Some of the fundamentals of the teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha are:
- The Four Noble Truths: a) Suffering is an ingrained part of existence; b) The origin of suffering is craving: c) Suffering can be ended, and d) Following the Noble Eightfold Path is the means to accomplish this.
- The Noble Eightfold Path: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
- The mind creates suffering as a natural product of a complex process.
- Teachings should not be accepted unless they are borne out by our own experience and are praised by the wise. See the Kalama Sutta for details.
- Anitya: All things that come to be, have an end.
- Duhkha: Nothing which comes to be is ultimately satisfying.
- Anātman: Nothing in the realm of experience can really be said to be "I" or "mine".
- Nirvāna: It is possible for sentient beings to realize a dimension of awareness which is totally unconstructed and peaceful, and we can end all suffering (due to the mind's interaction with the conditioned world.
- According to tradition, the Buddha emphasized ethics and correct understanding.
- He questioned everyday notions of divinity and salvation.
- He stated that there is no intermediary between mankind and the divine;
- Distant gods are subjected to karma themselves in decaying heavens;
- And the Buddha is only a guide and teacher for beings who must tread the path of Nirvana themselves to attain the spiritual awakening (bodhi) and to understand reality.
The Buddhist system of insight and meditation practice is not claimed to have been divinely revealed, but to spring from an understanding of the true nature of the mind, which must be discovered by treading the path guided by the Buddha's teachings.
Photo description: Seated Buddha by Gandhara, 2ndCentury. Source: Photographed at Ostasiatische Museum, Berlin, 2008 |Author= PHGCOM
Excerpted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha