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Updated: Feb 7, 2022

Buddhism is a philosophy of life and is divided into a number of different traditions. Most of the traditions share a common set of fundamental beliefs, or, Truths.

The Buddha (“Buddha” means “Enlightened One”) was not a God and the philosophy of Buddhism does not entail any specific religious worldview. Buddha’s teachings are aimed solely at liberating sentient beings from suffering.

The Basic teachings of Buddha and the core of Buddhism are:

The Three Universal Truths

  1. Nothing is lost in the Universe

  2. Everything Changes

  3. The Law of Cause and Effect

The Four Noble Truths

  1. Dukkha-Suffering exists

  2. Samudaya-There is cause of suffering

  3. Nirodha-There is an end to suffering

  4. Magga-In order to end suffering, you must follow the Eightfold Path

The Noble Eightfold Path

  1. Panna-Discernment, wisdom

  2. Samma ditthi-Right understanding

  3. Samma sankappa-Right thinking

These are referred to as Prajna or wisdom

  1. Sila-Virtue, morality

  2. Samma vaca-Right speech

  3. Samma Kammanta-Right conduct or action

  4. Samma ajiva-Support yourself without harming others.

These are referred to as Shila, or Morality

  1. Samadhi-Concentration, meditation

  2. Samma Vayama-Right effort

  3. Samma Sati-Right mindfulness

  4. Samma Samadhi-Right Concentration

These are referred to as Samadha or Collect, Bring together such as concentration or unification of mind.

Buddhist monks reaffirm their faith in the 5 principles known as Panchsheel.

  1. Do not take life

  2. Do not steal

  3. Do not commit adultery

  4. Do not lie

  5. Do not consume liquor or other intoxicants

There are many sects of Buddhism and different kinds of Buddhist monks. The life and customs of Buddhists monks are different and unique, but they all have a spiritual meaning. Their life follows a strict schedule and revolves around meditation, study of scripture and being part of ceremonies. Buddhist shrines, monasteries (where monks live), Gompas and Buddhist Stupas are all over the world.


Ven. Phramaha Nopadol Saisuta, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Buddhism, Mahachulalongkorn University, Thailand

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