The Belief Systems/Religons

Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Confucianism

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Buddism was born at around 528 BCE by Siddhartha Guatama. He was born into wealth and into royalty.At the age of 29 Siddhartha left his family in search for a simpler life. A few years later he returned with a number of fallowers; followers devoted to the life of the "Middle Way", a lifestyle that is midway between a comepletely simple lifestyle and a more complex lifestyle. Siddhartha searched for a way that whould allow him to escape human suffering. He spend many years searching for that way. He was looking for enlightenment/wisdom. He sat under a tree and meditated. After 49 days of pure meditation he became the Buddha, which means the "Enlightend One." The Eight Fold Path is

  • Right insight
  • Right thought
  • Right speech
  • Right action
  • Right livelihood
  • Right effort
  • Right mindfulness
  • Right meditation
The teachings of Buddha have been used for thousands of years. The goal of Buddhism is to reach nirvana and to end all suffering in life. Buddha's symbols are extravagant in design.
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The sacred book of Buddhism is called the Tipitaka. It is written in an ancient Indian language called Pali which is very close to the language that the Buddha himself spoke. The Tripitaka is a very large book. The English translation of it takes up nearly forty volumes.
This is a Buddhist song
Buddhist Peaceful Song
This is a documentary of the Buddha's life
The Buddha - A Documentary Story Of The Buddha's Life
Buddhism affects the daily lives of young people life these few.A way of seeing, thinking, and acting inspired by questions about what things mean: Where did we comes from? What is our destiny? What is true? What is false? What is my duty or obligation? What is the meaning of suffering? What is the meaning of death? How shall we live?

(Ezekiel 33:10)

As young people many of us are born into our parents’ religion and follow it, but some people turn away and leave religion altogether. Many young people are confused about their religion and begin to question it. But many do believe in a god or gods. The question is, how do young people feel religion relates to them in this day and age?

The Pentecostal church has been around since the late 1700s and it is a branch of Christianity that has become well known for involving young people in the service. They believe that the spirit of God is able to live in human beings and it is part of their belief that it is God's desire for every person to have God living inside them.

Joseph Mullings, 22, an Assistant Pastor at Restoration Revival Fellowship Pentecostal Church in north-west London, has been part of the church all his life, but he wasn’t always sure about his religion.

"At the age of 11 I was in a bad crowd, my elder brothers didn’t stay in the church and I was already a petty thief. I remember trying to be as bad as my mates were. I can’t remember what led me to say 'I want to be baptised' but at the time I felt the tugging at my heart saying 'this is your time to get out and change your ways'."


Tim Lawrence, is an 18-year-old Wiccan who has had similar experiences to Joseph, becoming serious about religion before his adolescence. We were taken aback by such commitment and maturity at a young age.

"I was agnostic before I discovered Wicca. I'd grown quite despondent with Christianity from which I was raised, but I'd stopped going to the Church when I was a kid. I didn’t like my new school, didn't like the way the world was turning so I just found Wicca and it gave me something to hang onto."

Wicca is a nature-based religion. The beliefs and practices are both between individuals and traditions. Wicca is a variety of witchcraft founded on both religious and magical concepts.

Tim and Joseph spoke about how young people are active in their respective religions.

"We celebrate nature, celebrate ourselves, and celebrate whatever we are." says Tim. "We give praise to anything beautiful in the world; lots of Wiccans write poetry, write songs, most are quite creative."

Joseph says the way young people get involved at his church is through participation. "We've got young people who will lead the singing, lead the worship and some of them are even preaching already."


Being part of any religion is challenging but how do young people deal with the ongoing commitment as a young person today.

Ali, 13, and Akram, 15, follow the Pillars of Islam which is the term given to the five duties expected of every Muslim. Islam has been around since the seventh century and it follows the teachings of the prophet Muhammad through the Qur'an. It is the second largest religion in the world. For them Islam is an important and essential part of life. Ali says, "Religion, to me, is the way I do things everyday".

Akram says, "To follow five prayers a day is kind of difficult when you are waking up in the morning bare (very) early". And Ali agrees, "It’s hard when you are in school and you’re gonna miss prayers because you are in your lesson."

