Upon discovering the way to liberation from suffering the Buddha went to his former companions who had abandoned him. Noticing his changed disposition they listened and realized that he had reached their common goal.
He taught them that everything without exception is impermanent, that to understand otherwise is the cause of suffering, and that the most expedient way to liberation is to accept the impermanence of the self (non-self).
The Buddha summarised it (The Four Noble Truths) in this way:
- life is suffering,
- it is cause by our desires (thirst),
- to cease suffering one must detach from desires, and
- the way to do it (The Eightfold Path) is by having correct
He also taught the nature our personality (skandha) and explained what the chain of rebirth (paticca-samuppada) is in detail so that we can deal with it practically. He taught that we must end rebirth (samsara) and not to perpetuate it by sowing the seeds (karma) that bring about further becoming, and he showed that a careful moderate lifestyle will quell future becoming.
He taught this one teaching (Dharma) for forty-five years until he died from accidental food poisoning.
Today, as a religion, Buddhism is practiced by venerating the Three Jewels of the Buddha (the founder), the Dharma (teachings) and the Sangha (community).