Buddhism Philosophy & Teachings

Schools of Buddhism | Introduction

We will give next a general historical account of the chief branches of Buddhist thought in India such as Vaibhasikas, Sautrantikas, Yogacaras and Madhyamikas and briefly show their relation to the central teachings of the Buddha such as three fundamental principles of Impermanence (anitya), Sorrow (duhkha), and Non-self (anātman).

The Suttanta Pitaka is a collection of all the discourses in their entirety delivered by the Buddha on various occasions. The discourses of the Buddha compiled together in the Suttanta Pitaka were expounded to suit different occasions, for various persons with different temperaments. The Suttanta Pitaka is divided into five separate collections known as Nikāyas: Dīgha, Majjhima, Samyutta, Aṅguttara and Khuddaka Nikāyas.

The Vinaya Piṭaka is made up of rules of discipline laid down for regulating the conduct of the Buddha's disciples who have been admitted as bhikkhus and bhikkhunnīs into the Order. These rules embody authoritative injunctions of the Buddha on modes of conduct and restraints on both physical and verbal actions. They deal with transgressions of discipline and admonitions in accordance with the nature of...

Commentaries on the Tibetan Book of the Dead

Here you can read the commentaries of highly respected Buddhist Lama Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, otherwise known as Bardo Thödol. Tibetan Book of the Dead is not only for those who are going to die or who are already dead, it is also for those who are already born; birth and death apply to everybody constantly, at this very...

Nirvana and Religion | Early Buddhism 4

What then is nirvana—the final goal of all spiritual endeavour? A Buddha or an Arhat attains nirvana with residue (upādhi-śeṣa) here below—becomes a Jīvan-mukta,his body continues to function till death, but his soul ceases to acquire new karma.When the body drops off, he attains nirvana without residue (anupādhi-śeṣa) as no fresh embodiment takes place.

Doctrine of Non-Soul | Early Buddhism 3

Between two opposite viewpoints of eternalism (whether absolutistic or dualistic) and annihilation-ism lies the creed of the Buddha that though there is no unchanging self (ātman), still it is not a function of matter and is not completely denuded of all causal efficacy when particular bodily embodiment ceases to exist. Negation of the soul (anātma-vāda) amounts only to this, that its entitative persistence is denied.

Law of Dependent Origination | Early Buddhism 2

The flourish with which the discovery of dependent origination or causal concatenation is announced in the Pali canon,shows the importance the Buddhist monks and schoolmen attached to the formula. The real point is whether the rule of law governing the destinies of sentient existence was couched in the language of the dependent origination formula by the Buddha himself or some of his followers.

The Age of Buddha | Early Buddhism 1

The Buddha was born in the sixth century B.C. It was an age of spiritual restlessness and society was moving away fast from its old religious moorings.Criticism of Vedic practices had started earlier, in fact, for even the Upaniṣads belittled the efficacy of sacrificial rites and laid emphasis on knowledge of Reality as the best path of attaining a blessed hereafter.

Third Turning of Dharma Wheel

The Third Turning of the Dharma Wheel contain a number of various sutras, but the most significant among them is Tathāgatagarbha Sutra, which describes a primordial potentiality of awakening in each one of us, called Buddha Nature or Buddha-dhātu (element of Buddhahood). This sutra later has been the main source of inspiration for Nagarjuna’s Collection of Praises and for treatise of Maitreya “Upper Tantra” (Uttaratantra...

Second Turning of Dharma Wheel

During his Second Turning of Dharma Wheel in Rajagriha at Vulture Peak Mountain, Buddha represented his teaching with wisdom sutras, a collection of sutras known as Prajnaparamita (Ultimate Wisdom). These sutras were mostly explaining the notion of Emptiness and transcendental states of consciousness associated with realization of emptiness. The second turning of Dharma wheel is usually seen as revealing deeper meaning of the notions which...

37 aspects of the Path to Enlightenment

The general structure of Buddha’s teachings, as it was described at First Turn of Dharma Wheel, consists of 37 aspects of the path to enlightenment (sometimes called also thirty-seven steps to Enlightenment). These aspects are divided into seven categories. They are : Mindfulness, Supreme Efforts, Necessary conditions, Skills and Strengths, branches of Attainment and the Noble Eightfold Path to Enlightenment.

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