The Buddha's Teachings for All
The Buddha - My Great Teacher
The Buddha was a great teacher and philosopher but not a God. He was the one who enlightened others with his teachings. Buddhism is not only a religion but an education as well. It teaches us many moral things such as not to harm anybody who has a life.
I am a Buddhist and I was a monk for few days. It was only for short period of time. There is a rule where every male Buddhist has to be monk at least once in a life. I learned a lot during the time I stayed in a Buddhist temple. Today I would like to introduce some of the teachings that were taught by the Buddha. I will also show you Buddha's peaceful quotes, and pictures.
Image credit: Craig Loftus
The Buddha's Life
The Buddha was born in this world in 623 B.C. in a city called Kapilavatthu, in Lumbini Park, Nepal. He was son of the king Suddhodana and the queen Maha Maya. The Buddha was called as Siddhartha Gotama before becoming a Buddha. His father did not want Siddhartha to think about real life of human being, because his father remembered the prediction of the wise man. The wise man predicted that if Siddhartha Gotama leaves palace, one day he would become a Buddha.
The prince was very kind to everyone and he took care of not to do anything harmful to any living creatures. Siddhartha Gotama realized that the life was sorrowful, he needed salvation and this thought leads him to be a Buddha. He left palace for salvation at the age of 29 and after meditating for 6 years long he became the Buddha at the age of 35.
Big Buddha Statue in Japan
Image credit: geraldford
Happiness is short, it stays for a while!
Prince Siddhartha Gotama saw many other creatures like snake, birds, fish, horse and many more. One day he had seen a lizard was eating ants after that a snake came and caught the lizard at once and ate it.
After a while a bird came down from the sky and picked up the snake, this bird did the same thing as snake did to the lizard. How awful life it is! Everybody is eating each other, they are fighting each other for living this world.
Then Prince Siddhartha Gotama thought then all these creatures were happy for a while when they caught as food but they ended up suffering, a lot of suffering.
Prince Siddhartha: The Story of Buddha - You can read this book!
Do you want to read about the Buddha's life? Prince Siddhartha (later he became the Buddha) story is very interesting, you will know everything he did. It will teach you how he became a Buddha after meditating hard.
You are going to love this book, you will know why once you read it. Good luck!
How did the Buddha realize that the world is full of grief and sufferings?
The king Suddhodana kept his son inside the palace because he knew one thing which is "if his son goes out of the palace, he would see many things of this real world and later would be a Buddha and leave him forever".
One day Prince Siddhartha Gotama and his charioteer Channa as his attendant went out to the nearby towns. On his first visit he saw a old man with white haired, wrinkled, dressed in rags and he was in the last stage of aging. Prince Siddhartha Gotama was surprised and sad what he saw. He had never seen such old person in his life. Then charioteer Channa told him "everybody will be older like this old man one day". This statement indeed made him to think about miserable life. Then he asked charioteer Channa to take him to the palace.
On his second visit he saw a man lying down on the ground and mourning and moaning. Then Channa told the prince "this man is sick and everyone can be sick at any time".
On the third visit Siddhartha saw four men carrying a stretcher of a death body of a man, relatives were crying. Then suddenly, Siddhartha asked to Channa "What has happened to these men?" Channa said "everyone will die one day, there is no escape from it. Finally, he had to make a strong decision to find a way out of the suffering of old age, sickness and death.
Later on, he saw a man in yellow robe while he was riding in the garden. Channa told the price, this man was a monk who left his family and gave up all the desire for pleasure and he was on the way to finding out the escape of suffering. After hearing this price thought the monk was very peaceful and happy. Thus how Prince Siddhartha Gotama realized how sorrowful this world was, "people become old, sick then die!"
Four Nobel Truths of Buddhism
He left royal palace and gave up all his pleasures for becoming a Buddha at the age of 29. Finally, after meditating hard for 6 years long at once he became a Buddha at the age of 35. He also achieved the Nirvana; this is the ultimate goal of Buddhism. Let us see Four Nobel Truths to clear your thoughts.
Four Nobel Truths are -
1) The Dukkha (Suffering) - Know the sufferings that we face
2) The Cause Of of Dukkha - Be able to know the cause of sufferings
3) The Cessation Of Dukkha - vision, insight, wisdom, knowing and light that arose in mind
4) The Path That Ends Dukkha - By Achieving Nirvana we can be free from all sufferings
Eight-Fold Paths of Buddhism
Eight-fold paths which consist of -
1) Right understanding
2) Right thoughts
3) Right speech
4) Right action
5) Right livelihood
6) Right effort
7) Right mindfulness
8) Right concentration
I think you do understand all of these eight-fold paths.
