Buddhism - By Category
The Basics: What the Buddha Taught
The primary teachings shared by all schools of Buddhism are the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path and the Precepts. Within these teachings are woven the Buddhist doctrines of suffering (dukkha), the five aggregates of being (skandhas), no-self (anatta, shunyata), ethics, karma, rebirth, enlightenment and Nirvana.
Becoming a Buddhist
Outside Asia, most people develop an interest in Buddhism by reading about it, and there are many excellent books about Buddhism available. Yet Buddhism learned only from books is only a taste, not the full banquet. Finding a teacher and community of Buddhists is easier than ever.
Here are some outstanding Buddhist blogs
Buddha: Man, Ideal, Symbol
The word Buddha means many things -- a person from Asian history; an ideal of enlightenment; a symbol of wisdom, compassion and absolute reality. Here is an exploration of the many facets of Buddha.
A History of Buddhism
The History of Buddhism began with the life of the Buddha in the 6th century BCE and continues to the present day. Buddhism encompasses an enormous diversity of practices and traditions, yet the basic teachings of the Buddha remain the clear light at the center of all.
Glossary of Buddhist Terms
Buddhist literature and liturgy is filled with terms -- in Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese, Tibetan, Japanese and other languages -- that are unfamiliar to most English speakers. This ever-expanding glossary provides definitions.
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Theravada is the only surviving part of the Pali school, considered the oldest school of Buddhism. Today's Theravada monastic orders trace their history to the original monks who studied with the Buddha. Here we look at some of that history and at the distinctive teachings and practices of Theravada Buddhism.
Mahayana means "great vehicle," and the primary distinction of Mahayana is its emphasis on the enlightenment of all beings. Mahayana idealizes the bodhisattva, an enlightened being who remains in the world to work for the liberation of others.
The Sacred Texts of Buddhism
In the monotheistic religions, the Bible, Koran and other sacred books are considered the revealed truth of God. Buddhist sacred texts, on the other hand, are thought of as guides on the path to truth, not truth itself. That said, there are many sacred texts in Buddhism, but not all texts are accepted by all schools.
Major Figures in Buddhist History and Current Events
Countless people contributed to the 25 centuries of Buddhist history. Here is information on just a few especially significant figures.
Major Figures in Buddhist Art and Literature
Buddhist art and literature are filled with countless fabled and iconic characters--buddhas, bodhisattvas, deities and demons. Here are guides to who these beings are and what they represent.
There are myriad Buddhist holidays. Not all holidays are observed in all traditions, and some observed in all traditions are observed on different days. Vesak, the Buddha's birthday, is the most universally celebrated holiday, usually observed in May.