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Frequently Asked Questions About Buddhism


  • What do Buddhists believe?


There are totally 31 types of realms in the universe. Such as Brahma realm, Deva realm (heavens), Humanan realm, Animal realm, Ghosts realm (Pretaloka ) , Hell realms(Narakaya ) etc( Science believes only two types from those which are human realm and animal realm). Living beings are infinitely reborning in these realms (Samsara). But life on any one of these realms is suffering and isn't permanent.

The only answer to these sufferings is enlightenment (reach Nirwana). It is permanent and no sufferings. This is the ultimate reality about all of living beings. Always living beings are get mad with their desires(avarice). So they can't understand this.

Nirwana is the only place we can hide from all sufferings.


We can make our life less suffering (happy) by doing good Karmas (Good Works/Punya-Karmas). If someone doing good Kearmas his life will be happy. On the other hand if someone doing bad Karmas (undesirable works/Papa-Karmas) there is bad returns definitely. Karmas mainly affect in next lives that's why some people don't believe it.



Avoid all evil,

Cultivate the good and the true,

Purify your heart,

This is the Teaching of the Buddhas.



(All Lord Buddhas came in to exist, tell this advice exactly same as this. Pronounce in Pali-Language as follows.)
"Sabba pāpassa akaranam,
Kusalassa upasampada,
Sachitta pariyō dapanam,
Etam Buddhānasasanam."

( Go to Questions )


  • Why do Buddhists worship to Lord Buddha’s statues?


People worship to a god and expect something form him is what people doing in many religions. But in Buddhism this is different. Lord Buddha is not living today so he can’t help to people who warship to him. The Lord Buddha has supreme characteristics such as infinite intelligence; infinite power, infinite kindness etc. This is not a fantasy it is the reality which described in Buddhism. Lord Buddha can’t be equals to anyone except another Lord Buddha who lived in another aeon(Antak-Kalpa) or living in another great trichiliocosm (trisāhasra-mahāsāhasra-lokadhātu). Lord Buddhas have infinite virtues which can only be equals to a Lord Buddha.

According to Lod Buddhas teaching (Dharma/Ultimate Truth) respecting or worshipping to a person who has good virtues will be a good Karma. By worshipping to the Lord Buddha we can get largest merits (karma) than worshipping any other person in this universe.

According to Buddhism, from our born to die everything mainly happened according to karmas which we have done in pervious lives (there are other four reasons described as "Niyama Dhammas"[1]). Getting a good appearance, good house, good friends, good job or good wife everything mainly happened according to karma (But we can change it if we have good Karmas with us). So if we have good karma next life we can get a good appearance, good house etc. That’s why Buddhist warship Buddha.

Karmas mainly get on to action in the next life, that’s why some people don’t believe it. According to Buddha if you don’t believe karma it will be a very bad karma called "Mithya Dushtiya" which will definitely make very bad results.


[1]Niyama Dhammas (The laws governing us)

1. Utu Niyama, physical (inorganic) order, e.g., seasonal phenomena such as winds and rains.
2. Bija Niyama, laws of heredity; e.g., rice produced from rice-seed, sugary taste from sugar cane or honey etc. The scientific theory of cells and genes and the physical similarity of twins may be ascribed to this order.
3. Kamma Niyama, order of act and result, e.g., desirable and undesirable acts produce corresponding good and bad results.
4. Dhamma Niyama, order of the norm, e.g., Gravitation and other similar laws of nature, the natural phenomena occurring at the advent of a Bodhisatta in his last birth, etc.
5. Citta Niyama, order of mind or psychic law, e.g., processes of consciousness (Citta vithi), power of mind etc.




  • Does Lord Buddha ask us to worship him?


    Answer is Lord Buddha didn’t ask us to worship him. Persons with good virtues never ask to respect him or warship him. Persons with defilements want others to respect and worship him. Supreme Beings who attain the Nirvana have no desires any more. So they never want people to worship them. We must respect and warship them. It will be a good Karma and a merit for us definitely.

    One day in the morning when Lord Buddha watching the world with his supreme mind he saw a poor woman is going to die and born in a hell. Buddha wanted to help her. So Buddha wanted her to worship him and has a good karma from that. So that she will be born in a heaven. Buddha went towards to her with Sanghas. Lord Buddha saw she is coming toward them and Buddha stopped in front of her. But Buddha didn’t ask her to warship me. Then Ven. Mahāmoggallāna Thereo (Second of the Buddha's two foremost disciples and he was foremost in supernatural powers among all Theros) get to know that what Buddha is thinking. He tells her to warship the Lord Buddha. She worshiped Lord Buddha. She died that day and born in a heaven.



