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Definition of Buddhism - Essay Example

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Buddhist is one of the oldest religions in the world. It goes back to the 5 the century BC. The ancient Buddhist philosophers saw the world not as a stable, material, entity, but rather as a constantly changing cloud of interactive forces. The Buddhist analysis of the unsatisfactory and unstable nature of existence is the foundation of a whole way of life…
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Definition of Buddhism
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Download file to see previous pages 500 B.C. on the basis of pantheistic Brahminism. The speculations of the Vedanta school of religious thought, in the eighth and following centuries, B.C., gave rise to several rival schemes of salvation" (Definition of Buddhism n.d.). Things might appear to be solid and self-existing, but with the development of the insight gained through meditation one discovered that this was not so. Also, Buddhists believe that the Buddha's death is only an illusion and that he remains accessible to suffering humanity. Sunyata, one of the central concepts, means emptiness and it is the logical development of the earlier Buddhist concept that the human being does not possess an enduring soul and that all things were conditioned by preexisting conditions (New Oxford American Dictionary 2001).
The four Noble Truths are (1) life is suffering, (2) the origin of suffering is attachment, (3) there is an end of sufferings, (4) there is path out of suffering (Buddhism Information and Education Network 2007). Believers suppose that the first of these is that life is, in its essence, unsatisfactory. The second of these is the idea that the unsatisfactoriness of the world stem from the constant cravings which arises in the human being and from ignorance of the true nature of reality. The third Noble Truth is that this need not be the fate of all human beings, and that there is a way to cease being enslaved to this unsatisfactory world. The final Noble Truth is that the way to cessation of bondage to the world lay in the Eightfold Path. The eight components of this path of liberation are 1) right (i.e. correct or proper) viewpoint, 2) right intention, 3) right speech, 4) right actions, 5) right livelihood, 6) right effort, 7) right mindfulness, and 8) right concentration (Buddhism Information and Education Network 2007).. Here, encapsulated in a very few easy to remember steps, lies the entire Buddhist plan for salvation. When examined more closely this list divides into three separate parts. The first part, right viewpoint and right intention, relates to the underlying core of one's understanding of the nature of reality. In order for his program of liberation to be effective, the Buddha knew that its practitioners had to change fundamentally the way in which they perceived the world. In old tradition, this was the purpose of right viewpoint, an orientation away from the understanding of the world as made up of material things that were acted upon, and toward an understanding of the world as a series of constantly changing and interacting processes. From this new understanding of the world came the second step on the Eightfold Path, right intention. This was achieved when the individual decided that the Buddhist analysis of existence was correct and determined to follow the Buddhist plan for salvation. This meant acting in a benevolent, non-harmful manner and practicing the steps of the Eightfold Path (Definition of Buddhism n.d.). The next three steps on the Eightfold Path were designed to take the insights gained from the first two steps and to put them into practice in the world. Right speech, as its name implies, was based on a proper use of speech, but it really involves the entire way in which human beings interact with one another. Thus one was enjoined not to lie, not to slander, not to backbite, not, in a word, to say (or presumably even ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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