Five Percepts of Buddhism
The Buddha advised these five percepts for human beings to live peacefully by abstaining from -
3) Telling lies
5) Taking alcoholic drinks
There are also many peaceful advices, moral ethics and rules which are completely can be followed by human beings for having peaceful life.
Nirvana is a place where you are free from sufferings and rebirth, you can't see it but you can feel it just like you can't see the air but you can feel it when air touches you. This also means as extinguishing of the fires of greed.
What is Nirvana?
How to achieve Nirbana or Nibbana?
Nirvana or Nibbana simply meant peace or extinction before the Buddha's time. At the time of the Buddha he described nirvana in new dimensions of meaning. Here, if we look at the word "Nirvana" or "Nibbana" then we get these, NI means "no" and Vana means "craving": No more craving, no more attachment and no more selfishness.
A person like me or you can never experience nirvana because we have craving, attachment and selfishness. When these three words are gone from our inner mind then we experience nirvana, otherwise not. We, the people have emotions and we crave for sensual gratification. Sensual pleasure will never let you to know or feel the real nirvana taste.
It is true that happiness comes to our life but they are for short time, they are limited while on the other hand pour nirvana gives you endless happiness, it can't be ended and this is called permanent happiness. We need to have a true bliss and then we will experience a permanent sense of satisfaction, calmness and tranquility. We can never be at peace if we spend time for solving problems, and wonder of what to do next over time.
Want to achieve it? It is very hard to go to Nirvana and only the person who has knowledge as the Buddha had can achieve it by meditating and throwing out the external happiness that stays for a while from the real world. I can describe many things here about this subject but I honestly suggest you to read some books "How to achieve Nirbana or Nibbana?" - you can find them easily online.
Buddha - Read this book, it is simple!
If you have Buddhist friends then you can present this book as gift, he or she would be happy to receive this book, it is a precious book.
Buddhism and Mind
Buddhism teaches us to be calm in mind and to control the mind. Mind is a thing that can change your mood at any time. I think you believe this point. Mind is the main factor of Buddhism. It is hard to control.
Do you know why people get angry? The answer is - people get anger because people's mind say, "you got to be anger". To clear this concept, I would like to give you an example of it, suppose you are feeling hungry now, what would you do then? Of course you would find food to fulfill your demand.
Have you thought who derives you to find food that you need? Yes, your mind derives you to find food then you get satisfaction. If your mind says, "Kill that person" yes! Your body will kill that person. Controlling your mind is first, all comes from mind. It could be good, could be bad.
If you can control your mind peacefully you see how you feel good. By mediating you control your mind. While you meditate your mind may go to many places, just what you are thinking about, so just try to control it, everything will be fine.
Useful Link to Explore more about Buddhism
What is Karma?
Does karma exist in our life? I say “Yes” and it does exist. Karma or Kamma simply means action or reaction of what we do. If I say about karma except Buddhism concept we can get an image where the god will punish the one whose action is badly affect it to someone else. God rewards according to one’s good karma and punishes according to one’s bad karma. If you know the law of cause and effect you won’t believe in this concept. The Buddha did not believe it this way rather he thought we can handle our karma. Even we have the power to overcome the effect of karma.
We have to find our salvation by our own effort. The teachings of the Buddha will direct you or guide you what to do or not to do but it would not do the work for you. Get job done by you taking the guidelines from the Buddha’s teachings. Our sins that come from our bad karma can’t be abolished if we pray to the Buddha. There is a simple method of overcoming bad effects of karma. The first thing is we have to reduce evil thoughts, jealousy. Second thing is we have stop repeating our bad karma. And third thing is we have to generate or cultivate good karma.
I can’t pollute your mind nor I can purify but by taking my words you can purify your mind. This concept is true not false at all. At school, your teacher shows you how to solve a math problem but he would not do it during exam time. You have to do that yourself. In Buddhism, understanding of the cosmic nature of the universe and its complete operation according to the laws of cause and effect, this is what we need to know in order to bring happiness not the religion.
We are bound to Karma that leads to rebirth
Karma is the action that we do every day in our life. The Buddha said "Karma is life Karma is friend and Karma is enemy". Buddhism believes in karma.
