A lot of people love to talk about compassion and peace regarding home, foreign and domestic affairs. But did not have the compassion and peace in mind, then how will the true compassion and peace be formed?


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"All that we are is the result of what we have thought." The Buddha. "..Religion without Science is Blind, Science without religion is crippled." Albert Einstein 1879-1955

Saturday, 9 July 2011

What is so wonderful about Buddhism?

Here are some outstanding features of Buddhism. 

Perfect Example 

The historical Buddha was an embodiment of all the virtues that He preached. He translated all His words into action. He was tireless in His spreading of the truth and was the perfect model example. At no time did He ever show any human weakness or base passion. His qualities of morality, wisdom and compassion are the most perfect the world has ever known.

Your Possible Perfection

The Buddha represents the highest possible peak of spiritual cultivation. He taught that all could attain true perfection. Few, if any, founders of religions taught that their followers too have the same chance to gain the same experience of peace, happiness and salvation as oneself. But the Buddha taught that anyone could attain the same bliss of supreme Enlightenment if one practised as He did. 

Beyond Religion

If the definition of “religion” is the unquestioning belief and worship of a supreme entity, with the obligation to carry out rites and rituals, then 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 seen as ceremonies that help guide and inspire us. They are important in that sense, but they do not give us wisdom or True Happiness. Buddhism is however called a religion out of convention. 


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

Buddhism is the only religion that encourages not just the ceasing of all evil and the doing of all good—it also teaches the purification of one’s mind, which is the root of all good and evil, the cause of both 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 perfecting 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 (reality of all things). Buddhism offers the perfect education about us and the universe we live in. It is the teaching beyond worldly knowledge - of the highest wisdom that leads to the realisation of True Happiness. It is interesting to note that the first university established in the world is the great Nalanda Buddhist University in India, which flourished from the second to the ninth century. It was open to students all over the world and was the school of many outstanding Buddhist scholars and sages. 

Standing Unchallenged

The Buddha was an unequalled teacher. He freely and actively invited both His followers and those of other beliefs to challenge His teachings from every possible angle till there was no room for any kind of doubt. True to His injunctions, His followers have debated about His doctrine and even founded various schools of Buddhism according to their understanding without violence or bloodshed. The Buddha knew that if one really believed that one knows the truth, one should not be afraid to have it challenged, as the truth will always win. His replies to numerous questions enriched the Buddhist doctrine into a vast religious field. We are today able to answer many questions about Buddhism and the universe, simply by referring to the Buddha’s explanations. 

No Blind Faith 

The Buddha did not promise heavenly bliss or reward to those who called themselves His followers. Nor did He promise salvation to those who had faith in Him. To Him, religion is not a bargain but a noble way of life to gain Enlightenment and salvation for oneself and others. 

He did not want followers who believed Him blindly. He wanted us to think and understand for ourselves. The Buddha urged all to come forth to discover more about Buddhism and not simply believe in it. He advised choosing a proper religion by considering and investigating it in various ways, without accepting anything through emotion or blind faith. This is why Buddhism is sometimes called the religion of analysis. In it is the scientific logical analysis of mind and matter which modern thinkers appreciate. Even today, Buddhists are encouraged to have the attitude of a healthy sceptic, including towards the Buddhist scriptures! 

From Experience and Reason to Faith 

Buddhism is the only religion, which was explained through the experience and Enlightenment of its founder (the Buddha), without introducing it as a message by any god. It starts from the root of known experience and not faith. Human problems must be understood by one through human experience and solved by developing great humane qualities. One should seek solutions through the purification and development of the mind, not through outsiders. This is why the Buddha never introduced Himself as a supernatural saviour. According to Him, we can be our own saviours. 

The Whole Truth 

The Buddha encourages us to face the facts of life courageously, without acting hypocritically, and to accept the truth whatever and wherever it may be. All that He taught were timeless practical truths leading us towards True Happiness.

Scientific in Spirit 

Buddhism never found the need to give new interpretations to its teachings. Newly verified scientific discoveries never contradict the teachings of the Buddha as their spirit and methodologies are scientifically valid. Buddhism’s principles can be maintained under any circumstances without changing their basic ideas. The capacity to understand the value of Buddhist ideas may diminish and disappear from human mind in time. However, the value of the Buddha’s teachings will be appreciated by every cultured and understanding person at any time. As complimented by Albert Einstein (physicist and 
mathematician), winner of the Nobel Prize, who is popularly regarded as the most outstanding scientist of the twentieth century, 

“The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. 
It should transcend a personal God and avoid 
dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, 
it should be based on a religious sense 
arising from the experience of all things, natural 
and spiritual, as a meaningful unity. Buddhism 
answers this description... If there is any religion that 
would cope with modern scientific needs, it would 
be Buddhism.” 

