Buddhism: An Exploration of Faith, Culture and Art

The Buddhism philosophy and religion was incepted from the Buddhist teachings of the first Buddha, regarded as the “awakened one”. He was religious leader that lived in northern India prior to the Common Era between the fourth and sixth centuries BCE. The Buddhism divine customs were fostered by Siddartha Gautama, who was an Indian prince. His name later transformed to Gautama Buddha after he commenced teachings regarding the mystical life. Most of the customs that he trained that have been characterized into diverse forms entail the two key ones that Mahayana and Theravada. They have common principled codes to be adhered to by the Buddhism believers. Nonetheless, monastic moral code is likely to vary in terms of faith, art and culture. The customs spread from India to the southeast and central Asia, Japan, Korea and China. This is critical towards the cultural, social and spiritual aspects amongst the Asian citizens. The research paper aims to explore Buddhism, in regards to art, faith and culture.

Exploration of Faith

Buddhism involves channels of divine growth and practices that result in an in-depth understanding of the certainty in reality. Practices such as reflection assist the adherents transform themselves by cultivating qualities such as understanding, mindfulness and benevolence. The adherents of the Buddhist custom cultivate an experience regarding the path of Buddhahood or illumination. An individual that may have been progressive has a distinct visualization of reality and exists naturally and fully according to the vision (Caple, 2015). This type of life cultivates the Buddhist objective of a divine life that signifies the end to anguish amongst individuals that become enlighten. The custom does not emphasize on the concept of devotion to a god who is a maker. Therefore this is not viewed as an ordinary religious group amongst individuals from the west.

The standard lessons from Buddhism doctrines are practical and candid with nothing being considered as perpetual. In this instance, change is conceivable and deeds may have grave outcomes. Buddhism focuses on every individual notwithstanding of race, country of origin, sex, or class.  Its lessons comprise of hands-on characteristics that assist individuals to comprehend and utilize the lessons in altering their experiences and becoming fully accountable in their lives. The Buddha teachings are regarded as dharma (Kim, 2020). From the lessons, Buddha highlights that empathy, knowledge, liberality, and patience are the most vital human life virtues. In a more particular means, the life of Buddhism factions is directed incorporating five foremost principles of ethics that forbid them from conducting certain acts.  This includes murder, dishonesty, use of liquor and drugs, sexual delinquencies, and stealing.

According to Leoshko (2017), one of the Buddhism principles, the eightfold path, is a process that assists in dealing with anguish. Buddha indicates that in order to accomplish a culmination to sorrow, as provided by the principled reality lessons, the eightfold path can be applicable (Leoshko, 2017). Devoid of any particular order, the Buddhist eightfold path is comprised of the following teachings regarding the moral conducts, knowledge achievements and psychological discipline standards. These include the Samma ditthi or correct comprehension, the Samma sankappa or correct opinions, the Samma vaca or the correct language and the Samma kammanta or appropriate deeds. The aspects include the Samma ajiva or appropriate living, the Samma vayama or correct efforts, the Samma sati or right cognisance and the Samma Samadhi or correct focus.

Regarding the Buddhist teachings, Gautama Buddha is considered as one that is liable for the common moral values of the custom. These includes the principled eightfold path and five principles, all that signify the divine custom of the adherents. Though the five principles may not be regarded as mandates comparable to decrees in Judeo-Christian customs, they function as guidelines that assist the followers to accomplish a form of enlightenment. The Nirvana from Sanskrit or enlightenment cultivates a state of safety or mind that assists individuals comprehend their true characteristics, level-headedness or perfect delight and the realm’s illusive nature. All these conceptions take place concurrently throughout the enlightenment process. An Individual’s true character is accomplished both perpetually and infinitely.

In the mainstream of the Buddhist religion, no talk regarding a God or a being is regarded to be an intermediary or a judge of moral and honest deeds. Buddhism comprises of laws that are normally psycho-spiritual. This signifies that most deeds develop the characteristic of enlightenment while reducing sorrow. The regulations also signify that other behaviors may result to grief and obstruct enlightenment. It is through such understandings that behaviours or sequence of actions are regarded to be ethically correct or immoral. Therefore, Buddhism shows that ethical deeds originate or result to enlightened thoughts.

Exploration of Art

Buddhist art was initiated in the Indian subcontinent in the era ensuing the lifespan of the ancient Gautama Buddha between 6th to 5th century BCE. This took place prior to evolving through its connection with other cultures its disseminations through Asia & the universe (Eliot, 2019). Art is regarded as the most communicative characteristic of every religion or culture. It frequently depicts the highs and low points of the nature of life and also all that is in the middle. The captivating aspect in regards to art is that it is likewise used to induce the epitome of a culture or concept. This allows an individual to exhibit an objective or the divine before its accomplishment. It can be utilized to help, to divert, to educate, and to confound. As a result, art is one of the most essential powers in establishing the development and comprehension of concepts and converting them. This is particularly true for the philosophies and culture of Buddhism. Buddhist art extended all over the Asian nations as the dharma practitioners networked with other individuals. Moreover, it was integrated to the cultures it was presented to, leading to a wide variety and functionality of the art increasing over time.

