After attaining enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, Buddha opened higher truth – Dharma. Dharma is a Sanskrit word translated as “support”, “what keeps.” In the context of Buddhism dharma is the teachings of the Buddha, Dharma also symbolizes the moral qualities of the Buddha, which should be pursued. In general, this philosophical term central not only in Buddhism but in Hinduism (in Hinduism Dharma means universal law of life). As the Buddha lived in India and then to his teachings, (which soon became the first world religion), many were taken from Hinduism.
So at the heart of Buddhism is the doctrine of reincarnation, the law of Dharma and Karma, and the four noble truths.
Reincarnation – the belief that after death the soul is born again in another body, and not the fact that the human (and if you dumb as a tree, baobab tree will be born). And so we live in, constantly dying and being born, this endless cycle of birth and death is called samsara. Samsara is one of the key concepts of Buddhism, is depicted as a wheel – the wheel of Samsara.
Karma in Sanskrit translates as recompense. It is also a central concept, as Buddhism and Hinduism. Karma – it’s the law of reason and result, all of it perfectly conveys the essence of saying what goes around comes around. Therefore, doing bad things, we sow the bad karma that we have yet backfire, if not in this life, then the next for sure. For example, politician, which leads to unfair life take oppresses people, the hypocrite before the cameras in the next life may be born vagabond, or worse. Nothing is by chance, everything that happens bad to us – the result of bad karma, everything that happens to us good – the result of good karma. Dharma – the universal law, the path of man to God. A wise man once said: “Dharma of a man – to seek God, seek Him, love Him. Everything else – Karma”
The Four Noble Truths are formed by the Buddha – a string that hold the philosophy of Buddhism. It is from them the Buddha began his sermon, after becoming a Buddha. The first noble truth is this: But the first disciples of the great truth that there is suffering, life – suffering, birth – the suffering, death – suffering, the disease – the suffering, the compound that is not nice – suffering, separation from the fact that nice – pain, inability to achieve the desired – also suffering.
But the disciples of the second great truth about what is the cause of suffering. The cause of suffering is our desire, the thirst for pleasure, fame, power. This truth is well illustrated by a folk tale about gold fish and an old woman, who always wanted something, all she was little, and the result proved it with nothing. The less a person needs, so it is closer to God – Socrates.
But the disciples of third great truth that suffering can be eliminated. You need to give up desires, lust, passions.
But the disciples of the fourth great truth that there is a path that leads to the destruction of suffering. The Four Noble Truths are very similar treatment, which includes a medical history, diagnosis, recognition of the possibility of cure, and, finally, the prescription of treatment. This recipe, by leading to the destruction of suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism, which includes the right views, right intentions, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration. Eightfold Path can be conditionally divided into three parts: the culture of behavior (which includes the correct way of life, speech and action), the culture of meditation (which includes the right effort, awareness and concentration), culture, wisdom (right views and intentions).
Culture of Conduct consists of five basic precepts (almost the same as the 10 Commandments from the Bible): Do not kill, Do not steal, do not lie, do not commit adultery, do not get drunk. It also includes the virtues of generosity, humility, kindness.
Culture of wisdom – the knowledge and the four noble truths of the Buddha Dharma (teachings).
Culture of meditation – a system of spiritual exercises, which leads to the liberation of desire, lust, passions, and as a consequence of holiness or enlightenment to Nirvana. This is a mystical part of the Buddhist teachings.
The final stage of spiritual development in Buddhism is the attainment of Nirvana. Nirvana is translated from Sanskrit as the extinction, we have in mind the complete extinction of our desires and passions, but not only them, but the extinction of what is their source – our egos. And this is the extinction of the self, leads to absolute happiness, union with God. To some extent, this is death, but that death leads to rebirth, like a phoenix bird which burned itself and rose again from the ashes, more beautiful. This echoes the Bible, where the Gospel is this sentence: Who will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. (Luke 17:33, John. 12:25). We are talking about the same, only through the death of the man’s selfishness, can come to the birth of the Divine.
Understand this is not so simple. But you can try.
From the Bible we know that man was created by the image of God. Now try to imagine what our soul – it’s a drop, and God – is a giant ocean, from which this drop our soul once fled and settled in what we know as our personality, our ego. Our ego – a suit for our souls, the suit is sometimes not very convenient, but nothing helped. Nirvana – is the return drops to the ocean, of course drop will be terribly afraid of falling into the ocean, because then its like a drop of no more, but if she does overcome her fear, then she will be a whole ocean.