BUDDHISM

Global Issues & Worship and Festivals

Global Issues & Worship and Festivals


Global Issues

duddha handBuddhist beliefs about compassion and kindness towards others mean that for most adherents racism and prejudice are unacceptable.

Buddhists also believe firmly in the giving of alms and in helping poor people. Established in Taiwan in 1966, the Tzu Chi Foundation is an international charity that works to provide emergency and long term aid to poor communities around the world. The charity operates according to Buddhist principles and believes that suffering is caused not just by material poverty but also by spiritual poverty.

Because Buddhists believe that everything is interconnected, many of them are committed to conserving the Earth. Buddhists avoid cruelty to animals because Karma teaches that evil actions will be punished in a later life.

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Worship and Festivals

Worship

prayerBuddhists worship at home or in a temple. Temples often have elaborate and colourful architecture and they are designed to represent the five elements, Fire, Air, Earth, Water and Wisdom. Temples always include an image or statue of Buddha. A Stupa is a sacred building constructed of stone and built over Buddhist relics or writings.

Buddhists worship through prayer, chanting and meditation and they often use prayer beads or wheels.

Festivals

Wesak celebrates the birth of Buddha and is the most important of Buddhist festivals. It is always held at the time of the full moon in May. Some Buddhists also mark Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death at the same time. Methods of celebration include visiting the temple to pray and meditate, and dancing and song.

Pilgrimage

Sarnath is a key place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. It is in Uttar Pradesh in India and it is where Buddha delivered much of his teaching to his followers.