Essay on Buddhism

Essay on Buddhism

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Buddhism is probably the most tolerant religion in the world, as its teachings can coexist with any other religion's. However, this is not a characteristic of other religions. The Buddhist teaching of God is neither agnostic nor vague, but clear and logical. Buddhism was created by Siddhartha Gautama, who was born in the sixth century B.C. in what is now modern Nepal. Siddhartha grew up living the extravagant life of a young prince. His father was Suddhodana and was the ruler of the Sakya people. According to custom, he married a young girl named Yasodhara at the age of sixteen. His father had ordered that he live a life of total seclusion, but one day Siddhartha ventured out into the world and was confronted with the harsh reality of life and universal suffering. At age twenty-nine, he left his kingdom and new-born son to lead a plain, reclusive life and determine a way to relieve this universal suffering. Siddhartha meditated under a bodhi tree for six years, but he was never fully satisfied. One day, however, he was offered a bowl of rice from a young girl and he accepted it. At that moment, he realized that physical harshness was not a means of achieving liberation. From then on, he encouraged people to follow a path of balance rather than extremism. He called this path the Middle Way. Devotion to the pleasures of sense, a low practice of villagers, a practice unworthy, unprofitable, the way of the world [on one hand]; and [on the other] devotion to self- mortification, which is painful, unworthy and unprofitable. By avoiding these two extremes the Tathagata [or Buddha] has gained knowledge of that middle path which giveth vision, which giveth knowledge, which causeth calm, special knowledge, enlightenment, Nibbana [or Nirva...


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...ts of ordinary men are not pure. They are filled with greed, ill will, and delusion. Greed and hatred are impurities caused by desires, and ignorance is the cause of delusion, es- pecially delusion of self. Ignorance, in fact, is the cause of desire and thus the primary cause of all suffering and of re- birth. The Buddha said that one may purify his heart: 1. By practicing self-control and self-restraint 2. By meditating upon one's own self 3. By following the Eight-Fold Path that leads to the end of all suffering All of these points are the basic essence of Buddhism. They help people understand the worlds of suffering, personal or otherwise, and how to overcome that suffering. Buddhism is a simple religion that focuses on changing the evil of man and society into a good entity. It brings a message of salvation and hope to whoever will follow its path. Word Count: 921

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