Today, Buddhism is found in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Japan, China, etc, and in some parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, also in the European countries and the USA. It is believed that the Buddhist population of the world is over 500 million.
The Buddha’s teachings consist of three basic principles; they are:-
Sila is the development of morality. While Samadhi is the tool to purify the mind on order to see its nature, how to control it, how to develop it, and make use of it. Panna is wisdom or enlightenment – the realization of the true nature of life and universe at large. The whole teaching of the Buddhais based on the three pillars. They are some time called "Majjhima Patipada" or the Middle Path of life. These are:
- Right Understanding
- Right Thought
- Right Speech
- Right Action
- Right Livelihood
- Right Effort
- Right Mindfulness
- Right Concentration
It is the Middle Path as it avoids the two extremes: the Sensual Pleasure, and the Self-mortification in the different form of asceticism. Both of them are useless, ignoble, and unprofitable though long in practice. The Buddha had first tried these extremes before but found them useless. He discovered the Noble Eightfold path through his personal experiences, which gives vision, knowledge, leading to peace,insight, enlightenment and Nibbana.
The Buddha attained Enlightenment only by the development and and use of superhuman energy. He became Enlightened not by praying, sacrificing or making offerings to a god nor by performing, rites and rituals, nor by any aid of external power.
He attained Enlightenment only after he managed to develop himself through self-discipline, self-restraint, self-sacrifice, and abstaining from all kinds of evils; and practicing morality, rejecting worldly pleasures, sacrificing his own comfort for the sake of others spiritual development, and by purifying his heart and mind and realising the true nature of life and the world. Thus this diversity of teaching was introduced by Him. Buddhism is saturated with the spirit teaching of the open mind, and the sympathetic heart which lights and warms the whole universe with rays of wisdom and compassion. Another outstanding feature is his teaching of the law of cause and effect or the natural law that describes the existing universal cosmic order. This law of cause and effect, the doctrine of Kamma explains the secrets of the inequalities and the differences that occur amongst men and other creatures.