  • What does Lord Buddha mean to Buddhists?

Lord Buddha is the supreme human being who discovered the ultimate reality about all living beings which called Buddhism.

Gautama Samma Sammbuddha who attained Buddhahood in this aeon(Antah-Kalpa) with infinite intelligence, infinite power, infinite kindness, etc.

Lord Buddha is foremost for all living beings who living in three worlds (Human world, Heaven, Brhama world).

Supreme Teacher who teach how to be happy forever.

The best Supreme Being to whom by worshiping we can be a god or be reach in our next lives.

If superman ever exists he should be a Buddha.



  • What is Buddha statues good for?


It will remind the supreme Lord Buddha. (Who has infinite intelligence, infinite power, infinite kindness, ...) 

And we can get good karma(Pin) by worshiping statues on the behalf of Lord Buddha. 

The Buddha is the best supreme being to whom by worshiping we can be a god or be reach in our next life...



  • Why was in enlightenment(Nirvana) important to Buddhas?

There are totally 31 types of realms in the universe. Such as Brahma realm, Deva realm (heavens), Humanan realm, Animal realm, Ghosts realm (Pretaloka ) , Hell realms(Narakaya ) etc( Science believes only two types from those which are human realm and animal realm). Living beings are infinitely reborning in these realms (Samsara). But life on any one of these realms is suffering and isn't permanent.

The only answer to these sufferings is enlightenment (reach Nirwana). It is permanent and no sufferings. This is the ultimate reality about all of living beings. Always living beings are get mad with their desire. So they can't understand this.

Nirwana is the only place we can hide from all sufferings. That's why it is most important.




  • How do Buddhist reach Nirvana?

There are three ways (Bodhis) which you can reach Nirwana. Those are 
Sammā-Sambodhi(Lord Buddha)Pacceka-Bodhi and Savaka-Bhodhi(Arahath)


The easiest way to get enlightenment (or reach Nirwana) is the Savaka-Bhodhi. 


Those who obtained the enlightenment by following teachings of the Samma-Sambuddha are obtained enlightenment through Savaka-Bhodhi. They have to do concentrated meditation (Bhavana) to develop Samadhi (Samatha meditation). Then with developed mind they have to think about three marks of existence (Samsara) which is Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta. (Vipassanā meditation). Doing this with big effort they will understand Four Noble Truths clearly. So they will attain Nirvana (get enlightenment). 


If you have cultivated enough virtues connected with Bodhi (bodhipaksa dharma) you can reach Nirwana in this life because still not exceeded 5000years range from the Gautama Lord Buddha's enlightenment. 

First thing you have to do is believe the supreme state of Lord Buddha(infinite intelligence, infinite power, infinite kindness, ..) and existence of Karma. Then follow 
Noble Eightfold Path, Study Dharma and do Mediation (Vipassana). You will be reaching Nirwana definitely with permanent happy and without any more sufferings in sad Samsara(infinite cycle of rebirth).



  • What are some Buddhist gods?

Gods are a one kind of living being like us. But with living happily than humans. 
They are born as appearing and die as vanishing. When they are born according to their karma some kind of gardens or houses (Vimana) will appear for them. 

There are six heavens in our solar system(Chatumaharajika, Tavatimsa, Yama, Tusita, Nimmanarathi, Paranimmita-Vasavati). 


Regardless of the realign if some one do good works he will be born in heaves. 

Interesting thing is there are some gods who believe Buddhism, some gods believe another religion or nothing. Just same as humans. 

Their body is made from very soft material which we can't see. And they are long lived. Chatumaharajika gods are 750 feet (230 m) tall and live for 9,000,000 human years.They have enough power to appear as a human but usually they don't like for that. 

Before the last life Lord Buddha was lived in Tusita Heaven.



  • What is Buddhism and the origin of the universe?

According to Lord Buddha there is no beginning date or ending date to the universe. Everything around us one day born and one day die. As Buddha's teaching we cannot think about universe in the same way. How much we consider this much universe exist. But everything is changing always nothing permanent other than the Nirvana.

In the Buddhism infinite universe is divide in to units called Lokadhatu(Sakwala/Solar system) , 1000 Lokadhatus(Sahasri Lokadhatu), 1000,000 Lokadhatus(Divi-Sahasri Lokadhatu) and 1000,000,000 Lokadhatus(Thri-Sahasri Lokadhatu/Galaxy?).These units form and destroy cyclically without end.






