The name Buddhism comes from the word “buddhi” which means ‘to wake up’ and thus Buddhism the awakening of compassion and wisdom.
The Philosophy has its origins in the experience of the Buddha Gotama, knows as the Buddha, who was himself awakened (enlightened) at the age of 35.
Buddhism is now 2,600 years old and has about 1600 million followers worldwide. The Lord Buddha was born in 623 B.C. in a country called Kapilavatthu in Nepal. Born in the noble Sakya clan, he was named Siddhattha Gotama.
At the age of 29, B.C 594, he left his palace quietly in search of the truth. He had studied under ascetic teachers, and tried various methods of self-mortification, but to no avail. He learnt later that extremes (of indulgence versus torture) are not going to work out.
After searching for truth 6 years, for 6 year Gautama strived as a hermit, at the age of 35, B.C 588, one day, he sought shelter under a tree, and through intense meditation that he finally attained Enlightenment, and sees things as they really are. Henceforth, he is known as the Lord Buddha. The tree under which the Buddha gained Enlightenment has since been known as the Bodhi Tree. The Lord Gautama Buddha gained a flash of insight that he felt gave him an answer to the problem of suffering. He began to share with other the meaning of His enlightenment since B.C 588.
The Lord Buddha and his disciples travelled vast areas (on foot) throughout India to expound the Dhamma, helping lots of suffering people along the way. His relentless effort lasted for 45 years.
For the 45 years, the Buddha spent his time travelling around India and neighbouring countries, preaching and teaching about the Four Noble Truth and the Noble Eightfold Path. The Noble Eightfold Path is one of the principal teachings of the Buddha, who described it as the way leading to the cessation of suffering (dukkha) and the achievement of self-awakening.
The Buddha passed into Parinibbana (or passed away in simplified layman's term) at the ripe old age of 80, B.C 543. When Buddha died, his physical death is defined as Parinibbana.
Known as the Buddha or Enlightened One, Gautama Buddha taught that people can escape the circle of rebirth by eliminating desire and by following rules of behaviour, the Noble Eightfold Path. Since B.C 543, Buddhism has become one of the world's great religions.
Buddhist does not have a belief in creator God(s).
Buddhism is called orthodox way of life.
The Buddha taught never to believe something based on blind faith.
Known as Dukkha in Pali, the 1st noble truth can be translated to mean suffering, or un-satisfactoriness. To say that we encounter suffering every now and then may not be obvious; but then Dukkha encompasses more: unfulfilled wish is also suffering, coming into contact (and being forced to spend long hours) with people we do not like is Dukkha, separated from people we love is Dukkha. Drilling down further, we may come to realize that we do at least now and then come into contact with suffering. Some people could take Dukkha too hard to bear that they resort to ending their lives.
2: Cause of suffering
The cause of all the suffering is craving, or attachment. This is the 2nd noble truth. (origin of Dukkha).
3: End of suffering
The 3rd noble truth is the complete end of suffering (cessation of suffering) – Nibbana (Nirvana). The Third Noble Truth of Buddhism is the realization of nirvana, the cessation of suffering and the freeing of one's self. It is the culmination of Buddhist wisdom with the cessation of suffering, the attainment of peace and equanimity in your life.
Nirvana is the complete end of suffering at a personal level that transcends your current way of experiencing life.
4: Way leading to the End of Suffering
How to reach the end of suffering? This could be explained by the 4th noble truth - The Noble Eightfold Path.
The Noble 8-fold Path
The Buddha urged His disciples to do eight things: By avoiding extremes and following the eightfold path, a person could attain Nibbana (Nirvana), a state of freedom from the circle of rebirth.
1. Right Understanding
Right understanding can also be translated as "right perspective" or "right outlook" or "right view" (as they really are; the knowledge of the 4 Noble Truths). The purpose of right understanding is to clear one's path of the majority of confusion, misunderstanding, and deluded thinking. It is a means to gain right understanding of reality.
2. Right Thought
Includes benevolent and loving-kindness thoughts, which are the opposites of ill-will and cruelty respectively. Can also be known as "right intention"
3. Right Speech
Abstain from lying, slandering, using harsh words, abusive speech, and engaging in frivolous talks (including meaningless gossiping).
4. Right Action
Refrain from killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct. Right action can also be translated as "right conduct". As such, the practitioner should train oneself to be morally upright in one's activities, not acting in ways that would be corrupt or bring harm to oneself or to others.
