Are you spiritual seeker aspiring ancient wisdom? Here are 5 life changing lessons you can learn from the Buddha.
Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, the famous Tathagata, gifted us a treasure trove of wisdom roughly 500 years before the birth of Christ. His teachings are indispensable for living a healthy lifestyle even today. But in this day and age, his words are overlooked and are often trampled upon by the daily hassles of modern society.
Thus it is our responsibility as spiritual beings, to uphold his precepts and re-establish the dharma as practiced by Shakyamuni himself. His doctrines are central to all schools of Buddhism and are highly revered in every part of the world.
Here are 5 Life changing lessons you can learn from the Buddha
Lesson 1: The Power Of Love And Compassion
“Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.” – Buddha
“Radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across — unhindered, without ill will, without enmity.” – Buddha
Our world is already polluted with enough hatred. And people tend to counter hatred with more hatred and start blaming others for worsening the situation. But what we fail to realize is that darkness cannot be cast away with more darkness. It is only light that effectively counters darkness and illuminates the world around us.
Without light, we along with our vision would remain plunged in eternal darkness. Similarly, only love has the power to extinguish or at least minimize the magnitude of hatred prevailing in our world. The universal love and brotherhood is the only weapon that can vanquish the demon of hatred and bring forth the glory days of harmony and compassion.
But as long as we keep fighting hatred with more hatred, the world will see more violence and destruction on scales unimaginable. It is similar to how wind fuels the fire to spread, as opposed to the water that puts it off permanently.
Lesson 2: Living In The Present
“The past is already gone, the future is not yet here. There’s only one moment for you to live.” – Buddha
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, not to anticipate the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Buddha
Our minds tend to hover in the past and future, but not in the present. But it is not our fault. Since our childhood, we’re taught to procure the future by compromising on the present. While this can be beneficial for professional life, our health deeply relies on how much we nourish our present.
Living in the “NOW” is central to all Buddhist teachings. When our mind starts living in the present, we unleash our true happiness. Brooding about the future or regretting the past always fuels stress and misery. This in turn tends to make our lives all the more difficult to live.
The chronic discontent resulting from the wandering mind is instantly washed away by the calm and satisfaction we receive from living in the moment. The fruits of life don’t lie in the future, but in the present. Enlightenment is not something to be attained by effort pursuits, but something that is already here with you, at this very moment.
Lesson 3: Introspection Is The Key To Awakening
“True wisdom is always found within.” – Buddha
“There’s nothing outside of yourself that can answer your questions.” – Buddha
Spiritual seekers often look for external stimuli to receive joy and contentment. But the Buddha asks us to open up to the possibilities of introspection. A sight inwards always helps the seeker to grasp the microcosmic clues that guides the soul to its full awakening.
The Buddha defined introspection as a silent and unhindered observation of one’s own thoughts and emotions. He taught us that careful observation not only leads to spiritual insights, but also helps our mind to detach itself from the samsaric whims. Our thoughts arise from our roots in samsara, which is nothing but an endless loop of fleeting occurrences.
The more we emotionally attach and associate ourselves with the dirt of materialism, the more our soul tends to degrade. This makes introspection all the more necessary. The material world is, as perceived by the Buddha, but an ocean of phantoms, devoid of any substance and intrinsic value. Therefore, he asks potential seekers to engage themselves in introspection frequently.
Lesson 4: Belief Is Always Outweighed By Self-Assertion
“Do not believe, not even my words, until you’ve lived them yourself”- Buddha
“Ignorance finds its way in through external indoctrination.”- Buddha
Do you often start believing in scriptures and aphorisms you come across? That too without self-inquiry and assertion? Wisdom, according to the Buddha, is merely a figment of imagination unless it is verified by adequate inquiry, insight and experience. Just because someone asks you to believe in a certain doctrine doesn’t mean you blindly have to.
No matter who has written it. The Buddha went on to say that we shouldn’t trust his teachings too, unless they are in tune with our soul and when we have experienced it ourselves. A wisdom that has been merely handed down, and not come from within is incomplete. It is nothing more than an abstraction, a hypothesis. A teaching that has not been experienced can never bear the original essence it had when taught by the master.
The soul is the seed of all wisdom, and the Buddha always encourages us to engage in inner spiritual communications, self-assertion and yield his teachings from deep within the wisdom womb (popularly known as Tathagatagarbha). It is only then can a belief fully transform into spiritual wisdom.