Supreme Philosophy

As complimented by Lord Bertrand Russell (mathematician, author and social critic), winner of the Nobel Prize, who is popularly regarded as the most outstanding philosopher of the twentieth century, 

“Of the great religions of history, I prefer Buddhism... 
Buddhism is a combination of both speculative 
and scientific philosophy. It advocates the Scientific 
Method and pursues that to a finality that may be 
called Rationalistic. In it are to be found answers 
to such questions of interest as ‘What is mind and 
matter? Of them, which is of greater importance?
 Is the universe moving towards a goal? What is man’s 
position? Is there living that is noble?’ It takes up 
where science cannot lead because of the limitations 
of the latter’s instruments. Its conquests are those of 
the mind.” 

Supreme Psychology

In the course of their work, many psychologists have found, as the pioneering work of Dr. Carl G. Jung (founder of Analytic Psychology—a pioneer of an aspect of modern psychology) has shown, we are closer to the Buddha than we think. To read a little Buddhism is to realise that the Buddhists knew, more than 2,500 years ago, far more about our modern problems of psychology than they have yet been given credit for. They studied these problems long ago, and found the answers too. As complimented by Jung, 

“As a student of comparative religions, 
I believe that Buddhism is the most perfect one the world has seen. 
The philosophy of the theory of evolution and the law 
of Karma are far superior to any other creed... 
It was neither the history of religion nor the study 
of philosophy that first drew me to the world of 
Buddhist thought, but my professional interest as a 
doctor. My task was to treat psychic suffering and 
it was this that impelled me to become acquainted 
with the views and methods of that great teacher of 
humanity [the Buddha], whose principal theme was 
[breaking] the chain of suffering, old age, sickness 
and death.” 

No Fear

The Buddha is a major historical figure who promoted the rise of rational faith against the superstitions of blind faith. He emancipated humankind from the authority of corrupted priests, and was the first to show the way to freedom from religious hypocrisy and dictatorship. Buddhism is a religion that uses reason and no element of fear to coerce anyone to believe in it. 

Universal Compassion 

As the Buddha’s compassion is universal, He sees all creatures great and small, from insects to beasts, as ultimately equal, each with the same rights to happiness as us. 


There is no such thing as a just war in Buddhism. The Buddha taught that, “The victor breeds hatred and the defeated lives in misery. He who renounces both victory and defeat is happy and peaceful.” Not only did the Buddha teach non- violence and peace, He was probably the first and only religious founder who went to the battlefield to prevent the outbreak of a war. 

Human Equality

The Buddha was among the first to speak against the caste system, on the importance of individual rights and the equality of all humans despite differences in social standing, race and religion. He also encouraged the spirit of social co-operation and active participation in society at all levels. According to the Buddha, the only classification of humans should be based on the quality of their moral conduct. The Buddha said, 

“Go into all lands and preach this teaching. Tell 
them that the poor and the lowly, the rich and the 
high are all one and that all castes unite in this 
religion as do the rivers in the sea.” 

Sexual Equality

Seeing the two sexes as ultimately equal in rights, the Buddha was the first religious teacher who gave women freedom to participate fully in the religious life. His move to allow women to enter the Sangha (order of monks and nuns) was indeed brave and radical in His times. 


The Buddha was the first to advocate the spirit of open consultation in the democratic process. In the Sangha community, each member had individual rights to decide on matters of general concern. When a serious question arose, the issues were put forth and discussed in a manner similar to today’s democratic parliamentary system. 

EcologicaL Consciousness

The Buddha strongly encouraged care and respect for the planet’s environment as He clearly saw the close interdependence between all beings and nature. 

No Sacrificial Rites 

The Buddha disapproved of animal sacrifice as He saw it cruel and unfair for anyone to destroy any living being for one’s selfish “benefit”. 

No Flowery Miracles 

To the Buddha, miracles are but manifestations of phenomena not understood by most. They are not seen as demonstrations of Enlightenment or wisdom, as supernatural powers can be mastered by anybody. The supernatural is simply natural phenomena not understood by the unenlightened. The ability to perform miracles is seen as a by- product of spiritual development—of minor importance and relevance to the real goal of spiritual perfection. Though the Buddha had full mastery of psychic abilities, He used them only out of compassion, as a skilful means to teach. He never used His powers to win followers through blind faith or dependency on miracles. He taught that the highest miracle is the “conversion” of an ignorant person to a wise one. 