5. Right Livelihood
This means that practitioners ought not to engage in trades or occupations in arms, human beings, life stocks, intoxicating drinks, and poisons which, either directly or indirectly, result in harm for other living beings. (There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, having abandoned dishonest livelihood, keeps his life going with right livelihood).
6. Right Effort
Right effort can also be translated as "right endeavor" or "right diligence". In this factor, the practitioners should make a persisting effort to abandon all the wrong and harmful thoughts, words, and deeds.
7. Right Mindfulness
Right Mindfulness is also translated as "right attention". Being mindful (as opposed to heedlessness/carelessness) of body, mind, etc.
8. Right Concentration
One-pointedness of the mind (It is also known as right meditation).
Was The Buddha A God?
No, Buddha did NOT claim to be God. He did NOT claim that he was God, the child of a God or even the messenger from a God. He was a noblest person who perfected himself and taught that if we followed his example, we could perfect ourselves also.
The Buddha is NOT a God, BUT a supreme teacher of men and God, who teaches us the way to restore Wisdom and Understanding by conquering the greed, hatred, and ignorance which blind us at the present moment.
To many, Buddhism goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy or 'way of life'. It is a philosophy of way of life because Buddha’s basic philosophy 'means love of wisdom' and the Buddhist path can be summed up as:
(1) to lead a moral life,
(2) to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and
(3) to develop wisdom, TRUTH, and understanding.
(2) to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and
(3) to develop wisdom, TRUTH, and understanding.
Buddhist does NOT take refuge in the Buddha with the belief that He (Buddha) is as a God or son of God or prophet of God.
The Buddha never claimed any divinity.
Then Buddhism has no holy war. (No holy war concept in Buddhism.) Buddhists do not pray to the Buddha thinking that He is a God who will reward them or punish or curse them.
Buddhism has never persecuted or maltreated those whose beliefs are different. Today the follows of the most compassionate Buddha have a special duty to work for the establishment of peace in the world and to show an example to others by following their Master's advice: 'All tremble at punishment, all fear death; comparing others with oneself, one should neither kill nor cause to kill.' (Dhammapada 129)
Mercy and killing can never go together. Some people kill their pets on the grounds that they do not like to see the pets suffer. However, if mercy killing is the correct method to be practised on pets and other animals, then why are people so reluctant to do the same to their beloved ones?
The Buddha has advised everyone to abstain from killing. If everybody accepts this advice, human beings would not kill each other. In the case where a person's life is threatened, the Buddha says even then it is not advisable to kill out of self-protection. The weapon for self-protection is loving-kindness.
The Buddha taught many things, but the basic concepts in Buddhism can be totally summed up by the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.
He (Buddha) was the Enlightened One, the most Compassionate, Wise, and Holy One who ever lived in this world. Therefore, people take refuge in the Buddha as a supreme greatest TEACHER or MASTER who has shown the real path of emancipation. Buddhism depends more on understanding than faith. They pay homage to Him to show their gratitude and respect, but they do not ask for material favors.
In other religions, the people worship their God by asking for favours to be granted to them. Buddhists do not worship the Buddha by asking for worldly favours, but they respect Him for His supreme achievement.
Buddha allowed critical thinking in his teaching since BC 588.
Until a hundred years ago, Buddhism was mainly an Asian Philosophy but increasingly it is gaining adherents in Europe, Australia and America.
Buddhism Is Just A Philosophy?
Buddhism does not demand blind faith from its adherents. A Buddhist seeks refuge in the Buddha because it was he who discovered the path of deliverance. Buddhism is NEITHER philosophy NOR religion. Philosophy in Buddhism is the based on universal truth and METTA (pure love) and wisdom, both meanings describing Buddhism perfectly. Buddhism teaches that we should try to develop our intellectual capacity to the fullest so that we can understand clearly. It also teaches us to develop love and kindness so that we can be like a true friend to all beings. Thus Buddhism is a philosophy but NOT JUST a philosophy. It is the supreme philosophy of lives for everyone.
Who Was The Buddha?
In the year 623 B.C. a baby prince was born into a royal family in Nepal .He grew up in wealth and Luxury but found that worldly comforts and security do not guarantee happiness. He was deeply moved by the suffering he saw all around and resolved to find the key to happiness. When he was 29 he left his wife and child and set off to sit at the feet of the great religious teachers of the day to learn from them. They taught him much but none really knew the cause of human suffering and how it could be overcome. Eventually ,after six years study and meditation he had an experience in which all ignorance fell away and he suddenly understood .He Lived for another 45 years in which time he travelled all over the northern India teach others what he discovered . His compassion and patience were legendary and he made thousands of followers. In his eightieth year, old and sick but still happy and peace, when Buddha died, his physical death is defined as Parinibbana.
