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Buddhism: Happiness and The Four Noble Truths

explanatory Essay
1456 words
1456 words
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Gautama was to be king. He was to live a life of luxury with his wife and son. His father groomed him to never have to live his kingdom. However, one day Gautama left his home and walked into the world of suffering his father was shielding him from. He saw the wrinkles of a man of old age. He saw someone sick with disease. He saw the body of a dead person (Haught 46). The reality of human misery deeply disturbed Gautama which caused him to start to rethink his life. He said goodbye to his wife and child and left them to solve the question of human suffering; his newly declared purpose in life.
In order to truly disperse himself in finding the end to his suffering, Gautama let go of a life of things and ambitions; anything felt to be permanent. Gautama’s renunciation of an unsatisfying existence is a great model for anyone following the Buddha’s path. Gautama himself tried to find a teacher to help him find peace, however; this proved ineffective (Haught 47). Therefore, followers of Buddhism must find the way to peace themselves. No one can help them in this quest. One has to experience life on their own; following the rules of others will do nothing to bring about one’s own consciousness.
For six years, Gautama joined a group of monks. He fasted more often and longer than any other monk, but still found no satisfaction living this lifestyle (Haught 47). He needed to find something else to bring about peace within because living among the monks was a form of punishment which failed to bring happiness to Gautama. Therefore, one day Gautama left the monks and ate a normal meal. This self-punishing was keeping him from solving the problem of human suffering. Gautama, now alone, sat under a fig tree, called the Bodhi tree, and vowe...

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...ing people from suffering.
Buddhism is similar to other religions in that finding salvation is an important goal. Buddhism came about in response to the problem of human suffering. It is a difficult challenge to accept but once the Four Noble Truths are accepted, it is easier to follow on the path of enlightenment. Everyone must work on their own salvation in order to release themselves from the cycle of rebirth. Buddhism almost disappeared in India; however it spread throughout Asia and continued to thrive for years. Buddhism appeals to those who have become disheartened by the hostility found in other religions therefore this appeals to many who want to relieve their suffering.

Works Cited

"Buddhism: An Introduction." Public Broadcasting Service. 2014. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
Haught, John F. What is Religion: An Introduction. Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1990. Print.

In this essay, the author

  • Narrates how gautama left his home and walked into the world of suffering his father shielded him from. the reality of human misery disturbed him and caused him to rethink his life.
  • Opines that gautama's renunciation of an unsatisfying existence is a great model for anyone following the buddha’s path.
  • Narrates how gautama joined a group of monks for six years, fasting more often, but still finding no satisfaction living this lifestyle.
  • Explains that enlightenment is not something that can be explained; each person must experience it in order to understand it.
  • Explains the four noble truths and the eightfold path of buddhism. buddhism wants people to focus on how to find release from suffering and sorrow.
  • Explains that dukkha is the universal feeling of life being unsatisfactory. buddhism wants everyone to realize that the suffering never ends and that it should be accepted.
  • Explains that the cause of suffering is desire or clinging, which comes from our desire of the permanence in our lives.
  • Explains that nirvana is the goal of life and can only be attained on one’s own without the help of others and without god.
  • Explains that the fourth noble truth is the way to reach nirvana, which can be obtained by following the way of wisdom, morality, and meditation.
  • Explains that right view is being able to understand the difference between reality and what a person thinks reality is. right intention is the renunciation of wants and desires.
  • Explains that compassion is important to anyone practicing buddhism. it produces good karma and makes people happier than if they would feel angry, envious thoughts.
  • Explains that everyone could be a potential bodhisattva because mahayana buddhism teaches that feeling compassion of others may help on the path of enlightenment; that salvation may not be achieved entirely on one’s own.
  • Compares buddhism's goal of enlightenment and attaining nirvana with christianity, which is to live for god and live by his rules.
  • Explains that some buddhist traditions, such as mahayana buddhism, see the buddha as a sort of deity and worship of him is promoted. the buddha never acknowledged god yet never denied the existence of god.
  • Explains that buddhism is similar to other religions in that finding salvation is an important goal. it came about in response to the problem of human suffering.
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