Buddhist Philosophical Reflections on the ‘Tripitaka’

Gautama Buddha (563-483 BC) was born in Nepal. He is not the creator of this world, nor is he a god. He is the most eccentric personality in history and the founder of the logical path of knowledge. According to Buddha, anyone in this world can attain enlightenment. Buddha was a simple person. He nurtured only good thoughts and discarded bad thoughts. He gave up all the comforts and conveniences of life in a moment to attain happiness, peace and freedom from suffering in human life as a whole.

This sacrifice, penance, resolution and dedication made Siddhartha a Buddha. Buddha preached practical philosophy for the welfare of the world. Realizing that the world is full of suffering, he saw it as a sovereign problem. Then he wondered how it could be diagnosed. As a result, he himself first gave up all sense pleasures and set out in search of truth as an ordinary person. He was only 29 years old when he left home.

Initially he performed severe physical austerities with five companions, but later performed less severe physical austerities. After that he gained victory over desire, anger and hatred. He gained knowledge about the mysteries of existence, the individual, the entire universe and its working processes, etc. He propounded the philosophy of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path for the troubled world and for the end of suffering. Similarly, he imparted various philosophical knowledge for the welfare of the whole world and human beings, due to which he always became a high inspiration for the progress of humanity and mankind in this world.

Buddha himself is not found to have composed any books, but some time after his death, his philosophies and teachings were compiled. The entire Buddhist scriptures were compiled in the First Buddhist Sangayana held three months after the Buddha’s death. There is a vast literature on Buddha’s teachings and philosophy and these are mainly found in Pali, Sanskrit and some other languages. Although now it has been translated into many languages of the world. The entire philosophy and teachings of Buddha are contained in the Tripitaka. Tripitaka is divided into three parts namely Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka and Abhidhammapitaka.

collection of the Buddha’s sayings is contained in the Sutta Pitaka, rules for monastic associations are contained in the Vinaya Pitaka, while philosophical problems are discussed in the Abhidhamma Pitaka. Besides being in the form of a tripitaka dialogue, it contains metaphors and similes. Among these three, the Sutta Pitaka is considered to be the most important because it contains the words and visions of the Buddha. Abhidhamma itself is a word of the Buddha. After attaining Buddhahood, all the words and sentences that come out of the Buddha’s mouthpiece are Buddha words.

Tripitaka deals with philosophical problems along with showing Buddhist ideals, principles and rules. In Pali language it is called Tipitaka. Literal meaning of Tripitaka – Tri + Pitaka, Tri means three and Pitaka means box or basket. Thus Tripitaka means three boxes. It is a collection of teachings and philosophy of a great man, which contains the Buddha’s discourses, Buddha’s teachings, guidance, explanations, advice, clarifications, inspirations and philosophy. This book was written in Pali language and has been translated into various languages since then. In this book, the words of the Buddha from his enlightenment to Mahaparinirvana are collected. Buddha gave all teachings orally in his time. The Sutta Pitaka and the Vinaya Pitaka were compiled by Bhikshu Anand based on his memory.

When it comes to the composition or construction period of the Tripitaka, the compilation of the Buddha’s words was done in the first Buddhist Sangayana three months after the Maharipanirvana of the Buddha, i.e. in 483 BC. It was held at the Third Buddhist Sangayana held in Sri Lanka. There are 5 texts of Vinayapitaka under Pali Tripitaka, 5 texts of 5 Nikayas under Suttapitaka and 17 texts of Khuddaka Nikaya and 7 under Abhidhamma Pitaka, totaling 33 major texts.

The Tripitakas provide auspicious inspiration and auspicious guidance for mankind and present various philosophical principles. The entire Tripitaka contains 84,000 Buddhist sayings, of which 82,000 are believed to belong to the Buddha and 2,000 to the Buddha’s supreme disciple monks. In the Tripitaka, the events of Buddha’s life, information about the then society and the details of his education system are also available. Tripitaka is such a literary and philosophical book, through which the way or way to get rid of all the human beings in the world is given.

It is believed that some of the Buddha’s disciples wrote down the doctrines and philosophies of the Buddha later. Shortly after the Buddha’s death in 483 BC, Ajatshatru organized the first Buddhist Sangayana in the cave of Rajagriha. Mahakasyapa presided over the first Buddhist Sangayana. Buddha’s beloved disciples Ananda and Upali also participated in this event. The main feature of the first Buddhist Council was that it compiled the Buddha’s teachings in the Pali language, which were named Suttapitaka and Vinayapitaka.

The Abhidhammapitaka was composed during the first Buddhist Sangayana. However, some historians believe that the Abhidhammapitaka was composed during the Third Buddhist Council. In the Vinaya Pitaka, the rules of the Buddhist Sangha are explained. In it the rules made for the Bhikkhu-Sangha are given in detail. It states what rules monks and nuns should follow in their daily life. Upali gave a systematic form to Vinay Pitaka. In Vinay Pitaka, you can also see the history of 2500 years of complete civilization and culture. Along with the prescribed rules for monks and nuns, this book preserves those precious life values for all humanity, which will continue to guide the lost man today and tomorrow. Sutta Pitaka is also a book of Buddhist philosophy. It is considered as the most important pitaka.

