Buddha: Providing an answer to almost all the serious problems that plague the human life, the Middle Path enunciated in Buddhism continues to remain as relevant today as it was 2600 years ago when Gautama formulated them.

BIHAR’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD 

In fact, Lord Buddha had delved deep into the mundane life of earthlings to find out the cause of their sorrow. Buddha had arrived at the crucial juncture of time as far as the Sanatan Dharma or Hinduism is concerned.

The extreme manifestation of Brahminical order, dogma, rituals, socio-religious corruptions, meaningless rites and pluralism of deities had not only created a plethora of problems of serious nature to torment the common folk but also had exposed them to massive exploitations.

THE MIDDLE PATH OF BUDDHA

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This concept of Buddha may appear very simple but it; had massive political connotations as he wanted the kings of different fiefs of contemporary Aryavarta to restrain their lust to grab other kingdoms. “The Enlightened One” wanted to stop the frequent wars that had torn Aryavarta in the 6th century B.C.

According to “India: From Primitive Communism to Slavery” of S.A. Dange, Buddha wanted wars to stop and tried to preach fraternity cum the concept of “Basudhaiva Kutumbakam” through his “Astanga Marg”. Dange said Buddha strove hard to promote the casteless society. To establish this, he found that unless the supremacy of Brahmins is stopped, the exploitation of the downtrodden just could not be curbed.

THE MIDDLE PATH OF BUDDHA

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Hence, he always suggested the people live in a “Sangha” (commune) as it was the ideal method to remove the barriers of caste, creed, and community. He felt the rituals and dogmas in religion always killed the very conscious of the people. The masses, he had advocated through his “Astanga Marg“, must be practical and view life in its real perspective rather than bundles of hypocritic theories imposed by the priesthood for their own good only.

In “The Buddha and Five After Centuries”, written by Prof. Sukumar Dutt, we find that the teeming millions of Aryavarta were greatly attracted by the teachings of “Astanga Marg” because they were very simple and far from the complications of both the Sanatan Dharma and the Jainism. It could match perfectly with the mental wavelength of the simple-common people.

Prof. Dutt said in his book that though Buddhism had virtually collapsed within the 100 years of death of Gautama, it was revived by the Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century B.C. With Asoka’s efforts, the Buddhism soon became a massive wave to spread in entire Aryavarta, other parts of the South East Asia and up to the Afghanistan pocket in the Western Asia because the Middle Path could suit all, irrespective of their economic status and caste system.

THE MIDDLE PATH OF BUDDHA

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After attaining enlightenment under a Banyan Tree at Bodhgaya, Buddha delivered his first sermon at the Deer Park at Sarnath (now in UP). This event is known as “Dharmachakra” or turning the wheel of the law of religion. He spent 45 years in preaching his socio-religious theory from one place to another across Aryavarta.

Today, Buddha’s Middle Path provides a ready answer for the solution of problems of human life not only in India but in the entire world with even the Westerners getting attracted to it immensely. Hyper consumerism, soaring of ambitions, industrial civilization and tendency of common folk to get rich as quickly as possible are some of the factors that can really be solved by following the Middle Path.

Very interestingly, Buddha’s theory of global fraternity forms the bedrock of India’s foreign policy even now: thanks to Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru who mooted the concept of “Panchasheel” to widen the spectrum of “Basudhaiva Kutumbakam”, the universe is a family.

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In 6th century B.C. when Buddha was trying to formulate his own socio-religious concept which could be accepted commonly, he found two contradictory streams were flowing against each other: the Brahminical system and the Jainism.

While the cash rich Brahmins were leading debauched life to float in the sea of luxuries and dividing the society along the lines of “Varna” or caste, the godmen of Jainism followed the path of extreme penance.Hence, he devised the Middle Path to bring about a synthesis in these two diagonally opposite streams.

THE MIDDLE PATH OF BUDDHA

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Budhha’s very simple “Astanga Marg” envisages the following eight principles:

1. Right Belief
2. Right Thought
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Living
6. Right Efforts
7. Right Recollection
8. Right Meditation.

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