Buddhist Aims, Philosophical and Religious
Buddhist Philosophy - Buddhist philosophy deals extensively with problems in metaphysics, phenomenology, ethics and epistemology.
Buddhist philosophy does not depend on ontological or metaphysical speculation that is based on empirical evidence gained by the sense organs (Ayatana). Buddha is said to have assumed an unsympathetic attitude toward speculative thought in general.
To reduce Buddhism to its essential elements, the following is a short summary of its aims, philosophical and religious.
Taking but a one-sided view of man's condition upon earth, looking chiefly at his miseries and sufferings, the Buddha does not try to revert to his origin, and to derive it from a higher source.
His beliefs carry him no further than to suppose that the present life is a continuation of past existences, of which man is now bearing the fatal penalty. He believes in transmigration: herein lies his first dogma and his first error. It is necessary then that man should at any cost be delivered from the cycle of perpetual births to which he is condemned; and the Buddha takes upon himself to point out the path which leads to deliverance and frees him from this terrible bondage. Filled with mercy and compassion, he gives to mankind that he came to redeem, a moral code, and he promises eternal salvation to those who follow it. What then is eternal salvation, according to the Buddhist faith? and how can man be delivered from the law of transmigration? Only in one way; by attaining Nirvana, that is annihilation.
Buddhist Philosophy - Buddhist Aims, Philosophical and Religious cont..
When man, thanks to the practice of the austerities and virtues that the Buddha taught, has once reached annihilation, he is well assured that he will never, under any form, be reborn into the odious cycle of successive existences; and when all the elements of which he is composed, both material and spiritual, are completely destroyed, he need no longer fear transmigration; and the blind fatality which rules all things in the universe has power over him no more.
This seems indeed a hideous system; but it is a perfectly consistent one. In the whole of Buddhism, from beginning to end, there is not a trace of the idea of God. Man, completely isolated, is thrown upon his own resources. Cast into a world he does not understand, without Providence and without support, staggering under the weight of human infirmity, he has but one hope; that of escaping from his earthly suffering. Wandering in utter darkness, he yet does not seek for light by aspirations towards something higher. His horizon limited to what his senses bear witness, and his knowledge of self as limited and inaccurate as the phenomena amid which he drags out his existence, his intelligence is not sufficiently developed to attain the source from which he himself, as well as the world, has emanated.
Buddhist Philosophy - Buddhist Aims, Philosophical and Religious
Text adapted from 'The Buddha and His Religion'
Buddhist Flag Meanings
The Dharma Wheel
In Buddhism—according to the Pali Canon, Vinayapitaka, Khandhaka,
Mahavagga, the number of spokes of the Dharmachakra represent
Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is a Japanese Buddhist
chant based upon the Lotus Sutra. Nichiren Daishonin (Feb 16, 1222 – Oct
13, 1282) a Buddhist monk who lived during the Kamakura period (1185–1333)
in Japan. Nichiren taught devotion to the Lotus Sutra, entitled Myōhō-Renge-Kyō in
Japanese, as the exclusive means to attain enlightenment and the chanting of
Nam-Myōhō-Renge-Kyō as the essential practice of the teaching.
Various schools with diverging interpretations of Nichiren's teachings comprise