The teachings and philosophy of Lord Buddha keep life in a different perspective.

Teachings of Buddha

Prince Siddharth, also known as Gautam Buddha, was the founder of Buddhism in the world. Although he was born a prince, he realized that the purpose of his existence was to impart words of wisdom to his people and to teach them the importance of karma and dharma. Gautam Buddha lived around 2500 years ago and since then, millions of people around the world have treaded the spiritual path he paved. The Buddhist way of life revolves around peace, family, relationships, wisdom and kindness. His teachings also stressed on ways of overcoming negativity such as anger, greed, jealousy and developing positive outlooks to life, which included wisdom, compassion, peace and love. When the prince grew up, his father's wish was for Siddharth to marry and have a family of his own. According to the customs of the time, Prince Siddharth did marry his cousin, Princess Yashodara and the duo led an extravagant life together. However, when Prince Siddharth, on his first outing to the city, came across painful visions of people suffering, he decided to give up worldly pleasures and began his journey of atonement, which led to the development of his teachings. Scroll further for more information.

Lord Buddha's Teachings

The Four Noble Truths
Buddha elucidated the Four Noble Truths in his very first sermon given at 'Banaras', or Varanasi as it is known today. These were:
  • ‘Suffering’ is common to all of mankind. This can either be at the time of birth, sickness, old age or even death. Every human is subject to some sort of suffering during their lifetime.
  • Suffering has a cause. Buddha believed that people primarily suffered due to greed and ignorance.
  • Suffering can cease by trying to change one’s views and living a more peaceful life.
  • This can be done by the path to end suffering known as the ‘Eight-Fold Path’. This is believed to help a person attain the highest level of bliss and the end of all suffering known as ‘Nirvana’.
The Eight-Fold Path
When Buddha delivered his first sermon on the 'Eight-Fold Path', he demonstrated the eight spokes on a large wheel to represent the path. It is said that Buddha's teachings goes round like a great wheel and never stops, leading to the center point of the wheel which is fixed, which in this case is, 'Nirvana'. The eight steps to follow the path are:
  • Right View
  • Right Thought
  • Right Conduct
  • Right Livelihood
  • Right Effort
  • Right Mindfulness
  • Right Concentration.
Following the 'Eight-Fold Path' is believed to cultivate wisdom in one's minds, which can help achieve real and everlasting happiness.

Sources Of Unhappiness
According to Gautam Buddha and his teachings, these are the causes for unwholesome states, also known as the sources of 'unhappiness'.
  • Ignorance
  • Craving
  • Hatred, jealousy, envy
  • Egoism
  • Identification with possession
  • Impermanence
  • Spiritual materialism
  • Belief in ceremonies to ‘wash away sins’
  • Misfortune of means and end
Sources Of Happiness
Gautam Buddha also mentioned that the ten parameters that could lead to wholesome states, also known as the sources of happiness, should be encouraged. They are:
  • Morality
  • Generosity
  • Wisdom
  • Truthfulness
  • Equanimity
  • Kindness
  • Determination
  • Patience
  • Renunciation
  • Energy
The Five Percepts
The 'Five Percepts' are the vows taken by Buddhist nuns and monks, framed in a such a manner, that it can apply to anyone of the Buddhist or non-Buddhist faith. They are:
  • A promise to refrain from harming living beings
  • A promise to refrain from taking what is not given.
  • A promise to not misuse the body, senses and bodily sensations.
  • A promise to refrain from wrong speech
  • A promise to refrain from alcoholism and doing drugs that might intoxicate the mind.
Types Of Meditation
Meditation is also known as the 'heart' of the Buddhist way of life. It is essentially considered a method for understanding and working on our own mind and to recognize our mental states. Time and again, Gautam Buddha stressed on the importance of meditation for the upheaval of mental and physical wellbeing, along with getting one step closer to nirvana. Buddhists today practice a variety of meditational styles such as imaginative meditation, morning practice, analytical meditation and stabilizing meditation.

The above is purely a summary of some of the principal ideas of Buddha's teachings. What is important to learn from teachings is how he came to such realizations. Hope this article familiarized you with some of the most important teachings of Gautam Buddha's life that has made what Buddhism is today.