Just the facts on religion.

Buddhist Beliefs

Buddhism centers on correct understanding of human nature and ultimate reality. The Buddha was, after all, called the "Enlightened One." He taught that the way to eliminate suffering began with understanding the true nature of the world.

However, the Buddha considered knowledge important only insofar as it remains practical. He rejected speculation about such matters as God, the nature of the universe, and the afterlife, urging his followers to focus instead on the Four Noble Truths by which they can free themselves from suffering.

  • Basic Points of Buddhism

    In the 2,500 years since the Buddha was enlightened under the Bodhi Tree, Buddhism has spread over many countries, split into numerous sects, and adopted a wide variety of beliefs, practices, rituals and customs... full article →
  • Buddhism on the Afterlife

    According to Buddhism, after death one is either reborn into another body (reincarnated) or enters nirvana. Only Buddhas (those who have attained enlightenment) will achieve nirvana... full article →
  • Buddhist Gods & Deities

    The Buddha's teachings and Theravada Buddhism are essentially atheistic, although neither deny the existence of gods. In Mahayana Buddhism, however, the universe is populated with celestial buddhas and bodhisattvas who are worshipped as gods and goddesses. full article →
  • Buddhist views of human nature

    In traditional Indian thought, the soul, or atman, is an eternally existing spiritual substance or being and the abiding self that moves from one body to the next at rebirth. The Buddha rejected this concept. full article →
  • Four Noble Truths

    In his first sermon after attaining enlightenment, the Buddha taught the "Four Noble Truths," which form the foundation of belief for all branches of Buddhism. full article →
  • Is Buddhism Atheistic?

    One general doctrine agreed upon by Buddhists is: "We do not believe that this world is created and ruled by a God." However, disbelief in a creator God does not necessarily mean that Buddhism is atheistic. full article →
  • Noble Eightfold Path

    According to the fourth Noble Truth, one can permanently escape suffering by following the Noble Eightfold Path. The word "right" in these eight items designates "true" or "correct," to distinguish the Buddhist way from others: It is not enough to gain knowledge; it must be right knowledge... full article →
  • The Meaning of Life in Buddhism

    In Buddhism, the purpose of life is to end suffering. The Buddha taught that humans suffer because we continually strive after things that do not give lasting happiness. full article →

Further Reading