Buddhism taught what The Buddha called “Nirvana” – True Liberation from suffering. He said, “ If you do not control your mind; your mind will control you.” The Indian sage Bhatrihari has put it thus:
“Mind your thoughts,
For they become your words,
Mind your words,
For they become your actions,
Mind your actions,
For they become your habits,
Mind your habit,
For that is your future.”
The ancient sage has put it clearly that the future of a person is determined by his or her mind.It is in the human mind that the ‘ chain reaction’ of the future begins. It was true even for the Buddha. After seeing human suffering as a young Prince, his thoughts were focused on how to ‘liberate’ humanity from sufferings , thereby leading him on to look for ways and means to achieve permanent “Liberation” from these, which were taken as “normal ways of life”. He challenged these so called normalities and stated that these sufferings were ‘ self inflicted’ – we are the cause of our own sufferings. To uproot the tree of suffering, meditation to control the mind from violence and hatred was the starting point- “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”
Once the Buddha was asked what were his notions on God and he said that this was not something that he dedicated his live for. He said his quest was for liberation from suffering, which basically arose from violence or what he termed as ‘ himsa’ and he found his answer in ‘ahimsa’ ( non violence) of thought and action. He further elaborated that Himsa or violence is not something that only manifests through actions. Violence is much more than mere actions. Violence of thought like hatred, jealousy, possessiveness selfishness, etc corrupts the human mind causing misery in the world.
Buddhism is an agnostic religion for many and many have also termed it a “A Godless Religion”. Its concern is on human capabilities to overcome suffering, rather than relying on some supernatural power that controls us. It is the ‘ Mind’ that controls us and our action. If we can control that mind by meditation, to follow the path of ahimsa, our misery will cease. It is up to us whether we want to become slaves or masters of our minds. If we chose the former, we will lead a life of futility- meaningless driven by negativity and suffering. If we can master our mind, through various techniques of meditation and actions The Buddha said, we too can attain Buddhi- that inner eye that not only looks at the world but sees the world in the light of true wisdom. This is my basic understanding of the teachings of The Buddha.
(The views expressed are that of the author and in no way related to any political or social organisation he is associated with.)