All the main principles of Buddhism are clarified in it. It is one of the three parts of Tripitaka. The teachings of the Buddha are also collected in the Sutta Pitaka. Sutta Pitaka is divided into 5 bodies. According to it, there are Digha Nikaya, Majjim Nikaya, Samyutta Nikaya, Anguttar Nikaya and Khuddak Nikaya. It contains short stories, prose dialogues, etc.

There are more than 10,000 sutras in the Sutta Pitaka. Dhammapada, a book of Khuddaka Nikaya of Sutta Pitaka, is read by many people. The Dhammapada Sutta is part of the Khuddaka Nikaya of the Pitaka. There are 26 sections and 423 verses under Dhammapada. It is one of the 15 parts of the ‘Khuddaka Nikaya’, the smallest Nikaya of the Sutta Pitaka. Similarly, there are 7 texts in Abhidhamma Pitaka. Accordingly, it includes Dhammasangani, Vibhanga, Puggalpanjati, Kathavatthu, Yamak and Pathan. In the Abhidhamma Pitaka, religion, philosophy and its activities are explained in a scholarly way. Various philosophical problems are discussed in it. Tripitaka also describes the politics, economy, social structure, crafts, music, etc. of Buddha’s time. Therefore, Tripitaka seems to have an important place in all aspects.

Buddha was such a great philosopher, who created a new and higher philosophical ideology in the human mind. Buddhist philosophy is described in various Buddhist texts like Buddhacarita Mahavastu, Sutta Nipata, Lalitvistara, Tripitaka, etc. But among all these books, Tripitaka, the most important book, gives a detailed description of every event related to the life of Buddha as well as various philosophical principles. The basic elements of Buddhist philosophy are Pratītyasamutpāda, Atheism, Transcendentalism, Anatmavad (theory of no soul), Nirvana, the four noble truths and the eightfold path, etc. These philosophical foundations are later explained and analyzed in more detail by scholars like Buddhist philosophers Nagarjuna, Asanga, Vasubandhu, Dignaga and Dharmakirti. These philosophical principles of the Buddha are expounded with examples, especially in the Sutta Pitaka of the Tripitaka and generally in all the other books. Here we will discuss in detail some of these philosophical principles mentioned in Buddha’s Tripitaka.

​The basis of the entire philosophy of the Buddha is Pratītyasamutpāda and it is a key to understanding his entire philosophy. According to the Buddha, he who understands Pratītyasamutpāda understands the Buddha’s philosophy and he who understands the Buddha’s philosophy understands  Pratītyasamutpāda. Pratītyasamutpāda is mentioned in the most important Sutta Pitaka of Tripitaka. Among the four noble truths of Buddhist philosophy, the second noble truth is the principle of discovery of suffering, which is called Pratītyasamutpāda.

In this, the third noble truth, the cause of suffering and the elimination of suffering is also clarified. Pratītyasamutpāda, which is considered the central and fundamental principle of Buddhist philosophy, reveals the view of causality. It includes the search for the cause of suffering and its resolution. Pratītyasamutpāda is formed from two words Pratitya and Samutpada. Pratitya means to depend on, or the presence of something, while Samutpada means to originate, spread or to produce some other thing. In this way, what is clear is that according to the result of perception, the origin of the action is from the expectation of the cause or depending on the cause. Every event in the world happens for a reason and no event happens without a reason.

When there is a cause there is an action and when there is no cause there is no action. In this way, the origin of action is not independent or accidental. This law of Pratītyasamutpāda is not operated by any conscious power, rather it is operated by itself. According to Buddhist philosophy, for the origin of action, there must be external components compatible or cooperating with the cause. An event is not the manifestation of a single cause but is the result of many external auxiliary causes. Once a chain of causation is started in them, the chain continues until it brings back more than one component. There must be a sufficient reason for every incident.

Pratītyasamutpāda is the indicator of the middle path. This middle ground position can be seen in two ways. Pratītyasamutpāda is the path between eternalism and absolutism. According to eternalism, permanence is the truth, while according to absolutism, nothing remains after the destruction of things. According to Pratītyasamutpāda, things are not eternal. The origin of things is due to other causes, but they are not completely destroyed, rather some of their actions or results must remain. Therefore, it is neither eternalism nor complete annihilationism. Probability is a type of relativistic theory. According to Buddhist philosophy, action neither exists in a cause nor is separate and independent from it. Action depends on cause and action is relative to cause. That is why it is also called relativistic theory.

According to Pratītyasamutpāda, every object or event must have some cause. From lack comes lack, from lack, there is no feeling. In the absence of reason, there is no possibility of action. Buddhist philosophy calls this principle ‘Dhamma’, which is self-directed. No operator is required for this. When the cause remains, the action takes place by itself.

