Buddhism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 246 pages of information about Buddhism.
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Buddhism

In India, Buddhism was a heterodox religious movement against the authority of the Vedas, the Bible of orthodox Hinduism. Gautama Buddha (c. 563–c. 483 BCE) dismissed the extreme ascetic way of life often adopted by Indian religious believers and taught the middle way. While Hindu philosophers asserted the existence of atman (I, self, ego, or soul) as the innermost essence of a human being and ontologically identified this essence with Brahma, the absolute reality of the universe, the Buddha repudiated the ideas of atman and Brahma, and proclaimed that everything is causally conditioned and nothing is absolute, permanent, and eternal.

All Buddhists have accepted the Buddha's teaching of anatman (nonself), but have apprehended his philosophical message differently. For the early, conservative Hinayana Buddhists, the Buddha's denial of ātman implies and even entails the existence of dharmas (divine laws), changing realities of the universe, and impermanent constituents of...

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This section contains 8,132 words
(approx. 28 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Buddhism Encyclopedia Article
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Buddhism from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.