According to Leoshko (2017), both the chaitya hall and the vihara are generated using wood and thatch architypes. The archetypes have long died out, because of the temporary nature of their resources. Nonetheless, the construction details are known, as they are portrayed in many respites and canvases of the era. Throughout the second century BCE, there were additional clear developed art works. The statues were a representation of the parts of Buddha’s life taking and the manifestation of friezes, which are stone slabs. At this instance, the customs were still relatively aniconic as such narratives expressed and epitomized were through the use of Buddhist representation. Other human beings and animals would emerge in such illustrations. The law wheel, the emblem of the four principled truths was frequently exhibited. The bare cathedra and the Bodhi tree likewise had their share of interpretations. The Lion was a representation of the Buddhas royals. Nonetheless, the Buddha was off bounds. This appears to be in conformity with most sayings that dishearten his portrayal after he passed on. It is likely that previous interpretations of the Buddha may have curved out from wood. However, these pieces have disintegrated in recent years.

The Buddhist representations were cultivated in early Kushan Mathura. One stimulating facet of this art is the writings for what seem to be Buddha symbol read “Bodhisattva.” According to Harvey (2019), the provisions were substitutable. Nonetheless, there is additional affirmation that suggests an alternative. Not only did the expression ‘Buddha’ start to substitute the phrase ‘Bodhisattva’ but also changed the Gandharan appearance of the Buddha, with the shoulders enclosed, This became assumed in Mathura around the similar period, swapping the appearance portraying an exposed right shoulder. There is an assortment of artistic inclinations and cultural reasoning associated with Buddhist art. It is often that these conceptions are rejected as discrete creative expressions. However, it is through the art that people find the substantial significance in the wells of the ink and stringent guidelines in an earlobe shape, that results in the conflicting conclusions.  Buddhism and its art are deeply interconnected and is particularly distinct when observing the development and impact of Buddhism.

Exploration of Buddhism Culture

The Buddhist concepts on life and death were assimilated within Tibetan Buddhism due to the Tibetan standards of livelihood and culture. Buddhists have a predominantly inimitable or distinctive approach, in contrast to the normal Western way of virtually evading the notion completely (Brereton, 2018). Tibetans lead a problematic lifestyle in the high altitudes and punitive terrain, it is therefore not astonishing that they appear to presume demise to come upon them at any period. Tibetan Buddhism highlights the forthcoming demise of a person, and although it is virtually difficult to say certainly whether Tibetan standpoints affected the Buddhist principles on life and death, it is very evident that life and death are all essential aspects of Tibetan culture and Tibetan Buddhism.  Tibetan culture and lifestyle fortified the Buddhist concepts and let it to be such an important aspect of Tibetan Buddhism currently experienced and acknowledged by Buddhists.

While Tibetans portray a more progressive approach towards death and the rites with regard to it, they do not perceive as what it is; a practice that individuals experience immense sorrow and mental apprehension.  Nonetheless, the Buddhists know how to deal with the sorrows of demise as part of their lifestyle in the punitive territory and harsh living standards.  Through Buddhism, they directed their sorrow and anxiety what was considered as “unknown” regarding death to the reassurance that demise is just the course of an individual’s life-cycle in which resurgence is imminent.  Buddhist rebirth teachings and the Tibetan delusions regarding the soul’s transfer after death indicates the level of integration to be Tibetan Buddhism.  This is additionally demonstrated by the practices in which when the soul leaves a person’s body, the body is naturally razed to prevent the soul from returning.

This is a custom which is adhered to by virtually every Buddhist that may incorporate the numerous methods such as sky interment and cremation, which are practically common customs.  These rites are in contrast to the Western ways whereby the corpse is covered and made to appear as living. On the other hand, Tibetan Buddhists completely raze the person’s body. Tibetans are ethnically very ceremonial and irrational, placing more significance on rituals- particularly those that that deal with the deceased.


Over the subsequent periods, there developed a novel form of Buddhism that comprised of an increasing pantheon and more intricate rites. This later Buddhism presented the ideas of divine bodhisattvas along with idols, whereby the most common was Tara. The lessons of the Buddha are intended to exclusively liberate perceptive human beings from anguish. The rudimentary Buddha teachings which are fundamental to Buddhism include the three World-wide Truths; the four noble truths; and the noble eightfold path. Buddhism shows how humanity should be founded on moral conducts. By integrating the lessons from the two conceptual aspects, human beings attain knowledge, pleasure and evade anguish. Regarding the Buddhist teachings, eluding sorrow entails living a principled life.


Brereton, B. P. (2018). Book Review: Buddhism Illuminated: Manuscript Art from Southeast Asia. Journal of Mekong Societies14(3), 176-182.

Caple, J. (2015). Faith, generosity, knowledge and the Buddhist gift: Moral discourses on Chinese patronage of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. Religion Compass9(11), 462-482.

Eliot, C. (2019). Hinduism and Buddhism (Vol. 3). BoD–Books on Demand.

Harvey, P. (2019). Venerated objects and symbols of early Buddhism. In Symbols in art and religion (pp. 68-102). Routledge.

Kim, H. I. (2020). Empire of the Dharma: Korean and Japanese Buddhism, 1877–1912. Brill.

Leoshko, J. (2017). Sacred Traces: British Explorations of Buddhism in South Asia. Routledge.


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