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).

Buddha and Buddhas | Definition

The term Buddha, literally “awakened one,” is one of many Indian epithets applied to the founder of the Buddhism religion: A Buddha is defined, first and foremost, as one who has undergone the profoundly transformative experience known as Nirvāṇa and who, as a result, will never be subject to the cycle of birth and death again. Only one Buddha can appear in the world at...

Ḍākinīs | Definition

Ḍākinīs | Definition. In Tibet, Ḍākinī can refer either: a) to a living woman Buddhist teacher or b) to a spirit of ambivalent nature. Regarding the latter type, the idea has persisted that Ḍākinīs are attracted by Buddhist practitioners, drawn in swarms to powerful meditators like mosquitoes to blood. Tibetans further distinguish 2 kinds of Ḍākinīs: 1) gnostic (ye shes), “otherworldly” and 2) flesh-eating (sha...

Mettā - Practice of Universal Love

The Pali word mettā is a multi-significant term meaning loving kindness, friendliness, goodwill, benevolence, fellowship, amity, concord, inoffensiveness and non-violence. Theravada commentators define mettā as the strong wish for the welfare and happiness of others. Essentially mettā is an altruistic attitude of love and friendliness as distinguished from mere amiability based on self-interest. Through mettā one refuses to be offensive and renounces bitterness, resentment and...

Buddha’s Teachings | Overview

After His enlightenment the Buddha pondered on how profound His Dhamma was and how difficult it would be for the people to understand. Once, during the Buddha’s time, a young men humbly requested the Buddha to deliver a discourse, whereby the ordinary people could gain wealth and happiness in their present lives, as well as in the future. There at the Buddha expounded a discourse...

Buddha in Former Lives

Viewing the glory of the Buddha is a very strong experience and may involve the arousing of the Buddhist Righteous Wish and the very great inspiration to become a Buddha Supreme: This happened to our Gotama Buddha who, in the Buddhist history, began practising the Act of Wishing by thought, to become a Buddha. Gotama did this in the presence of the numerous Supremely Enlightened...

Buddha: From Birth to Enlightenment

Before His Mission on Earth the future Buddha was born in Tusita Heaven, as a deity named Setaketu, enjoying a contented and blissful life. He was also known as Santussita deva the name derived from the divine abode he was staying Nearing the end of his divine lifespan, all the divine beings from the ten thousand universes cordially requested him saying: “Dear Bodhisattva deva it...

Buddha’s First Community disciples

Buddha thought how deep His Dhamma was and how difficult it would be for the people to understand and practise. Coincidentally Brahma Sahampati appeared before Him and invited Him to preach the Dhamma, as there were some people who could understand the Dhamma. With His Divine Eye, He surveyed and saw that indeed there were people who could understand the Dhamma: Buddha told them: “Go...

Wealthy Supporters of Buddha

Among the many prominent supporters, the following are outstanding:- 1. King Bimbisāra donated the Bamboo Grove (Veluvana Monastery) 2. Anāthapiṇḍika donated the Jetavana Monastery 3. Visākha donated the Pubbarama Monastery 4. King Kosala Pasenadi performed the unique Alms-giving 5. King Ajātasattu - royal patron of First Buddhist Council 6. King Kalasoka - royal patron of Second Buddhist Council 7. Emperor Aśoka - royal patron of...

Chief Female Disciples of Buddha

Out of sheer frustration and unable to gain any spiritual solace, Mahāpajāpati Gotamī and the 500 Sakyan ladies shaved their heads, wearing yellow robes, marched up to the Buddha and again requested Him to allow them to be ordained as Bhikkhunīs. The Buddha still refused them the permission. Out of desperation and at wits end, they approached the Venerable Ānanda who succeeded in securing the...

Chief Male Disciples of Buddha

Outstanding amongst the Buddha’s disciples are the 2 Chief Male Disciples 1. Venerable Sāriputta 2. Venerable Moggallāna and also very important Arahants were 3. Venerable Maha Kassapa 4. Venerable Ānanda 5. Venerable Aṅgulimāla and the 2 Chief Female Disciples 1. Venerable Khema 2. Venerable Uppalavaṇṇa They had not only developed inner access into the Dhamma but also had special potency of their own in the...

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