- The definition of Buddhism is a religion and teachings of the Buddha, founded in India in the sixth century.
An example of Buddhism is karma and the law of cause and effect.
A large statue of Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
a religion and philosophic system of central and eastern Asia, founded in India in the 6th cent. by Buddha: it teaches that right thinking and self-denial will enable the soul to reach Nirvana, a divine state of release from misdirected desire
- The teaching of Siddhartha Gautama that life is permeated with suffering caused by desire, that suffering ceases when desire ceases, and that enlightenment obtained through right conduct, wisdom, and meditation releases one from desire, suffering, and rebirth.
- The religion represented by the many groups, especially numerous in Asia, that profess varying forms of this doctrine and that venerate Siddhartha Gautama.
Buddhism the religion of the followers of Gautama Buddha, whose 6th-century B.C. doctrines strongly opposed the formalized, mechanical rituals of the Brahman sect in Hinduism; Buddha’s teachings offered escape from endless reincarnation, a method of spiritual attainment through correct views and actions (The Eight-Fold Path), and a spiritual goal (Nirvana): a soul free from craving, suffering, and sorrow. See also Eight-Fold Path, The. —Buddhist, n. —Buddhistic, Buddhistical, adj. the the method of spiritual attainment outlined in Buddha’ s sermons on the Four Noble Truths: pain, the cause of pain, the cessation of pain, and the path that leads to this cessation, emphasizing, in the last, right view, thought, speech, action, livelihood, efïort, mindfulness, and concentration. Fohism, Foism the predominant Chinese form of Buddhism, Foh being the Chinese name for Buddha. —Fohist, n. Gelup-Ka Lamaism. Hinayanism the earliest development of Buddhism after Buddha’s death, emphasizing doctrines and practices originally formulated by Buddha and reflected in the “School of the Elders” (Theravada) of the Pali tradition; called the “lesser vehicle,” it found followers in southern India and Ceylon. —Hinayana, n., adj. Lamaism a reformation of Buddhism in Tibet intended to bring about stricter discipline in the monasteries; the dominant sect is Gelup-Ka (The Virtuous Way), with the patron deity Chen-re-zi (the Bodhisattva of Great Mercy), who is reincarnated as the successive Dalai Lamas. Also called Gelup-Ka. —Lamaist, n. —Lamaistic, adj. Lamanism a form of Mahayana Buddhism marked by its complex organization and elaborate rituals. —Lamanist, n. Mahayanism the “greater vehicle” or second development of Buddhism after the death of its founder as a reaction against the orthodox and conservative ideas of the Hinayana, asserting that Gautama is one of many manifestations of one primordial Buddha and emphasizing good works illustrating the six virtues of generosity, morality, patience, vigor, concentration, and wisdom necessary to ideal Buddhism; its tenets are preserved in Sanskrit texts, later translated into Chinese and Japanese. —Mahayana, n., adj. Pan-Buddhism the principles, doctrines, and tenets that concern or are believed by all Buddhists. —Pan-Buddhist, n. Tantrayana the mixed form of Buddhism practiced in Tibet, adding to ideas from both major Buddhist developments doctrines and practices from Hindu Tantric sects and the native Tibetan religion of nature worship and magic called Bnism; it combines the Hinayana concept of emancipation through self-discipline and the Mahayana concept of philosophical insight into reality for the sake of others with uniquely Tibetan magical rites and mystical meditation. —Tantrayanic, adj. Zen Buddhism, Zenism an outgrowth of Mahayana, the “meditation” sect, developed in Japan from its earlier Chinese counterpart and divided into two branches: Binzai, an austere and aristocratie monasticism emphasizing meditation on paradoxes; and Sōtō, a benevolent monasticism with great popular following, emphasizing ethical actions and charity, tenderness, benevolence, and sympathy as well as meditation on whatever occurs as illumination. —Zen, n. —Zenic, adj.
- The religion and philosophy founded by the Nepalese teacher Gautama Buddha.