The antecedent is the cause and the post-event is the action based on it. That is why the cause-action relationship is called Pratītyasamutpāda in Pali. The fact that the ‘Hetu’ group is facing each other is called Samutpada. In PratinyaPada, since eternal vision and absolute vision are struck by Samutpada, the middle way is shared by both of them and it is also called ‘Madhya Pratipada’. In this way, the emergence or presence of one is the result of the emergence or presence of the other. In this, there is a relationship of relativity between cause and action.

From a relativistic point of view, Pratītyasamutpāda is the world and from a real point of view it is also ‘Nirvana’. All the objects of the world are relative, dependent and subject to root death and therefore are impermanent. Since all things in the world are relative, there is no complete truth and no complete falsehood. Absolute truth is not because it is subject to root death and absolute falsehood is not because its existence is visible. Thus all objects are situated between truth and falsehood or reality and nothingness.

Thus, the basic formula of Buddhist philosophy is Pratītyasamutpāda. Its overall meaning is the origin of an action depending on the cause according to the expectation of the cause, i.e. the origin of an object in the presence of another object. This is the theory of cause and action, according to which action occurs when cause is present. Pratītyasamutpāda literally means, relative causation, i.e. the origin of one thing in the presence of another thing.

Pratītyasamutpāda is explaining the depth of the dimension of being something in the meaning of nothingness and the future meaning nothingness. As the world operates in the sense of cause and effect according to the law of effect and affect, all living beings and material beings are not separated from this principle. According to Pratītyasamutpāda, everything is according to its cause. When the cause is destroyed, the object is also destroyed. This also proves that every object is mortal.

On the basis of Pratītyasamutpāda, its other philosophical theories – karmabad, ephemeralism, anatmavada, anism, nihilism, etc. are adopted. Buddha tried as much as possible to convey to other people because he realized the result of the realization and knew its reality. This doctrine propounded by Buddha has a very great importance in Buddhist philosophy. It is considered as the most precious and eternal gift given by the Buddha to the human race and animals only. It is believed that all false visions will be destroyed by its proper treatment. Therefore Pratītyasamutpāda is said to be the center of Buddhist philosophy. It is considered the original gift of Buddha.

Another important and major philosophical principle of Buddhist philosophy is Anatmavad (theory of no soul). This is such a philosophical wall, in which all the ethics of Buddhist philosophy seem to have taken shelter. Anatmavada is mentioned in Digha Nikaya, Majjim Nikaya, Angutar Nikaya and Buddhacharya under Vinaya Pitaka and Suktapitaka of Tripitaka. Similarly, in Dhammapada, Anatmavad has been highlighted. In the Samuthyanikaya, the Buddha called both the eternalist and absolutist views of the  soul the death vision. Anatmavad describes the prohibition of any permanent or permanent soul. The Buddha rejected the doctrine of the eternal soul and accepted in its place the idea of a continuous flow  of consciousness. Generally, this idea is called Anatmavad in Buddhist philosophy.

According to the Buddha, accepting the soul is like accepting the unseen, unheard and imaginary, or preparing the stairs for an unknown building. The industry of powerless material acquisition is an indicator of ultimate stupidity. The Buddha considered the concept of satkaya, or soul, to be a heavy shackle of philosophy and to destroy it as the most necessary to attain true knowledge. The Buddha called the feelings of the soul’s impermanence, immutability, infinity, and eternity as mere vaal dharma, i.e. foolish belief.

Buddha has resolved the existence of the soul and propounded Anatmavad in the Mahavagga. According to the Buddha, form, pain, noun, culture and science were all forms of the soul, then there would be no disease in them and we could call it my form, noun, pain, culture and science. Therefore, everything like this is mine, this is me, this is my soul is an illusion. According to the Buddha, the power of the soul in a transcendental form is unacceptable. For public behavior, the power of the soul, which is only a group of five skandhas namely form, pain, noun, culture and science. Apart from these, the soul has no independent existence. Even in Dhammapada it is said that all matter is impermanent, suffering and anatma.

That which is soulless or mindless, that which is not spiritual or that which is different from the soul is called anatma and this ideology containing anatma is Anatmavad. It does not accept the existence of the soul. According to Buddha, apart from the five skandhas, there is no other element that can be called soul. According to Buddha, earth, water, light, air and sruta, memory, science should not be considered as me or mine because these are not mine and I am not theirs. This is called Buddha’s Anatmavad.

Buddha rejected the power of soul and accepted only momentary sensations and thoughts. Thus the soul is impermanent and is merely a collection of sensations, thoughts and temporary physical bodies. Thus the soul is a group of five skandhas (form, pain, noun, culture and science). Form includes the shape, color, etc. of the human body. Under pain is the feeling of happiness, sadness, etc. Under Noun comes definite knowledge of the object. Under samskaras come tendencies arising due to previous actions and finally under science comes consciousness. Thus, according to Buddhist philosophy, there is no independent eternal entity called the soul.