The Buddha Is Dead (Parinibbana) So How Can He Help Us?
Yes, the Buddha is dead but 2600 years later his teachings still help people, his example still inspires people, his words still change lives. Parinibbana called "final release from the cycle of reincarnation and rebirth".
In the Buddhist view, when an ordinary person dies and their physical body disintegrates, the person's unresolved karma passes onto a new birth; and thus the karmic inheritance is reborn in one of the six realms of samsara.
Saṃsara meaning "continuous flow" and "eternal cycle" is the repeating cycle of birth, life and death (reincarnation) as well as one's actions and consequences in the past, present, and future in Buddhism.
However, when a person attains nirvana, they are liberated from karmic rebirth. When such a person dies, their physical body disintegrates and this is the end of the cycle of rebirth.
Faraday, who discovered electricity, is dead, but what he discovered still help us. Luis Pasteur what he discovered the cures for so many diseases is dead, but his medical discoveries still save lives. Leonardo da Vinci who created masterpieces of art is dead, but what he created can still uplift and give joy .Noble men and heroes may have ,been death for centuries but when we read of their deeds and achievements ,we can still be inspired to act as they did .
Yes, the Buddha is Parinibbana, but 2600 years later his teachings still help people, his example still inspires people, his words still change lives, only a Buddha could have such power centuries after his death.
During the last 26 centuries since the appearance of the Buddha, many changes have taken place in this world. Kingdoms have risen and fallen; nations have prospered and perished. However, the world today has forgotten many of these past civilizations. But the name of the Buddha remains alive and fresh in the minds of millions of people today. The Kingdom of Righteousness that He built is still strong and steady. Although many temples, pagodas, images, libraries and other religious symbols erected in His honor were destroyed, His untainted Noble Name and the message He gave remain in the minds of cultured people.
The Buddha taught man that the greatest of conquests was not the subjugation of others but of the self. He taught in the Dhammapada, 'Even though a man conquers ten thousand men in battle, he who conquers but himself is the greatest of conquerors'.
The Buddha was the greatest conqueror the world has ever seen. He conquered the world with His infallible weapons of love and truth. His Teaching illuminates the Way for mankind to cross from a world of darkness, hatred, and suffering, to a new world of light, love and happiness.
Why Buddhist worship to idols?
Such statements only reflect the misunderstanding of the persons who make them. The dictionary defines an idol as "an image or statue worshipped as a God".
As we have seen, Buddhists do NOT believe that the Buddha was a God, so how could they possibly believe that a piece of wood or metal is a God? All religions use symbols to express various concepts. In Taoism, the ying-yang is used to symbolize the harmony between opposites. In Sikhism, the sword is used to symbolize spiritual struggle. In Christianity, the fish is used to symbolize Christ's presence while the cross is used to symbolize his sacrifice. And in Buddhism, the statue of the Buddha is used to symbolize human perfection.
The statue of the Buddha also reminds us of the human dimension in Buddhist teaching, the fact that Buddhism is human-centered, rather than god-centered, that we must look within not without to find perfection and understanding. So someone to say that Buddhists worship idols is NOT correct.
Buddhists DO NOT worship an image expecting worldly or spiritual favors, but pay their reverence to what it represents.
Although it is customary amongst Buddhists to keep Buddha images and to pay their respects to the Buddha, Buddhists are not idol worshippers. Idolatry generally means erecting images of unknown gods and goddesses in various shapes and sizes and to pray directly to these images. The prayers are a request to the gods for guidance and protection. The gods and goddesses are asked to bestow health, wealth, property and to provide for various needs; they are asked to forgive transgressions.
The 'worshipping' at the Buddha image is quite a different matter. Buddhists revere the image of the Buddha as a gesture to the greatest, wisest, most benevolent, compassionate and holy man who has ever lived in this world. It is a historical fact that this great man actually lived in this world and has done a great service to mankind. The worship of the Buddha really means paying homage, veneration and devotion to Him and what He represents, and not to the stone or metal figure.
