The book Teaching of Buddha talks about an individual by the name Siddarth who, during his growing up period, was disturbed by the same thoughts that go through the mind of a child. Though he became Buddha, he continued to wonder about phenomena such as death, birth and why as a child he could not realize his wishes. This made him reflect a lot, and identify later some explanations and teachings concerning life. This paper explores various teachings mentioned in the book and other accompanying aspects including personal opinion concerning the teachings.
His teaching included the best ways an individual could live happily and peacefully. He advanced the argument that Buddhism was not about learning strange things and beliefs but was concerned with teachings of reflections about an individual’s life. This enabled individuals to understand themselves and cope with the varied problems they faced. At one point, while strolling and admiring beauty of the nature, he discovered three great truths from the way the nature unfolded. The truths were to act as teaching in everyday life.
He discovered that nothing got lost in the world. This, he argued, manifested itself in the manner in which certain events took place. The Buddha discovered that whenever people died, they had to change their form to become soil. This he backed with the claim that the matter could decompose to energy, and energy could decompose to matter in return, whenever they decayed. This made him believe that things evolved in life. He further argued that individuals were responsible for whatever happened to them. For example, when an individual lied to others, it resulted in his lying to himself.
The second truth he discovered was that everything in the world changed. He observed that mammoths and dinosaurs occupied the earth during some period, but later they became extinct. The new species of smaller animals came to existence showing that evolution took place. There is also evolution in the current world where technology evolves to become sophisticated in nature. At some point, people believed that the world was flat, but recent discoveries show that it is round. The Buddha uses these incidences to advance his argument that the world changed with time.
The last truth the Buddha discovered was related to the laws of causes and their effects. He argued that the continuous changes, as experienced in life, were the result of the cause and effect laws. The laws relating to cause and effect were identified as the laws of Karma. Nothing in this world happens to the individuals unless they seek it. He argues that things happen to people, because they deserve them. And the past acts of individuals determine the state in which they presently live, as well as their thoughts and actions determine the kind of life they live. The Buddha teaches a woman, who lost her child, about death using a mustard seed.
As the book ends, the Buddha teaches about suffering, saying it is caused by people’s ignorance and greed. To stop suffering, one must stop actions that cause suffering like greed and ignorance. People must strive to reach a state of Nirvana which is a state of no suffering and of everlasting joy. The path to ending suffering is called “Noble Eightfold Path” and involves the analysis of one’s views, speech, thoughts, conduct, livelihood, efforts, conscience, and focus. He then teaches about Buddhism enumerating its festivities such as Buddha day, Dhama day and Ullamba.
In the conclusion of the book there is an overview of the Buddha history and some tales about the monkey king and the mangoes and that of the wonderful swan. The lessons learnt through various methods of meditation and a list of glossaries are given at the end of the book on the teachings of Buddha.
A personal analysis of the Buddha’s teachings shows some level of consistency with facts about life, while some do not agree with the world’s scientific studies. Most of his teachings are based on assumptions that are neither backed by facts of any nature close to a scientific study, nor any form of evidence concerning artifacts or articles.
The truths he discovered concerning the laws of cause and effect are in total agreement with the realities of life. Things do not just happen by chance. They happen because people want them to happen. An example from life is when one engages in unlawful activities such as crime. The person invites the wrath of the law or society. If an individual decides to avoid troubles, the law enforcers will never disturb him. But if the same individual engages in unlawful activities, he invites trouble in his life. In addition, the things that people do in the past determine the kind of person they currently are. If one becomes lazy and does not consider seriously the issues of life, success will definitely elude him. Truths about the evolving world are evidenced by the sophistication and modernization, though there is no evidence that the world was once flat.
Therefore, it is necessary to conclude that the teachings by Buddha significantly reflect some truth about the social lives of individual within the society. The things that they do in their everyday life can have positive impact or may be detrimental to them. Therefore, people need to guide their life based on the teachings of Buddha.