Buddhism Essay

1586 words - 6 pages

As a college student who has lived in Smallville, USA, I do not have much experience with the other religions of the world. I have grown up a Christian Protestant my whole life, and I am a firm believer in my religion. Soon after reading the chapter on Buddhism in Huston Smith’s book The World’s Religions, I came to understand and respect the Buddhist religion. I came to learn who the Buddha as a man really was, and the steps he took in becoming a religious icon. I know understand that Buddhism is not all meditation and relaxing. There is a strict code of the four noble truths and the prescription of getting through them called the eightfold path. Much like Christianity Buddhism also has many different views on how to follow the religion, and has been broken up into different paths (yanas). The book also covers how Buddhism has a way of crossing into nirvana, and the journey enlighten followers have to make. In conclusion of the chapter Smith talks about the similarities between Hinduism and Buddhism and how they work with each others ideas. Throughout reading this chapter on Buddhism has had a profound affect on my view and my opinion of the religion has changed drastically.
Siddhartha Guatama was the given name of the Buddha before he became the “enlightened one” or the “Awakened One”. Siddhartha was a very lucky man he was the son of a king, had a very beautiful wife and many material objects and yet he was not happy, so at the age of 20 he left his estate to find what he was missing. Siddhartha wondered with Hinduism for a while and found that the extremes of the religion were not for him and decided to go the middle way. The story goes that Siddhartha wondered into the wilderness and sat down under a peepul tree until he reached enlightenment. The Gods did not want Siddhartha to reach enlightenment so they tempted Siddhartha. First the God of desire (Kama) tempted Siddhartha with three women, which had no effect. Then Mara the lord of death tried to distract Siddhartha with hurricanes, thunder, earthquakes, and falling flaming rocks. Yet nothing distracted Siddhartha from his journey and after 49 days Siddhartha was transformed into the Buddha, but Mara had one more temptation for Buddha. Mara try to get Buddha not to bother teaching others the way to enlightenment because he had already reached nirvana and “why bother to play the idiot before an uncomprehending audience?” Buddha’s reply was that there would be some that would understand and thus went to teach the path to enlightenment. When Buddha went to preach he taught one the devoid of authority, devoid of ritual, skirted speculation, intense self-effort, and to devoid of the supernatural. All of these aspects have been implanted in the formation of the four noble truths.
Buddhism’s four noble truths are Buddha’s declaration of key discoveries of his quest to find enlightenment. The first noble truth is that all humans suffer, this is called dukkha. This philosophy came...

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