The Philosophy of Buddhism is to avoid the extremes of life and strictly follow asceticism and practice self-mortification. Repudiating (deny the truth ) the idea of god, he emphasized on moral progress, which was independent of any creator of the universe. The essence of Buddhism lies in the realization that life is transient; it causes sorrow and change prevail; the idea of an immortal (or ) permanent soul is meaningless.
- The Buddha, variously termed as Sakyamuni (or) Tathagata, is considered the founder of Buddhism.
- At the age of 29, he decided to leave the place in search of peace and understanding of the world’s ills.
- At the age of 35, again on Vaishaka Purnima, he attained enlightenment at what is now renowned as Bodh Gaya in Bihar and came to know as Buddha.
- After more than 40 yrs of wandering about giving discourses and spreading his spiritual thought, the Buddha attained “Mahapaninivana” at Kusinara.
Four Noble Truths of Buddhism
- Existence of suffering.
- The truth of the origin of dukkha.
- The truth of the cessation of dukkha.
- Path that leads to cessation of suffering (dukkha).
Moral Discipline in the Eightfold Path
- Right speech, kind & truthful.
- Right action, honest, peaceful.
- Right livelihood without hurting any living being.
- Right effort involving self control.
- Right concentration and meditation on the meaning of life.
- Right thoughts worthy of the sincere and intelligent man.
- Right mindfulness.
- Right understanding avoiding superstition.
- Buddha brought about a change in social thinking of the day by speaking up for equalities and rejection of rigid rituals. His teachings made people aware of the importance of tolerance, ahimsa, Service, compassion, and personal morality. After his death, his teachings compiled into Pitakas – Vinaya, sutta, and Abhidharma, referred in their combined form known as “Trip taka.”
Buddhism split into Hinayana and Mahayana
- Hinayana – Considered Buddha as a man and gave his teachings as an ethical value.
- Mahayana – emphasized on bodhisattva concept and the salvation of all sentient beings, also called “Bodhisattvayana.”
- Tantric Buddhism (or) Vajrayana evolved from the interaction of Buddhist thought and Brahmanical speculation.