Buddhism is both a philosophy and a religion. As a philosophy, Buddhism provides a means of understanding and giving meaning to the many life challenges, using the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths. The first Noble Truth attempts to explain that suffering exists and occurs in one’s entire lifetime (Duhkha). Life’s painful situations such as illness, death, and poverty provide clear evidence of the existence of suffering. Suffering can also result from good things since everything keeps on changing. One of Buddha’s insights indicates that nothing is permanent. It implies that whatever makes us happy today will at some point come to an end. The second Noble Truth generally explains the root of suffering (Samudaya). According to Buddha, suffering results from selfish desires that tend to surpass their resources. As a result, people are left unsatisfied and unhappy. The third Noble Truth explains the possibility of ending suffering (Nirodha). Suffering will end if people cease desiring. One should try and avoid unnecessary attachments and desires for places, people, and material goods. Too much attachment makes it almost impossible for one to accept changes. The final Noble Truth provides a way of relieving suffering (Magga). To end suffering, one must follow ‘The Eightfold Path,’ which comprises the right intentions, views, and actions.
On the other hand, Buddhism has several religious characteristic features. Such elements include self-transformation, faith, and belief. According to Buddhism teachings, salvation is realized as a result of faith, while the most crucial part towards the liberation from suffering is self-transformation. Additionally, Buddhists hold onto some religious beliefs, such as life after death. As stated by Buddha teachings, human beings are generally born infinite times unless on the achievement of Nirvana. Moreover, Buddha taught the disciples against fearing death. An interpretation by the Buddhists suggests that on living accordingly, then one will have a good rebirth. Tibetan Buddhism also has several writings regarding life after death, for instance, the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Additionally, Buddhism can be held as a religion since it teaches about people’s liberation. People’s liberation depends on the use of the Three Dharma Seals to enter the Three Doors of Liberation namely emptiness, signlessness, and aimlessness. This teaching about liberation depicts the religious characteristic of belief system of Buddhism. Firstly, the emptiness (shunyata) as a Door of Liberation necessitates the need for an individual to embrace nonself and interdependent. Secondly, signlessness as a Door of Liberation entails practicing a breakthrough the signs as a means to be free. Based on Buddhism believe signs tend to be a deception of reality. Hence, individuals ought to denounce the use of signs as means to interpret things since signs are deceiving. Lastly, aimlessness as a Door of Liberation refers to doing nothing to be who we are. This teaching teaches that we are born to be who we are naturally. Hence, we do not have to do something to be who we are. Thus, the Three Doors of Liberation can be held to depict the religious aspects of Buddhism moral ways to coexist in society.
Hanh, Thich Nhat. The heart of Buddha’s teaching. Random House, 2008.
Kozak, A. (2017). Buddhism 101: From Karma to the Four Noble Truths, your guide to understanding the principles of Buddhism. Simon and Schuster.
Samuel, G. (2017). Tantric revisionings: new understandings of Tibetan Buddhism and Indian religion. Routledge.
Tachibana, S. (2021). The ethics of Buddhism. Routledge.
 Kozak, A. (2017). Buddhism 101: From Karma to the Four Noble Truths, your guide to understanding the principles of Buddhism. Simon and Schuster.
 Tachibana, S. (2021). The ethics of Buddhism. Routledge.
 Samuel, G. (2017). Tantric revisionings: new understandings of Tibetan Buddhism and Indian religion. Routledge.
 Hanh, Thich Nhat. The heart of Buddha’s teaching. Random House, 2008.