Contrary to popular opinion, Buddhism is not a religion. With a religion, there is a deity, like a God, that has disciples that exist in a parent-child relationship. Buddhism is an education where there is a Buddha and his students that exist in a teacher-student relationship. Buddhism is all about wisdom and understanding of life and the universe encompassing the past, present and future.
The term Buddha means “wisdom and enlightenment”. In essence, Buddha means wisdom; whereas in application, it means enlightenment.
There are three levels of wisdom:
- General and All Knowledge Wisdom – The correct understanding of the essence of the universe; the wisdom of knowing the general aspects of all existences.
- Differentiation Wisdom – The wisdom that can correctly comprehend all in.finite aspects of the universe, the wisdom of knowing the discriminative aspect of all existences
- Overall and Perfect Knowledge Wisdom – The exhaustive and perfect perception and comprehension of the truth of life and the universe without the slightest doubt or error, the wisdom of the Buddhas.
Since the application of wisdom is enlightenment, there are three classifications:
- Self Enlightenment – A state is which no one posses no erroneous thoughts, views, speech or behavior.
- Enlightenment of Self and Others – A state in which one helps others to reach enlightenment after achieving his or her own.
- Perfect Complete Enlightenment – A state in which one reaches perfection in enlightenment for self as well as helping other’s to reach enlightenment.
Buddhism is an education of the wisdom and understanding of life and the universe. It is said that the teachings of Confucius concerns one lifetime yet the teachings of Buddha cover infinite lifetimes.