As long as the five skandhas exist, there is no existence of the soul. Anatmavad has a special meaning in Buddhist philosophy. According to this, the soul is only a collection of impermanent, temporary bodies and mind. The soul is only a transient and fivefold form. According to the Buddha, believing in an eternal soul is delusional. According to him, there is no soul in the world and no other thing like soul. The pains of the mind, the basis of the five senses, are absolutely void of anything like the soul or soul.

According to Buddha, there is no separate entity called soul in the world, but there is no lack of unity of personality in human life. Life is a flow of various ordered and unordered states. The offspring of various conditions is called life. In this, the origin of a situation is from its previous situation. In this way, the present situation creates the future situation. In various situations of life, there is a relationship of cause and effect. That is why life seems to be one. The oneness of life can be understood from the parable of the lamp that burns throughout the night. The light of each moment depends on the current state of the lamp. The lighting conditions keep changing from moment to moment. In this way, the light of the lamp is also different at every moment. But even when the light is different, the lamp seems to be completely unbroken. Buddha did not discuss Anatmavada on the basis of any philosophical determination.

Like many philosophical questions, the question of the existence of the Buddha’s soul was meaningless in order to get rid of suffering. Buddha clearly saw that after believing in the impermanence of the soul, a kind of urge arises in man and it gives rise to various sufferings. That is why Buddha preached Anatmavada. Many types of arguments have been presented in favor of autism in Buddhist philosophy. According to this, the realization of the existence of the soul is neither through direct evidence nor through conjecture. For if the soul, like other senses, has a separate consciousness, its achievement must be either through direct knowledge (five senses or psychology) or through inferential knowledge (invisible supersense). Thus, the principle of Anatmavada in Buddhist philosophy is very profound.

Transcendentalism is another important philosophical principle in Buddhist philosophy. According to Pratityasamutpada, every event has a cause and when the cause is destroyed, the action is destroyed. This gives rise to ephemeralism. It is also known as Anityavada. According to this, all the objects of the world are fickle, changeable and transitory. Sovereign change is the law of nature. The explanation of Buddha’s ephemeral philosophy is also found in the Sutta Pitaka of the Tripitaka. What is said in the Dhammapada under this is that what seems to be permanent and permanent is also perishable. Even that which seems great, is bound to fall.

The fact that every root or conscious object is impermanent is ephemerality or impermanence. According to Transcendentalism, every object in the world belongs to every moment. It does not take much time for objects to be created and destroyed. Everything is  temporary as well as impermanent. Just like the current of a river becomes another current after a moment, the objects of the world are also changing from moment to moment. According to Transcendentalism, since everything is ephemeral, every object in the world exists only for a moment. No object remains in the same state at any other moment. Everything comes to an end  immediately after its origin. The destruction of a thing immediately after its origin is called Transcendentalism.

The impermanence of all things is proved by origination and destruction. Where there is coincidence, there is disconnection. Where there is birth there is death. According to Buddha, life is consciousness and expression. All the objects of the world are sustained by the association of eternal religions. Therefore they are impermanent. They have products, states and decays. Immanentism itself was later called transientism. According to ephemeralism, that which originates must be destroyed, i.e., nothing exists eternally. The existence of anything lasts only for some time. What we mistakenly believe to be eternal, in reality nothing is eternal. All are impermanent, transitory and consequential. The result or change is the nature of things. People happen today, they don’t happen tomorrow. Tomorrow will be different. Thus, this theory based on the belief that every object changes from moment to moment is called Transcendentalism.

Transcendentalism takes the middle path of eternalism (everything is true) and absolutism (everything is unreal). Transcendentalism is a principle between these two. According to this, any object is neither  completely eternal nor completely imperishable. Everything is changeable. Thus ephemeralism takes a path between truth and falsehood. Transcendentalism can be clearly understood on the basis of ‘Artha-Kriya-Karitva’ logic. ‘Artha-Kriya-Karitva’ means the power to produce an action. According to Transcendentalism, the power of an object lasts only as long as it has the power to act on it. A thing that is unable to act, its power is not considered.

An object produces one action at one time, another action at another time, and the first ceases to exist. This fact can be clarified from the example of the see. When a seed is planted in the ground, it sprouts and develops into a plant, and that plant continues to develop every moment. In this way, every object in the world is changing every moment. In the continuous flow of water bodies, after one body of water flows, another comes immediately. But another body of water takes its place and thus the process continues.

Similarly, this process goes on even when it is burning. In fact, the lamp is a continuous flow of several transient crests, in which as soon as one momentary flame goes out, another flame immediately takes its place, and this sequence continues until the lamp is lit. Because of the fast speed and continuity of the flow, equality is charged with unity and continuity of flow is charged with continuity. According to Buddha, the one who can be old is completely old, the one who is sick is definitely sick. He who is subject to death will surely die. That which is perishable must perish. Immanentism is the evolved form of impermanence propounded by the Buddha. According to this, the existence of every object is only momentary. The world is an evolved form of Transcendentalism. Everything in the world is transient.

