Philosophy of Buddha

Buddha's teaching and Buddhist Philosophy. (Eastern Philosophy)

The ultimate goal of buddha’s teaching is to help people attain the good life. He analysed source of suffering, which evolves around the nature of person, how we acquire knowledge about the world and our purpose in it.
Buddha as an individual also known as Gautama was the founder of Buddhism. According to Buddhist teaching, the title ‘Buddha’ means ‘awakened’ a person who discovers the path to nirvana, understand suffering and teach to others. It also says that there have been Buddhas in the past, and there will be more buddhas in the future. But there is no particularly clear source indicating if there were more buddhas as some of the writings suggest.

Early path of Buddha was all about confrontation to suffering. Buddha was born in sometime between 6th century and 4th century B.C. He was the son of the wealthy king of a kingdom situated in Nepal. During the birth of Buddha, there was a prophecy that either he will be a holy man and become a peaceful person or he will become the emperor, that will conquer India. Siddhartha's father wanted him to become a conqueror. He kept young Buddha in isolation completely cut-off from the outside world. Every luxury imaginable was made accessible to him.

Because of the prophecy, he was never allowed to go outside the palace. But after all those years, he left the palace for short time; completely unknown about the outside world, he was surprised. He saw a sick man then old man and a dying man. He was astounded to know that that is natural and every living man is going suffer that pain, even him. Despite every imaginable luxury, he only thought about suffering from that moment. He was inspired by a holy man who was seeking a spiritual life and wisdom.  Inspired by him, Buddha left the palace for good. He tried to learn from other holy men. Once he almost starved to death avoiding all food and physical comforts.

After some time he realized that, doing this wouldn't bring him solace. He remembered his childhood in palace.He remembered when the grass was cut the insects and their eggs would die; he remembered as a child he felt deep compassion for the tiny insects.

After that he realized something, profound amount of peace inside him. After that, he decided not to starve, instead to eat and meditate. After that he also reached the highest state of enlightenment through meditation. The highest state which is called 'Nirvana'. Nirvana refers to blowing out every flame of desires within self. He realized that every suffering from dying insects to sick and aging humans it is unified by same feeling 'suffering'. He also taught various methods of approach towards suffering.

He suggested that a person shouldn't live with luxury and comfort. Instead he/she should be living with moderation; which he explained as a middle way. He said living in luxury wouldn't allow you to develop compassion and peace within you. Buddha  describe these with version of four noble truths.
  • The first noble truth is about suffering and pain. If you remember this realization encouraged Buddha to start his journey. A lot of us feel it hard to accept this simple truth.
  • The second is about the cause of these sufferings. He said that our own internal desire and greed causes this suffering. He also said that root of all suffering is attachment.
  • The third truth is about managing our desires and thus sufferings too. He want us to know that our emotions can be managed and sufferings can be minimized. We have written about this in more detail in another article.
The Buddha thus made the remarkable claim that we must change our outlook not our circumstances. We are unhappy not because we don't have enough money love or status but because we're greedy vain and insecure. By reorienting our minds, we can grow to be content, with the correct behaviour and what we now term a mindful attitude we can also become better person. We can invert negative emotions and states of mind turning ignorance into wisdom, anger into compassion and greed into generosity. 
  •  The fourth and final noble truth the Buddha uncovered is that we can learn to move beyond suffering through what he termed the Noble Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path involves a series of aspects of behaving right and wisely: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right Livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.
The notion that wisdom is not a intellectual realization but a habit strikes the western observers. An individual must learn to regulate his/her impulses just like a musician practice his/her instrument. That realization is only one part of becoming a better individual.

Buddha introduced a lot of sutras and sermons. After his death, his followers gathered every possible sutras, saying or sermons into writings ans scriptures. That are still being used to guide followers in things like meditations, mindful living and ethical behaviors. The monastries grew and multiplied to many places throughout China and East Asia.

At that time surprisingly, Buddhism was uncommon in South Asia itself. There were few groups of yellow clad monks, who traveled around the countryside. Up until third century B.C no king officially adopted Buddhism, that was until Indian King Ashoka. Ashoka was a successful king who conquered almost entire India. He fought big wars, but grew troubled due to the devastating nature of war. He understood wars brought nothing but death and sorrow. Then he grew interest in Buddha's philosophy and became a follower. He converted into Buddhism. He was the person who sent monks all over Asia as far as they could reach. The practice grow and spread throughout the world.  In early days follower's of Buddha divided into two main school. They are Mahayana Buddhism present mostly in China and north east Asia & Theravada Buddhism present mainly in Southeast Asia.

There are more than billion followers of Buddha both in East and West. People follow Buddhism, seeking compassionate state of mind and enlightenment. Regardless of our age, gender and spiritual identification Buddhist teachings are important. Similar to Buddha we all are born in the world not realizing how much suffering there is. We're unable to truly understand the misfortune of aging and death. We are to caught up in the day-day work, that are no more able to comprehend how valuable our life is; we are forgetting compassion and gentleness. Buddha's teaching in modern world remind us the importance of facing suffering and  how to do our best to liberate us from the misfortune that our own desire and greed brings.

Philosophy of Buddha Philosophy of Buddha Reviewed by Author-RPD on April 19, 2019 Rating: 5

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