Buddhism is a philosophy of life expounded by
Gautama Buddha ("Buddha" means "enlightened one"),
who lived and taught in northern India in the 6th Century B.C. The
Buddha was not a god and the philosophy of Buddhism does not entail
any theistic world-view. The teachings of the Buddha are aimed solely
to liberate sentient beings from suffering.
The Basic Teachings of Buddha which are core of Buddhism
The Three Universal Truth
The Four Noble Truth
The Noble Eightfold Path
In Buddhism, the law of karma, says "for every event that
occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused
by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant
according as its cause was skillful or unskillful." Therefore,
the law of Karma teaches that responsibility for unskillful actions
is born by the person who commits them.
After his enlightenment, he went to the Deer Park near the holy
city of Benares and shared his new understanding with five holy
men. They understood immediately and became his disciples. This
marked the beginning of the Buddhist community. For the next forty-five
years, the Buddha and his disciples went from place to place in
India spreading the Dharma, his teachings. Their compassion knew
no bounds, they helped everyone along the way, beggars, kings and
slave girls. At night, they would sleep where they were; when hungry
they would ask for a little food.
Whenever the Buddha went, he won the hearts of the people because
he dealt with their true feelings. He advised them not to accept
his words on blind faith, but to decide for themselves whether his
teachings are right or wrong, then follow them. He encouraged everyone
to have compassion for each other and develop their own virtue,
"You should do your own work, for I can teach only the way."
Once the Buddha and Ananda visited a monastery where a monk was
suffering from a contagious disease. The poor man lay in a mess
with no one looking after him. The Buddha himself washed the sick
monk and placed him on a new bed. Afterwards, he admonished the
other monks. "Monks, you have neither mother nor father to
look after you. If you do not look after each other, who will look
after you? Whoever serves the sick and suffering, serves me."
BASIC TEACHINGS OF BUDDHA
The Three Universal Truth
1. Nothing is lost in the universe
2. Everything Changes
3. Law of Cause and Effect
The Four Noble Truths
1. Life is suffering;
2. Suffering is due to attachment;
3. Attachment can be overcome;
4. There is a path for accomplishing this.
The Noble Eightfold Path
1. Right View is the true understanding of the four noble truths.
2. Right Aspiration is the true desire to free oneself from attachment,
ignorance, and hatefulness. These two are referred to as Prajña,
3. Right Speech involves abstaining from lying, gossiping, or hurtful
4. Right Action involves abstaining from hurtful behaviors, such
as killing, stealing, and careless sex.
5. Right Livelihood means making your living in such a way as to
avoid dishonesty and hurting others, including animals. These three
are refered to as Shila, or morality.
6. Right Effort is a matter of exerting oneself in regards to the
content of one's mind: Bad qualities should be abandoned and prevented
from arising again; Good qualities should be enacted and nurtured.
7. Right Mindfulness is the focusing of one's attention on one's
body, feelings, thoughts, and consciousness in such a way as to
overcome craving, hatred, and ignorance.
8. Right Concentration is meditating in such a way as to progressively
realize a true understanding of imperfection, impermanence, and
non-separateness.The last three are known as Samadhi or Meditation.
However, there are many sects of Buddhism and there are different
kinds of Buddhist monks all over the world. The life and customs
of Buddhist monks are not only different and unique but consists
of a spiritual meaning and their daily life follows a strict schedule
that revolves around meditation, study of scriptures, and taking
apart in the ceremonies. There are Buddhist shrines, Buddhist monasteries,
where monks live, Gompas and Buddhist Stupas all over the world.
However, Tibet is perhaps the only Buddhist country which has Dalai
Lama, the Buddhist monk and a spiritual leader, as its political
leader too. All monks have special uniform called robes, the color
of which can tell you about his status in the monastery such as
the brownish orange robe is the color of wise, elderly monks.
Though originated in northern India, Emperor Ashoka helped to spread
Buddhism into South East Asian counties such as Sri Lanka, Burma,
Thailand and Indo-China, from where it moved on to influence people
in the Himalayan kingdoms of Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, Mongolia,
Central Asia along with China, Korea, Vietnam and Japan. Today,
Thailand has 95% of Buddhist population, the highest in the world
with Cambodia, Burma, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Laos, Vietnam, Japan,
Macau and Taiwan following soon behind.
Devotees reaffirm their faith in the five principles called
1. Do not to take life
2. Do not to steal
3. Do not to lie
4. Do not to consume liquor or other intoxicants
5. Do not to commit adultery.