According to Transcendentalism, where power exists, there is also ephemerality. The present is the past and change is natural in the future. Every moment there is a sense of momentary fatherhood. All the things in the world are constantly changing because nothing has the possibility of the same result. What can be proved in this way is that the power of the object lasts only for a moment.

Therefore, even in change, there is no permanent thing that can create unity and identity permanently. Only momentary currents of religion are flowing. They are of two types, conscious and unconscious. Both are mutually independent and both are true. Conscious religion is cognition and unconscious religion is physical atom. Separate currents of these fleeting sciences and fleeting atoms are constantly flowing. All ephemeral religions, sciences and atomic beliefs are created and bound by the law of cause and action. Because in the continuous flow of the transient property, the previous transient dharma is the cause and the subsequent transient property is its function. As soon as the cause-moment arises, it is destroyed by giving birth to the action-moment. In this way, the products of these transient religions continue to perish.

According to Transcendentalism, there is no eternal substance (consciousness or substance). Fluidity, unity, identity, permanence, etc. are only imaginations. In the stream of transitory science, Pudgala or Jivatma is imputed, and material matter is imputed to the transitory atom. In fact, there is no conscious soul and no physical matter. Transient science and flow of transient atoms or progeny is called progeny. But this science and atoms together form their own union or aggregates, which continue to form and change due to the magnitude. This is called unionism. Patriotism and unionism are two forms of Transcendentalism.

Changing is a symbolic feature of the world. According to Transcendentalism, the existence of anything lasts only for a short period of time. As one flow gives birth to the second flow, the second flow gives birth to the third, the third to the fourth, in the same way, one moment gives birth to the second, the second to the third and continues to move forward. People mistakenly consider this constant flow to be eternal. While nothing is eternal. Thus, according to the theory of Transcendentalism, all objects are  transient and perishable. Just as man is subject to death first through childhood, then youth and finally old age. This is impermanence, changeability and the origin and destruction of things that are changing from moment to moment.

Another important principle of Buddhist philosophy is atheism. This is made clear by the Buddha in the Sutta Pitaka of the Tripitaka in particular and with various examples throughout the Tripitaka. While teaching human beings how to live, Buddha also imparted knowledge on the existence of God. Buddha said that God is only an imagination. According to him, the theory of theism is not based on truth. Buddha opposed the authority of God in his philosophical ideas. According to the Buddha, this world is governed by the principle of Pratityasamutpada.

This world is changing and impermanent. Therefore, it is inconsistent to consider this mortal and changing world as God’s. Therefore, it is ridiculous to consider God as the creator and regulator of creation. If God is considered as the creator of the world, then many problems will be presented. If God is the controller of the world, there should be no destruction and change in creation, but this is not the case. According to Buddha, the whole world is governed by the law of Pratityasamutpada. All the objects of creation are connected in the chain of action and cause and no object is without a cause. According to Buddha, there is no one who runs this universe, nor is there any promoter. Because the beginning is understood as the end. Then it neither begins nor ends. The whole world is governed by the laws of creation and destruction. The world is changing and impermanent. There is no basis for believing that the eternal and unchanging God is the creator of this mortal and changing world. Thus Buddha tried to prove atheism in various ways.

According to Buddha, the world is subject to good and bad, happiness and sorrow, etc. Therefore, considering God as perfect is just a delusion. What does it mean to consider God as the creator of the world if he creates the world for a purpose? If he creates the world to fulfil a purpose, God’s imperfection is seen. In this way, the idea of the existence of God is logically broken. According to Buddha, it is flawed to consider this matter as the creation of God, since the director of the world is done by Pratityasamutpada. Because God can create causal rules only for the fulfillment of a purpose, in which the imperfection of God is proven. Therefore, perfecting God based on the law of reason is only an illusion.

It is said that the reason why Buddhist philosophy is viewed with importance is that he completely rejected the existence of God. Many philosophies have been born with God in front and behind, but there is no place for God in Buddhist philosophy. The intellect cannot attain complete liberation until it attains liberation from God. Buddha does not believe in direct and invisible forces. In Buddhist philosophy, questions related to God are said to be ungrammatical, and Buddha seems to be silent on these questions in some places. On the subject of the existence of God, Buddha said that the truth can only be found after searching for it.

According to him, no one will believe, they should know. The truth of others may not come into my work. A doctor only observes the patient and prescribes medicine, but the same medicine does not work for all patients. According to Buddha, no one should be bound by delusional beliefs. The search for truth must be continued. In this way, Buddhist philosophy can be confirmed as an atheistic philosophy from every angle.

Buddha learned from his own experience that every person has immense power and that he himself can attain infinite compassion and wisdom by purifying his mind. What his philosophy seems to inspire is that if everyone turns their attention from heaven to their heart, they can solve all problems with their understanding. According to Buddha, the world has been destroyed and re-created since eternity.

