Buddha: In Kalam of Dr. Muhammad Iqbal – By Prof. M. Hassan

allama iqbal at cordova - masjid e qartaba

Allama Iqbal at Cordova – Masjid e Qartaba


The original name of Buddha was Siddharta Gautama. He was a prince who renounced luxury and took to asceticism. After contemplation for several years, he found enlightenment, and came to be called Buddha (enlightenment). Thereafter the rest of his life was devoted to teaching of path to enlightenment.

Buddhism stands for four sublime verities. The first truth is that pain exists in the world. The second truth is that the cause of pain is ‘Birth Sin’. According to Buddhism person passes through many previous existences and all the sins accumulated in previous states constitute man’s ‘birth sin!. The third truth is that pain is ended only by Nirvana. The fourth truth is that the way that leads to Nirvana is the ‘Eight fold path’. This path stands for right faith, right Judgment, right language, right purpose, right practice, right obedience, right memory, and right meditation. Buddha is traditionally said to have died in 544 B.C.


In his book “The Development of Metaphysics In Persia” Iqbal has pointed out that according to Buddhism, salvation lies in extinguishing desire. Buddha held that after death thoughts and characters of human beings remain subject to other forces of a similar character, in the spiritual world, waiting for another opportunity to find a suitable physical accom¬paniment in order to continue the process of destruction.
In ‘Javid Nama’ under the caption “Tasin of Gautama” we come across a vision of Gautama calling upon a dancing girl to repent. The poem put in the mouth of Gautama reads:

“Ancient wine and youthful beloved are nothing;
For men of vision the houris of paradise are nothing;
Whatever you know as Firm and enduring passes away;
Mountain and desert, land, sea and shore are nothing.
The science of the Westerners, the philosophy of the Easterners are all idol houses,
And the visiting of idols yields nothing.
Think upon Self, and pass not fearfully through this desert.
For you are, while the substance of both the worlds is nothing. On the road which I hewed out with the point of my eyelash, Station and caravan and shifting sands are nothing.
Transcend the unseen, for this doubt and surmise are nothing.
To be in the world and to escape from the world that is something. The paradise that some God grants unto you is nothing,
When Paradise is the reward of your labours, that is something. Do not seek repose for your soul, for the soul’s repose is nothing. The tear shed in sorrow for your companions, that is something. The wine-drenched eye, the temptress glance and the song are fair. But sweeter than these, there is something.
The cheek’s beauty is momentary, in a moment it is no more.
The beauty of action and fine ideals, that is something.



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