Buddha preached that suffering is caused by craving or desire for sensuality and identity or ego, and it can be ended by following the Noble Eightfold Path of right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
Buddha always stressed that everyone must discover and rediscover his or her truth life. He held that the teachings should not be accepted unless they are borne out by our experience. According to him, it was impossible for human beings to realize a dimension of awareness which is totally unconstructed and peaceful unless mind frees itself from its own clutches or bondages.
Many Buddhists and followers of Buddhism strongly believe that awakening springs from an understanding of the true nature of the mind through struggle and striving which must be discovered individually by treading the path guided by the Buddha's teachings rather than performing rituals and listening to discourses.
From the Buddha's preaching, the following sayings have been culled out to understand the essence of Buddhism.
- What is the noble truth of suffering? Birth is suffering, ageing is suffering and sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering.
- Pain is certain, suffering is optional.
- Attachment leads to suffering.
- Without health life is not life; it is only a state of langour and suffering - an image of death.
- A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.
On thoughts and thinking
- All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
- Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind.
- He is able who thinks he is able.
- We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
- With our thoughts we make the world.
- All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
- Words do not express thoughts very well; everything immediately becomes a little different, a little distorted, a little foolish. And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom of one man seems nonsense to another.