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Buddhism - Essay Example

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His upbringing in the princely ways did not alter his innate nature. Outside of his protective domain, when he encountered the harsher realities of…
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Download file to see previous pages cess, went into a long period of contemplative meditation, received enlightenment and from thence came to be called The Buddha or the enlightened one. He passed on the knowledge to his followers through teachings based on four major tenets.
The Buddha taught the four noble truths as i) the world is full of sorrow ii) desires are the main reason for sorrow iii) sorrow can be overcome by killing desires and iv) desires can be killed by following the eight-fold righteous path (Rahula, p.45). In this way the Buddha taught us the means to overcome sorrow, lead blissful life and ultimately attain Nirvana.
The principle of righteous living differentiated Buddhism from the other major contemporary religions in the Indian subcontinent viz., Hinduism and Jainism, and impresses me as the most important of the Buddha teachings.
The concept of middle path or magga taught by the Buddha as the most appropriate path to overcome sorrows has relevance for everyone and all times. It negates the other two extreme paths (of seeking worldly pleasures or practicing penance) since both have failed to eliminate sorrow from life on the one hand and can not stand the test of scrutiny as the solution for humanity’s problems (Rahula, p.92).
The Buddha taught us to follow the middle path by practicing the eight-fold righteous living viz., right understanding (belief), right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness (recollection), and right concentration (meditation). As Rahula mentions in his book, ‘…they are all linked together and should be practiced simultaneously according to a person’s capacity’ (p.46). Together they constitute the essence of ethical and moral conduct.
The context for conduct arises out of one’s day-to-day life and the never ending hankering after desires. Continuity of life or existence is termed as Samsara in the Buddhist tradition (pp. 48 & 60) and Samsaracakra as the cycle of life, death and rebirth, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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