Definition of Buddhesm
Buddhism, the religion of Buddha, a religion which, eschewing all
speculation about God and the universe, set itself solely to the work of
salvation, the end of which was the merging of the individual in the
unity of being, and the "way" to which was the mortification of all
private passion and desire which mortification, when finished, was the
Buddhist Nirvâna. This is the primary doctrine of the Buddhist faith,
which erelong became a formality, as all faiths of the kind, or of this
high order, ever tend to do. Buddha is not answerable for this, but his
followers, who in three successive councils resolved it into a system of
formulæ, which Buddha, knowing belike how the letter killeth and only the
spirit giveth life, never attempted to do. Buddha wrote none himself, but
in some 300 years after his death his teachings assumed a canonical form,
under the name of Tripitaka, or triple basket, as it is called. Buddhism
from the first was a proselytising religion; it at one time overran the
whole of India, and though it is now in small favour there, it is, in
such form as it has assumed, often a highly beggarly one, understood to
be the religion of 340 millions of the human race.
Bud"dhism (&?;), n. The religion based
upon the doctrine originally taught by the Hindoo sage Gautama Siddartha,
surnamed Buddha, "the awakened or enlightened," in the sixth century b.
c., and adopted as a religion by the greater part of the inhabitants of
Central and Eastern Asia and the Indian Islands. Buddha's teaching is
believed to have been atheistic; yet it was characterized by elevated
humanity and morality. It presents release from existence (a beatific
enfranchisement, Nirvâna) as the greatest good. Buddhists
believe in transmigration of souls through all phases and forms of life.
Their number was estimated in 1881 at 470,000,000.
- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
- The religion and philosophy founded by the Indian teacher Gautama Buddha
- A religious movement practiced by Buddhists
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia
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