Strict rules

As an Assistant Pastor, Joseph understands how difficult it can be following such strict rules.

"It’s very hard as a young person to be in church every Sunday. We have beliefs about dating and whether you have sex before marriage. Young people take a lot of risks and what we do in the Pentecostal Church is warn young people of the dangers of multiple relationships, the depression that comes after an abortion or even a miscarriage."

However some young people can look beyond the strict rules and are willing to find something greater and more meaningful to their life through religion, whether it is Wicca or Islam.

Ali says "young people can gain self respect, knowledge and they’ll learn what’s good and not so good."

While Tim believes Wicca "can add stability to a young person's life just because it sort of says 'take it easy' and discover yourself around your own parameters not around a dogma."


Each person we interviewed had a respect for their own religion but they also spoke highly of other religions and stressed tolerance.

For Ali, respect is an important part of tolerance: "You’ve got to respect yours and other people’s religions. If you're taking the fun out of other people's religions they’ll be doing the same with yours."

Tim says, "I don’t necessarily think any other religion is wrong. I think other religions all seem to be focused on one particular point. Christianity is about obtaining a good afterlife but Wicca is more about this life, the afterlife isn’t mentioned that much because this life is vastly more important to Wiccans, enjoying this life and creating something beautiful in this life for yourself and others."

Christianity, Islam and Wicca are three religions which all seem to be very different on the outside. And although they have differences in the way they are practiced, after interviewing young people from them, we realised that they are, in the end, about the same things; being happy, having morals, and embracing the idea that there is a greater being, whether it be God, or (in the case of Wicca) a joint God and Goddess.

About this story


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The history of Hinduism is unique among the world religions in that it has no founder or date of origin. While most major religions derive from new ideas taught by a charismatic leader, Hinduism is simply the religion of the people of India, which has gradually developed over four thousand years. The origins and authors of its sacred texts are largely unknown.

Although today's Hinduism differs significantly from earlier forms of Indian religion, its roots date back as far as 2000 BC, making it one of the oldest surviving religions. Because of its age, the early history of Hinduism is unclear. The most ancient writings have yet to be deciphered, so for the earliest periods scholars must rely on educated guesses based on archaeology and contemporary texts.

In the last few decades, the history of India's religion has also become a matter of political controversy. The history of any nation (or individual) is an important part of its self-identity, and this is especially true of India, which so recently gained independence after centuries of colonial rule. The controversy over India's history centers on the origin of the Aryan culture, as we shall see in more detail below.

The Hindu religion: past and present

The Indus River Valley Civilization

In 1921, archaeologists uncovered evidence of an ancient civilization along the Indus River, which today runs through northwest India into Pakistan. The so-called Indus Valley civilization (also known as the "Harappan civilization" for one of its chief cities) is thought to have originated as early as 7000 BC and to have reached is height between 2300 to 2000 BC, at which point it encompassed over 750,000 square miles and traded with Mesopotamia.

Some writings of this period has been discovered, but unfortunately in such small amounts that they have yet to be deciphered. Knowledge of this great civilization's religion must therefore be based on physical evidence alone. Baths have been found that may indicate ritual bathing, a component of modern Hinduism. Some altar-like structures may be evidence of animal sacrifice, and terracotta figures may represent deities. An important seal features a horned figure surrounded by animals, which some conjecture is a prototype of Shiva, but it could be a bull parallel to that found on Mesopotamian seals.

The Controversial Aryans

The Indus Valley culture began to decline around 1800 BC, due possibly to flooding or drought. Until recently, it was held that the Aryans (an Indo-European culture whose name comes from the Sanskrit for "noble") [3] invaded India and Iran at this time. According to this hypothesis, both the Sanskrit language and the Vedic religion foundational to Hinduism is attributable to the Aryans and their descendants. The original inhabitants of the Indus Valley are thought to have had a Dravidian language and culture, which became subordinate to that of the invading peoples.

