Buddhism grew rapidly both during the lifetime of the Buddha and after his death. It appealed to many people dissatisfied with existing religious practices and confused by the rapid social changes taking place around them. The importance attached to conduct and values rather than claims of superiority based on birth, the emphasis placed on metta (fellow feeling) and karuna (compassion), especially for those who were younger and weaker than oneself, were ideas that drew men and women to Buddhist teachings. Buddhism grew due to Buddhist text— Tipitaka (the Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka, Abhidhamma Pitaka), the Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa, Ashokavadana, Jatakas and Buddhist hagiography syllabus. Buddhist Sanghas, Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis spread the message.
Teachings of Buddha:
- The world is transient (anicca) and changing constantly.
- It is soulless (anatta) as there is nothing permanent or eternal.
- In the transient world, sorrow is intrinsic to human existence. It is by following the path of moderation between severe penance and self- indulgence that human beings can rise above these wordly troubles.
- Buddha emphasised individual agency and righteous action as the means to escape from the cycle of re-birth and attain self realisation.
- Extinguish ego and desire to end the cycle