After 6 years of very tough life Buddha realized that even this would not lead him to enlightenment and finally he decided to follow a middle path. He then shifted to a village in Bihar named as Bodh Gaya where he was able to get what he was looking for, the true understanding of life. During his enlightenment he possessed the power to see the past, the death and finally the elimination of his desires and ignorance. Buddha started to preach his teaching and experience of his realization to a group of ascetics who became their first disciples. He followed to spread his teachings and knowledge to the people of India for 45 years, when he gained a huge number of followers. He finally died at the age of 80(Thomas, 1949).
Buddha preached basically 4 Noble truths: 1) Truth of suffering, 2) Truth of Cause of suffering 3) Truth of ending suffering and 4) Truth of the way of ending suffering. He also preached the 3 tenants of Buddhism: Dharma, Karma and Reincarnation (Tucker 1997). The teachings of Buddha are considered as Dharma. Also it was believed that positive deeds lead to good karma and negative deeds lead to bad karma. Further one’s negative deed will force one to take rebirth in lower form and good deeds will lead in rebirth in higher form. This cycle is known as reincarnation (Warder, 2000).
Let us first understand what a worldview is. Worldview is basically considered as a set of beliefs, ideas and values that any individual possess which help to understand what is GOD, Earth and one’s relation with both of them. There exist six Worldviews: Christian Worldview, Islamic Worldview, Secular Humanist Worldview, Marxist Worldview, the Cosmic Humanist Worldview and Postmodern Worldview. The question here is to which Worldview Buddhism belongs. In my opinion Buddhism falls under the Cosmic Humanist Worldview. The Comic Humanist Worldview comprises of two interrelated spiritual movements: New Age Movement and the Neo- Paganism. The new age movement includes a mixture of ancient Eastern religion like Buddhism and other religious traditions. The new age beliefs whatever is decided as right is what is actually right till one does not get narrow minded. This Worldview is based on the belief that truth resides in each individual which is also preached by Buddhism. This worldview is summarized as the New Age thinking which focuses on creating a better society, in which people will live with peace and harmony. This is the same preaching which is given by Buddhism. Hence, we can conclude that Buddhism fall under the Cosmic Humanist Worldview.
Buddhism also had to face a lot of criticism around the world like any other religion. For example, Friedrich Nietzsche was one of them who criticized the religion for giving shelter to what was called as nihilism. Nihilism can be defined as a life which has no objective meaning. Some also blame Buddhism of having the major impact in causing Tibet to remain as an underdeveloped economy (Kieschnick, 2003). Buddhism has also being considered to have positive impact to the betterment of people. The Buddhism has taught people to give respect to other living things; it preaches Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance and Peace which have helped people to become successful in life. Many of the peace movements during the 60s and the 70s were influenced by Buddhism.