Buddhism is one of the world’s most exceptional religions that existed for more than 2500 years (Khan, 2020, n.p). The religion founds its basis on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. However, the teachings of the faith remain controversial because the original teaching did not exist come from oral sources Documents making its interoperations rely on oral representations of the teachers. Buddha’s thoughts about the issue of free will lead many people to think that it occurred as a categorical error (Javanaud, 2018, pg.633). The emergence of a new religion, particularly in Asia or Europe, brings a challenge that the first few individuals pose challenges that bring about dilemmas or counterarguments that will remain topics for discussions even after the religion has taken root. The philosophical influence, whether negative or positive, will continue to affect the domains and application of the said religion. Unlike other religions and most philosophies, the historical Buddha did have a written record of their teaching but passed them down orally to younger generations. The lack of written or documented records of the teachings of the Buddha forms the primary reason why Buddhism has so many interpretations concerning religion.
This paper will detail and analyse the Eightfold Path which forms the basis of Buddhism and how followers of that doctrine construct their lives according to it. It will detail the reasons for the formulation of such a path, and why followers of Buddhism use it to attain their goal of ‘Nirvana’. The points the paper makes will be supported by references to Buddhist texts themselves, as well as to scholarly articles and other reading materials related to the subject matter. Some comparisons will also be made in how its perceptions of the nature of reality contrast with more openly theist religions, specifically Christianity. The nature of the Eightfold Path as a route map and guide rather than a prescriptive instruction book will also be explored.
Masks have been used for a variety of purposes by many different people throughout history. Masks are often used to represent deities or spirits; in many cases, wearing masks during certain rituals is believed to allow the wearer of the mask to actually embody the spirit of the deity, or to become that deity during the ritual. This is true in the case of Mahakala, a deity that is worshipped both by members of the Hindu faith and by followers of Buddhism. There are a variety of ways that Mahakala is represented in physical forms. Statues and masks are commonly used to represent Mahakala, and devotees of certain sects of Buddhism often have Mahakala statues in their homes. Masks that represent Mahakala are used in a number of Buddhist rituals, including dances and parades. The following discussion will focus primarily on Mahakala in the context of Buddhism, and how this figure is used in ritual dances and other manifestations of this significant and important deity.