Buddhists don’t believe that there is a God who creates us, loves us, and desires a relationship with us. They don’t believe that there is a God at all. Instead of a right relationship with God, Buddhists teach that the way to be happy is to live a simple life because “things” only cause suffering. Only through freeing ourselves from desire, do Buddhists believe we can become happy.
Followers of Buddhism do not believe that death is final, leading to an eternity in heaven or hell. They believe in reincarnation instead, that after we die we are reborn as a different person or animal. According to Buddhism, everything that people do in their lives is taken into account to determine what each individual will become in their next lives. All the good and bad that we do in this life carry over to the next.
What we do with our lives is determines what kind of karma we are making. There is both good karma and bad karma. Good things that we do become karma that helps a person to become a better being in his or her next life, closer to nirvana. Bad karma means that a person will be reincarnated at the same level that they are, or lower – farther away from reaching nirvana.
Nirvana is what Buddhists call their ultimate goal; it is an end to the cycle of reincarnation that they seek to reach through meditation and accumulating good karma.