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What are the major beliefs in Buddhism?


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September 10, 2013 6:30PM

One fundamental belief of Buddhism is often referred to as reincarnation -- the concept that people are reborn after dying. In fact, most individuals go through many cycles of birth, living, death and rebirth. A practicing Buddhist differentiates between the concepts of rebirth and reincarnation. In reincarnation, the individual may recur repeatedly. In rebirth, a person does not necessarily return to Earth as the same entity ever again. He compares it to a leaf growing on a tree. When the withering leaf falls off, a new leaf will eventually replace it. It is similar to the old leaf, but it is not identical to the original leaf.


The Four Noble Truths are beliefs that underly most of Buddhist epistemology. They are:

1. The nature of suffering: Birth, aging, illness and death are suffering, as is attachment and aversion.

2. The origin of suffering: craving for things we think will bring us pleasure.

3. The cessation of suffering: freedom from attachment and aversion.

4. The way leading to the cessation of suffering: The eightfold path includes right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livlihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration

What these mean is that we are mistaken or deluded about the true nature of reality, and we have cravings for things we think will bring us pleasure, and aversion for those things we think won't. We think that not getting what we want is what makes us suffer, when it is really the attachment to some things and aversion to others that cause suffering. If we examine the nature of reality deeply, using certain techniques, and cultivate compassion for all beings, we will discover the true nature of reality.
The main beliefs of Buddhism can be seen in the four noble truths:

The truth of suffering

The truth of the origin of suffering

The truth of the cessation of suffering

The path to the cessation