belief. Although both faced many hardships, the two religions overcame and prevailed through their problems and continued to find ways to attract new believers every day.

Buddhism was founded by one man, Siddhartha Guatama. He was born into royalty around 563 B.C.E. in a Kingdom near the border of India and Nepal. He was raised in wealth and luxury, and at the age of 16, he married a wealth woman and they had a child together. Around the age of 29, he began to realize
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When, through his Buddhahood, he had cognized this fact, the earth swayed like a woman drunken with wine, the sky shone bright with the Siddhas who appeared in crowds in all the directions, and the mighty drums of thunder resounded through the air. Pleasant breezes blew softly, rain fell from a cloudless sky, flowers and fruits dropped from the trees out of season-in an effort, as it were, to show reverance for him,? (The Global Experience, Ashvaghosha, pg. 79).

Having achieved enlightenment, the Buddha began spreading his knowledge to help others achieve ?Nirvana?, which means to be released from the reincarnation cycle. He preached that there were 4 Noble Truths: (1) all life is suffering; (2) the source of suffering is desire; (3) to end desiring is to end suffering; (4) there is an eight-fold path to end suffering; to have the right understanding, thought, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration. This idea of being released from suffering attracted many people, and Buddhism soon spread rapidly through Northern India, and then through Southern India.

However, the popularity of this form of Buddhism (Theravada, as it came to be known, meaning ?way of the elders?) began to dwindle as only a few people were being able to enlightenment as it was so difficult. It was mainly monks who were practicing the eight-fold path, and they would meditate for months and years and
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