  • According to Lord Buddha what is the smallest particle everything consist of?


These things are described in Abhidhamma (The higher or subtle teachings of the Buddha / the ultimate truth)

Everything is consisting of vast amount of basic units called “Rupa-kalapa”. A rock, an atom, an electron, light or anything is just vast amount of Rupa-kalapas. Everything in the universe isn’t permanent. So Rupa-kalapa also isn’t permanent. It takes only a very short time for the Rupa-kalapa to come into being (uthpada), exist (sthithi) and destroy (bhanga). When a Rupa-kalapa is being destroying it gives birth to another Rupa-kalapas. As result of this for a given particle or object there is no significant change of the matter over short time. Object or particle is always changing over time but we consider as the same object.

A Rupa-kalapa is basically mixture of four ultimate entities which cannot further be subdivided. These four entities are called Patavi(element of extension), Apo(element of cohesion), Tejo(element of heat) and Vayo(element of motion).

Sometimes these four entities are considered as earth, water, fire and air. It is wrong according to Abhidhamma .
http://www.viet.net/anson/ebud/abhisgho/abhis06.htm



  • What is the science when compare to Buddhism?


Science is the knowledge developed based on experiments and logical thinking of scientist. It is always changing. It has a frame of reference and approximations. Still there are no answers to the most basic questions about the nature from the science. Such as, what is the most basic unit (particle) of all substances, what is the size or age of the universe, how does the brain and mind work, is life exist only on the Earth, etc. Buddhism has clear answers to all these questions. Buddhism is the ultimate truth with no frame of reference. Buddshim(Dharma) does not change with time(Akaliko), it is to be understood and realized by the wise in accordance with their own level of wisdom(Paccattam-veditabbo-vinnuhi). If a blind man touches an elephant’s tail, he will think that tail is the whole elephant. So if Buddhism (Ultimate reality) is an elephant, science can be treated as its tail which understood by the blind man.


  • Did Buddhists get Samsara from Hindus?

Absolutely not. 
Before the Lord Buddha came into exist. Some gods introduce Vedas to the human world. So that it will be good practice to the understand Buddhism. 
Later Buddhas portion was removed from Veda and become Hinduism. 

Lord Buddha understood this Samsara with his one intelligent. 


  • What should you do as a Buddhist?

Do following everyday (or as much as frequently you can)

Go to in front of a Lord Buddha's statue or picture. Tell the following things watching at it truly from your hart. (Take refuge in Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. Buddha is the supreme being who knew everything in this universe. Dhamma is the reality taught by the Lord Buddha. Sangha are persons who truly followed or following Buddhas teaching by leaving all other things, to escape from all sufferings and to happy forever) 


(Homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the Rightly Self-awakened One.) 
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa.


(Take refuge in Three Jewels.)
I go for refuge to the Buddha
I go for refuge to the Dhamma
I go for refuge to the Sangha
For the second time, I go for refuge to the Buddha
For the second time, I go for refuge to the Dhamma
For the second time, I go for refuge to the Sangha
For the third time, I go for refuge to the Buddha
For the third time, I go for refuge to the Dhamma
For the third time, I go for refuge to the Sangha



(Encouraged to follow five precepts / Sila )
I undertake the precept to refrain from killing living beings.
I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.
I undertake the precept to refrain from false speech.
I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicants.



(Recollection of the Qualities of the Buddha / Buddhanussati)
Iti pi so Bhagavā arahaṃ sammā-sambuddho vijjā-caraṇasampanno
sugato loka-vidū anuttaro purisa-damma-sārathi
satthā deva-manussānaṃ Buddho Bhagavā ti.

Such indeed is the Blessed One, worthy, fully self-enlightened,
endowed with knowledge and conduct, fortunate, knower of the
worlds, the incomparable tamer of trainable men, teacher of gods and
men, enlightened and blessed.




(Recollection of the Qualities of the Dhamma)
Svākkhāto Bhagavatā dhammo sandiṭṭhiko akāliko ehipassiko
opanayiko paccattaṃ veditabbo viññūhī ti.

The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One, to be seen here & now,
timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.




(Recollection of the Qualities of the Sangha)
Supaṭipanno Bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho uju-paṭipanno
Bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho ñāya-paṭipanno Bhagavato
sāvaka-saṅgho sāmīci-paṭipanno Bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho
yad idaṃ cattāri purisa-yugāni aṭṭha purisa-puggalā.
Esa Bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho āhuneyyo pāhuneyyo
dakkhiṇeyyo añjali-karaṇeyyo anuttaraṃ puñña-kkhettaṃ lokassā ti.

