The original Pali term for Buddhism is Dhamma … The Dhamma is that which really is. It is the doctrine of reality. It is a means of deliverance from suffering and deliverance itself. Whether the Buddhas arise or not the Dhamma exists from all eternity. It is a Buddha that realizes this Dhamma, which ever lies hidden from the ignorant eyes of men, till he, an Enlightened One, comes and compassionately reveals it to the world.
– Narada Thera
If a man knows ‘I am brahman’ in this way, he becomes the whole world. Not even the gods are able to prevent it, for he becomes their very self (atman). So when a man venerates another deity, thinking, ‘He is one, and I am another’, he does not understand…. It is his self (atman) alone that a man should venerate as his world. And if someone venerates his self alone as his world, that rite of his will never fade away, because from his very self he will produce whatever he desires.
– Brhadaranyaka Upanisad
If you asked me, ‘Is there another world?’ and if I believed that there was, I should tell you so. But that is not what I say. I do not say that it is so; I do not say that it is otherwise; I do not say that it is not so; nor do I say that it is not not so…
– Sañjaya Belatthiputta
[Wanting to understand the cosmological questions regarding the natural universe] is as if there were a man struck by an arrow that was smeared thickly with poison; his friends and companions, his family and relatives would summon a doctor to see the arrow. And the man might say, ‘I will not draw out this arrow as long as I do not know whether the man by whom I was struck was a [member of a] brahmin, a ksatriya, a vaisya, or a sudra [class]…as long as I do not know his name and his family…whether he was tall, short or of medium height …’ That man would not discover these things, but that man would die.
– The Buddha
[The reason I do not answer cosmological questions regarding the natural universe] is [that it is] not the case that one would live the spiritual life by virtue of holding the view that the world is eternal … Whether one holds that the world is eternal, or whether one holds the view that the world is not eternal, there is still birth, ageing, death, grief, despair, pain, and unhappiness – whose destruction here and now I declare.
– The Buddha
We are part of a world compounded of unstable and unreliable conditions, a world in which pain and pleasure, happiness and suffering are in all sorts of ways bound up together. It is the reality of this state of affairs that the teachings of the Buddha suggest we each must understand if we are ever to be free of suffering.
– Rupert Gethin
There is monks a domain where there is no earth, no water,
no fire, no wind, no sphere of infinite space, no sphere of
nothingness, no sphere of infinite consciousness, no sphere
of neither awareness nor non-awareness; there is not this
world, there is not another world, there is no sun or moon.
I do not call this coming or going, nor standing nor dying,
nor being reborn; it is without support, without occurrence,
without object. Just this is the end of suffering.
– The Buddha