What is Buddhism?

What is Buddhism?

Buddhism is basically a non-theistic religion, but it also represents a philosophy, a method of spiritual training and a psychological system. It was developed on the basis of the teachings of Gautama Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama), who lived in northeast India in the fifth century BC.
A picture of a Buddha on the background of the earth.

Buddha is a concept that defines an individual who has managed to awaken spiritually, bringing happiness free from suffering. 

It is important to emphasize that Buddha is not a supernatural being, prophet or God. Buddhism does not make postulates about a Creator and its teachings are not dictated as beliefs or dogmas, because it is the practitioners themselves who must prove them by themselves in order to later internalize them.

The purpose of Buddhism is the elimination of feelings of duhkha (dissatisfaction), produced by craving (understood as thirst, desire or greed). This, in turn, is the result of a mistaken perception about the nature of life, existence and being.

The eradication of this situation takes place from the moment in which the individual manages to awaken and acquire a deep understanding of reality and being - enlightenment. To achieve this state, Buddhism promotes various techniques to develop meditation and attain wisdom.

It is important to bear in mind that Buddhism is not organized in a vertical hierarchy (for example, there is no leader like the Pope in Catholicism). Religious authority is found in the holy texts of the Buddha and in the interpretation performed by the masters and monks.