The word ‘Buddhism’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘buddhi’ which loosely translates to ‘awakening’. Siddhartha Gautama was considered to be one of the first awakened or enlightened ones, hence he is considered to be the founder or teacher of the philosophy.
What is awakened or enlightened or awakened mean?
To be awakened or enlightened means to be fully aware of your own negative thoughts, behavior and action. Which further means that you are aware of what you say, think and do. A collectively action done by your Body, Speech and mind as human being.
Buddha overcame all these and was fully aware of each action done by him towards himself and others in every second of his life. We as human beings have the same capacities as Buddha because our true nature is compassionate.
Difference between Buddhism and other religion
From my point of view I feel it’s time to take away Buddhism from religious section to life philosophy section. The reason being that Buddhism does not acknowledge one supreme God or deity, which makes it different from other popular religions. As Buddhism focuses on individual responsibility and not on someone else.
Buddhism is not considered a religion, by its students but as a life philosophy that can lead to the awakening of the mind.
Its teachings lead the individual to fully realize the true nature of the self and relative reality. And this realization would ultimately result in enlightenment of the individuals.
Tenants of Buddhism
According to Buddhism there are a few tenants that govern the world. In order to be free of these one must first be able to acknowledge and accept them for what they are. Some of these include:
Nothing is fixed or permanent: This means that all things will change, come to an end and will take on other forms. There is nothing in thing world that will remain as it is in the same form for too long. Once we can come to accept the transient nature of all things, we can then accept the transient nature of ourselves as well.
For example- Look at your pictures when you were a child and until now, what do you see? Are same looking person? The answer is No you don’t look the same because you are constantly changing and so is everything around you. Once you understand impermanence you will be free of all believes that you have about yourself and others.
Actions have consequences: This means that no action goes without having some kind of a result. When we begin to look at our actions in this way, we feel more responsible for ourselves. Remembering that all actions result in some consequence can help us bring our awareness into the present to guide our actions more clearly.
For example- We can see the pollution we all created and but were not good in getting rid of it and then when covid 2019 hit us all, we had to stay home. We saw how the nature worked itself out and we saw the pollution go down animals coming out, villagers were able to see mountains, rivers and ocean got clear. Our action have consequences and we need to awake up.
Change is possible: This is built on the foundation of the previous two tenants. When we accept that nothing is permanent and that our actions have power, we can then learn to direct these forces to bring about changes in how we see and interact with the world. When we are able to change our own inner workings, we are a little closer to being awakened beings.
For example: when covid 2019 is over then each of us must change our ways of creating and doing things in our life that not only influences yourself but also others around you. So be more aware of your action, reaction through your body, speech and mind.
The path to enlightenment (self-awareness) in Buddhism
The path to enlightenment shows the individual sees the true nature of relative reality. When relative reality is seen with absolute clarity, the individual must then try to live fully in accordance with that vision.
Buddha taught how to turn inward and focus on creating, changing the inner self and how to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness and wisdom. His life and teaching is a great example for all of us.
Where did Buddhism Originated?
Buddhism originated in the Indian subcontinent and has developed over thousands of years as its teaching spread around the globe. Today, Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world, practised by over 470 million people.
How many path does Buddhism have?
There are different path as it makes it easy for students to learn and connect with it. Students should themselves decide which path they resonate it with. It is like choosing your subject in a university, which subject do you feel you want to take. It is the same in Buddhism.
Here are the path of Buddhism-Theravada, Mahayana, Varjayana, Tantrayana and Zen. In Buddhism the basic tenants have always remained the same. I strongly recommend that you first read the basic book on Buddhism before you choose a path
Buddhism believes in rebirth and not reincarnation. I will write another blog on that.
Buddhism does not believe in discrimination of gender, caste, race, colour or religion you are born in or believe. There is only one truth that we all are human beings. We all feel the same pain and happiness.
To conclude this I can say that the teaching of Buddha is still applicable in this time and we all must look into his teaching more deeply and apply them in our everyday life to live in a balance and harmony with ourselves and others.
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