The Buddha’s Life Stories and the Prominent Branches of Buddhism

Buddhism provides its followers with a set of guidelines, which enable them to live a morally upright life, understand the sufferings in life, and die well. Followers seek personal development and believe that nothing in the world is permanent. They believe that life is endless and is characterized by uncertainty. Common practices in Buddhism include meditation and adhering to the teachings of Buddha.

The Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama was the son of King Shuddhodhana, who belonged to the Sakyan clan. He was born at the Lumbini Garden and raised in Kapilavastu. He lived between C563BCE AND 483BCE. He was married at age 16 underwent six years of asceticism and became fully enlightened by 35 years of age. He began teaching the Dharma in Deer Park about the four noble truths (Buddha Shakyamuni 12).

            The major branches in Buddhism include Theravada and Mahayana. Theravada can also be referred to the Southern or Elder tradition while Mahayana is referred to as the Northern or Great Vehicle tradition. In Theravada traditions, the Buddha was considered to be the savior or lord of the heaven, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient while in Mahayana tradition he was considered to be omniscient and compassionated (Buddha Shakyamuni 6-7). In China, the adoption of Buddhism was characterized by the belief in dhyana or ch’an. This referred to a discipline in Buddhism that focused on tranquilizing the mind and getting Buddhists to devote themselves to a quiet self-examination of one’s consciousness (Fisher 350).

Buddha’s teachings are still used as the foundational instructions in this religion. Buddha’s life and lessons provide Buddhists with a reference point that they can use in their daily lives. When faced with challenges, Buddhists can maintain their calmness even amid the life’s challenges.



Works Cited

“Buddha Shakyamuni.” 2019. PowerPoint Presentation.

Fisher, Mary Pat. Living Religions 9th ed. Pearson, 2014. Web.