The image is a visual aid that helps one to recall the Buddha in the mind and to remember His great qualities which inspired millions of people from generation to generation throughout the civilized world. Buddhists use the statue as a symbol and as an object of concentration to gain a peace of mind. Buddha statute is used to symbolize gratitude and best teaching of Buddha.
When Buddhists look upon the image of the Buddha, they put aside thoughts of strife and think only of peace, cleaning, calmness and tranquility. The statue enables the mind to recall this great man and inspires devotees to follow His example and instructions. In their mind, the devout Buddhists feel the living presence of the Master. This feeling makes their act of worship become vivid and significant. The serenity of the Buddha image influences and inspires them to observe the right path of conduct and thought.
An understanding Buddhist NEITHER asks favours from the image NOR does he request forgiveness for evil deeds committed. An understanding Buddhist tries to control his mind, to follow the Buddha's teaching.
An understanding Buddhist, in offering flowers and incense to an image, designedly makes himself feel that he is in the presence of the living Buddha and thereby gains inspiration from his noble personality and breathes deep his boundless compassion. He tries to follow the Buddha's noble example and doctrine of Buddha.
A piece of clay or material or bronze or jade is NOT the object of our respect and worship. When we bow before Buddha images, we are recalling the qualities of the enlightened beings. It is their impartial love and compassion, generosity, morality, patience, joyous effort, concentration and wisdom that we are showing respect to. The statue or painting serves to remind us of the qualities of the Buddha, and it is the qualities, NOT the material (clay), that we are bowing to.
For example, if we go to a place far away from our family, we think about them and feel much love. But we also like to have a photo of them with us to remember them better. When we look at the photo, feel to love for our family, but we do NOT loving the paper and ink of the photo! The photo merely strengthens our memory.
It is similar with a statue or painting of the Buddha.
By showing respect to the Buddha and their qualities, we are inspired to develop these extraordinary qualities on our own mind streams. We become like the people we respect. When we take the love-kindness and wisdom of the Buddha as our good example, we strive to become like BUDDHA’.
We must also endeavor to understand the spirit of the Buddha. His Teaching is the only way to save this troubled world.
Why Are Some Buddhist Countries Poor?
If you mean economically poor, then it is true that some Buddhist countries are poor. But if by poor you mean a poor quality of life, then perhaps some Buddhist countries are quite rich. America for example, is an economically rich and powerful country but the crime rate is one of the highest in the world, millions of old people are neglected by their children and die of loneliness in old people's homes, domestic violence and child abuse are major problems. One in three marriages end in divorce and pornography is a major industry.
Rich in terms of money but perhaps poor in terms of the quality of life. Now take traditional Buddhist countries. Some are economically backward but parents are honored and respected by their children, their crime rates are relatively low, divorce and suicide are almost unheard of, domestic violence and child abuse, pornography and sexual license are not common. Economically backward but perhaps a higher quality of life than in a country like America. But even if we judge Buddhist countries in terms of economics alone, one of the wealthiest and most economically dynamic countries in the world today is Japan where a large percentage of the population call themselves Buddhists.
Your Opinion to Other and Your Buddhism
Buddhism is the most peaceful religion based on truthfulness. Buddhism is a combination of both noble truth and scientific philosophy.
All the teachings concerning culture, thoughts, opinion, beliefs and practices are valuable in their own ways. The important factor is that the follower of the concerned religion must follow the teachings sincerely.
Therefore, Buddhism is the only truth for me, the only religion for me. To my Christian friend, Christianity is the only truth for him, the only religion for him. Hindu friend, Hinduism is the only truth for him, the only religion for him. To my Muslim friend, Islam is the only truth for him, the only religion for him. Other nationalities and their culture are all noble and valuable in their own way.
So we ought also to love one another.
There cannot be 100% similarities among religions, nationalities, any opinions, cultures, philosophies, skin hues, mental attitudes, sex, language, political, social origin, property, visions of people in the World. There would be more beneficence from performance of seeing with love and sympathetic mind (with optimistic view) for a particular thing rather than blaming or extreme criticize (with a pessimistic view) in contrast to others. Look on the bright side, please.
Now love to these should be kind, tender, and affectionate, reciprocal and mutual; such should love one another; there should be no love wanting on either side; and it ought to be universal, and reach to all the saints, though of different gifts, light, knowledge and experience, or whether high or low, rich or poor; and should show itself by bearing one another's burdens, bearing with, and forbearing each other, forgiving one another, and by edifying one another in their most holy faith, and praying with, and for one another.
