The Buddha arose in this world for the sake of a great cause, or because of a great matter. The Buddha appeared, for the changing beings from illusion into enlightenment (according to the Lotus Sutra), or the Buddha-nature (according to the Nirvana Sutra), or the joy of Paradise (according to the Infinite Life Sutra). According to the Anguttara Nikaya, the Buddha is a unique being, an extraordinary man arises in this world for the benefit of sentient beings, for the happiness of sentient beings, out of compassion for the world, and for the good of gods and men. The Buddha founded Buddhism. Some says that Buddhism is a philosophy of life, not a religion. In fact, Buddhism is not strictly a religion in the sense in which that word is commonly understood, for it is not a system of faith and worship to a supernatural god.
Buddhism is neither a philosophy. In the contrary, the Buddha’s message is really for human beings in daily life: “Keeping away from all evil deeds, cultivation of a moral life by doing good deeds and purification of mind from worldly impurities.” This message originated from the Buddha’s realization of the Truth. As a prince living in the lap of luxury, the Buddha started to ponder very deeply on why living beings suffer in this world. He asked himself: “What is the cause of this suffering?” One day while sitting under a tree as a young boy, he saw a snake suddenly appear and catch an eel. As the snake and the eel were struggling, an eagle swooped down from the sky and took away the snake with the eel still in its mouth. That incident was the turning point for the young prince to start thinking about renouncing the worldly life. He realized that living beings on the earth survive by preying on each other. While one being tries to grab and the other tries to escape and this eternal battle will continue forever. This never-ending process of hunting, and self-preservation is the basis of our unhappiness. It is the source of all suffering.
The Prince decided that he would discover the means to end this suffering. He left His father’s palace at the age of 29 and six years later he gained enlightenment. According to the Buddha, the Law of Cause and Effect controls all beings. Karma simply means action. If a person commits a bad action (karma) it will be impossible for that person to escape from its bad effect. The Buddha is only a Master, who can tell beings what to do and what to avoid but he cannot do the work for anyone. In the Dhammapada Sutra, the Buddha clearly stated: “You have to do the work of salvation yourself. No one can do anything for another for salvation except to show the way.”