This whole process has been happening since eternity by natural laws itself. Buddha said that miracles are not divine results but our incomplete knowledge. According to Buddhist philosophy, truth and falsehood are not decided by the number of followers. Its judgment is only based on facts and evidence. Therefore God has no place in truth and falsehood. According to Buddha, a person does not get help or protection by having faith in God. They get this from their own mind. There is no evidence that there is any difference in disease, age, success, etc. between those who believe in God and those who do not. We all have the mental resources and wisdom to deal with every problem in life. Instead of baseless beliefs, we should focus on developing these strengths.

Thus, according to Buddha, we should have faith in people rather than faith in God. Every person is precious and important. Everyone has the capacity for wisdom. Beyond ignorance and logic, we can see the truth as it is. We can change hatred, anger, envy, jealousy, etc. into love, peace, charity and compassion. All people are capable. According to Buddha, no one can and will not save us except ourselves. We must walk our own path.

Nirvana is also an important philosophical principle in Buddhist philosophy. Buddha has discussed nirvana in his third Aryasatya. According to him, since there is a cause of suffering, if the cause of suffering ends, then the suffering will also end. In the absence of a cause, there is no origin of action. The state of ending suffering is called the cessation of suffering. Buddha called this cessation of suffering Nirvana. It is called Nibbana in the Pali language. As Buddha rejected the existence of the eternal soul, his philosophical principle Nirvana appears in such a situation. Nirvana is considered the ultimate goal of life in Buddhist philosophy. Nirvana is specially explained in Sutta Pitaka and Abhidhamma Pitaka of Tripita. Similarly, Nirvana is also explained in Dhampad under Sutta Pitaka. In the Dhammapada, Nirvana is described as a state of bliss, complete peace and freedom from greed, hatred and delusion.

Nirvana is not seen as the end of life. However, it has been clarified that Nirvana is possible even in this life. According to Buddha, every human being should attain his own nirvana. Like Buddha, people can stop suffering in this life and attain Nirvana. That is why Nirvana has been explained by the Buddha as attainable during the lifetime rather than at the end of life. Nirvana literally means extinguishing. After attaining Nirvana, all suffering ceases or all suffering becomes inactive and their experience ends completely. Therefore Nirvana is considered a blissful state, from which the rest of life is spent peacefully without experiencing any suffering.

This eliminates the fear of rebirth after death. Nirvana is not a state of passivity and inaction. After attaining Nirvana, one constantly thinks or meditates on the Four Noble Truths, and once one attains permanent enlightenment through the mausoleum, there is no need to remain in mausoleum continuously and there is no need to be detached from deed. A person who has attained Nirvana should also do deeds, but those deeds should not be selfish but for the welfare of  the people. After attaining Nirvana, one can keep oneself active for public welfare by being inspired by compassion and kindness.

According to Buddha, deeds are of two types. One type of deed is due to anger, hatred and attachment and the other type of karma is without anger, malice and attachment. The first type of deed is called attached deed and the second type of deed is called unattached deed. Nirvana can only be achieved by a person who performs unattached actions. Thus, according to the Buddha, a person who attains nirvana gets rid of all suffering. It ends all the causes of suffering and frees people from suffering. Nirvana is the attainment of peace during human life. After nirvana, a person can spend the rest of his life in complete peace. It is supreme happiness.

In Buddhist philosophy, the Buddha’s silence is also seen as important in unexplained questions. When the Buddha was asked fourteen philosophical questions about beings, the world, God, etc., he always remained silent. These famous fourteen questions were – 1-4 – Is the world eternal? or not Or both? Or not both? 5-8 – Is the world perishable? or not Or both? Or not both? 9-11 – Does the Tathagata remain even after leaving the body? Or not? Or both? Or not both? 11-14 – Are the soul and the body the same? Or different? Or both? Or not both?

These questions are called indeterminable questions. These are questions related to the world, the soul and the Tathagata. Buddha remained silent on these questions. This does not mean that he did not know their answers. His silence only indicates that it was ungrammatical. They do not benefit life in any way. Evidence or arguments can be gathered for or against the said questions. They can be proven true or false in any way. It is useless from a transcendental point of view. Buddha does not believe in the existence of soul, world, God, etc. Even from a practical point of view, the answers to these questions are meaningless. In this context, the Buddha said: Monks! Some Sramanas and Brahmins believe in eternalism. They believe in these thoughts because they are caught in the trap of vision and intellect. The Tathagata does not boast of knowing everything. The Tathagatas experience Nirvana because they are not trapped in these categories of intelligence.

The cornerstone of the Buddha’s philosophy is his Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. It is also known as the value and ethics of Buddhist philosophy. It is specially explained in Sutta Pitaka of Tripitaka and also in Abhidhamma Pitaka. It can be understood as follows. Suffering – The first Noble Truth is Suffering. The world is sad. There are many types of suffering in life. Birth is sorrow, death is sorrow, sickness is sorrow, unpleasant union is sorrow, separation from loved ones is sorrow, not getting what you like is sorrow. In the same way, dissatisfaction, despair, grief all represent worldly suffering.