Every action has its reaction, this is the law. Do the right thing and get the reward, this is the universal truth of life. On the other hand doing bad things get punished.
You have stolen a diamond from a shop, unfortunately you got caught then what?! Of course you get punished. Police caught you and sent you to prison.
You are studying for an upcoming exam to get a good result; yes you will be rewarded by giving a medal because by studying hard you achieve that.
Karma leads to rebirth again in this world so that you have to suffer again like being older, feeling pain and then die. That's why, karma is your life, karma is your friend and karma is your enemy.
Please share your thoughts of Karma.
Do you believe in Karma/Action?
Beautiful Buddha Statue
Buddha statues are being worshiped by us everyday. If you are not a Buddhist but want to see a beautiful delightful Buddha statue in your home then you can choose one as decor item.
This is a Thai style Buddha statue.
Why everything is not equal?
Some people are rich, some are poor! This is not equal at all, right? Have you ever thought why it is so? Do you think all these things happen for God that he already drew your life cycle? Actually Buddhism does not agree with it. Buddhism believes in Karma or action and that's why we are not equal. We hardly find student in a class room where all the students are brilliant in all subjects. You are a driver of your car not others. For example, just take your life as a car and you are a driver of it. You drive your car (life) by yourself. If you take it to right direction you will find happiness otherwise if you go to the wrong direction you have to suffer.
Have you ever thought why some new born babies die of many diseases?! Do you think the God sends the baby for a while and takes it back to his place? I think all of we know god is kind and peaceful in mind. I really don't know why he sends that baby for a while in this world and take it back! I think it is painful for the baby's parents. Do you think one God wishes to make other unhappy or gives them pain which hurts much? Well I am telling this to those who believe the God controls of our life and when he wants you to die you die. As Buddhism does not believe in God so all these issues are irrelevant and Buddhism only believe in Action/karma that leads us to our destiny. Now just think about the car I have mentioned here, you drive your own life not others.
Again, you see there are many people who have long term diseases and they suffer a lot. If the one who thinks that God controls our life then I have a question to you, can you just tell me why the God makes those patients unhappy and sufferer for a long time? Or do you think it is only a punishment for those patients that come from the god?
I don't think so the god could not be such a fool and unkind that he makes his disciples (patients) sufferer for a long time. Rather the god would help them to get better soon. But the real thing goes different only because of Karma or action. Buddhism would say those patients are suffering for their own action they did in their current life or past life (Please note that Buddhism believe in rebirth), so they are suffering now and Buddhism always enlighten and bless them to get better soon. Remember, Buddhism believe that god can't punish or reward you, you are punished or rewarded by your actions/karma.
My explanation here comes from Buddhism thoughts and believe. There is nothing to be anger if you don't agree or like what i have explained in this module. I just shared our believe with you. It does not mean i want to hurt you. Be peaceful and follow your religious thought if you find peaceful there.
Buddha Statue in Hong Kong
Image credit: laszlo-photo
"A fool who knows his foolishness is wise at least to that extent, but a fool who thinks himself wise is a fool indeed"— The Buddha
The Buddha's Quotes
These could be unknown to you!
"Neither mother, father, nor any other relative can do one greater good than one's own well-directed mind"
"Like a beautiful flower full of color and also fragrant, even so, fruitful are the fair words of one who practices them"
"Long is the night to the sleepless; long is the league to the weary. Long is worldly existence to fools who know not the Sublime Truth"
"A fool who knows his foolishness is wise at least to that extent, but a fool who thinks himself wise is a fool indeed"
"Do not associate with evil companions; do not seek the fellowship of the vile. Associate with the good friends; seek the fellowship of noble men"
"Just as a solid rock is not shaken by the storm, even so the wise are not affected by praise or blame"
"One who, while himself seeking happiness, does not oppress with violence other beings who also desire happiness, will find happiness hereafter"
"Better it is to live alone; there is no fellowship with a fool. Live alone and do no evil; be carefree like and elephant in the elephant forest"
"Four misfortunes befall the reckless man who consorts with another's wife: acquisition of demerit, disturbed sleep, ill-repute, and (rebirth in) states of woe"
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind - this is the teaching of the Buddhas"
Virtue and wisdom both are like a pair of bird's wings
Peace, Happiness and Salvation
Everyone seeks for peace, happiness and salvation from sufferings. Where there is peace, there is love as well. The great teacher showed us the path of peace, happiness and salvation.
