Teachings (dharma) of the Buddha
Buddha found out the Four Noble Truths (chin.: sidi 四諦) that lead to rebirth, the form of which is a result of doings and behaviour accumulated during the past lifes of a person: life is suffering, and the cause for the suffering is craving for existence and sensual pleasures. This suffering can be suppressed by the Eightfold Path (chin.: bashengdao 八聖道): right views, right intentions, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfullness, and right concentration (yoga). To successfully walk on the eightfold path, it is necessary to observe a strict moral discipline, not to commit evil, but to do good, and to purify one's own mind by mental discipline, fixing it at the important part of doings. Lead by intuitive wisdom (prajna; chin.: zhihui 智慧), the meditating person is able to know that he has to give up imaginations of a permanent self or soul in favour of the non-self (anatman, chin.: wuwo 無我). During life, a person is only a conglomeration of the five aggregats or factors (skandha, chin.: wuyin 五陰: se 色, shou 受, xiang 想, xing 行, shi 識): body, sensation, perception, predisposition and consciousness. Another pattern of explanation is the chain of causation, ignorance being the base, leading to predisposition, consciousness, name and form, the six senses, sensation, contact, craving, grasping, becoming, leading to birth, and birth leading to age and death. A normal being that is not able to enter the nirvana at least tries to become a heavenly being (deva, chin.: tian 天 or Da Fan Tianwang 大梵天王). The Three Jewels (sanbao 三寶) of the Buddhist religion are Buddha, his teaching (dharma, chin.: fa 法) and the community (sangha, chin.: seng 僧). Buddhist cosmology bases on the Hindu world image that is much more complex than the unsystematic chinese cosmic picture. Mount Sumeru (short: Meru) is the center of this world, which is only one of millions of worlds that will perish after millions of years only to be replaced by a new one. Every world has its own Buddha who acts as world master, therefore depicted by huge Buddha sculptures.