And Essential Principles of Enlightenment
Chapter 1 - The Teaching Of The Buddha
One of the great religions commonly known to various part of the world as Buddhism is the Teaching of the Buddha. In general, the real essence of Buddhism is not properly understood by many people of the world especially in the West. The term Buddhism is generally used all over the world as a religion which is believed by the Buddhist people. Some scholars who have earnestly done research in comparative study of religions understand Buddhism correctly in its proper sense. However, many are, as a matter of course, liable to be mistaken with other isms as the word Buddhism" itself is exposed with its suffix ism.
The teaching of the Buddha in terms of Buddha desana was discovered by Gotama the Buddha who was fully enlightened and awakened in the Four Noble Truths (ariya sacca) in India over 2,500 years ago. Gotama is the name of a clan; and the term Buddha is a Pali word which literally means the Enlightened One. This particular name was given to the holy man who had perfectly realized the Noble Truths and became an All knower or Omniscience (sabbannu).
Before he became the Buddha, he was born as a prince of King Suddhodana and Queen Mahamaya. But perfections for aeons of time in long long past lives searching for the Noble Dhamma and aiming at the cessation of sufferings for himself and for all sentient beings as well. That is, Buddha intended if He could attain Nibbana He would help other beings so that they also could attain it like Himself. He, having practised through strenuous effort and by human means, found out the very state of utter liberation in Nibbana and revealed it to others with His enlightened wisdom. That is, He taught to all mankind His Dhamma - the only straight path of enlightenment that lead thereto. And as such, the main objective or the final goal of His Teaching is for the attainment of Nibbana - the ultimate liberation from all the endless sufferings in samsara (the cycle of birth and death). Here, in order to attain the state of happiness of Nibbana we have only to follow devotedly the footpath of the Buddha or the principles of the Dhamma laid down by the Buddha.