Whether you believe in his teachings or not it will not affect to you. His truthful message was given to this world without any violation. His teaching does not install a fear in your mind.
As virtue is necessary for the attainment of salvation, which is Nirvana, on the other hand only virtue cannot lead you to Nirvana, you need wisdom as well. Virtue and wisdom both are like a pair of bird's wings.
Giant Buddha Statue in Sichuan, China
Image credit: Chi King
Buddhism has no discrimination
This is the religion where there is no discrimination. The Buddha declared that the gate of Nirvana is open for all. You get equal opportunity of every aspect of life.
It does not matter you are poor or rich, man or woman, criminal or non-criminal, anger-non anger. You all have success and prosperity since you have the freedom to choose what is good and what's bad in life.
I have heard a news once that many Hindu religious people from India converted from their religion to Buddhism by themselves. It happened because in Hinduism there is a class system that divide people from upper class to lower class. And thus lower class people be discriminated in some cases. This class system has no existence in Buddhism.
The Way of the Buddha: The Illustrated Dhammapada
Dhammapada is an important part of the Tripitaka. You would love all these quotes, they are simple but they mean to you a lot things about our life.
Buddhism and God Existence
Buddhism does not believe in God but it does believe in self prosperity. You can control your mind by yourself. Even though in Buddhism there is spiritual things existed. The Buddha is not a god but a great teacher.
In Buddhism since you are the driver of your own faith so there is no existence of god, no reward comes from the god, no punishment comes from the god. You achieve what you do by yourself.
I know there are many persons who would disagree with this statement that we don't believe in god existence. But the real thing is we have grown following our own religious beliefs and customs so on this subject, there are enormous debates that come from different religious disciples. Please, you never get hurt reading our Buddhism thoughts.
You are happy with your religion, stay with it if you find peace and love in there
Buddhism is a free Religion
If there is a religion which would never force you to take its religion then it would be Buddhism. We never tell others that our religion is the best. The word "religion" should be free for everyone. As one has right to take right and bad decision so it is also his decision which religion she or he would take can follow its customs.
Buddhism allows you to judge this religion by yourself, not by others. Come and see, if you find this religion is really peaceful then you explore it more but it does not mean you have to be converted from the religion you have now.
You are happy with your religion, stay with it if you find peace and love in there. Buddhism never forces you to take its religion. You better analyze and observe it much.
Image credit: LondonBrad
Buddhism and Meditation
Doing meditation is a positive action to control our mind. Mind is a fact! It leads you to do anything including both positive and negative activity. Meditation does not only help us to control our mind but it also help us to go to Nirvana.
Only proper meditation technique can lead you to achieve its highest achievement. Before starting mediation, one has to follow at least some basic rules.
One can achieve Nirvana by doing hard meditation. Achieving Nirvana is not a easy task at all. You have to be patient and most importantly you have to give up all the wants and desires in your life.
For example, you can't desire for buying a car because it would lead you to a path where your mind would tell you "go make some new desire" it means once the car's gas is over you have to load it newly, sometimes you have to fix the car's engine, there is no ending unless you give it up forever.
The Buddha (Prince Siddhartha) himself gave up all those things and then became a Buddha. The Buddha had suggested some meditation practices through which only the real one can achieve the nirvana and can stop rebirth forever.
Buddhism and killing animal as devotion to God
There are many races existed all around the world. Some of them kill innocent animals as devotion to make their God happy. I have seen many times on TV that people devote cows, goats, hens for their gods or sometimes before starting a festival. No doubt, this is a Superstition. I really don't know why that god would be happy when his disciples devote animal for him by killing innocent animal. I always know the God must be peaceful, helpful and kind.
Why would the god be happy when his disciples devote animals for him? The Buddha never supported killing animal as devotion. His doctrine teaches us not to kill any living creatures and not to kill any living creatures as devotion to God. The Buddha said it as great sin because what's the benefit of killing innocent animal! Rather you are killing your kindness, forgiveness.
For example, you are going to devote a bird by killing it for your God. suppose, you just killed the bird to make your god happy but don't you think you have made a another biggest mistake in your life? You have not killed the bird only, you also just killed its (bird) family as well. What would you feel when someone kills you and someone kills one of your family members to whom you are depend on? You have love for your family so that bird has love for her family too. Everybody fears of die, it does not mean you are human, animal or any other creatures.
Books based on Buddhism
Change your life and learn about happiness, love, and wisdom.
This is the book can read to learn more about Buddhism.