After 8 months of hard work, we bring you our masterpiece, Buddhism-Path to Nirvana. Why did we do on this topic? At first, we doubted God's existence, so it lead us to studying about Buddhism. Later on, we found out, that Buddha was no god, He was just a supreme human being, greatest of all teachers, kindest of all men. Buddha has blemished all evil thoughts and self-desires from his mind. Since his enlightenment, he gained more and more disciples. Until now, there are about several millions buddhists around the world. Although some of the stories on the life was Buddha might seem a bit untrue, but His teachings are very meaningful and beneficial to our daily life. Below is an introduction to the foundation Buddhism. May you be enlightened!
©1999 Team 28006
When we study how another religion called "Buddhism" came into existence, we find that Buddha had not used any of those age-old beliefs. He did not introduce the concept of god, soul theory, eternal hell or eternal heaven to build up Buddhism. He did not make use of fear and distorted views regarding the natural phenomena in support of his religion. Neither did he ask for blind faith or unnecessary rites and rituals. He did no believe in self-torture, the imposition of penalties or commandments in the building up of Buddhism. He also did not seek for any message from elsewhere to build up Buddhism. He used different ideas or materials such as Right Understanding of the life, the world and nature of the natural phenomena or cosmic order and the real characteristics of the mind and matter, elements and energies, moral and spiritual development, discipline, mental training and purification, knowledge, wisdom and enlightenment to erect this religious building. It is true that He used certain religious materials used by other religionists at that time such as Karma - action and reaction, rebirth and certain moral principles but no in the same manner or in the same sense. He refined that and introduced them in a rational, scientific and psychological way.
Buddhism is not a concoction of religions. Buddha did not collect materials from other religions or from here and there to build up Buddhism. It had its own characteristics and identity. By realising that no other religious teacher had found the absolute truth and final salvation of man, he pointed out that others had developed only certain worldly powers and could mange to attain only certain stages of spiritual development without complete purification of the mind, free from all superstitious beliefs, impurities, illusion, delusion, imagination, hallucination and ignorance. The real meaning or the purpose of this word "religion" can be understood when we studied the way in which the Buddha introduced this "religious way of noble life." If we were to utilise the word "religion" to introduce the teachings of the Buddha, we must also understand the different interpretations given to this word by other religionists.
The Buddha could manage to remove certain misconceptions, which had been held by people for thousands of years. For example, in those days everybody in this world believed that the sun and moon rotated daily round the earth. People had this belief due to lack of proper knowledge of the world system. But when Copernicus discovered and proved that it is not the sun and the moon that rotated round the sun, then slowly people realised that it true. There was another misconception people had about the earth. For thousands of years people believed that the earth was flat. Galileo discovered and proved that the earth is round but no flat. Later people accepted that truth too. When Copernicus discovered that the sun is the centre of our solar system, people had to give up the former belief that the earth is the centre of our solar system. The belief that many ancient philosophers had up to the 19-Century that the atoms is the ultimate entity of the matter, and that it is impossible to split it, was given up when nuclear scientists managed to split it. Likewise the belief that the people had for thousands of years that the soul is a permanent entity created by God had to be given up when the Buddha pointed out and gave his reasons that it is a wrong concept and there is no such thing as permanent entity. To him it is only a dream. This belief exists in the man's mind just like that visual object of rainbow colours where there is no reality. The Buddha explained that the idea of soul is only a misunderstanding of man's consciousness. If there is a soul, is there any reason for the Buddha to hide it without revealing it to His followers? Certainly not, particularly because this concept of soul theory is a very important issue to every other religionist. Theory of evolution which was discovered by Charles Darwin disproved the then popular creation theory that life was created by God. Geology, Biology and Physiology also explained very clearly that it had taken millions of years for the appearance of first life on this earth. Theses discovered never contradict each other when one studies the teachings of the Buddha very carefully. Modern discovery of the gradual development of mineral life, plant life and other living things and living beings coincided with the teaching of the Buddha. To question how life came into existence, the Buddha gave a simple and reasonable answer. He said life is only a combination of mind and matter. Further he defined the mind as composed of perception, conception, mental formations and passive consciousness. Again he analysed the matter in four elements as solidity, fluidity, heat and motion. When we study the explanation of the Buddha about the Cosmos we find that He mentioned the existence of certain living things, both fortunate and unfortunate, not only in this world but also in certain other planets. The modern scientists and astronomers are open-minded and conceded the possibility of the existence of some living beings in certain other planets. Many of those traditional religious beliefs are exactly like the former beliefs about the world system and the origin of life. But the Buddha's teachings are akin to the new discoveries. The belief that religious rites and rituals were the only important practices for man to find his salvation was not supported by the Buddha. According to the Buddha, the development of morality, concentration and the purification of mind are the important aspects of religious life for the final salvation. He pointed out that for a man to be religious, he must lead a harmless, unblameable, respectable, decent, noble and pure life. The mere act of praying or making offerings do not by itself, make a man to be a religious man to gain his perfection and salvation. He also advised people to keep away from evil practices. The ideas of keeping away from evils must be for the welfare of the living beings and not because of the fear of god or punishment. At the same time, He advised us to cultivate the good humane qualities, practice good deeds and help others without any selfish motives. He also pointed out that man is responsible for everything in this world. His pain and pleasure, both were created by him and he has the ability to get rid of his sufferings and maintain peace and happiness by using his effort, and wisdom without depending on external powers. Man's untrained mind is responsible for all the troubles, calamities, disturbances, unfavourable atmosphere and the changes of elements and matter. At the same time man's mind can change this unfortunate situation of the world and can make a peaceful, prosperous and happy world for all to life in if mans uses his mind properly. This can be done only through that purified mental energy.
P.S. Severe Lack of Images..... :(