The Buddha and the Straight Path

An 11th century statue of Buddha’s first sermon. The hands and the fingers are forming the Dharmachakra mudra. The Dharmachakra mudra represents the Buddha’s teachings, which lead to enlightenment and nirvana, and thus escape from reincarnation and suffering.

After reading the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Quran, I began studying other religions and philosophies to better understand how to walk the straight path. Reading the Buddha’s, The Dhammapada, I found the following passage.

Arise! Watch. Walk on the right path. He who follows the right path has joy in this world and in the world beyond.

The Buddha, The Dhammapada, 13:168

I interpreted the Buddha’s reference to ‘the right path’ as the path to enlightenment and thus the straight path. This passage shows that the reward for walking the straight path, ‘joy’, i.e. happiness, and enlightenment, can be achieved, not just upon death, but in this life as well.

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