Friday, November 27, 2015

First Sermon of Lord Buddha

Even after attaining Enlightenment, Lord Buddha spent his time lonely without teaching any of his wisdom and knowledge. The legend said that Lord Buddha was approached by many souls of human beings, as well as animals so that they could lead Lord Buddha to teach his omnipotent wisdoms and knowledge. The Lord Buddha decided to proclaim the Dharma that he just realized in the Bodh Gaya and wanted to entrust this doctrines to five ascetics who followed Lord Buddha i.e. five ascetics lead by Kaundinya. At that time, these five ascetics were staying in Isipatana i.e. Sarnath in present time. Then at the deer park, Lord Buddha met these five ascetics and thus began Lord Buddha's first preaching about Dhamma.

In the Deer Park, Lord Buddha addressed disappointed five ascetics
'Monks, these two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone forth from the household life. (What are the two?) There is addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy and unprofitable.'
After hearing these words, Kaundinya and four other ascetics realized that Lord Buddha had attained highest level of knowledge and started to listen Buddha first teaching. It is also said that many Gods and angels were also present during Lord Buddha preaching but Kaundinya and other four were the first human beings who listened Lord Buddha first teachings.

Then Lord Buddha started to teach the five ascetics about the Four NobleTruths i.e. the truth of suffering, cause of suffering, end of the suffering, and the way to end the suffering.

"The world is full of pain and suffering; the cause of suffering is craving or desire; the end of suffering is possible through Nirvana; the way to achieve Nirvana is through Middle Way." – Lord Buddha

Middle Way, the way that one can achieve nirvana is also known as Noble Eightfold path. These eight paths are right understanding, right attitude, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration

See More: Noble Eightfold Path

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Importance of Meditation in Buddhism


Meditation is one of the important techniques widely used in Buddhism. In general, Meditation is the practices that are associated with the involvement of religious as well as spiritual and philosophy regarding the Buddhism. According to Buddhism, one must take responsibility for their states of mind, body and soul. And this can help to lead away the fear, anxiety, sorrow and pain. And Buddha teaches that practicing meditation is the most probable techniques to achieve that state of mind.
According to Buddhism, Meditation is the process of transferring the control of mind and body to mind, and it helps to develop concentration, emotional positivity and calmness. Meditation is considered as the effort made in conscious mind to change the working pattern of mind. Buddhistmeditation is the combination of various number of techniques that was originally developed in order to develop one's concentration, mindfulness, insight and tranquility.

Types of Meditation

Over the thousands of years in Buddhism, number of Buddhist meditation practices were developed that helped to develop the one's control on mind, concentration, positivity etc. These various meditation practices are simply referred as "mind-trainings" but each Buddhist tradition have their own approaches to these meditation practices. Buddhist monks and Buddhist followers follow these practices based on their instinct since each meditation practices can be simple to different sorts of Buddhist monks and followers.

Some of the important Buddhist meditation practices that are widely used by Buddhist monks in Buddhist community and Sangha are Mindfulness of Breathing and Loving-Kindness meditation practices. It is believed that LordBuddha originally taught these two practices to Buddha followers. Mindfulness of Breathing is a simple Buddhist meditation practices that especially focuses on breath as a medium for concentration and it is also considered as the excellent method of absorbing intense meditation through various gestures such as Dhyana Mudra. Loving-kindness Meditation practice was originally known as Metta Bhavana. This meditation focuses on development or cultivation of something you feel in your heart i.e. love.

Importance of Meditation

Is Meditation important? Yes, it is quite important as stated above. Meditation helps to develop awareness, calmness, positivity in the mind of the people. If the mind is calm, aware then one can easily differentiate between good and bad, anger and wrong deeds and it helps to control their body through sheer power of mind. And this can only attained through meditation practices.

Meditation is quite popular in Buddhist art in many Asian countries. Meditation also helps Buddhist monks to understand the true meaning of principles of Buddhism i.e. NobleEightfold Path, Noble Four Truths, Dharma, Karma etc. Even Lord Buddha attained the Enlightenment through meditation and he succeeded since his mind had calmed down and was free of anxiety. Many Buddhist monks and followers practices meditation in front of Buddha statues. Because the Buddha statues are believed to hold important meanings behind their history such as Standing Buddha Statues are believed to represent Lord Buddha blessing to all sentient beings. Happy Buddhastatues are believed to represent happiness, joy and prosperity. That is also the reason why meditation are quite important.