Proponents of this hypothesis point to similarities between Zoroastrianism (the ancient religion of Iran) and the Vedic religion of ancient India, as well as similar finds in ancient cemeteries in modern-day India and Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In addition, no trace of horses or chariots have been found in the remains of the Indus Valley culture, but were central to Aryan military and ritual life.

Since the 1980s, this "Aryan Invasion" hypothesis has been strongly challenged as a myth propagated by colonial scholars who sought to reinforce the idea that anything valuable in India must have come from elsewhere. Critics of the hypothesis note that there is lack of evidence of any conquest, among other historical and archaeological problems. One alternative hypothesis is explained by Encyclopædia Britannica as follows:

Between about 2000 and 1500 BCE not an invasion but a continuing spread of Indo-Aryan speakers occurred, carrying them much farther into India, to the east and south, and coinciding with a growing cultural interaction between the native population and the new arrivals. From these processes a new cultural synthesis emerged, giving rise by the end of the 2nd millennium to the conscious expressions of Aryan ethnicity found in the Rigveda, particularly in the later hymns.[4] The 19th-century Aryan Invasion theory has generally been abandoned as inaccurate, but most scholars do not reject the notion of some outside influence on the Indus Valley civilization. For many, it is a political issue as well as a historical one, with the original theory is regarded as racist and offensive.

The most sacred scriptures of Hinduism are the Vedas ("Books of Knowledge"), a collection of texts written in Sanskrit from about 1200 BCE to 100 CE. As sruti, the Vedas are regarded as the absolute authority for religious knowledge and a test of Hindu orthodoxy (both Jains and Buddhists reject the Vedas). "For Hindus, the Veda is a symbol of unchallenged authority and tradition." {1}

Selections from the Vedas are still memorized and recited for religious merit today. Yet much of the religion presented in the Vedas is unknown today and plays little to no role in modern Hinduism.

As historical and religious literature often is, the text is written from the perspective of the most powerful groups, priests and warrior-kings. Scholars say it is therefore unlikely that it represents the totality of religious belief and practice in India in the first millennium BCE. This perspective is especially evident in the earlier parts of the Vedas, in which the primary concerns are war, rain, and dealing with the "slaves," or native inhabitants of India.

Initially, the Vedas consisted of four collections of mantras (Samhitas), each associated with a particular priest or aspect of ritual: Rig Veda (Wisdom of the Verses); Sama Veda (Wisdom of the Chants); Yajur Veda (Wisdom of the Sacrificial Formulas); and Atharva Veda (Wisdom of the Atharvan Priests).

Over the centuries, three kinds of additional literature were attached to each of the Samhitas: Brahmanas (discussions of the ritual); Aranyakas ("books studied in the forest"); and Upanishads (philosophical writings).

In these later texts, especially the Upanishads, the polytheism of the earlier Vedas has evolved into a pantheism focused on Brahman, the supreme reality of the universe. This concept remains a key feature of Hindu philosophy today.


As noted above, the Samhitas ("Collections") are the oldest components of the Vedas, and consist largely of hymns and mantras. There are four Samhitas (also called Vedas): Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda.

The Rig Veda

Composed as early as 1500 BC, the Rig Veda or Rg Veda ("Wisdom of the Verses") is the oldest of the four Vedic collections and one of the oldest surviving sacred texts in the world. The Rig Veda consists of 10,552 verses (collected into 10 books) of hymns and mantras used by the hotri priests.

The hymns of the Rig Veda focus on pleasing the principal gods Indra (war, wind and rain), Agni (the sacrificial fire), Surga (the sun) and Varuna (the cosmic order) through ritual sacrifices. Along with governing important matters of life such as rain, wind, fire and war, the Vedic gods also forgive wrongdoing (5.85.7) and mete out justice in the afterlife (1.97.1).

Deceased ancestors are able to influence the living (10.15.6), so they are also appeased with rituals (10.15.1-11). The afterlife of the Rig Veda is eternal conscious survival in the abode of Yama, the god of the dead (9.113.7-11). It is the gods, not karma, that are responsible for assuring justice in this life and the next (7.104).

