When I listened to Boundless Light Sangha (live meditation and Dharma message service) sitting at my home, I realized that Buddhism is much more than we think it is. I came to know many things about Buddhism that I didn’t know before and yes, definitely some misunderstandings were cleared. Buddhism is basically more of a saintly religion which focuses mainly on the personal religious development and accomplishment of profound insight into the genuine nature of life. It is a philosophy of enlightenment, meditation, morality, and wisdom.The biggest conflict people have about Buddhism is whether it is a religion or not. It primarily depends on how you define religion. Some people define religion as the belief in the presence of one or more than one deities. According to this definition, Buddhism is not a religion. But, others exclude deities from the definition of religion and according to them, Buddhism is a religion. According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, religion is any defined set or system of worship and belief which involves adoration of a supernatural entity. Pertaining to this definition, Buddhism would not be considered a religion. But then again, as I described earlier, there are more than 300 million practitioners of Buddhism all around the world and this wasn’t possible if all these people didn’t regard it to be a religion (In Guralnik, 1970).
The second biggest misconception most of us have about Buddhism is that it is a pagan religion which means that they usually believe in gods or gods other than the usual worldwide accepted Christian God. However, Buddhists don’t usually restrict themselves to God or god(s). They are mainly focused on Dharma, which is not a belief in God or god(s). It is a belief in reality or truth. Therefore, when a tragic or depressing event occurs in our lives or our loved ones, Buddhists, like people of other religion won’t ask “Why did you do this to me, God?!”