This Noble truth called sorrow is perceptible. In short, suffering, knowledge, culture and science are Panchopadana Skandha (community) suffering. According to Buddha, the world is a house of suffering. According to him, there is suffering in every creature in the universe. Birth is the cause of suffering. As long as creation lasts, suffering will remain a shadow with man. Suffering Society – The second Noble of the Suffering Society is true desire, which is the root cause of suffering. This craving has arisen from attachment.

The longing for worldly enjoyment, the longing to go to heaven and the longing to disappear from the world by suicide, because of these three longings, people commit many kinds of sins and suffer. This sorrow is the great truth of the community. According to the Buddha, the cause of suffering is an insatiable thirst for worldly goods. Under the control of this love, a person does many types of selfish actions and as a result of these actions, he suffers. Due to his desires, man cannot be freed from the bonds of the world and keeps coming back to this world again and again and suffering. The reason for suffering is to hold on to something. It is not seeing the truth of life that everything in life is transient.

Elimination of suffering – The third great truth is the end of suffering. Nirvana is achieved by controlling cravings, not by physical punishment or sexual indulgence. According to the Buddha, if a person ends the cause of suffering, he can be freed from suffering. By suppressing desires and passions (vasana) one can get rid of suffering. Renunciation is also a medicine. Awakening conscience is necessary for liberation. You have to learn to center yourself, whether it is a note of sadness or a shadow of joy. One should keep oneself stable between these two. This Noble truth is called the cessation of suffering, it is a duty to realize it. The way to get rid of suffering – the fourth Noble truth is the medicine of suffering. This Noble truth called ‘Dukkha Nirodha Gamini Patipada’ is worthy of realization. This Noble Satya is called the Eightfold path. The path followed by the Buddha for the elimination of suffering is called the path of elimination of suffering. Man can get rid of desires by  giving them up. After the end of suffering, man attains bliss. In this path, the bonds of sorrow will be broken and the ultimate truth will be attained.

The Buddha urged his followers to adopt the 8 principles known as the Eightfold path in Buddhist philosophy. The Buddha taught the Eightfold path to suppress craving and achieve salvation. These principles are actually the essence of his teachings. By following these, a person’s life becomes pure and his lust ends. According to the Eightfold Path, the 8 rules are as follows: Right approach, right speech, right resolution, right action, right sustenance, right exercise, right memory and right samadhi. According to his prohibitive theory, it includes disbelief in worshipping God, disbelief in the caste system, disbelief in outward show, etc.

Samyak (right) vision – This can be called right vision. It can also be called the philosophy of understanding reality. Right vision means that we observe well the sorrows and joys of life. It is the power to recognize truth and falsehood. According to Buddha, one who wants to be free from suffering must have the power to distinguish between truth and falsehood. Samyak Sankalp – desire (vasana) and determination without violence. According to the Buddha, those who want to be free from suffering must make a resolution of non-violence and strong will. Resolutions are very important in life. If you want to get rid of suffering, you have to be determined to walk on the Arya path. Samyak Vani – Truth and soft speech.

Buddha has described the right speech to get rid of suffering. According to Buddha, when a person speaks the truth and sweetly, he feels happiness and sorrow does not surround him. It is necessary to have purity and truth of speech in life. If there is no purity and truth in speech, it will not take long for sorrow to come. Samyak Karma – good deeds, charity, kindness, virtue, non-violence, etc. By having the feeling of kindness, compassion, charity and good deeds, people stay away from suffering. In order to get rid of the cycle of karma, it is necessary to purify the conduct. By giving up anger, malice, misbehavior, etc., conduct is purified. Righteous Livelihood (Jeevika) – Moral and proper way of life. The Buddha described right sustenance as the proper way of living. If you earn your livelihood by killing the rights of others or by other unjust means, you have to suffer the consequences, so it is important to earn a living justly.

Correct exercise – conscious effort. Buddha also said to do proper exercise to remove suffering. He has made it clear that if there is a prudent effort in any work, success will surely come and people will stay away from suffering. One should try to ensure the origin of auspiciousness and the prevention of inauspiciousness. You should keep trying for good in life. Samyak Smriti – It teaches to be consciously aware of one’s actions. Buddha also taught to be prudent towards one’s actions in order to remove the sufferings of human life.

By keeping oneself away from the objects of physical and mental consumption, one gets a sense of concentration in the mind. With concentration, thoughts and feelings remain stable and pure. Samyak Samadhi (Meditation) – Through the practice of the above seven paths, one gets the feeling of pure knowledge through the concentration of the mind. This samadhi is a leap in the ocean of religion, the concentration of the mind. Buddha said the importance of concentration in human life. After taking the right samadhi, a person is freed from suffering.

Buddha considered purification of the body as the first requirement for walking the Eightfold path. In  Buddhist philosophy, there are three means for purifying the body, ‘Sheel, Samadhi and Pragya’. Sheel is the manners and rules. Non-violence, non-stealing, truthfulness, celibacy and non-intoxication are said to be ‘Panchsheel’. These virtues are considered mandatory for both monks and householders. Samadhi is the natural unity of mind. From samadhi, three types of genres arise, informing about the previous memory, the knowledge of the origin and destruction of beings, and the obstacles of the mind. Pragya means specific knowledge.

