The Story Of Buddhism Essay

2108 words - 8 pages

Buddhism is a unique religion. Unlike most mainstream religions, Buddhists do not believe in any Gods, or souls. They instead believe in training the human mind to extinguish all negative desires, and thus become free of an eternity of suffering.

The story of Buddhism started around 2500 years ago in India when Siddhartha Gautama was born into a royal family. His upbringing was the finest imaginable, being the son of a king. He was extremely well-educated and had all the qualities one would desire of a future king. He was however shielded from the harsh realities of life, in fear that he might give up his family and follow a path of meditation, something his father did not desire of him.

This form of living in extreme luxury continued until one day, by chance Siddhartha was riding on a chariot when he encountered an old man. Having never encountered such a sight before, he asked why the man looked the way he was. "That is old age," said the charioteer, "the ravisher of beauty, the ruin of vigour, the cause of sorrow, destroyer of delights, the bane of memories and the enemy of the senses..." (http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/history/buddha.htm)

This was a new experience for Siddhartha who was brought up to live without pain or suffering. He later also saw a sick man and a dead man. He then began to wonder why we grow old, get sick and die. Later he met an ascetic, “a person who dedicates his or her life to a pursuit of contemplative ideals and practices extreme self-denial or self-mortification for religious reasons” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ascetic). Siddhartha then decided to follow leave his family and follow the ascetic, in order to try and find the mystery of life.

The sightings of the old man, the sick man, the dead man and the ascetic are known as the ‘Four Sights,’ and is one of the most important turning points in Siddhartha’s life.

He lived as an ascetic for six years with very little food or sleep. Then one day he collapsed and was found and nourished by a young woman. He then realised that his ascetic lifestyle was as bad as his life of luxury. He determined the only way to rid himself of suffering and attain enlightenment (perfect understanding) was to follow the ‘middle way,’ in other words, not living a life of total luxury, but at the same time not living in so much pain that one is on the brink of death.

Then Siddhartha came to a tree known as the ‘Bodhi Tree.’ He decided to not move from the tree and meditate until he attained enlightenment and how to find nirvana (a state of complete peace). After many hours, Siddhartha was able to detach any sense, emotions or desires. It was then that he attained enlightenment and found the illusive cause of suffering and how to cure it. Siddhartha was then known as the ‘Buddha’ which means ‘The Awakened One,’

The Buddha spent the rest of his life teaching others about what he had found through his enlightenment. He preached his new ideas for 50...

Find Another Essay On The Story of Buddhism

The Dharma of Mahayana Buddhism Essay

1072 words - 4 pages facing it. In our society today, Buddhism, especially Mahayana Buddhism, becomes a cure to the duhkha that we are facing today. The Dharma of Mahayana Buddhism becomes very helpful to resolve many, even all the problems humans are facing today. Mahayana Buddhism believes in the Path of Bodhisattva, which is path to become Awakened by achieve own-being’s enlightenment and more importantly, to help others to achieve enlightenment. What is the Path

The History of Mahayana Buddhism Essay

1304 words - 6 pages Mahayana Buddhism originated in India and is believed to be associated with some of the oldest known existing branches of Buddhism. The temple our group visited was devoted to this philosophical way of thinking, and its practices. More than half of all Buddhist practitioners participate in the Mahayana tradition, making it the largest major tradition of Buddhism existing today (Statistics on Buddhism). In the course of its history, Mahayana

THE EIGHTFOLD PATH OF BUDDHISM

777 words - 3 pages The main goal of Buddhism is known as nirvana. Nirvana is the freedom from the cycle of birth and death, also known as the freedom of reincarnation. The way to achieve nirvana is by something known as the Noble Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path is the pathway between materialism and asceticism. In Buddhism, the Noble Eightfold Path is central because it is the way to achieve nirvana. The Buddha spreads his many beliefs and achievements

The Influence of Chinese Culture on Buddhism

1476 words - 6 pages new ideology to take place of stale Confucian thinking. The exact date of the coming of Buddhism to China is unknown, but by 64 A.D. Buddhist monks had introduced written scripture into China.At first Buddhism was not popular in China. Interest took several centuries to grow because of Buddhism's incongruities with Chinese thought, as well as translation problems (Sanskrit to Chinese). Because Buddhism first entered through China's trading routes

The Ascension of Buddhism in America

721 words - 3 pages The ascension of Buddhism in American culture is a simple twist of popularity and understanding stemming off of its initial breakthrough in 1893 during the World’s Parliament of Religions, conducted in Chicago (Smith 1). America has traditionally been considered a Monotheistic nation, but has been mostly acceptant of all views. As America is built off of religious freedoms, Buddhism was able to nestle a home among communities in

