Dharma for life
Basic Principles of Buddhism
Basic Principles of Buddhism
By Cheng Chen-huang

     Inter-dependent Origination is the basic principle of Buddhism. When it is referred to human life, man is created by his own mind, speech, and action. Thus, man should be responsible for himself.


     The scientific Four Noble Truths are used to solve the problems of human beings. Buddhism is neither pessimistic nor optimistic, but realistic.


     The first Noble Truth explains the reality of human life, i.e. dukkha or suffering which is characterized by pressure and emotion.


     The second Noble Truth investigates the causes of suffering, i.e. ignorance of impermanence which is the true nature of human life and the world, and thus the making of ignorant thought,speech, and action. The twelve links of inter-dependent origination are applied to explain the human life in terms of cause and effect, or the connection between one’s past life and present life, and between one’s present life and future life.


    T he third Noble Truth points out the ultimate goal of human life, i.e. nirvana or the ending of sufferings.


     The fourth Noble Truth lists the path leading to the ending of sufferings, or the practice of observing precepts, concentration, and insight. Arahat is the man who has perfected the path.


     Bodhisattva is the practitioner who aims to end the sufferings of not only oneself but also others. Buddha is the man who has perfected the bodhisattva path.