Practicing Buddhism in Real Life Scenario

Published On: May 15, 2023 09:00 AM NPT By: Rajeeb Shrestha

Buddhism is the teachings of Buddha based on the principles of four noble truths he had propounded. In fact, Buddhism is not a created religion or  Dharma but it is an epic of Buddha's teachings about life and existence. Many people are still in a dilemma regarding Buddhism if it's a religious dogma or set of human philosophical principles. In this case, it must be mentioned that if Nirvana is too high and imaginative for most men's imaginations they could at least grab something of the intention of what Buddha called the Eightfold path in life.

Siddhartha Gautam was born in 563 BC on a full Moon day in Lumbini which now  lies 19 km west of Siddharthanagar in the Terai region of Nepal. Siddhartha was the son of king Suddodhana and queen Mayadevi of Kapilvastu. The little prince was brought up with due care by his aunt for his mother who died just a week after his birth. The story of how, at the age of 29, Siddhartha Gautam left his palace, his young wife, and his newborn child and set out to lead his life as a wandering monk has, over nearly thousands of years, been entangled in myths and legends. However, his search for experience about existence is more important than the story about why he left home. His uneasiness of mind, brought forth by the realization of death, sickness and dark conditions of life may be the prime reasons for Siddhartha's decision to leave home. After leaving his home and family, Siddhartha Gautam started practicing the precise austerities for six years. And in doing so he was almost brought near to the point of death. Quite suddenly he rejected the ways of austerity just as he had rejected the ways of luxury for he decided to follow the middle path between two extremes. After taking food from Sujata, he felt refreshed and then began to meditate calmly under a Bodhi tree. In this course of meditation, he continued intensive concentration and by the early four hours of morning he was enlightened with the knowledge of four noble truths, the reality about suffering, and the truth that a means of release exists.

After the enlightenment, Buddha began to preach his knowledge. His teaching began at Banaras, the holy city of the Hindus, where he had come immediately after his 'enlightening experience'. His first sermon is generally known as four noble truths which says that unhappiness exists, there is cause for that unhappiness, that unhappiness can be ceased and the way that leads to the cessation of unhappiness.

The principal philosophy of Buddhism is non-violence, good karma (deeds) and the state of nirvana (meditation). Buddha urged his disciples not to get lost in the swamp of ideological discussion on abstract philosophical topics which has nothing to do with leading a worthy life, but to go ahead with all possible vigilance towards Nirvana. Today's Buddhism followers seem to be lost in the unnecessary theoretical issues. Lord Buddha did not believe in miracles but he has taught us to recognize the interdependence of cause and effect, to realize that, in order to avoid an undesired effect one must find out and eradicate the cause. The main fact that we should learn from Buddhism is that people can lead a peaceful life by realizing noble truths, non-violence and brotherhood and compassion. Buddhism teaches us to endure right conduct in order to see the world clearly and to understand our fellow men sincerely neither with envy, nor hatred. To be able to do this we must teach ourselves to identify the source of happiness and unhappiness within ourselves.

The world is in chaos today. Whether it is the crisis in Sudan, political imbalance in Myanmar, ongoing Ukraine war or geo-political tussle between the rapidly growing super powers, chaos and disorder is making their vicious circle in which innocent human beings are entrapped. It's very difficult to find a true human being today. If we ponder into our own surrounding, then people are facing different turmoils such as political instability, immense unemployment problem, pandemic and epidemic conditions, poverty, social deformities like violence, rape, racial discrimination and insecurity. Despite all these hurdles, people are in pursuit of happiness and most of them think that money or wealth will bring pleasure and prosperity. Such an illusion keeps people busy in their daily schedule and has transformed human life into Robotic mechanism.

Actually, Buddha has never claimed his teachings to be a religion, Instead he has clearly instructed us not to believe anything because anyone has said it to be true. His teachings are simply based on the harsh real life situations that he has undergone in various phases of life. Buddha believed in the fact that God is within us, the human being's soul and the best place to find the helping hand is at the end of our own arm. The only thing is we need to trust ourselves. We need to open our eyes before we could open our mouth so that we cause no harm to anybody else. His Four Noble Truths contain the core realization that any type of suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their own happiness or satisfactions which is the bitter validity of the modern world.

Thus, almost after the twenty seven hundred years of Siddhartha Gautama's  enlightenment, human beings belonging to several casts or creeds and religions are following his path towards peace and progressive life. It's not necessary for us to become a monk and live in Buddhist monasteries in order to follow Buddha's pious path but we can practice his spiritual aspects in our daily lives.  Millions of people in the entire world are inculcating the habit of practicing Mindfulness Meditation, Self Awareness, Empathy, Vipassyana Meditation, Compassion and Charity which are the outcomes of Buddha's teachings. By practicing these aspects, an individual can have a broader perspective and positive attitude towards his own self and relationship with others. In nutshell, we can conclude with Lord Buddha's one of the most cross-cutting saying that in spite of using our energy to worry, we should use our energy to believe. So, let's believe that we can make this world a better place to live for mankind with our individual effort to establish tranquility and harmony between ourselves. Let's live the life of a purpose for a noble cause.

"Sabba Bhawatu Mangalam", i.e. May All beings be happy. 

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