There are three types of wisdom, which are heard, derived from wisdom and determined by Samadhi. In this way, the Buddha also gave various teachings about non-violence, truthfulness, not stealing, not possessing any kind of property, not drinking alcohol, not eating at untimely times, not sleeping in a comfortable bed, not hoarding wealth, staying away from women, etc. He condemned those who showed mercy to animals and boasters like Haven and Pashuvali. This is the value and ethics of Buddhist philosophy.

Thus, according to Buddhist philosophy, the universe is consequential. Both the material world and the mental world have the existence of power. Soul-God has no spiritual power. Man is only a conglomerate of Pancha Skandhas. It is only an illusion that humans have a soul. Through the Eightfold Path, a person gets a sense of the impermanence of things. Human development occurs through external and internal actions. The ultimate goal of man is to attain Nirvana. Eightfold path is necessary for nirvana. To walk on the Eightfold path, it is necessary to follow ‘Sheel, Samadhi and Pragya’.

Buddhist philosophy helps human beings to identify the true nature of reality and develop all their human abilities. In Buddhist philosophy, the discussion about interdependence, relativity and cause-and-effect relationships creates an objectivist approach. Buddhist philosophy has an elaborate system of logic based on set theory and reasoning, which helps us to understand the faulty imaginations of the mind. Buddhism itself is based on the ability to distinguish between things that are beneficial and harmful to oneself and others. Buddhist philosophy has analyzed human tendencies well. According to this, the human mind is the controller of all actions.

Therefore, in order to control the wrong tendencies of a person, it is necessary to instill good thoughts in his mind and bring him to the right path. Buddhist philosophy has presented the principle of the four noble truths regarding worldly suffering and the Eightfold Path for liberation from worldly suffering. According to the doctrine of the middle way of Buddhist philosophy, people should avoid all kinds of attraction and kayaklesha. Humans should neither have excessive desires nor do excessive penance (repression), rather they should try to prevent suffering by adopting a path between them. Samyak means a middle position between two extremes.

Both are very bad. According to Buddhist philosophy, he who keeps his vision of life right, who has the right resolve or intention, whose speech is good, whose actions are good, who chooses the best means for livelihood, who exercises constantly to control his senses, he will be free from all suffering. In this way, the Buddha has deliberated enough on the subtlest things. This philosophy teaches us to live fully in reality.


  1. Buddha Dharma – Rahul Sankrityayana, hindi,  Kitab Mahal, Allahabad

  2. Mahamanava Buddha – Rahul Sankrityayana, hindi, Indian Buddhist Society, Buddha Vihar, Lucknow

  3. Digha Nikaya- Rahul Sankrityayan and Bhikkhu Jagdish Kashyap,hindi, Mahabodhi Sabha

  4. Bauddha Dharma Darshan – Acharya Narendra Dev, hindi, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt Ltd, Delhi

  5. Bauddha Darshan – Dr. Sangeeta Jagtap, hindi, College of Arts and Commerce, Chikhaldara

  6. Bauddha Dharma Ebam Darshan – Dr. Sagarmal Jain, Hindi,  Oriental University, Shajapur, MP

  7. Gautama Buddha: Jeevan aaur Darshan, Hindi – Dr. Radhakrishnan

  8. Buddha Darshan Me Mimansa, Hindi – Dr. Archana Kumari

  9. Tripitaka-Ek Chinari – Amita Dhakhwa, Nepali,  Pavitra Bajracharya and friends

  10. Buddha kalin Nepali Bidwokosh, Nepali – Acharya Dr. Bhikkhu Amritananda, Veera-purna Book Museum

  11. Tripitaka Pravesh – Vasudeva Desara Kovid, Nepali – Vipul Darshan Udar and Shreya Shakya

  12. Agama aaur Tripitaka: A Study – Shri Nagaraj Depot, Shwetambar Terapanthi Mahasabha

  13. Buddhacharya – Rahul Sankrityayan, Hindi,  Shivprasad Gupta

  14. Dhammapada, Hindi – Rahul Sankrityayana

  15. Majjim Nikaya, Hindi – Rahul Sankrityayan, Mahabodhi Sabha

  16. Digha Nikaya, Hindi – Translation and Editor – Dunda Bahadur Bajracharya, Veer-purna Book Museum

  17. Darshan-Digdarshan, Hindi – Rahul Sankrityayan, Kitab Mahal

  18. Bharatiy darshan ke Rooprekha – Prof. Dr. Harendra Prasad Sinha, Motilal Banarsidass

  19. Buddhist Dictionary : A Manual Buddhist Terms and Doctrines – Nyanatiloka Thera

  20. Different Website Research

  21. Pali Tripitaka – http://www.tripitaka.org

  22. The Buddha and his Teachings – Narada, Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia

  23. The Buddha and his Teachings – Narad Mahathera

  24. The Life and Teachings of the Buddha – According to the oldest texts – Allan R. Bomhar

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