The publication provides short excerpts of the Buddha's first teachings as selected from The Teaching of Buddha, Many temples and dharma schools find Messages from Buddha an appropriate and concise, structured introduction to the Buddha's thought.
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The booklet contains parables and simple expressions to represent the essence of the Sutras—the true teachings of the Shakyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. With ink-brush illustrations.
Passages in the publication were excerpted and edited from The Teaching of Buddha, which is published by Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai. See our catalog of various edition of The Teaching of Buddha at the top of this web page.
Table of Contents
While Messages from the Buddha does not include a separate table of contents, this list of section headings will give you a feel for what it covers.
Introduction [The Three Treasures of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha] 1
A Question of Life: The Sufferings of the Young Prince 2
The Heart of Buddha 6
A Parable of the Burning House 7
Four Vows 8
Everlasting Buddha 9
The Teaching of Buddha 10
Four Truths 11
Eight Right Paths 12
Causes and Conditions 14
Prejudiced View 15
View of the Middle Way 16
The Form of Water 18
The Seed of Buddhahood 19
Five Walls 20
Dhammapada [sample of seven verses] 21
Seeking of the Path 22
Nonexistent Poppy Seeds 24
The Third Story without the Foundation 25
The Tail and the Head 26
Kindess for the Bamboo 27
The Heart of Arrogance 28
Six Practices 29
The Seven Kinds of Offering 30
Neither Too Tight nor Too Loose 31
Make of Yourself a Light: Rely upon Yourself 32
Buddhist Denominations in Japan 35
Here is the introduction to Messages from the Buddha.
There is a significant pledge called the "Three Treasures" that is recited by Buddhists all over the world:
I take refuge in the Buddha
I take refuge in the Dharma
I take refuge in the Sangha
Shakyamuni is the historical figure of Buddha, however the heart of Buddha has been rpvoided to us as the truth today. This inner heart is recalled by the Buddha statue which is the embodiment of the teachings of Buddha.
The Dharma means the teaching that the Buddha taught. Its contents can be heard as your inner truth, which is recalled by the written teachings described in the sutras.
The Sangha originally meant a group of disciples which assembled around Shakyamuni. This is the group of those who possess a beautiful heart and practice the truth based on the Dharma of the Buddha.
To believe in the "Three Treasures" composed of Buddha, teachings and sacred friends is to let your narrow heart spread toward the vast world of truth which transcends all comprehension.