An introduction to Buddhism

An introduction to Buddhism Brotee Mukhopadhyay

First Firm Voice In Favor Of Love and Non-violence

His was the first firm voice against the followers of the Vedic Brahminism and against their claim that the Vedas are the revelations.

His was the first firm voice in favor of love and non-violence and against violence of any kind.

His was the finely prescribed middle path, an interpretation of life and an interpretation of the purpose of life.

His was the golden silence on the question if God exists or does not exist.

His was the invaluable tenets of compassion for the suffering humanity.


Siddhartho was born in Lumbini near Kapilavastu supposed to be in 565 b.c. He was born in a royal family of the Sakyas and his father was Suddhodona. He was actually a tribal king. As a child he received education in literature and in the art of the battle. At the age of seven the first question on life and living to him was the following : “Is it natural for the living beings to kill each other ?” He was with his father to visit a field where he had chanced to witness a small bird holding a smaller worm in its beak. Death of a being was definitely a deep-rooted question in his mind as his mother had died soon after his birth. Luxury of the royal family, its riches and pomp and pleasures and whatnot appeared to him as temporary. He considered the diseases, old age and death are things that a man cannot overcome. Sufferings of mankind and and absence of any means to remain not-attached to these made him pensive and thoughtful. And his journey began in order to achieve something that may help him transcend sufferings of mankind. At 29 he left his wife and little son Rahul and he left everything of the royal association. He met different persons of the time , persons engaged in finding out the meaning of creation, persons engaged in philosophical discourses and also persons practising meditation and austerity. He was not satisfied. He was not satisfied till he earned the enlightenment. Finally he reached to such conclusion :

that desire is the root of all kinds of sufferings;

that there are reasons for the emergence of the desire;

that one can get rid of this desire;

and that attainment of Nirvana is the remedy.

And for the attainment of Nirvana he had prescribed Eightfold paths.

The Noble Eightfold Path

1. Right View Wisdom

2. Right Intention

3. Right Speech Ethical Conduct

4. Right Action

5. Right Livelihood

6. Right Effort Mental Development

7. Right Mindfulness

8. Right Concentration

The Noble Eightfold Path is to lead to the end of suffering. Siddhartha Gautama had laid out the Noble Eightfold Path with this purpose in his mind.. His intention was to free the human beings from the involvement and delusions what had appeared to him as the cause of all evils. These eight folds are not separate and not that they have no inter-relations.

Rather they are inter-depended and integrated neatly. These are not limited to the walls of interesting or dry theory and are only to be comprehended and realized. Rather these are guidelines for practice. It is the sincere and intelligent practice of these guidelines the ultimate target of Nirvana may be achieved.


The Buddho expired in 485 b.c. at Kushinogor, now in Behar, India. In Buddhist literature this has been termed as Mahaporinirvana. After the great Mahaporinirvana of the Buddho his responsible disciples who were obviously monks assembled together at Rajagriho (Rajageho) and compiled all the invaluable teachings of the great teacher on the palm-leaves as the practice of the time. The Buddho was a great traveller and during a period of nearly fifty years he had occasions to deliver sermons which he had delivered in very simple style. His disciples had done this job to keep the sermons of their master in their original elements for the future and also for themselves, that is, for their own time because these were the rays of light in the surrounding darkness. The teachings of the Buddho in such a compilation has been found as the Khuddaka Nikaya (small collection)of the Sutta Pitaka in the Theravada Pali. This is an anthology of 423 verses and this is known as Dhammapado. Renderings of the Dhammapada in the Sanskrit and Chinese
languages have also been traced out and some variations have also been found therein. Chinese and Sanskrit renderings of the Dhammapada have been found and with variations of some sorts of course. Millions of followers of the Buddho have been reciting from this sacred book with great faith and devotion and sincerity even today.

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