The religion of Buddhism - Religious Tolerance - Buddhism

When referring to the

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But these figures are all based on counts of the same segment of Chinese people throughout the world -- people practicing what is, sociologically, more accurately called Chinese traditional religion, and often called Chinese folk religion.

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This segment may be thought of as being functionally nonreligious or "secularized," but this segment is not what is meant by the "nonreligious" category on this Major Religious list.

Different type of data collection methodologies using different types of questions showed a consistent pattern: In most countries only a tiny number of people (zero to a fraction of 1 percent) will answer "atheism" or "atheist" when asked an open-ended question about what their religious preference.


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For the Jains karma is not a mere process but a harsh reality. It is a physical substance from which no one can really escape without paying the price in the form of retribution, bondage and suffering. It is a subtle fluid like impurity which becomes attached to us according to our actions. The Jain world view is based mostly on scriptural injunctions established by the Thirthankaras through their teachings. There is little scope for flexibility, personal freedom and experimentation in their implementation. The souls are real and eternal. In their pure state, they are not subject to the laws of bondage. For the souls the world offers an alternate reality. It is a snare filled with the evils of lust, greed, pride, anger and envy. The souls are pure consciousness. They exist in both animate and inanimate objects and are subject to the law of karma irrespective of their location. For Jains the world is one vast sacred place, permeated with innumerable souls caught in various stages of bondage and illusion. They are every where and in everything like atoms in the air of water. It is a fragile world too, which needs to be handled with utmost care and responsibility because the actions and reactions of each soul would create ripple effects upon other souls elsewhere. Even a mere act of drinking water or eating food calls for great precision and utmost care so as not to cause suffering to the souls present in the water, the food, the vessel, the air and the space surround them. Jainism therefore suggests a life of non-injury and prescribes a very rigorous, uncompromising and unforgiving code of conduct for the liberation of individuals in contrast to the middle path recommended by Buddhism.

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One of the common features of Buddhism and Jainism is the organization of monastic orders or communities of monks. Renunciation and asceticism are central to both religions as the principal means for liberation. The monks live together in groups and practice the percepts according to an established code of conduct. They share the community work such as cooking and cleaning on a rotation basis as a religious duty and opportunity to practice virtue. Usually the elder monks take charge of the community affairs and maintain order. They also share their knowledge and experience with the younger monks and new initiates, training them well for more advanced practices. The presence of many people living together sharing common values and beliefs creates strong vibrations, uplifting them all spiritually and help them in their progress.

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Jainism believes in the transmigration of souls. Buddhism does not believe in the existence of souls. However it also believes in the transmigration. What transmigrates from one life to another is not the soul but the causative entity or the ego principle which is subject to the laws of karma and bound to the cycle of births and deaths. This causative entity is an aggregation of various physical and mental components which together constitute the individual personality which is subject to the experience of duality, pain and suffering. It continues to exist and undergoes constant change till it crosses the bridge of samsara and attains nirvana or a state of complete non-becoming.