What Are The Core Beliefs Of Buddhism? How Do Buddhists View Craving?

1083 words - 4 pages

"Craving is like a great tree with branches. There are branches of greed, bad thoughts and of anger. The fruit of the tree of craving is suffering, but how does the tree of craving grow? Where can we find it? The answer, says the Buddha, is that the tree of craving has its roots in ignorance. It grows out of ignorance, and its seeds fall and flourish whenever they find ignorance."After the Buddha learnt that suffering (or Dukkha ) was an unavoidable part of life, he realised that he could find a way to end the suffering, by first finding what causes it; much like a doctor analyses the symptoms of his patient before making a diagnosis and giving them the appropriate prescription to cure their illness. Buddhists hold many beliefs, the most important being the Four Noble Truths and the Three Marks of Existence, with these beliefs they hope to give up craving and finally escape the cycle of rebirth, or Samsara, and reach Nirvana, or enlightenment. As with most religions, Buddhism contains many analogies to explain the religious ideology behind the practise; by likening craving, and all its roots and consequences, to a tree, it makes an otherwise rather abstract thesis, simple and understandable.Buddhism teaches of the Three Marks of Existence;Annica : all things are constantly changingAnatta : there is no permanent selfDukkha : SufferingAnd of the four noble truths:Dukkha : The truth of sufferingSamudaya : The truth of the origin of sufferingNiroda : The truth of the cessation of sufferingMagga: The truth of the path to cessation of sufferingAll of these beliefs are all centred on the notion of suffering, or Dukkha, and explore its many aspects. If craving was indeed a tree, these truths and beliefs could be compared to pruning tools, they are there to keep the craving within reason, and stop it from producing suffering.The Buddha discovered that the direct causes of suffering are craving and ignorance. This is the Second Noble Truth. Craving, or Tanha, is an ongoing normal condition. We crave every day, whether it be for food, love, entertainment, excitement or happiness, however some craving is more poisonous than that of the necessities of life. Craving is the human desire to satisfy our senses and to experience life. Buddhists believe that anything that stimulates our senses or our feelings can lead to craving. Craving itself is not the problem, it is the dissatisfaction that we experience as soon as we realise that, that which we crave can only last for a short time, soon it is over and there can be no more to enjoy. None of the pleasures we crave give us lasting happiness or satisfaction, bringing about unhappiness and longing. We begin to grasp at these things, leaving us empty and wanting. The more we try to hold on, the more we suffer. This is why Tanha is like a tree; as the craving grows, it begins to produce suffering and sadness; the longer our needs go unsatisfied, the more suffering. Just like the fruition of a tree that is being...

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