Buddhism as a religion, philosophy,psychology
and a science
Buddhism as a Religion
Buddhists the question of religion and its origin, is not a metaphysical one.
But a philosophical and an intellectual one. Religion is no real creed or a code
of revelation or fear of the unknown fear of a supernatural being who rewards
and punishes his good deeds and ill deeds. In other words it is not a theological
concern. But rather a philosophical and an intellectual concern resulting from
the experience of suffering, conflicts, unsatisfactoriness of the empirical existence
of the nature of life. The Buddhist way of life is an intensed process of cleansing
one's speech action and thought. It is self development and self-purification
resulting in self-realization. The emphasis is on practical results and not on
mere philosophical speculation or logical abstraction or even mere cogitation.
Buddhism as a Philosophy
From the point of view of philosophy, Buddha was
not concerned with the problems that have worried philosophers both of the East
and West from the beginning of history. He was not concerned with metaphysical
problems which only confused man and upset his mental equilibrium. Their solution
he knew will not free mankind from suffering from the unsatisfactory nature of
life. That was why the Buddha hesitated to answer such questions as "Is the
world eternal or not ?" "Has the world an end or not?" What is
the origin of the world?" So on and so forth.
Buddhism as a Psychology
also is the most psychological of religions. It is significant that the intricate
workings of the human mind are more fully dealt with in Buddhism rather than in
any other religion and therefore psychology works hand in hand with Buddhism than
with any other religion. Is Buddhism related to modern psychology ? one may ask.
Yes, but with some differences.
Buddhism is more concerned with the curative
rather than the analysis. Psychology helps us to understand life intellectualy.
Meditation goes beyond the intellect to the actual experience of life itself.
Through Meditation the Buddha had discovered the deeper universal melodies of
the human heart and mind.
Buddhism as a Science
The remarkable insight
into the workings of the mind derived through investigation makes the Buddha the
supreme psychologist cum scientist.
Admittedly, his way of arriving at these
truths of mental life is not that of a experimentalist. Yet, what the Buddha had
discovered remains true and infact has been corroborated by the experimentalists.
But the purpose of engaging in these inquiries is quite different from that of
the scientist. The statement of the Buddha about nature of the mind and matter
are directed towards specific ends. They are simply the deliverance of man, supreme
security from bondage of suffering.