“Every cloud has a silver lining” means that you should never feel hopeless because difficult times always lead to better days. Difficult times are like dark clouds that pass overhead and block the sun. When we look more closely at the edges of every cloud we can see the sun shining there like a silver lining. Every cloud has a silver lining means that the sun shining at the edges of every cloud reminds us that every difficult situation has a bright side. “Look on the bright side”, please.
Pessimistic people are more likely to be depressed, fail, be poor achievers, have poor health (especially as we age) and suffer electoral defeat! Optimists handle stress better, bounce back from setbacks more quickly, have better health, sell more, achieve more and are more creative - among many other things!
The English culture is best for the English, while the Burmese culture is good for the Burmese. The Indian culture is also best for the Indian people,
while the Chinese culture is good for the Chinese people.
Likewise, Christians must obey the teachings of the Bible,
Buddhists must obey the teachings of Buddha,
Hindus must obey the teachings of the Hinduism and
Muslims must obey the teachings of Quran.
There are different kinds of believers such as Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and Muslim.
Everybody must not insult to other religions.
We should show respect to other.
But the best way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.
We need to demonstrate respect for each other and for relationships, not for power and control. We need to win other’s respect, not try to demand or force it. By force respect might bring compliance but it doesn’t build true respect for each other.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. All human beings are equal in dignity and rights. We should appreciate others as much as we can. But the essential factor is not races, religions, caste systems. Honesty, diligence, character, unity, patience, justice, optimism, forgiveness, love, mercy, peace, open-minded, sacrifice, humility, moral ethics, etc were more important above all.
Each and every one of us should follow and live according to the teachings of one's own religion. The one who doesn't respect others culture and religion does not respect his own. The one who respects another's culture and religion respects his own.
The right to practice one’s own culture, language and religion applies to everyone. One must be able to oneself analysis. One must be able to oneself criticize.
Is Buddhism Scientific?
Before we answer that question it would be best to define the word 'science'. Science, according to the dictionary is "knowledge which can be made into a system, which depends upon seeing and testing facts and stating general natural laws, a branch of such knowledge, anything that can be studied exactly." There are aspects of Buddhism that would not fit into this definition but the central teachings of Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths, most certainly would. Suffering, the First Noble Truth is an experience that can be defined, experienced and measured. The Second Noble Truth states that suffering has a natural cause, craving, which likewise can be defined, experienced and measured. No attempt is made to explain suffering in terms of a metaphysical concept or myths. Suffering is ended, according to the Third Noble Truth, not by relying upon a Supreme Being, by faith or by prayers but simply by removing its cause. This is axiomatic. The Fourth Noble Truth, the way to end suffering, once again, has nothing to do with metaphysics but depends on behaving in specific ways.
And once again behavior is open to testing. Buddhism dispenses with the concept of a Supreme Being, as does science, and explains the origins and workings of the universe in terms of natural laws. All of this certainly exhibits a scientific spirit. Once again, the Buddha's constant advice that we should not blindly believe but rather question, examine, inquire and rely on our own experience, has a definite scientific ring to it.
The Buddha said at ~ Kalama Sutta:
"Do not go by revelation or tradition, do not go by rumour, or the sacred scriptures, do not go by hearsay or mere logic, do not go by bias towards a notion or by another person's seeming ability and do not go by the idea "He is our teacher". But when you yourself know that a thing is good, that it is not blamable, that it is praised by the wise and when practised and observed that it leads to happiness, then follow that thing"
Buddhism is not dogmatic. Neither does it ask people to accept it through blind faith. In the scriptures we are constantly reminded that we should not blindly believe, but rather to question, examine, inquire and rely on our own experience and judgement.
So we could say that although Buddhism is not entirely scientific, it certainly has a strong scientific verification based on universal truth and is certainly more above scientific then any other religion.
It is significant that Albert Einstein, the greatest scientist of the twentieth century said of Buddhism:
"The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual and a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism."
The three basic ideas of Buddhism are the Three Universal Truths. The first truth says that nothing lasts. This is called annica. People, plants, even things like mountains are changing all the time. The Buddha said that because nothing remains the same for long, there is no rest except Nibbana.
The second truth is Dukkha. This mean suffering, but is more than pain. It means things like being bored and being uncomfortable, as well Dukkha is everything that is unsatisfactory. For Buddhists, life is Dukkha because there is nothing that is absolutely perfect. The Buddha said that no-one can escape Dukkha. His teaching was a way of overcoming it.
