Great Teachers – Life Lessons
I am in awe of the great teachers from our history and the incredible life lessons that they have provided. I am frustrated by the lack of application of this valuable lesson by so many of today’s leaders.
Beginning with the teachings of Siddhartha (Gautama Buddha) circa 6 – 5th century BCE. and his traditions carried on the lineage of the Dali Lama. His was a message of the four noble truths: In short form, the four truths are dukkha, samudaya (“arising,” “coming together”), nirodha (“cessation,” “confinement”), and marga, the path leading to cessation.[1
The origins of Hinduism pre-dates even Siddhartha and is not attributable to any one teacher. However, the “way of life” teaching contains a valuable life lesson. The proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma (ethics/duties), Artha (prosperity/work), Kama (desires/passions) and Moksha (liberation/freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth/salvation); karma (action, intent and consequences), Saṃsāra (cycle of death and rebirth), and the various Yogas (paths or practices to attain moksha).
Jesus of Nazareth, the Jewish reformer, sought to modify the belief of a vengeful deity with one that would have us aspire to emulate the “best” in humanity through faith, hope & love. As the early church lost site of this lesson others arose to provide an alternative path, but one that tended focus on correcting abuses and not so much on a return to the life lesson. Both Muhammad (c. 570–8 June 632 CE) & Martin Luther’s reformation of 1517 are examples of movements intended to morally adjust life’s path.
In more recent times we have great teaching examples. Mahatma Gandhi is a prime example. He lived as he taught. His actions spoke loud of a moral code. Mother Theresa was another example of one who lived as she believed. The current Dali Lama is yet another.
All of these teachers held one belief in common and we know it as the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. This simple lesson solves all of the world’s issues. It knows no geographic of political boundaries. It is not modified or limited by race, creed or color. If only we could treat each other with respect, wouldn’t it be a wonderful world.