No Political Abuse 

The Buddha was born of royalty, and associated with kings, princes and ministers. Yet, He never resorted to the influence of political power to introduce His teachings. Nor did He allow His teachings to be misused for gaining political power. However, He urged kings to be morally strong, teaching that a country should not be ruled by greed, but with compassion and consideration for the people. 

No Non-forgiveness 

There is no concept of “unforgivable sin” in Buddhism. The Buddha taught that all deeds are either skilful or unskilful due to the presence or absence of wisdom respectively. There is always hope for improvement as long as one recognises one’s mistakes and changes for the better. 

No Stubborn Exclusivity

The Buddha taught that if any religion has the teachings of the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, it may be regarded as a proper religion. This is because a truly helpful religion must lead to the total eradication of suffering (as in the Four Noble Truths), clearly showing a rational path towards True Happiness (as in the Noble Eightfold Path). 

Harmonious Missionary Work 

An outstanding example of the qualities and approach of a Buddhist missionary is the great Emperor Asoka, who sent Buddhist missionaries to many parts of Asia and the West to introduce the Buddha’s message of peace. One of his scripts engraved in stone on an Asoka pillar, which still stands today reads, 

“One should not honour only one’s religion and 
condemn the religion of others, but one should honour 
others’ religion for this or that reason. In so doing, 
one helps one’s own religion to grow and 
renders service to the religions of others too. In acting otherwise, 
one digs the grave of one’s own religion and also does 
harm to other religions.” 

Unholy wars, crusades, inquisitions and religious discrimination do not mar the annals of Buddhist history. Buddhist missionaries have no need or desire to convert those who already have a proper religion to practise. Buddhists are happy to see the progress of other religions so long as they help people to lead a moral way of life according to their faith, and enjoy peace, harmony and true understanding. However, the Buddha also urged us to share the truth with those who might be interested in it, 

“Go forth, O Bhikkhus (monks), for the good of 
the many, for the happiness of the many, out of 
compassion for the world, for the good, benefit and 
the happiness of gods and humans... Let not two go 
by one way. Preach, O Bhikkhus, the Dharma (way 
to the truth), excellent in the beginning, excellent in 
the middle, excellent in the end, both in spirit and 
in the letter. Proclaim the holy life altogether perfect 
and pure.” 

The Worthiest Goal

The attainment of Buddhahood (full Enlightenment), or the achievement of True Happiness for oneself and others is the most challenging, yet most worthwhile goal. However, because practising Buddhism means following the Noble Eightfold Path (or the Middle Way), Buddhists never have to go into any form of extremism.

Complete Overview of Humankind and Religion 

The Buddha explained rationally and in detail how various religious systems evolved though history with changes in the thinking of humankind. He also gave us a comprehensive overview of the effects of religion on humans. 

Complete Path Towards True Happiness 

The Buddha’s teachings form a complete and colossal interconnected syllabus, which covers every timeless aspect of life. The ancient collection of Buddhist scriptures was said to pile up to “the height of seven elephants”! Being history’s longest teaching religious founder, the Buddha expounded for 45 years on all that was necessary to attain True Happiness. He asked His assembly of thousands of disciples thrice, on whether they had any remaining doubts before His final passing. There were none. 

Happiness in This Life 

Buddhism does not focus only on the afterlife. Though practising Buddhism in this life has positive effects that extend beyond this life, many fruits of our practice can be savoured in this very life. 

Everything is Open

According to the Buddha, the truth in his teachings is open for everyone to discover personally. While there are advanced teachings which require specific guidance of experienced teachers, there are no secrets in Buddhism.

Goodwill and Understanding 

The Buddha’s message of goodwill and understanding to all beings is a universal message. The world today needs this noble message more than ever before. If so, may we learn and share it with more! 

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Due to this merits,
May I soon,
Attain the enlightened state of Guru Buddha,
That I may be able to librate all sentient beings from their suffering.

May the precious bodhi mind, Not yet been born in me, will arise and grow.
May the birth have no decline, and will increase forever more.

Namu Myo Ho Renge Kyo
Namo Buddhaya
Namo Dharmaya
Namo Sanghaya