Relationship of Buddhism with the Tang Government

1134 words - 5 pages Relationship of Buddhism with the Tang Government Since the introduction of Buddhism into China, it was not well received by the population as its foreign beliefs clashed with pre-existent principals of Confucianism and Taoism. On top of that, it was alienated by the Confucianism-based government in the late Han Dynasty. All in all, Buddhism was not a common nor a popular religion throughout China at first. Nevertheless, this all changed

Relationship of Buddhism with the Tang Government

2069 words - 8 pages Since the introduction of Buddhism into China, it was not well received by the population as its foreign beliefs clashed with pre-existent principles of Confucianism and Taoism. On top of that, it was alienated by the Confucianism-based government in the late Han Dynasty. All in all, Buddhism was not a common nor a popular religion throughout China at first. Nevertheless, this all changed after the rise of the Tang Dynasty. There is no doubt

The Seperation of Hinduism and Buddhism

1727 words - 7 pages The origins of Hinduism can be traced back to the Vedic traditions of the Indus Valley Civilization (Mittal and Thursby 23) where as Buddhism can be seen as originating from Hinduism, and yet they are seen as two completely different religions. Why? These religions do share some of the same practices, however there are also vast differences. The caste system is a major social institution of Hinduism, but Buddhism rejects the caste system

The Spread of Buddhism and Christianity

1545 words - 6 pages The Spread of Buddhism and Christianity Buddhism and Christianity were each founded by one person, and then eventually grew into two of the largest religions in the world. Each religion had different reasons for the success in the spreading of each respected belief. Although both faced many hardships, the two religions overcame and prevailed through their problems and continued to find ways to attract new believers every day

The Role of Women in Tibetan Buddhism

4847 words - 19 pages The Role of Women in Tibetan Buddhism “In Tantric Buddhism, we are dealing with a misogynist, destructive, masculine philosophy and religion which is hostile to life – i.e. the precise opposite of that for which it is trustingly and magnanimously welcomed in the figure of the Dalai Lama.”[1] Within Tibetan Buddhism, there is an inherent contradiction regarding the status of women. Although in many aspects women are seen and

The Significance of Self-Immolation in Buddhism

2807 words - 11 pages In the scope of Buddhism, and in religion in general, rituals are very important. When defining faith, the easiest ways to do so are to look at scriptures, material objects, and rituals. In Buddhism there is a wide variety of rituals practiced by a large group of people; however, I found interest in the lesser known, less popular rituals. One such ritual which grabbed my attention was self-immolation, specifically auto-cremation. Especially

Similar Essays

The Story Of Buddhism Essay

2821 words - 11 pages The Story of Buddhism The story of Buddhism might be said to have begun with a loss of innocence. Siddhartha Gautama, a young prince of the Shakhya clan in India, had been raised in a life of royal ease, shielded from the misery and cruelties of the world outside the palace gates, distracted by sensual pleasures and luxurious living. But one day the fateful encounter with the real world occurred, and Siddhartha was shaken to the core

The Evolution Of Buddhism Essay

1254 words - 5 pages Buddhism is a unique religion that bestows upon its members that their actions accumulate karma and too much bad karma leads to rebirth. A person reaches Nirvana (also known as heaven) when achieving enlightenment and is no longer subjected to rebirth. Buddhism also believes there is no one almighty god, but rather many gods, which they refer to as deities. Dharma is commonly known as the sacred teachings of a deity. The Buddha is only born in

The Nature Of Religion Buddhism

662 words - 3 pages Existence. The 'Sutra' is taught through Buddhist tradition. A central sacred story within the Buddhist religious tradition is the story of Buddha. Upon our stay at Nan Tien Temple, we were taught the significance of the origins of Buddhism, specifically, the story of its beginning. Our guide also spoke of the 'Vinaya'. This is the book containing the rules of Buddhist monastic discipline. Life in the 'Sangha' is controlled through what has been

The Impacts Of Japanese Buddhism Essay

2148 words - 9 pages The development and evolution of the different sects of Japanese Buddhism such as Zen Buddhism played an important role in the development of classical Japanese culture throughout the four major periods, which was shown in the way that the Nara period, the Heian era, the Kamakura period, and the Edo period were all shaped by the ascent and decline of different Buddhist sects. It is these transitions that make Japanese history a myriad, but