The Buddhist Tradition
Buddhism is a timeless tradition that has its origins dating back to before the birth of Christ. Founded by the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, the tradition follows basic principles such as the belief in the "Three Marks of Existence", the "Four Noble Truths", and the concept of dependent co-origination. The Buddha, "or enlightened one", taught a unique form of philosophy. Within his doctrine of the "Four Noble Truths", Buddha proclaimed that suffering could be stopped because all things that cause it are dependent of one another. He essentially believed that life was a series of events that were all conditioned by certain factors. This theory of dependent co-origination is one of the staple elements of Buddhism's history, concept of "dharma", and the religion's understanding of the surrounding world.
At an early age, the Buddha led the life of an ascetic. He devoutly searched the world to find an enlightened truth or "nirvana". The Buddha promoted his answer to enlightenment, or "the middle way", after he reached a state of nirvana. The concept rejected both extremes of the sacrifice of the body from nutrition, and of living heartily without sacrifice as paths toward a state of nirvana. Buddha had many disciples and accumulated many followers up until his death around 483 BC. After the his death, a council of monks gathered and collected his teachings and the oral traditions of the faith into written form, called the Tripitaka. Because of the oral communication of the Buddha's sermons, the Tripitaka is full of phrases such as, "The Buddha taught," and "It is said…." From these oral communications, the concept of dependent co-origination arose.
The text suggests that Buddha explained the term dependent co-origination as a series of connected events conditioned by certain factors. The conditionally of all of these connected events in life can be both mental and physical. A thought or a physical act can manipulate a certain moment in time, which will lead life down a different path. A Buddhist concentrates on these variables and believes that they will lead him or her to an achieved ultimate enlightenment. All things, either mental or physical, arise and exist due to the presence of certain events...