Yajur Veda and Sama Veda

Both the Yajur Veda ("Wisdom of the Sacrifical Formulas") and the Sama Veda ("Wisdom of the Chants") are liturgical works consisting primarily of selections from the Rig Veda. The Yajur Veda was used by udgatri priests and contains brief prose to accompany ritual acts, many of which are addressed to the ritual instruments and offerings. The Sama Veda was chanted in fixed melodies by the adhvaryu priests. Each contain about 2,000 verses.

Atharva Veda

The Atharva Veda ("Wisdom of the Atharvan Priests) was added significantly later than the first three Samhitas, perhaps as late as 500 BC. It consists of 20 books of hymns and prose, many of which reflect the religious concerns of everyday life. This sets the Arharva Veda apart from the other Vedas, which focus on adoring the gods and performing the liturgy of sacrifice, and makes it an important source of information on the practical religion and magic of the time.

Books 1 through 8 of the Atharva Veda contain magical prayers for long life, prosperity, curses, kingship, love, and a variety of other specific purposes. Books 8 through 12 include cosmological hymns, marking a transition to the loftier philosophy of the Upanishads. The remainder of the books consist of magical and ritual formulas, including marriage and funeral practices.


The mythology and significance behind the Vedic rituals of the Samhitas are explained in the Brahmanas. Although they include some detail as to the performance of rituals themselves, the Brahmanas are primarily concerned with the meaning of rituals. A worldview is presented in which sacrifice is central to human life, religious goals, and even the continuation of the cosmos.

Included in the Brahmanas are extensive rituals for royal consecration (rajasuya), which endow a king with great power and raise him to the status of a god (at least during the ceremony). Part of the ritual is the elaborate horse sacrifice (asvamedya), in which a single horse is set free, followed and protected by royal forces for a year, then ritually sacrificed at the royal capital.

Aranyakas ("Forest Books")

The Aranyakas contain similar material as the Brahmanas and discuss rites deemed not suitable for the village (thus the name "forest"). They also prominently feature the word brahmana, here meaning the creative power behind of the rituals, and by extension, the cosmic order.

Upanishads ("Sittings Near a Teacher")

The word "Upanishad" means "to sit down near," bringing to mind pupils gathering around their teacher for philosophical instruction. The Upanishads are philosophical works that introduce the now-central ideas of self-realization, yoga, meditation, karma and reincarnation.

The theme of the Upanishads is the escape from rebirth through knowledge of the underlying reality of the universe. The Encyclopaedia Britannica explains how this change in perspective came about:

Throughout the later Vedic period, the idea that the world of heaven was not the end-and that even in heaven death was inevitable-had been growing. For Vedic thinkers, the fear of the impermanence of religious merit and its loss in the hereafter, as well as the fear-provoking anticipation of the transience of any form of existence after death, culminating in the much-feared repeated death (punarmrtyu), assumed the character of an obsession. The older Upanishads are affixed to a particular Veda, but more recent ones are not. The most important Upanishads are generally considered to be the Brhadaranyaka ("Great Forest Text") and the Chandogya (pertaining to the Chandoga priests). Both record the traditions of sages (rishis) of the period, most notably Yajñavalkya, who was a pioneer of new religious ideas. Also significant are;

- Mandukya Upanishad
- Kena/Talavakara Upanishad
- Katha Upanishad
- Mundaka Upanishad
- Aitareya Upanishad
- Taittiriya Upanishad
- Prashna Upanishad
- Isha Upanishad
- Shvetashvatara Upanishad

My Life, My Religion: Hinduism
Indian Background Flute Music: Instrumental Meditation Music | Yoga Music | Spa Music for Relaxation


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This is the symbol of Hanukkha

Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world that still exists today. Jewish history, beliefs, and traditions were recorded in the Hebrew Bible beginning as early as the 8th century BCE.

Although it never achieved dominant numbers, the faith of the Hebrews—just one of many ancient Middle Eastern tribes—continues to exert a profound influence in the modern western world.

