What Was Buddha’s Path to Enlightenment?

What Was Buddha’s Path to Enlightenment?


As the Buddha passed, he finally entered the complete state of nirvana, in which karma  and rebirth are deconstructed. Nirvana is regarded as the ultimate goal by mainstream Buddhism  since it represents complete non-attachment and the end of suffering. When an individual achieves nirvana in this life. It becomes defined as nirvana with remainder because they still have attachment with their physical body. As the one who has achieved nirvana passes away, they will  attain the complete form of nirvana without remainder. According to the Buddha, nirvana is the  far shore, unconditioned, and destination.  

Indeed, Buddha has never directly defined nirvana to prevent his followers from  developing attachment with nirvana, which leads to craving and desire. On the other hand, the  Buddha used several negation words to describe what is not part of nirvana and offered thirty three synonyms for Nirvana to guide his followers. 

The Buddha also talked in more detail about the path to awakening to lead his disciples in  the Four Noble Truth. The first noble truth, which is the first step, is for one to realize that life is suffering. The second noble truth, which is the second step, is to find the origin of suffering. Which is one’s unlimited desire and craving. Then, the third noble truth, which is the third step, is  to stop suffering by detaching from one’s desire and craving. The fourth noble truth, which is the  final step, is to follow the eightfold path in the three teachings of wisdom, morality, and  meditation one by one.  

In the final step, one first needs to achieve wisdom through right understanding and right thought.

To prepare for later morality and meditation. The Theravada abhidhamma suggests  that one could achieve wisdom by reading, logical reasoning, and mental insight. After developing wisdom though, one needs to improve on their actions and morality. One should  talk, behave, and earn one’s living in a beneficial way to their surroundings by right speech, right  action, and right livelihood.

For a more detailed example of practice, one should avoid delivering  bad speeches, including lies, slander, insults, and idle gossip. And the primary purpose for one’s  occupation should not be money but to benefit society. Finally, one with wisdom and morality could attain a deep spiritual state. Through meditation by right effort, right mindfulness, and right  concentration to fully comprehend the Four Noble Truths. The Four Noble Truth and the included  eightfold path is a detailed guide provided by the Buddha to his followers. The final awareness  of the truth will lead an ordinary individual to achieve detachment and the ultimate awakening  and nirvana.  

What’s interesting is that the Great Vehicle, Mahayana Buddhism, does not regard attaining an individual’s awakening and nirvana as the goal of the path. They believe that after one achieves nirvana, they should be reborn in the six realms to save others from suffering  instead of simply escaping from the mundane world. However, in my opinion, the Four Noble Truth and the Buddha’s other teaching is staying in the six realms. Representing the Buddha’s  wisdom and taking across the sentient beings to the far shore.

What Was Buddha’s Path to Enlightenment?