Top 10 Misconceptions about Buddhism

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6. Laughing Buddha:

Laughing Buddha

This is a very silly and senseless misconception people have about Buddhism. Some people think that Buddha was a very fat looking and jolly fellow with his belly always showing and he mostly sits in a complete lotus position. But this look is not of the Buddha, the Siddhartha Gautama. It is the image of “laughing Buddha” who is a monk that travelled around. There is no documentation about the looks of Buddha but he sure didn’t look like the laughing Buddha and he is a completely different person.


7. Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama

Most of the people think of Dalai Lama as a Pope in Buddhism. People often want to have religious leaders and sometimes create their own versions if nothing is known. But the truth is Dalai Lama is not the religion leader for Buddhism but is infact the head of a small group of Tibetan Buddhists who are called Gelugpa. All the remaining people who follow Buddhism do not take Dalai Lama as their official leader and he is no Pope of this religion.


8. Meditation


Whenever people think of Buddhists they always picture them meditating and in a full lotus position, repeating a mantra in some language. But meditating is not a compulsion and only a few Buddhists practice meditation regularly. Some monks who are not even Buddhist also meditate regularly. In a survey among Buddhists in America it was found that more than half of the Buddhists do not meditate regularly or at all.


9. Pacifists


It is a misconception that all the Buddhists are pacifists. Buddhism preaches to practice non-violence, But do not support the complete idea of pacifism. Even once Dalai Lama was questioned about killing Osama Bin Laden who is an international terrorist. His reaction to that was sympathy and advised to take counter measures in such serious situations. Buddhists are like those martial arts instructors who avoid fighting if not necessary and are completely against violence but may attack in self-defense and whenever needed.


10. Religion


Depending on the individual definition of religion, people treat Buddhism as a religion or not. Some people think of it as a religion while other does not consider it a religion. In other words, it is a unique religion which can be followed even if you belong to a different community and culture. This is because Buddhism does not put restriction on anyone of any kind. You may or may not choose to believe in God and it all depends on how they personally perceive it.

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