About Buddhism By: Katy Buxton Essay

935 words - 4 pages

Creation, in the midst of suffering, strives for something greater than what this world has to offer. In this endeavor, Siddartha Gautama was enlightened with the truth of the human condition. He saw the sufferings of this world, realized that humanity is destined to have this anguish, and was given the insight to overcome it. It is not on earth where one should find his peace, but in the knowing that there is an eternal existence outside of this creation. Since Gautama became enlightened with the four noble truths (to live is to suffer; suffering is caused by desire; the cessation of suffering can be achieved; the solution is the Noble Eightfold Path), he is known as the original Buddha, or "the enlightened one."

         Buddhism, the practice of pursuing a life of enlightenment (much like that of Buddha), is the outcome of Gautama's realization. Often times praying to Buddha can be seen, by non-Buddhists, as praying to a god. This is not the case. Buddha was exclusively human. He was neither creator nor destroyer of life. He was a man who saw that there was more to life than life itself but was not sure what it was. He dedicated his every thought to the truth beyond. As a result of his commitment he acquired the ability to attain salvation. As a follower of Buddha one is able to see what is right, find his path or destiny, and moreover, also achieve salvation.

        The teachings of Buddha, or the Dharma, are more or less internal. Unlike most religions, which require a divine source, Buddhism is a faith born within. This is a hard objective to arrive at. "Gautama himself questioned whether anyone would comprehend his teachings, and all along he seems to advocate Buddhism only for the few who consider themselves fit for the task." (Brodd 69). Although it is mainly an internal quest, Buddha did leave us with some practicalities in which we should live our lives; karma. As Buddhists we are called to observe the Five Precepts. 1. Do not take life. 2. Do not take what is not given. 3. Do not engage in sensual misconduct. 4. Do not use false speech. 5. Do not drink intoxicants. These principles are not so much laws that are set, so that if one is broken he will fail, but are goals for our lives. "The emphasis in Buddhist morality is on intention. The degree to which an act is immoral depends on the individual's intention to commit the act..." (Brodd 71). If one drinks an alcoholic beverage, knowing full well what it was, then, yes, he is in the wrong, but if a person drank it with the thought that it was a "virgin" drink, then the intentions...

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