Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.
Although there is very little historically sound information regarding his life, we know that the Buddha was just one of the many philosophers of his time. Yet he became one of the people who managed to change the world.
During the 6th century B.C.E. in India, there were numerous Vedic seers who taught and believed in a supreme Creator, others believed in Brahman, a universal soul which was residing in all beings and thought that the human problem lies in the realization of such spirit. There were materialists and teachings that were more metaphysical in nature. The people at that time were overall discontent with the teachings, as they could not relate them to their daily struggles. They were open to Buddha's teachings because they were looking for more practical, effective methods to address their daily problems.
Buddha's enlightenment came from the realization that truth is our own internal creation and not brought on by external factors. The solution to our problems can be sought within ourselves.
Buddha the scientist
Although its a bit of a stretch to think of Buddha as an early scientist, he did have a few things in common with the scientific thinking of today.
He rejected the view that everything happens either due to a creator, or fate or chance or karma. Everything happens due to causes and conditions and the Buddha explained these causes and conditions.
Man was declared to be his own master. His thinking went against the accepted pattern of thinking and teachings in his lifetime.
Through various life experiences and meditation, he discovered that the creator or architect was not an external being but was man's own internal nature. This architect is in the form of Craving or Attachment, a self-created force latent in all of us.
He believed that human beings have no soul or self. They are an eternal entity and through the realization of the eternal entity, the individual becomes one with it.
Buddha as a Social Catalyst
People began to question some of the assumptions which they based their society on, especially regarding caste and the status of women. Buddha opposed the caste assumptions of his time and believed it was one's actions which determine the social status and not birth. He also did much to improve the status of women favoring equal place in society for women when it came to spiritual advancement.
Irrigators channel waters; fletchers straighten arrows; carpenters bend wood; the wise master themselves.
Read on about what is collective transformation...