Jewish beliefs center on the conviction that there is only one God. This was a minority view in its time, but monotheism is now dominant in the western world—thanks to the influence of Judaism on the powerful religions of Christianity and Islam.

Today, approximately 14 million people identify themselves as Jews. There are three main branches of Judaism, each with different approaches to religious life: Orthodox; Conservative; and Reform. Jewish life is rich in traditions, rituals and holidays, which commemorate the past, celebrate the present, and express hope for the future.

Inside Judaism - Jewish History
Judaism In A Nutshell Judaism 101 explained Judiasm What is Judaism Jewish Othodox Jews Beliefs
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Although the word "Torah" is sometimes used to refer to the entire Tanakh or even the whole body of Jewish writings, it technically means the first five books of the Tanakh. These books are also known as the Five Books of Moses or the Pentateuch. In English, the names for the books of the Torah are derived from Greek and describe the general topic of the book:

- Genesis
- Exodus
- Leviticus
- Numbers
- Deuteronomy ("Second Law")

The Hebrew names of the books of the Torah reflect not the subject, but the first major word of each book:

- Bereisheet ("In the beginning")
- Sh'mot ("Names")
- Vayikra ("And he called")
- BaMidbar ("In the wilderness")
- D'varim ("Words")

What is the Torah About?

Among other things, the Torah contains important events in the history of Judaism, like the account of the creation of the world, God's special call to Abraham, the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses, God's rescue of Israel from slavery in Egypt, the wandering in the wilderness, and the conquering of Canaan, the Promised Land. The Torah is by far the most important part of the Tanakh because, in addition to including these important stories, it also details the commandments (mitzvot) God gave the Jewish people through Moses.

  1. Respect for Human Life. In a perfect world, all people would be guaranteed certain basic human rights, paramount among which must be the right to life. They should be able to live that life without constant fear of its loss and with certain basic dignity.
  2. Peace and Harmony. On all levels—whether communal or global—people and nations should co-exist in peace and harmony with respect for each other.
  3. Justice and Equality. All people, regardless of race, sex, or social status should be treated equally and fairly in the eyes of the law.
  4. Education. Everyone should receive a basic education that would guarantee functional literacy within society.
  5. Family A strong, stable family structure needs to exist to serve as the moral foundation for society and as the most important institution for socializing/educating children.
  6. Social Responsibility. On an individual, community, national and global level, people must take responsibility for the world. This should include an organized social network to address basic concerns such as disease, poverty, famine, crime, drug-related problems, as well as environmental and animal protection issues.


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K'ung Fu Tzu (a.k.a. Kông Fūzî, K'ung-tze, K'ung-fu-tze, and commonly written as Confucius in English) was born in 551 BCE in the state of Lu (modern day Shantung Province in China). He lived during the Chou dynasty, an era known for its moral laxity. When he was 22 years of age, he opened a school. Success in teaching led to his appointment as minister of justice of Lu. After a conflict with the Marquis of Lu, he left the state and wandered for 13 years throughout China, giving advice to their rulers. He accumulated a small band of students during this time. The last years of his life were spent back in Lu, where he devoted himself to teaching. He died about 479 BCE at the approximate age of 72. "His lifetime almost exactly coincided with that of Buddha, who died two years earlier at the age of eighty." 1

His writings deal primarily with individual morality and ethics, and the proper exercise of political power by the rulers.

"In the year 213 BCE, the subverter of the Chow dynasty, Shi Hwang-ti, promulgated the decree that all Confucian books, excepting the "Y-king", should be destroyed. The penalty of death was threatened against all scholars who should be found possessing the proscribed books or teaching them to others. Hundreds of Confucian scholars would not comply with the edict, and were buried alive. When the repeal came under the Han dynasty, in 191 BCE, the work of extermination was well nigh complete. Gradually, however, copies more or less damaged were brought to light, and the Confucian texts were restored to their place of honor." 1

In China, and some other areas in Asia, the social ethics and moral teachings of Confucius are blended with the Taoist communion with nature and Buddhist concepts of the afterlife, to form the Chinese Traditional Religion -- a set of complementary, peacefully co-existent and ecumenical religions.

