Buddhism, as mentioned earlier, is not a fixed set of beliefs that
one needs to follow in its entirety. Buddhism is a non-theistic religion and
an accumulation of philosophic ideas, that are a result of a prolonged
experience. Buddhism means the 'teaching of the awakened one'. And truly so,
this system of beliefs arouses and prepares one to respond wisely to the
numerous adversities and situations that may arise in one's life. The
religion does not force a person to follow the teachings. It lets people
experience on their own and learn from their actions and deeds. Owing to a
number of sects the emphasis may very, but the basic doctrines are common to
a majority of schools and traditions of Buddhism.
The Four Noble Truths
The ancient Buddhist scriptures prove that the Four Noble Truths were
announced by Lord Buddha himself. It was when he delivered his first sermon.
The following words were spoken by Lord Buddha after he attained
enlightenment. These four truths are the basic keys as to what materialistic
life is all about. It lets one conceive the realities of worldly life
¤ Suffering is universal.
The Noble Eightfold Path
¤ The cause of suffering is desire.
¤ Suffering can be eliminated.
¤ There is a path (the practice of Dhamma) leading to surcease of
The fourth part of the Four Noble Truths comprises of the Noble Eightfold
Path. The eight keys lead to the surcease of suffering. These are the levels
and stages through which the follower moves. The eightfold paths advises to
abstain from unwholesome deeds, have control over the mind and attain
Refuge in Three Jewels
|¤ Right Speech
¤ Right Actions
¤ Right Livelihood
¤ Right Effort/ Exercise
|¤ Right Mindfulness
¤ Right Concentration
¤ Right Thoughts
¤ Right Understanding
After one has accepted the Four Noble Truths and has embarked upon
following the Noble Eightfold Path, one needs to take refuge in the Three
Jewels or the Triratna. These Three Jewels serve as the basis for the
Buddha meaning the 'Awakened One' is the title bestowed upon those who
attain enlightenment as Lord Buddha did. Buddha can also be referred to as
the wisdom that conceives reality in its true form.
Dharma refers to the teachings that Lord Buddha preached. It is an
accumulation of the laws of nature (based on personal behaviour) and the
consequences that follow.
According to the Buddhist teachings, the Sangha denotes either the
community of Buddhist monastics or the group of people who have acquired at
least the first stage of awakening.
The Five Percepts in Buddhism
The Buddhist system of belief has provided Five Percepts that are not
presented in the form of commnads. Instead, these are the rules that assist
to train oneself in order to lead a better life, full of happiness and free
of worries. Following the rules, meditation becomes easy and can be
¤ To refrain from taking life
¤ To refrain from theft
¤ To refrain from lying
¤ To refrain from intoxicants
¤ To refrain from sexual misconduct