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Buddhism To Achieve Enlightenment

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Good morning Mr O'Brien and class, Buddhism, as a religion, has been around since about 2500 years ago ever since a wealthy and powerful prince called the Siddhartha Gautama decided to give up his luxuries and become a holy man seeking answers to questions along the lines of why must people suffer. On his journey the Siddhartha performed many rituals that ultimately allowed him to achieve Enlightenment, these rituals have evolved in our society today and are now seen as traditions that provide purpose and meaning to deepen the spirituality of Buddhist followers by helping them achieve ultimate Enlightenment. Practicing Dana and Going for Refuge are two of these important rituals. Dana originates from the language Pali and can be roughly translated to "giving". It is known as the practice of generosity by offering food or 'alms' to the Sangha, a group of religious Buddhist monks. The offered gift doesn't have to be physical, it can an emotional or spiritual gift such as giving ones time. Other forms of higher Dana include donations of blood and organs after death. There is a certain procedure that is followed when performing this ritual. It begins in the early hours of the morning with Buddhist monks leaving their monasteries and travelling to the nearest village in groups. The townsfolk stand in a straight line and remove their shoes waiting for the Sangha to pass. The exchange of gifts is usually in utter silence however on rare occasions the senior monk uses this time to offer some of Buddha's teachings to the villagers. When the giving of gifts is commencing the giver must only present clean objects, objects best for the receiver, at the right time with no hurry, with care, frequently and with a calm mind. In practicing Dana ... ... middle of paper ... ...s because it is seen as one of the last steps before becoming Enlightened. Followers look to the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha as a way to end suffering for themselves. When Going for Refuge followers try to achieve self-control and a calm and clear mind and even if Enlightenment is not accomplished in this life it is more likely to have favourable conditions for attainting Enlightenment in a future life. The Buddha once said, "To conquer oneself is a greater task than conquering others." The Buddhist religion is completely based around the concept of attaining ultimate Enlightenment and in order to achieve this a follower must conquer the suffering that is in their lives. The rituals practicing Dana and Going for Refuge are very important when it comes to this because they both successfully help the follower obtain happiness and eventually reach Enlightenment.