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Bodhisattvas Essay

961 words - 4 pages

Long ago, an Indian prince known as Siddhartha Gautama offered simple teachings that were used to free oneself from suffering by relating to the everyday experiences of life and mind. Buddhism is a living tradition that is passed from a teacher to a student as a set of instructions and techniques for creating sanity and brilliance in the world and in ourselves. Bodhisattvas are people who devote their life to helping others reach the goal of Buddhism. They contribute greatly to the evolution of the religion and without them; it would be more difficult to achieve Nirvana. No matter how old this religion is, it is as relevant and useful to peoples today as well as the past.
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Nirvana is not a heaven as some people think it is. It is the aim of Buddhists and it has been reached by the Buddha during his enlightenment. The word Nirvana literally means extinguishing or unbinding. After reaching Nirvana, your soul is free and you are no longer bound to the cycle of birth and death. Once you have escaped the cycle, you achieve pari-nirvana which means final nirvana.
It is not easy reaching Nirvana and there are many steps required in order to actually achieve it. The Buddha helped guide many people on how to achieve what he achieved. He first taught about the Four Noble Truths. The Four Noble Truths are: 1) Life is full of suffering; 2) The suffering is caused by our desires; 3) To end all this suffering, you must end all desires; 4) The way to end your desires is to follow the Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path is a list of eight ideals that help people get a better understanding of the universe around them. The eight ideals are: right view, right intentions, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right mindfulness, right effort, and right concentration. After following the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold path, you reach Nirvana. However you are not a Buddha unless you achieve Nirvana on your own without help from a Bodhisattva.
What is a Bodhisattva? In Mahayana Buddhism, a bodhisattva is literally person who reaches enlightenment and carries out altruistic practices, altruistic meaning that they show a selfless concern for the well being of others. The word consists of two smaller words: bodhi and sattva. Bodhi means enlightenment or spiritual awakening and sattva means a living being. The way to become a bodhisattva is to follow the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path given by Siddhartha Gautama. Then four...

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