phil wrote:Hi all
Interesting question! I'd say the most fundamental principles are simpler. Avoiding evil, do good, purify the mind. And I'd reduce that to avoiding harming others, to begin with, i.e harmlessness. It seems from evidence in the suttas that the Buddha didn't teach the deep topics such as causality or even the four noble truths until he knew that the listener's mind was ready to receive them.
I think there is an MN sutta that lists 60(?) pairs of attributes that one should develop or abandon, and it starts with harmlessness. "Others will be harmful, we here will be harmless" or something like that. In his talk on that sutta, Bhikkhu Bodhi said that harmlessness is considered to be the fundamental starting point, if I recall correctly.
chownah wrote:I think that the Buddha taught that any system of beliefs which contains the elements of the Noble Eightfold Path could lead to awakening.....so I guess that if my memory is correct and this is what the Buddha taught then the Noble Eightfold Path contains the most fundamental Buddhist principles.
P.S....can someone provide a reference to verify if this is what the Buddha taught?
61. And the Blessed One spoke, saying: "In whatsoever Dhamma and Discipline, Subhadda, there is not found the Noble Eightfold Path, neither is there found a true ascetic of the first, second, third, or fourth degree of saintliness. But in whatsoever Dhamma and Discipline there is found the Noble Eightfold Path, there is found a true ascetic of the first, second, third, and fourth degrees of saintliness.54 Now in this Dhamma and Discipline, Subhadda, is found the Noble Eightfold Path; and in it alone are also found true ascetics of the first, second, third, and fourth degrees of saintliness. Devoid of true ascetics are the systems of other teachers. But if, Subhadda, the bhikkhus live righteously, the world will not be destitute of arahats.
Four Noble Truths
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