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Buddhism - Essay Example

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Buddhism Introduction Buddhism is one of the ancient religions of the world. Unlike many of its counterparts, Buddhism survived all essential challenges of the world for centuries. The founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama was a prince of the Sakya tribe in present Nepal…
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Download file to see previous pages People were attracted by his teachings and hence there developed a community of monks and nuns. All those who believed in him and in his teachings began to be called as the Buddhists. This paper tends to explore the major principles and teachings of Buddhism and its influence on other religions. Teachings of Buddhism One of the major aims of Buddhism was to give people insights on the true nature of reality regarding death and sufferings. For the spiritual development as foreseen by Buddha, a complete change, both mental and physical, was essential. Since life involves a process of constant changes, man has to change for a better state than the present. It is one’s mind that plays the crucial role in changing oneself. So, Buddhism developed many a number of methods for working on the mind. The major tool used by Buddhists to change people in order to develop the qualities such as awareness, kindness and wisdom was meditation (“What does Buddhism teach..”). Meditation is the concentration of thoughts on single subject and completely being aware of oneself. The practice of meditation brought them a more positive state of mind backed by calmness, concentration, awareness, and emotions like friendliness. According to the doctrine, the Buddhist teachings and paths would finally bring enlightenment where one can witness the nature of reality clearly and live naturally in accordance with that vision. With the awareness attained from meditation, they could get a fuller understanding of themselves, their fellow beings, and in due course the life itself. During his public life, Buddha propagated the answers he found out for his questions. Enlightenment gave him answers for all the unanswered questions that bothered him during the term of his family life. The first idea that he spread was that ‘nothing is lost in the universe’. Whatever that loses its current state turns into another form. The dead man turns into soil and so he is never being lost from this world. The second truth was ‘everything changes’. There is nothing in this world that can with stand change. The third universal truth of Buddha was the ‘law of cause and effect’ (Following the Buddha’s Footsteps..”). This law of cause and effect in other words is known as ‘Karma’. According to this principle, we eat the fruits of our own deeds. Nothing happens to us unless and until we deserve it. We receive exactly the result of what we do irrespective of the goodness or badness in it. The state of our present being is attributed to our accomplishments in the past. The relationship between our thoughts and actions decide the kind of life that we are to live. We can change our Karma by paying attention to what we do, what we think, and what we say. Once we clearly understand our actions and thoughts we no longer need to fear Karma; instead, Karma will be our best friend who will lead us to create a better future (Following the Buddha’s Footsteps..”). Another major teaching of Buddha was on dharma. Dharma is a Sanskrit word having a number of meanings. In Buddhism dharma means proper conduct or good behavior that is necessary to keep the natural order of things. As the main aim of dharma contemplated on keeping a natural order, it covered ideas like duty, profession, religion and other occupations which are considered to be correct and proper. Thus, Buddhist dharma was all about ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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