The third universal truth is anatta, which means no soul. The Buddha taught that there is nothing that can be called a soul. Instead, he said that people are made up of five parts: feelings, thoughts, awareness, ideas and body. However, there is nothing in people that carries on into another life, except the force that they make in this life.
These ideas are important because the rest of the Buddha’s teaching is based on them. The Buddha’s most important teaching is called the Four Noble Truths. This was the main part of the first sermon that he preached after his enlightenment. In his sermon, he told the people who were listening about the cause of suffering and the way to overcome it. He said that when people really understood the Four Noble Truths they would be able to change their lives.
So if Buddhists Don’t Believe In God. What do You Believe In?
We don't believe in God because we believe in humanity. We believe that each human being is precious and important, that all have the potential to develop into a Buddha - a perfected human being. We believe that humans can outgrow ignorance and irrationality and see things as they really are. We believe that hatred, anger, spite and jealousy can be replaced by love, patience, generosity and kindness. We believe that all this is within the grasp of each person if they make the effort, guided and supported by fellow Buddhists and inspired by the example of the Buddha
As Buddha says;
“No one can save us but ourselves,
No one can and no one may.
We ourselves must walk the path,
But Buddha clearly shows the way. "
(Dhp V 165)
Should Buddhists Try To Share The Dhamma With Others?
Yes, they should. And I think most Buddhists understand the difference between sharing and imposing. If people ask you about Buddhism, tell them. You can even tell them about the Buddha's teachings without their asking. But if, by either their words or actions, they let you know that they are not interested, accept that and respect their wishes. It is also important to remember that you let people know about the Dhamma far more effectively through your actions than through preaching to them. Show people the Dhamma by always being considerate, kind, tolerant, upright and honest. Let the Dhamma shine forth through your speech and actions. If each of us, you and I, know the Dhamma thoroughly, practise it fully and share it generously with others, we can be of great benefit to ourselves and others also.
Is (Karma) the Universal Law of Truth?
Karma is the executed "deed", "work", "action", or "act". In contrast, samskara (Sankhara) are always those invisible effect are produced cause of the doer’s action because of the karma, thus transforming the agent and make effect his or her ability to be happy or unhappy in this life as well as in future lives. An important idea in this context is the belief shared by Buddhism in the natural cosmic law of cause and effect, popularly known as “Kamma” (Karma). For thousands of years, the law of cause and effect guided scientific inquiry. “Karma” (or) “Kamma” is the universal law of cause and effect. Sowing and reaping is a main law of the Buddhist world.
It is more than just an agricultural principle. It is an axiom of life that “we reap in kind to what we sow”. The Bible, Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” There are natural consequences to our actions. The world operates under the law of cause and effect. There is no way around it: every time we choose an action, we also choose the as a result of that action. Scientifically, every action does have an equal and opposite reaction, and so any action that we commit would have an equal and opposite reaction in some capacity to keep the universal equilibrium.
Karma is the great law of "cause and effect", of "action and reaction", which controls the destiny of all living entities. This great law functions on the principle, that any action performed produces an equal and opposite reaction, which directly influences our very existence. Buddhists believe that the totality of one’s actions and the results of those actions determine one’s fate in coming rebirth. In Buddhism, this process is called kamma.
‘Kamma is action or do,’ says the Buddha. In its ultimate sense, kamma means both good and bad, mental action or physical action.
Sir Isaac Newton said 'for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction'. Newton stated this in his Third Law of Motion. This is much like Karma of Buddhism. Lord Buddha realised more than 2,600 years ago in a greater depth than those before him (Sir Isaac Newton).
In Buddhism the belief that everything is a result of acts in previous lives.
Since kamma is an invisible force, we cannot see it working with our physical eyes. The working of kamma can also be compared to a Newton’s third law who is virtuous, charitable and benevolent in his present life is like a person who is adding to his good kamma. This accrued good kamma can be used by him to ensure a trouble-free life.
The Buddha says, 'There is no place to hide in order to escape from kammic results.' (Dhammapada 127).
Karma, like time and gravity, is a universal principle and everyone is effected by its influence. While the law of physics applies to the interaction of material objects only, the law of karma however, applies to any action performed by living entities and governs the interrelations of all living beings. The state laws for example, are grossly observed; but the law of material nature (karma) being subtle to our gross understanding, cannot be experienced grossly or understood by mental speculation.
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