What Are the Main Beliefs of Buddhism?


The main beliefs of Buddhism are reincarnation, the four noble truths, the five precepts and the three trainings or practices. Buddhism also has an eightfold path that was created by the Buddha and helps lead people toward enlightenment.

Buddhists believe in reincarnation meaning that they believe that people are reborn again after dying. They believe that people continually go through the cycle of birth, living, death and rebirth.

The three trainings or practices in Buddhism are sila, samadhi and prajna. Sila is the practice of virtue, morality and good conduct. Sila is the classic "golden rule" of Christianity, do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you. Samadhi is the mental development of the person and refers to concentration and meditation. Buddhists believe that developing one's mind is the best way to lead to personal freedom. Prajna is the discernment or enlightenment where wisdom emerges into a person's calm and pure mind.

The four noble truths of Buddhism explore human suffering. The first is Dukkha, which is that suffering exists. It states that suffering is universal and everyone will feel suffering. The second is Samudaya, which is that there is a cause for the suffering that everyone experiences. Buddhists believe that the desire to have and control things is what leads to suffering. The third is Nirodha, which is that there is an end to suffering. Buddhists believe that in achieving Nirvana then the mind is free to experience complete freedom and non-attachment. The fourth is Magga, which is that the eightfold path is the way to end suffering.