Update: 18/08/2020
In today's world, there are many religions concentrating the faith in gods and other supernatural beings. Especially for Westerners, who are mostly familiar with monotheism and polytheism? In reality, however, the history of religion is not just confined to the history of gods. In the past, there were many religions that considered their gods as the subject of the law of nature, no different than animals, plants or humans, such as Taoism, Confucianism, Skepticism, Stoicism...



Buddhism is a religion without the concept of an omnipotent being. The central figure of Buddhism is Siddhartha Gautama. Gautama did not claim to be a god either. Buddhist cosmology has many gods. But contrary to the common conception of other religions about the immutability and eternity of the gods, they also undergo the process of existence and death like humans. In addition, in many cultures, Buddhism also exists in harmony with indigenous divine notions. But in its nature, whether there are gods is not the principle concern of Buddhism. 

According to Buddhism, after abandoning family and property, Siddhartha Gautama determined to find the truth about life. He went to study with famous teachers at that time and gained an understanding on equivalence with the teachers. But he still has something unknown. Undeterred, Gautama sought a method for himself. He spent six years reflecting, analyzing, and contemplating on the causes and essence in the suffering of human life. Finally, Gautama realized that suffering was not caused by mishaps, social injustice, or sudden thoughts and feelings of gods; but suffering comes from one's own craving. So how to get rid of craving? 

Gautama developed methods of meditation aimed at training the mind. These methods mainly help the mind focus on the question: "What am I experiencing right now?" rather than "what do I want now?" In addition to the methods of concentrating the mind, Gautama instructed his disciples not to slaughter, not to steal, not to adultery, not to lie and to use intoxicants to extinguish the flame of craving in humans. The extinguished fire of craving will be replaced by a state of complete contentment and serenity. This state is called Nirvana. Those who have attained Nirvana will be completely liberated from all suffering. 

In the Buddhist tradition, Gautama realized Nirvana by himself and was free from suffering. From then on, he was known by the world as Buddha, which means "Enlightened Man". The Buddha spent the rest of his life explaining what he discovered to others to understand and free from suffering. The Buddha summarized his teachings in a verse:

“Don't do all evil

Achieving good acts

Keeping clean mind

It is the Buddha's teaching”.

Tâm Thống


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