Senses In Siddhartha

1093 Words5 Pages
Senses are an important gateway for receiving information about the world around us. However, in Indian culture, various forms of sights such as gaze, glances, darshan were not only used to receive information but were often used to communicate with one another without speaking anything. Hence, sight held a significant position in all major Indian religions. In Buddhism, order of senses is as follow: Sight, hearing, smells, taste, and touch. (McHugh, The Senses). For Buddhists, sight is the sense, which allows one to experience objects at the greatest distance. For example, you can see a river, which you cannot hear, taste, smell or touch. Hence according to Buddhism, sight is the most significant sense among all other senses (McHugh, The Senses). Here in this extract from “Life of Buddha”, suffering and pain from sight of dead body plays a significant role in making Prince Siddhartha (Gautama Buddha) realize about the suffering and wretchedness that exists in the world. It makes his mind dejected and forces him to contemplate about the higher purpose of life so as to escape from this samsara - cycle of rebirth and re-death. According to Buddhists, the four sights— old man, diseased man, dead corpse and the ascetic were specific observations which made Prince Siddhartha realize about the suffering that existed in this world and separated him from all worldly pleasures in order to become “The Enlightened One”. Because of the predictions that attended prince Siddhartha’s birth – that he would either become a world leader or a great holy man – his father, king Shudhdhona tried to protect his son from the more distressing features of the world for 29 years. But dissatisfaction grew within prince Siddhartha and so he asked the king ... ... middle of paper ... ...e of this poem might be to make the reader empathize with the suffering that he/she sees in the world and try to find a way around it by reducing it. This extract teaches us that life contains suffering and suffering is due to earthly objects as the people who cared for the dead man were attached to him and this caused them to suffer. The only way out of this suffering and samsara is nirvana and this can be attained by following Buddha’s eightfold path – right view, right intention; right speech, right action, right livelihood; right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration (McHugh). All in all, the very sight of death and dead person, made Gautam Buddha realize that “Life contains suffering” and it was only through the sense of sight that he was able to extract four noble truths from Four sights in Buddhism. Hence sense plays a major role in Indian Religion.
Open Document