1. Buddhists are taught to show the same tolerance, forbearance, and brotherly love to all people, without distinction; and an unswerving kindness towards the members of the animal kingdom.
2. The universe was evolved, not created; and it functions according to law, not according to the caprice of any God.
3. The truths upon which Buddhism is founded are natural.
4. The Buddha, who was born in a royal family in India about 2,500 years ago, is an historical personage, and his name was Siddhartha Gautama.
5. The Buddha taught that ignorance produces desire, that unsatisfied desire is the cause of sorrow. To get rid of sorrow, therefore, it is necessary to extinguish desire; and to extinguish desire, it is necessary to destroy ignorance.
6. Ignorance fosters the belief that rebirth is a necessary thing. When ignorance is destroyed, the worthlessness of every such rebirth, considered as an end in itself, is perceived, as well as the paramount need of adopting a course of life by which the necessity for such repeated rebirths can be abolished. Ignorance also begets the illusive and illogical idea that there is only one existence for man, and the other illusion that this one life is followed by states of unchangeable pleasure or torment.
7. The dispersion of all this ignorance can be attained by the persevering practice of an all-embracing altruism in conduct, the development of intelligence, wisdom in thought, and of controlling desire for the lower personal pleasures.
8. The desire to live is the cause of rebirth. When that is extinguished, rebirths cease and the perfected individual attains by meditation that highest state of peace called Nirvana.
9. The Buddha taught that ignorance can be dispelled and sorrow removed by the knowledge of the Four Noble Truths: 1. The miseries of existence; 2. The cause of misery, which is the desire to satisfy oneself without ever being able to; 3. The destruction of that desire, or the estranging of oneself from it; 4. The means of obtaining this destruction of desire.
The means which he pointed out is called the Noble Eightfold Path: Right Belief; Right Thought; Right Speech; Right Action; Right Means of Livelihood; Right Exertion; Right Remembrance; Right Meditation.
10. Right Meditation leads to spiritual enlightenment, or the development of that Buddha-like faculty which is latent in everyone.
11. The essence of Buddhism, as summed up by the Buddha himself, is: To cease from all sin, To be virtuous, To purify the heart.
12. The universe is subject to a natural causation known as “Karma”. The merits and demerits of beings in past existences determine their condition in the present one. Everyone, therefore, has prepared the causes of the effects which they now experience.
13. The obstacles to the attainment of good karma may be removed by the observance of the following precepts, which are embraced in the moral code of Buddhism:
Kill not; Steal not; Indulge in no forbidden sexual pleasure; Lie not; Take no intoxication or stupefying drug or liquor.
Buddhism discourages superstition. The Buddha taught that it is the duty of a parent to have his child educated in science and literature. He also taught that no one should believe what is spoken by any sage, written in any book, or affirmed by tradition, unless in accord with reason.
Drafted as a common platform upon which all Buddhists can agree.
Buddhism and Buddhist Teachings
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