Buddhism is an approach to life embodied by Gautama Buddha. Buddha was not a deity, and Buddhism's philosophy does not require any theistic view of the universe. Buddha's teachings are solely directed at the liberation of human beings from misery. Buddhism is divided into a variety of distinct traditions, like most of the world's great religions. A common set of fundamental values, however, is shared by most traditions. One of its core teachings is sometimes referred to as reincarnation, which is the idea that after death, people are reborn. Most people go through multiple stages of birth, life, death, and rebirth. A Buddhist practitioner differentiates between the notions of rebirth and reincarnation. The person can recur repeatedly in reincarnation. While an individual does not necessarily return to earth as the same entity again during rebirth. He contrasts this with a leaf that grows on a tree. A new leaf will gradually replace it when the withering leaf falls off. It is similar to the old leaf, but not the same as the original. Buddha established these three teachings which he then taught the people for the next 45 years:
The Three Universal Truths:
(1) Everything in life is impermanent and always changing.
(2) Because nothing is permanent, a life based on possessing things or persons doesn't make you happy.
(3) There is no infinite, unchangeable soul and "self" is just a collection of altering qualities or attributes. After such several cycles, they can achieve Nirvana if a person releases his connection to desire and self. This is a state of democracy and liberation from suffering.
The Four Noble Truths:
(1) Human life has a lot of suffering.
(2) The cause of suffering is greed.
(3) There is an end to suffering.
(4) The way to put an end to pain is to follow the Middle Path.
This teaching of Buddha delves into human suffering. In simple terms, the first is referred to as Dukkha which explained that suffering exists. The second is Samudaya which established that suffering stems from a connection. It is the urge to have everything and to control it. It may take several forms: the desire for sensual pleasures; the desire for popularity; and the desire for envy to escape horrible sensations like anxiety and rage. The third one is Nirodha which recognized that it is possible to overcome attachments. Suffering ends with Nirvana's ultimate liberation. Absolute independence, emancipation, and non-attachment are experienced by the mind. It lets go of every hunger or urge. The fourth one is Magga. Buddha taught individuals not to worship him as a deity. He trained people to take responsibility for their own lives and actions. He educated them that the path to Nirvana was the Middle Path. The Middle Way meant not living a comfortable and indulgent life, but also not one of too much suffering and fasting.
There are eight guides to go along the Middle Path which lead us to his third teaching.
The Eightfold Path:
(1) A right understanding of the Four Noble Truths.
(2) Right values and attitude or following the right path in life.
(3) Right speech – by not lying, condemning, or gossiping.
(4) Right action or right conduct which involves refraining from hurtful behaviors such as killing.
(5) Right work – by supporting yourself without harming others.
(6) The right effort -- by conquering evil thoughts and exerting oneself about the content of one’s mind.
(7) Right mindfulness – by becoming aware of what you feel, think and do.
(8) Right meditation and concentration – by having a calm mind through meditation which leads to Nirvana.
However, there are several sects of Buddhism and numerous kinds of Buddhist monks. Not only are the lives and customs of Buddhist monks distinct and peculiar, but they are spiritually important. Their daily life follows a strict schedule that revolves around meditation, scriptural analysis, and ritual involvement. Throughout the world, there are Buddhist shrines, Buddhist monasteries where monks reside, Gompas, and Buddhist Stupas.