What is the morality of Theravada Buddhism?
Theravada Buddhism is the first period in the Buddhism history. And the morality of Theravada Buddhism is about the salvation, and taking refuge to “Buddha–Dharma and Sangha”. Before discovering about each Buddhism sect, it is vital to understand its ultimate root of Buddhism theory.
Why Should We Research The Morality of Theravada Buddhism?
Without understanding the philosophies of Buddhism from the Ancient Teachings, the Buddhists may find it difficult to learn other Buddhism sects. According to Buddhism researchers, Theravada is really the origination of all Buddhism philosophies as well as covers the morality of Buddhism. Another reason is other Buddhism sects had socialized with other ideologies throughout the Buddhism’s transmission. Hence, we should study the morality of Theravada Buddhism at first, before discovering others in Buddhism.
What is The Morality of Theravada Buddhism?
The Theravada Buddhism or the Ancient Teachings lasted from the 6th BCE to the 5th BCE. This period is started from the day the Gautama Buddha was born to the day the first Buddha’s Sangha had been established successfully in India.
Overview about The Morality of Buddha
The story about the life of Buddha is the most prominent example of the “perfect life”. He had a life of luxury from the day he was born into a royal family, then getting married and had a son. In fact, he had never experienced the pain of suffering until the day he went out of the palace and witnessing the human suffering such as age, sickness, and death. The tough facts of life had encouraged him to discover the pathway for the humanity to get escape from all suffering.
In general, the first period of Buddha life is representative of his great morality. Because of a lot of good karmas caused by the morality of many previous lives, Buddha had the chance to experience the perfect life. However, he was born with the greater mission – Seeking the Dharma for the humanity to liberate all suffering, finally, attaining Nirvana.
The First Morality of Theravada Buddhism
The first core Buddhism philosophy is about the salvation. Definitely, salvation is the core value and the mission of Buddhism. Buddha was born to help the humanity to know the Dharma in order to save their lives from suffering.
For more details, the first morality of Theravada Buddhism concludes three main aspects. First of all, it is about the necessity of salvation. Second, it explains the nature of salvation. And finally, it shows the methods of salvation.
Let get started with the necessity of salvation.
Why do Buddhism monks leave all behinds to sacrifice their lives to Buddhism? Because they wish to liberate from all attachments of the humanity, they are willing to spend the rest of their life in the world of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. As they know the impermanence of everything in and around them and the worthlessness of our worldly aspirations, they decide to devote themselves to salvation. And, Gautama Buddha was really the first one who chose the salvation from all attachments of the humanity, no matter how beautiful, rich, and happy they are. In short, according to Buddha, “Life is the beach of suffering”. Thus, it is necessary for us to liberate from all suffering.
Next, what is the nature of salvation?
In Buddhism, the nature of salvation is to deliverance from all the trammels of life, the bondage of the passion and reincarnation. It shares the same meaning as “Nirvana”. Arahant, Bodhisattva, and Buddha are the ones who cultivated themselves successfully because all of them can attain Nirvana. Especially, Bodhisattva and Buddha are always ready to show us the methods of salvation. However, we must practice these methods ourselves.
Finally, what are the methods of salvation?
In short, this is the “self-effort” to win yourself. And Buddha had explained how to achieve the salvation. These methods are practicing The Four Noble Truths. Its content is about the facts of suffering, roots of all suffering, end of suffering, and how to end all suffering. By studying and applying The Four Noble Truths in daily life, we can find the peace and joyful at first, then attaining Nirvana.
The Second Morality of Theravada Buddhism
The second core value of Theravada Buddhism is the respect for “Three Treasures” or “Three Jewels” including “Buddha–Dharma and Sangha”. As usual, if someone looks forward to becoming a formal Buddhist, one of the first steps is to take refuge. Taking refuge is to show a serious commitment that you will respect “Buddha–Dharma and Sangha”. According to Buddhism philosophies, taking refuge means coming back to the right pathway, and relying on the “Buddha–Dharma and Sangha” to know the right pathway to liberate from all suffering.
In fact, Buddha is the enlightened one and helps the humanity. Thus, respecting Buddha means to respect his Dharma and Sangha in order to be guided and awaked. And Dharma is the right methods that Buddha had discovered and practiced successfully. Sangha is the formal community which Buddha had established with the mission of transmitting the Buddha teachings to the humanity. In “Buddha–Dharma and Sangha”, the Buddhists trust. As a result, they can find themselves the spiritual guidance on the touching journey of enlightenment. For those who hope to cultivate the Buddha teachings seriously, it is vital to take refuge and become a Buddhist.
In short, taking refuge shows respect to “Three Treasures”. Attitude is everything. And, showing respect “Three Treasures” means taking the first steps to achieve the enlightenment and attain Nirvana.
Conclusion About The Morality of Theravada Buddhism
In conclusion, the morality of Theravada Buddhism shows the core value and the mission of Buddhism. This is the salvation, attaining Nirvana, and honor “Buddha–Dharma and Sangha”. In order to achieve this great goal, the Buddhists should make self-effort to cultivate themselves on the Buddha teachings. For more details, you can consider The Four Noble Truths and Buddha Teachings on our website. These articles show information about the theory and method of salvation as well as necessary Buddhism practices in daily life.