Buddism Essay, Research Paper
Buddhism is probably the most tolerant religion of the world, as the teaching can coexist with any other religion. Other religions however, aim to be restricted and cannot accommodate Buddhism at the same time. The Buddhist teaching on God – in the sense of an ultimate Reality – is neither skeptic (as is sometimes claimed), nor vague, but clear and logical. that we can neither define, describe, nor usefully discuss the nature of that which is beyond the perception of our infinite consciousness. It may be indicated by negatives and described indirectly by analogy and symbols, but otherwise it must ever remain in its truest sense unknown and unexpressed, as being to us in our present state unknowable.
In the same way, Buddhism denies the existence in man of an immortal soul. The Enlightenment which dwells in life does not belong to one form of life. All that is man’s changing and mortal; the Immortal is not any man’s.
The Buddha pointed out how no thing is the same at this moment as it was a moment ago. Even the everlasting hills are slowly being worn away, and every particle of the human body, even the hardest, is replaced every seven years. There is no finality or rest within this universe, only a ceaseless becoming and a never-ending change.
Buddhism is a natural religion; it does not violate either mind or body. Its ethics closely approximate the Natural Law. The Buddha became aware of how men are born and die according to their good and evil actions, according to their self-created Karma (or the consequence of worthy and deserving deeds).
Buddhism is a teaching of the Buddha who was born a prince of Kapilavathu, at the part of the Himalaya mountains near the border of Nepal in 623 B.C. He married and had a son. Although, he was surrounded by all the Court’s glamour and luxuries, the sights of a decrepit old man, sick man, dead man and beggar monk, these four signs left such a deep impression upon his mind. At the age of twenty-nine, he decided to leave his palace and enter “the homeless life” of a monk to seek the truth and find a way to salvation for all conscious and alive beings. In his search for salvation among the teachers, he surpassed them and found that their doctrines were insufficient, not leading to awakening, to extinction and to enlightenment and insight. He departed those teachers and turned to practice self-mastery for six years with great willingness and effort.
Buddha met five holy men who offered their services to him, and finally, the Buddha realized that the ascetic exercises were not the right way to attain salvation. He had practiced self-mastery to the limit of his endurance and felt very weakened without achieving anything. So, he partook of food, regained strength and began to practice meditation which finally led to His enlightenment under the Holy Bodi tree near the town of Uruvela, the present Buddha-Gaya when he was only thirty-five years old.
The Four Noble truths
1. The Noble Truth of Suffering: Rebirth, old age, disease, death, sorrow, lamention, pain, grief and despair, association with objects we dislike, separation from objects we love, not to obtain what one desires cause suffering.
2. The Noble Truth of The Arising of Suffering: The Threefold Craving leads every being from birth to birth and is accompanied by joy and lust, seeking its gratification here and there, namely: Sensual Craving, Craving for Existence and Craving for Wealth and Power.
3. The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering: The condition of cessation of suffering is the complete fading away and extinction of this three fold craving, forsaking it and giving it up, the liberation and detachment from it.
4. The Noble Truth of The Path leading to the Cessation of Suffering: It is the Noble Eightfold Path (or the Middle Path because it avoids the two extremes of sensual pleasure and self-indulgent), that leads to the Cessation of Suffering.
To weed out cravings and ignorance, these two chief evil-doers of individual existence and to overcome rebirth, old age, disease, death, sorrows, lamentation, pain, grief and despair, to make an end of this whole mass of misery and thus to attain Nirvana, Liberation and Salvation.
The five Rules of Morality:
No Killing any living being, Stealing, Adultery, Lying and Drinking Intoxicating Drinks.
Buddhism admits no social class, no sex or race superiority. Most shrines are open to all. Buddhism is utterly tolerant, and seeks no converts. The Buddhist proclaims the Dharma to mankind. Anyone who wishes may accept and apply it – those who do not wish to do so pass with a blessing upon their way.
Under the Communist republics in Asia, Buddhism has faced a more difficult time. In China, for example, it continues to exist, although under strict government regulation and supervision. Many monasteries and temples have been converted to schools, and other public use. Monks and nuns have been required to undertake employment in addition to their religious functions. In Tibet, the Chinese, after their takeover and the escape of the Dalai Lama and other Buddhist officials into India in 1959, attempted to undercut Buddhist influence. Only in Japan since World War II have truly new Buddhist movements grown.
Growing interest in Asian culture and spiritual values in the West has led to the development of a number of societies devoted to the study and practice of Buddhism. As its influence in the West slowly grows, Buddhism is once again beginning to undergo a process of adaptation to its new environment. Although its influence in the U.S. is still small, apart from immigrant Japanese and Chinese communities, it seems that new, distinctively American forms of Buddhism may eventually develop.