As one comes into contact with a religion, it is like one attends an education class, the most common question one will ask is the background of their religious teacher. Who is he? What is so special about him? etc. etc.
The teachings of Buddhism were expounded by an ancient prince, named Siddharta Gotama, who renounced the world in search for an answer to the question of life in 594 B.C. The realization came to him after 6 long years of seeking what is the cause of all the unsatisfactoriness (dukha) and the means to overcome it.
This great enlightenment owned him the title “ Buddha “ which means the Awakened One. For the next 45 years, he shared all his knowledge that is sufficient to bring men to the stage of realization and enlightenment.
After he passed away into the Maha-parinibbana (the unconditioned) he appointed no individual except his teachings (the dhamma) as reference and guides. His upright and faithful disciples (the sangha community) then continued his effort to spread and share the teachings of the Blessed One that does not recognize the barrier of caste and race throughout the Indian continent.
By examining the development of Buddhism, one can compare the teachings from the different schools of thought.
This module shall cover the following discussions :
1. The Life
of the Buddha
2. History of Development
3. The Teaching of the Elders (Thera)