Buddhist Scriptures and Teachings

At the core of Buddhism lies the secret of a good and peaceful life. It is not about transcendence or abstract divinity. It is more about looking at and thinking about our own lives. It shows us how to understand ourselves and how to cope with our daily problems. Buddha gave his first sermon in the Deer Park, and with that he began the 'Turning of the Dharma Wheel'. The Buddha's teaching goes round and round like a great wheel that never stops, leading to the central point of the wheel, the only point which is fixed, Nirvana.

The eight spokes on the wheel represent the eight parts of the Noble Eightfold Path. Just as every spoke is needed for the wheel to keep turning, we need to follow each step of the path to reach Nirvana.

The TRI-PITAKA or Three Baskets of law is composed of 3 books:

1. Vinaya Pitaka: ‘Rules of Conduct': This is a book of discipline and mainly deals with rules of the order.

2. Sutta Pitaka: ‘Discourses': It is a collection of sermons and discourses of Gautama Buddha and the incidents in his life. It is the most important Pitaka and consists of five divisions known as Nikayas.

3. Abhidhamma: ‘Analysis of Doctrine': This third basket contains metaphysical doctrines. It is an analytical and logical elaboration of the first two pitakas. It contains analysis and exposition of Buddhist doctrine.

Teachings of the Buddha:

Noble Truths:
The principal teachings of Gautama Buddha can be summarized in what the Buddhists call the ‘Four Noble Truths':

  • There is suffering and misery in life.
  • The cause of this suffering and misery is desire.
  • Suffering and misery can be removed by removing desire.
  • Desire can be removed by following the Eight Fold Path.
  • The Noble Eight-Fold Path:
    • Right Views
    • Right Thoughts
    • Right Speech
    • Right Actions
    • Right Livelihood
    • Right Efforts
    • Right Mindfulness
    • Right Meditation

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