Buddhism: Ancient Teachings for the Modern World
Buddha taught people how to get enlightened through his prominent “Four noble truths” and “eightfold path”. Enlightenment or achieving nirvana is the suspension and the end of suffering and freedom from samsara or conditional existence of life. He preached that one should follow the Eightfold path and four Noble truths to end samsara. His four noble truths consisted of teachings that man should not be materialistic, should be free from ego and free from lust and worldly greed. He advocated that one should be compassionate for others. Happiness and contentment are attainable only if one starts living in the present rather than lamenting the past.
Buddha instigated people to practice meditation. He taught different kinds of meditation the popular ones being Samatha and Vipassana which helps in attaining a calm mind and develops the ability to concentrate. According to Buddha, meditation should be practiced correctly only then it will bear fruit and one can procure the positive effects from it.
Buddhism has taught that Karma plays an important role in your life which means that your actions have an impact which can affect your future. Many of us are karma believers, Sandhya pal who is an ardent supporter of the philosophy of karma says “I never believed in karma until one day I faced the consequences of being harsh to people, she says that she used to despise beggars and used to condemn their actions of persuading people and begging to give them alms. Once she had insulted a beggar by calling him a disgrace to the society.
This hatred brought financial crisis in her life and she had to land in such a distressing situation where she had to beg for survival. Only then she could realize the importance of karma or actions. She says “This was a turning point in my life and I understood the fact that karma can actually ruin you since then I have stopped abhorring people and have started appreciating their qualities”, just like her there are many believers of karma. Karma teaches you to be compassionate and mind your actions for the betterment of your future.
Buddhism propagates tolerance; it tells us to accept all religions and their beliefs. It has never taught people to convert and embraces the teachings of other religions. Tolerance is a very important concept in today’s world. We have a diverse society that has people with different cultural backgrounds. It is essential to develop the feeling of tolerance as it can bring peace and happiness to our society. Today’s youth has understood that tolerance imparts a feeling of togetherness and brings harmony. ‘United we stand divided we fall’ is a statement that holds true to its meaning without being together we cannot achieve success.
Expressing his thoughts Aamir sheik tells us ‘I consider India as a tolerant country, being a Muslim I have never faced any prejudice or discrimination, I have Hindu friends who respect me and are very liberal. I can worship temples or mosques according to my will. India is my country and a feeling of patriotism is imbibed in all Indians irrespective of any caste or religion they belong to”. In the past intolerance has brought fights and disharmony to every nation, we should put an end to it.
Another most important aspect of Buddhism was that it emphasized the fact that innumerable wants and desires of a person leads to dissatisfaction and suffering. In today’s world, many people want to achieve fame and success by earning ample amounts of wealth and follow any path whether it leads to immorality. The prevailing scams in society and the self-indulgent politicians are a great specimen of the present condition. Politicians have exploited our country due to their expanding and ever increasing demands.
The increasing avarice has degraded our economy. 2g scam culprit A. raja who was former union cabinet minister of our country was responsible for the country’s biggest scam he had to resign from his post and was rebuked for his act. Just because of his desire to make quick money and act of greed, our country faced losses that were irrevocable. Many people face negative consequences due to their greed. Passion for living a successful life is not wrong but following the path of dishonesty and iniquity can defeat the existence of your life.
Fast -paced society and the modernized world have drawn attention to the importance of meditation. People from all around the world understand its worth and are giving time to meditate. It can reduce the stress due to work overload and strained relationships and makes you feel calm, eliminating all the negative thoughts from your mind and reduces the feeling of anxiety. One should practice meditation to live a happy and contented life but it should be practiced in the correct way.
Buddha taught that a person should develop wisdom and understanding. Contentment is the greatest wealth that is eminent for survival rather than earning wealth is. A true example of this can be seen today that most of the Buddhist countries are poor. According to the people who follow Buddhism, “Wealth is not permanent and suffering can be faced by all despite being rich or poor”. Only the teachings of Buddha can give you eternal peace and happiness.
Buddhist philosophies can be tested by everyone. One need to understand the deep meaning of these philosophies, as Buddha stated himself that no one should accept or follow his teachings rather than test them in their own lives. His teachings would bring realization to everyone who implements them. The problems of a person are within him and he is the sole person who can find solutions by understanding his actions and developing faith in the divine power.
Buddhism is more of a teaching that can be interpreted differently by people. Every person can learn a different lesson from the spiritual Buddhist teachings. Buddha was not a god; he was a disciple of god who taught people to reach the path of enlightenment.