The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples who have practiced well, who have practiced straight-forwardly, who have practiced methodically, who have practiced masterfully - in other words, the four types [of noble disciples] when taken as pairs, the eight when taken as individual types - they are the Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples: worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, the incomparable field of merit for the world.


Follow the "Five Precepts" as much as perfectly you can. If one precept is broken by you, do this from the binning. Study Dhamma(Read Buddhism Books).
Doing donations, following Sila and doing meditations are the best things you can do as a Buddhist. If you are doing these, your life will be happy and rich in this cycle of rebirth(Samsara) and will be reaching Nirvana. Then you will not afraid of dying.

Paying Homage to Buddha

  • Why someone rich and someone poor?

The reason to diversity of living beings is Karma. Cycle of rebirth (Samsara) is infinite so everyone has vast amount of good and bad karmas with them. Every living being is living as a result of a large karma named “Janaka Karma (regenerative karma)" which they have done in a past lives. Large karmas can only give a birth (Become a Janaka Karma). If that Janaka Karma is powerful in good side we will receive many good returns. When we are living as a result of Janaka Karma, small karmas which we have give us corresponding good and bad results. We can’t say what the next karma is going to affect on us and there is no determination on what is the next karma. There are four other reasons (Niyama Dharma) which will determine the next karma which is going to affect on us. So, everything doesn’t depend on karma it is only a one of the five factors. If we have enough courage with us we change our life (Citta Niyama). Karma is a very complex thing. It can only be completely understand by a Buddha. 

Born as a human is a result of very good karma and it is a very very rare case in the cycle of rebirth. Small karma (Janka Karma) can’t give birth as a human or god. We can’t be a Brahma by karmas such as donating or following Sila. We must have to do mediation till higher level to become a Brahma. Then that will be Janka Karma for a Brahma. 

When donating, the interesting thing is we can get a very large good karma if receiving person has Sila with him. According to Dharma, if we can give a small donation to a Lord Buddha we can have a vastly large Karma because Buddha has the best Sila. If we could do so, we can get the return of that karma within this life (Ditta Dhamma Wedaniya Karma) such as become a king or very rich person.  

If you can understand this article clearly, it means definitely you have good karma with you. To understand Dharma we must have good Karmas with us. 

So, diversity is because of the diversity of karmas.




  • What happen after death?

Simply, all living beings will reborn after death if they haven't attained Nirvana (enlightenment).But there is no soul which is going from birth to birth. So after reborn, there will be a different person but having same Karmas done in the cycle of rebirth (Samsara). Re-born being will have the similar qualities as previous life.

  • How smart is Buddha?


We, normal humans even can’t think how smart Buddha is. According to Dharma smartness of a Buddha can only completely understand by another Buddha. As example, Buddha can investigate one billion solar systems (Thri Sahashri Loka Datu) in the same way how we investigate a glass ball on our hand; Swim in the ground; Spread light to a any place in the universe; No one or nothing can be hide from Buddha’s intelligent; appearing and vanishing; going unhindered through a wall, through a mountain, through space;

Qualities of a Buddha are mainly dividing in to nine parts.



  • What is Sutra / Tripitaka ?


A Sutra is a teachings of the Lord Buddha(who knew everything) to a particular person(peoples) , god or Brahma in a certain occasion. After the First Buddhist council all teachings of Lord Buddha collected as the Tripitaka and memorized by Arahant(enlightened) great Theros. So that there will not be a alteration to the pure teachings of Lord Buddha which contain the ultimate reality(Dharma).

458 years after Lord Buddha's Parinibbana at Sri Lanka, Tripitaka was write down to the books by 500 Arahant Theros.

There is no mistakes to a Lord Buddha, so each sentence of the Tripitakaya has a value if it hasn't altered.Some content of the Thititaka is very difficult to understand by a normal person who doesn't have great brain which receive with birth. Some contents have a very deep meaning.

Only the Abhidhamma Pitaka, describe the Dharma in a methodical way without a complement. But Abhidhamma Pitaka is difficult to understand without other knowledge.





References

 Bauddhayage Athpotha(Most Ven. Rerukane Chandavimala Himi).
 Dharma Vinishchaya(Most Ven. Rerukane Chandavimala Himi).



Key Words
B asics of the Buddhism, Buddhism and science, beginning of the universe, What should I do as a Buddhist ? ,  Three Jewels ,  five precepts , What does Buddhist believe after death? 
 

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