Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy?


There are plenty of Buddhist texts available, which were the first translations from Pali into English. They caused rather a confusion than clarification for someone who is more interested to know about Buddhism. Part of this confusion arose due to a lack of knowledge of what this Buddhism is all about.

The earlier English & many other language translators of Buddhist text often saw their own religion in what they understood as Buddhism, which reinforced their pre-conceived notions that all religions were much the same. Of course, they were right, except that they had mistaken a philosophy for a religion.

The advantage of this confusion is that Buddhism now has something to offer everyone, no matter whether their mindset be devotional or investigative or like most of us, a little of each.

Buddha did not set out to found a religion but to teach all who wished to learn about the meaning of existence. He taught that with understanding would come the wisdom to live the least suffering, disappointment, and frustration. He did not profess to know everything or to be able to fix all the problems occurring in the world. What he was trying to demonstrate was the best way to react to our problems; not to kick and scream and lash out at others but to try to see existence as clearly as our limited faculties, supplemented by meditation, will permit so we can find the most skillful means of managing whatever the situation is.

What are your thoughts on this?

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