How many people follow the teachings of Confucius?

This is a simple, but ambiguous question. Estimates of the number of adherents of Confucianism vary over a range of almost 60 times! For example, on 2009-SEP-28, WikiAnswers® responded differently to two almost identical questions submitted by their visitors. To the question:

"World wide how many people follow Confucianism?" the answer given was "Apprx. [sic] 6 million." 2

"How many followers are there in confucianism [sic]" the answer given was "an estimated 350 million followers worldwide." 3

The former estimate refers to individuals who follow Confucianism to the exclusion of all other religions. This way of looking at a religion is similar to that found widely throughout North America, where the vast majority of adults regard themselves as Christian, or Judaism, or Islam.htm. Only a small percentage of adults regard themselves as following two religions simultaneously, likeChristianity and Wicca, or in one memorable case involving Rev. Ann Holmes Redding, a priest of the Episcopal Church, USA: Christianity and Islam.

However, there are hundreds of millions of individuals in China who follow "Chinese traditional religion." This is sometimes called "Chinese folk religion." However, the former term is preferable, because the word "folk" often is used to refer to "Local, tribal customs and beliefs such as ancestor worship and nature beliefs." 4 Chinese traditional religion is a blending of Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, and traditional local practices and beliefs. There are some points of incompatibility among Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. However, people have been able to accommodate these conflicts.

Followers of Chinese Traditional religion make up about 6% of the world's population -- roughly the same as the number of Buddhists and followers of native Indigenous religions. 4

About 26,000 adults in North America identify themselves as Confucian. Almost all of the others live in China or elsewhere in Asia.

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Filial piety (xiao shun) is the primary duty to one’s parents - a fundamental virtue for the Chinese way of life. Throughout the Analects, Confucius talks a great deal about the virtues for particular types of human relations, such as the virtue of filial piety (xiao) between parent and child.In classical Confucianism filial piety was commonly understood to consist of three key moral obligations; respect for one's parents, honouring (or not disgracing) them, and supporting them financially.

From this relationship with one’s parents, Confucius states is the Analects, that “When your parents are alive, serve them according to propriety; when they die, bury them according to propriety; sacrifice to them according to propriety” (Liu, p237)

Subdivided into Confuciusim is legalism and Taoism/Daoism


Taoism is the one of four eastern systems that is philosophical. It is often placed together with Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Like Confucianism, it is a rough contemporary of Buddhism, while Hinduism predates all of them. Its founder, known as Lao Tzu, is said to have been born around 604 BCE, which makes him earlier than both Buddha and Confucius, but it is not clear if there ever really was such a person, or whether he was a later recreation to provide a single author for the book Tao Te Ching which translates as The Way and its Power and lays out the basic philosophy of Taoism.

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Legalism is a pragmatic political philosophy, whose main motto is "set clear strict laws, or deliver harsh punishment", and its essential principle is one of jurisprudence. According to Legalism, a ruler should govern his subjects accordoing to Fa (law or principle), Shu (method, tactic, art, or statecraft) and Shi (legitimacy, power, or charisma). Under Li Si in the 3rd century B.C., a form of Legalism essentially became a totalitarian ideology in China, which in part led to its subsequent decline.
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A strong allegiance to family, ancestor worship and education reflects Confucianism’s continued influence, even after the Communist Revolution in the 1970s, when Mao began a strong anti-Confucius campaign, in which Confucian temples were destroyed and sacred texts of his teachings were burned. After the death of Mao, there began a slow revival of religion in China.

Some Chinese entrepreneurs are discussing what business strategies may be adopted from ancient philosophies. For example, Qin Yunong, owner of a Shanghai micro-credit company, bases his loan decisions partly on how deferential applicants are to parental authority as a means to assess one’s level of financial responsibility. Some are also looking to Confucian wisdom for economic solutions to the increasing crime rate, unemployment, corruption and wealth gap between rich and poor. These experts call for a revival of cultural tradition by returning to traditional values such as ren, li, filial piety and yi to rebuild China’s morals and social standards.

Here's a website that talks all about Confucius Analects