The Buddha, or “enlightened one” (born Siddhartha Gautama) was an Indian philosopher (seeker of wisdom), religious teacher, and the historical founder of Buddhism. He is regarded by some as a human spiritual teacher and by others as an all-knowing supreme being. Buddha first preached his doctrine (Dharma) in Benares, India’s great holy city.
It is told that at the moment of the Buddha’s enlightenment he was entitled to its immediate rewards—complete salvation (freedom from sin) and spiritual release from the bonds of existence. The Buddha decided to bring the message to others out of his love and concern for all men. Understanding the teaching and putting it into practice varies greatly, depending on the ability of those who hear it, their needs, and their historical and cultural situation.
The teaching is optimistic. It holds that every human being—regardless of his social position or past life—can through his own efforts obtain control of himself, of his ideas and passions, and of his destiny. Within the community all barriers of class, race, sex, and previous background were ignored under the impact of the universal message of the teaching.
Its main principles are caring for others, love, and non in-jury to living creatures, and they place great importance on the obligation of all people to promote friendship and peace. The king had the obligation to care for his people and, especially, to set high moral standards. A man who cannot do this is not worthy to rule.
Context of “Meditate. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine.”:
**Incorrect Translation. Explanation Below
This is from what the publishers term Thomas Byrom’s “rendering” of the Dhammapada. Normally texts in a foreign language are “translated.”