The word "Buddha" means "The Awakened (Enlightened) One".
A Buddha was previously an ordinary human being, who had reached the
highest peak of spiritual cultivation through purification and
mastery of the Mind, attaining the highest achievement possible by
anyone. Having awakened to reality, He is one who has found True
Happiness in realising the true nature of all things.
With the attainment of Enlightenment (realisation of the Truth
of all things), Wisdom and Compassion is perfected among other
countless positive qualities. Having become a Buddha, one transcends
the limitations of a human (and gender) and becomes much greater
than a human, gaining ultimate peace and liberation.
> It's Relevant to you!
Some people may think that Buddhism is something, which belongs
to the past and can have no place in the modern world. But this is
not so, because Buddhism is as relevant now as it was in the past. As
a way of life, Buddhism shows people how to grow in maturity and
Wisdom so as to understand themselves and the world in which they
When people begin to learn what Buddhism is, they will see
that it can benefit them in many practical ways.
> Is it Believable?
The spirit of free enquiry is an important feature of Buddhism.
The Buddha encouraged everyone to investigate the Truth of His
teaching for oneself before accepting it. He never expected anyone to
believe or practice His teaching out of blind faith or superstition.
People should only practice what they find to be beneficial
physically and mentally.
Your Life's in Your Hands!
Buddhism stresses the need for self-reliance and individual
effort. Each person must work out for himself, the way to end
suffering and attain happiness. It is his own actions that determine
his future. His destiny is not determined by any external power or
agent. This means that each man is responsible for his own actions.
One can progress or develop as much as his own actions allow. Through
dedication, self-discipline and wise judgement, he can reach the
highest goals of life.
> Religious Harmony
Because Buddhism respects the rights of people to enquire freely
and choose for themselves, it is tolerant towards other faiths.
Buddhism teaches one to live in harmony with all, regardless of race
or religion. This attitude of tolerance is particularly important in
societies where many races and religions co-exist.
> Universal Love
Buddhism recognises that all living beings are equal. It teaches
universal loving kindness and compassion not only towards ourselves,
but also to all other creatures. All living beings, men and animal
alike, share a common environment. If we want to live happily in this
world, we must have concern for the welfare of others.
> Is it Scientific?
There is no conflict between modern scientific discoveries of
today and the Buddha's teaching. Many things that the Buddha taught
about 2,500 years ago have been proven by modern science. The
importance and power of the Mind, the impermanence of things, the
divisibility of the atom, the relativity of matter and energy, and
even the structure of the universe - all these are contained in the
Buddha's teaching. So a Buddhist does not have to ignore the acts
about man and the universe that are gradually being revealed by
science. The Buddha's method and approach of teaching is also
scientific in spirit.
> A Perfect Example
The Buddha embodied all the virtues that He preached. He was tireless in spreading the Truth and was the perfect model example, never showing any human weakness or base passion. His qualities of Morality, Wisdom and Compassion are the most perfect the world has ever known.
> You Can Become Perfect
The Buddha represents the highest peak of spiritual cultivation possible. He taught that all could attain perfection, gaining the same experience of peace, happiness and salvation as Him. Anyone can attain supreme Enlightenment if one was to practise as He did.
> Beyond Religion
If the definition of "religion" is the unquestionable belief and worship in a supreme entity, with the obligation to carry out rites and rituals, Buddhism is definitely not a religion. It is beyond all conventional definitions of religion- for Buddhism encourages intelligent doubting and believes in the potential supremacy of the individual. Rites and rituals are only ceremonies that helps inspire us- they do not give us Wisdom and True Happiness.
As the Buddha's concern is the True Happiness of all beings, His teachings can be practised in society or seclusion, by all of every race and belief. It is totally unbiased and truly universal.
> Purification of the Mind
The Buddha encouraged not just the ceasing of all evil and the doing of all good- but also teaches the purification of one's mind, which is the root of all good and evil, and the cause of suffering and True Happiness.
When the Buddha was meditating to gain Enlightenment, no gods came to reveal any hidden secrets of spiritual power. No one gave Him any religious laws to teach. He said, "I never had any teacher or divinity to teach me or tell me how to gain Enlightenment. I achieved supreme Wisdom by my own effort, energy, knowledge and purity." Likewise, we can attain this highest goal through perseverance in improving ourselves.
> Freedom of Thought
From the intellectual and philosophical content of Buddhism rose the freedom of thought and inquiry unparalleled by any other established world religion or philosophy. Though the Buddha urges us to consider His teachings, there is no obligation or compulsion whatsoever to believe or accept any Buddhist doctrine.
> Education of the Truth
The Buddha is the greatest teacher of the Truth or the reality of all things. Buddhism is the perfect education about us the Universe we live in. It is the teaching beyond worldly knowledge; but of the highest Wisdom that leads to the realisation of True Happiness. With this in mind, the first university established in the world was the great Nalanda Buddhist University of India, which flourished from the second to the ninth century. It was opened to students of Buddhism all over the world.
Gateway to Buddhism ...