At present Buddhism is one of the major world religions. The philosophy of Buddhism is based on the teachings of Lord Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (563 and 483 BC), a royal prince of Kapilvastu, India. After originating in India, Buddhism spread throughout the Central Asia, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Southeast Asia, as well as the East Asian countries of China, Mongolia, Korea, Japan and Vietnam. Buddhism owes its origin to the socio-economic conditions prevailing in India at that point of time.
The founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama was a prince of the Sakya tribe. At the age of twenty nine he left the comforts of his home to seek answer to the cause of human sufferings. Gautama became the enlightened one, the Buddha, after wandering and meditation for six years. On the full moon of May, with the rising of the morning star, Siddhartha attained knowledge at Bodh Gaya. Gautama Buddha delivered his first sermon at Sarnath, near Varanasi. To preach his religion, Buddha wandered in the North East India for about 40 odd years. His hard work bore fruit and a community or Sangha of monks and nuns developed around him. The Sangha pursued practice and propagation of Buddhism.
The fundamental principle of Buddhism is to follow the middle path. Buddhism teaches its followers to perform good and wholesome actions and to purify and train the mind. These practices are aimed at ending the suffering of cyclic existence. Buddhist emphasizes the principles of harmlessness and moderation. Buddhism does believe in the existence of supernatural beings but it does not ascribe the power for creation, salvation or judgment to them. Buddhism believes that the supernatural beings have the power to affect only worldly events.
Four Noble Truths Of Buddhism
- Life is suffering;
- Suffering is due to attachment;
- Attachment can be overcome
- There is a path for accomplishing this.
Eightfold Path Of Buddhism
- Right view is the true understanding of the four noble truths.
- Right aspiration is the true desire to free oneself from attachment, ignorance, and hatefulness.
- Right speech involves abstaining from lying, gossiping, or hurtful talk.
- Right action involves abstaining from hurtful behaviors, such as killing, stealing, and careless sex.
- Right livelihood means making your living in such a way as to avoid dishonesty and hurting others, including animals.
- 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.
- 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.
- Right concentration is meditating in such a way as to progressively realize a true understanding of imperfection, impermanence, and non-separateness.