Buddhism in the News


afterlife Reincarnation (understood differently than in Hinduism, with no surviving soul) until gain enlightenment
human life Purpose is to avoid suffering and gain enlightenment and release from cycle of rebirth, or at least attain a better rebirth by gaining merit.
origins Based on teachings of Siddharta Gautama (the Buddha) in c. 520 BC, NE India.
practices Meditation, mantras, devotion to deities (in some sects), mandalas (Tibetan)
texts Tripitaka (Pali Canon); Mahayana sutras like the Lotus Sutra; others.
adherents 360 million
god(s) Varies: Theravada atheistic; Mahayana more polytheistic. Buddha taught nothing is permanent.
Jesus was Wise and enlightened man who taught similar things to the Buddha.
divinity of Jesus no
Jesus' purpose To teach humanity wisdom and the way to enlightenment.
resurrection of Jesus not addressed
homosexual orientation Varies: Unnatural (Dalai Lama), a karmic punishment (SE Asian countries), an alternative. Not generally condemned in itself.
homosexual activity Unlawful for monks, who must be celibate regardless of orientation. For other Buddhists, "sexual misconduct" is prohibited under the Third Precept, which depends on the circumstances and the results.