What are some facts about Buddhism?

a Shoja, a cottage for a hermitNamu is an Japanization of the Sanskrit word “namasu, ” which means
“devotion” and “compliance.” It is often translated as ” I take refuge

Thus, Namu Amida Butsu would mean I take refuge (and believe) in Amida Butsu.

Namu Myoho Renge Kyo means one takes refuge in the Sutra of the Lotus of the Wonderful Law (Myoho Renge Kyo) also called the Lotus Sutra (Hoke-kyo)

Other common expressions are Namu Butsu (I take refuge in the Buddha) and Namu Sambo (I take refuge in the three treasures)

What are Sutras?

Sutras are scriptures in which are compiled teachings attributed to
Siddhartha Gautama (the historical Buddha.) This teachings are split in
truths as taught by him and guidelines he left for the monks and nuns.
(The Sangha)

Pagoda at Horyu-ji in NaraIn general the doctines are refered to as sutras and the guidelines as precepts.

After the death of Siddhartha Gautama, his followers compiled the
text and made extensive commentaries. All three documents, the sutras,
precepts and commentaries are called the Three Stores or Three Baskets.

Like the bible, the compiling of the Sutras has a story. After the
Buddha’s death, Mahakasyapa, who was in charge of leading the Sangha,
was afraid that the teachings would be lost or scattered.

He then gathered 500 advanced disciples and had them write down the teachings of Buddha:

He asked Ananda, who was the Buddha’s constant companion, to recite
all of Buddha’s sermons in front of an assembly that was in charge of
approving what they heard and writing it down.

In the same fashion. Upali, another disciple was put in charge of reciting the precepts.

The scriptures were also later edited and rearranged to become what we have today.

The principal sutras in Japanese Buddhism are:

  • The Heart Sutra (Hannya Shin Kyō)
  • The Lotus Sutra (Myoho Renge Kyō)
  • The Innumerable Meanings Sutra (Muryōgi Kyō)
  • Larger Pure Land Sutra (Muryojukyo)
  • There are also sutras dedicated to individuals or Bosatsus.

How did Temples come to be?

At the beginning, the followers of Buddha renounced the world, left
their homes and took to the woods and mountains. Lay followers, wanting
to seek knowledge and teachings, asked them to take a permanent

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Popular Q&A

What are some unique things about the Buddhist religion?

I was raised Buddhist and was taught that Buddha told his followers not to worship him, but that some of his later followers wrote papers or sutras that taught of things that Buddha did not teach and now some people follow a false form of Buddhism because of not being aware.

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