Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » Solved Exercise for Precis writing with Title “The Message of Buddha” Precis for Class 9, 10, 11, 12 and Higher classes.

Solved Exercise for Precis writing with Title “The Message of Buddha” Precis for Class 9, 10, 11, 12 and Higher classes.

Passages with Solved Precis

To know what the Buddha actually taught, we must place ourselves in imagination of India in the sixth century B.C. Thinkers, like other people, are in no small measure rooted in time and place. The form in which they cast their ideas is largely moulded by the habits of thought and action which they find around them. Great minds make individual contributions of permanent value to the thought of their age, but they do not and cannot altogether transcend the age in which they live. They do not cease to belong their age even when they are raising most above it.

Gautama, the Buddha, has suffered as much as anyone from critics without a sense of history. He has been cried up, and cried down, with an equal lack of historical imagination. Buddhism came to be widely known in the West in the later parts of the last century when a wave of scepticism spread over the world as the result of the growth of science and enlightenment. Positivism, agnosticism, atheism and ethical humanism found wide support. In much of the literature of doubt and disbelief the Buddha is mentioned with respect. The humanists honour him as one of the earliest protagonists of their cause-the happiness, the dignity, and the mental integrity of mankind. Those who declare that men cannot know reality, and others who affirm that there is no reality to know, use his name. Agnostics quote his example. Social idealists, ethical mystics, rationalist prophets are all attracted by his teaching.

 Great as is the value of the Buddha’s teaching for our age, we cannot hope to understand its true significance without reference to the environment in which he lived. This effort of historical imagination is not easy. To view the Buddha as far as we can as a thinker of the sixth century B.C., Living, moving and teaching in its peculiar conditions, is a task of extreme difficulty and delicacy; and the work of reconstruction will never be complete. But we may be reasonably certain that it yields a picture which, in its main outlines at least must correspond fairly well to the reality.

If we place ourselves in imagination of India in the sixth century B.C., we find that different streams of thought, belief and practice, animism, magic and superstition were tending to unite in a higher idealism. Man’s attempts to seek the truth assumed various forms, but they were all agreed on certain fundamentals; life does not begin at birth or end at death, but is a link in a infinite series of lives, each of which is conditioned and determined by acts done in previous existence. Animal, human, and angelic forms are all links in the chain. By good deeds we may raise our status and go to heaven, and by evil ones we shall lower it. Since all lives must come to an end, true happiness is not to be sought in heaven or on earth. Release from the round of births and life in eternity is the goal of the religious man and is indicated by such words as moksha or deliverance, nirvana and others.

The Buddha accepts the proportions that the universe is not real, that the individual is not permanent, that both these are subject to changes which are governed by a law and that it is the duty of the individual to transcend this world of succession and time and attain nirvana. Whether there is anything real and positive in the universe, in the individual and in the state of liberation, he declined to tell us, though he denied the dogmatic theologies.

The supremacy of the ethical is the clue to the teaching of the Buddha. His conceptions of life and the universe are derived from his severely practical outlook. The existence of everything depends on a cause. If we remove the cause, the effect will disappear. If the source of all suffering is destroyed, suffering will disappear. The only way in which we can remove the cause of suffering is by purifying the heart and following the moral law. Man is not divine but has to become divine. His divine status is something to be built up by good thoughts, good words, and good deeds. The ego consists of the feeling that burn us, of the passions we brood over, of the desires that haunt us and of the decisions we make. These are the things that give life its dramatic character. There is nothing absolute and permanent in them. That is why we can become something different from what we are. The reality of the person is the creative will. When we deny the clamour of emotions, stay the stream of things, silence the appetites of the body, we feel the power of self within our own being.

The vital problem for the Buddha was not the world-spirit, if any, manifests itself in the superhuman realm, but in the individual man and in the world. What controls the universe is dharma, the moral law. The world is made, not by Gods and angels, but by the voluntary choices of men. The history of man is the total sequence of human lives, their decisions and experiences. The situation which each of us finds in the world when he enters is due to the innumerable actions of men and women in the past; and we, by our will and action, each in his measure, can determine what the next moment in history is going to be. Human effort counts.

For the Buddha, the impulse to Dharma, to justice and kindliness is operative in things and its efficient activity will mean reduction of disorder, cruelty and oppression. Dharma is organic to existence and its implication of karma or right action is the builder of the world. There is not in the Buddha’s teaching that deep personal loyalty, passion of love, and intimate dialogue between soul and soul resembling closely in its expression of earthly love. And yet the essence of religion, the vision of a reality which stands beyond and within the passing flux of immediate things, the intuitive loyalty to something larger than and beyond oneself, an absolute action in the world, is in him.

We find in Gautama the Buddha, in powerful combination, spiritual profundity and moral strength of the highest order and a discreet intellectual reserve. He is one of those rare spirits who bring to men a realization of their own divinity and make the spiritual life seem aciverituious and attractive so that they may go forth into the world with a new interest and a new joy of heart. While his great intellect and wisdom gave him comprehension of the highest truth, his warm heart led him devote his life to save from sorrow suffering humanity. The greatness of his personality, his prophetic zeal, and burning love for suffering humanity made a deep impression on those with whom he lived; but his true greatness stands out clearer and brighter as the ages pass, and even the sceptical-minded are turning to him with a more real appreciation, a deeper reference and a truer worship. He is one of those few heroes of humanity who have made epochs in the history of our race, with a message for other times as well as their own.


The Message of Buddha

 In order to be conversant with the teachings of Buddha one has to know the period in which he lived. The privilege, the conditions at a particular time, largely affect the thinking, art and knowledge of those times. Great people contribute things of permanent value but they too cannot escape the influence of the environments in which they are brought up. People who did not have much knowledge of history have not been able to do justice to the teachings of Gautama. In the latter part of the last century, the scientific truths of Buddhism became popular in European countries. Mystical teachings, however, failed to attract the West. The teachings of Lord Buddha should, therefore, be conceived in the background of the period in which they are delivered.

Different schools of thought prevalent in 6th century B.C. lead one to conclude that unity in higher idealism was their goal. The methods to achieve unity differed but there was complete unity in the basic ideas i.e., the transmigration of soul, the doctrine of Karma which is in all human beings and happiness by ending the cycle of life and death.

To Buddha everything else being unreal, nirvana was the only aim of human beings. He started older theories without giving any of his own. Good deeds and thoughts were the only means to attain divinity. When one conquered evil he attained divinity.

Moral law was dharma for Buddha. His conviction was that it is one’s own action which determines the condition in this world. Dharma to Buddha meant removal of life of misery and disorder. He did not believe in any mysticism except that one is intuitively loyal to someone beyond him. Otherwise, however, one’s actions, namely karma, determine everything for him.

Buddha’s life made a lasting impression on the people. It was his teachings which revived interest in spiritualism. Buddha is no more. Centuries have gone by but his personality, his teachings and his principles continue to remain popular with the world. His message to the world has universal appeal which will go down for centuries.


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