Buddhist Flag desingned by Col. Henry Steel Olcott
What is Buddhism?
The founder of Buddhism is neither a deity nor a prophet, but a man who has awakened from ignorance to perfect enlightenment; his name, Buddha, is in fact a title meaning the Enlightened One. The Buddha's teaching, known to his followers as the Dhamma, is taught on the basis of his own clear comprehension of reality, free from appeals to divine authority and demands for unquestioning faith. Open to reason and critical inquiry, the Dhamma calls out for personal verification.
The teaching begins with the observation that human life is beset by a sense of dissatisfaction pain or suffering and the cause for the suffering is the self centered desires. Then follows the most optimistic affirmation of the Buddha that suffering can be totally overcome! Hence liberation from suffering is the goal of the teaching and the Noble Eightfold Path has been laid down as the way to liberation.
The uniqueness of Buddhism
The Buddha said "Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it; not in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations; not in anything because it is spoken and rumoured by many; not in anything because it is found written in your spiritual texts; not in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders, but only after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it".
Buddhism differes from other religions because
1. it does not believe in a Creator or an Almighty God who is responsible for all or actions,
2. Buddhism, in actual sense, is not a relighion, though people generally call it so, because there is no belief in, recognition of, or of a higher unseen authority, or a controlling power, but emotions and morality connected therewith,
3. is moral philosophy in pursuit of wisdom and knowledge, norms and laws, and all other things connected therewith.
Buddhism offers, as integral to its path, a profound philosophy, an intricate analysis of the mind, lofty ethics and well-tested methods of meditation. The fruits of theBuddhist Wayshow in serene understanding, in kindness and compassion towards others, and in equanimity amidst the vicissitudes of life. Free from dogma, emphasizing personal responsibility as the key to right conduct and direct experience as the key to truth, Buddhism has an important role to play in the modern world.
Buddisam helps people to obtain the correct perspective on life, encourages man to lead life with endeavour, purify the society, help develop self-respect, self-confidence and independent character.
Every Buddhist who practises Buddhism must go though four stages.
3. Doing and
The heart of the Teachings of the Buddha is contained in the teachings of the Four Noble Truths, namely,
The Noble Truth of Dukkha or suffering;
The Origin or Cause of suffering;
The End or Cessation of suffering;
The Path which leads to the cessation of all sufferings.
Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things that renew humanity.