World Religion Studies Essay

1572 words - 7 pages

Before heading on the path to enlightenment, Siddhartha or the Buddha, came across four sights that changed his thinking. The first sight he road upon was an old, homeless man who signified that flesh is not eternal and age; the second sight ties into the first, because the next day Siddhartha encounters a human body deteriorating from disease, lying on the side of the road. He was quickly discovering that the physical body could not avoid the nature of life and was exposed to the real world. The third sight was a dead body, which showed that Siddhartha knew death. However, Siddhartha came across a monk on his fourth and final path, thus he knew religion; the monk explained to him a path that takes away the physical world and opens up to higher power. All of these became known as The Four Passing Sights and the beginning of the Buddha’s path to enlightenment, because he realized that his life of luxury was pointless.
In the forest, Siddhartha abandoned his royal title and set off on the path to enlightenment as a monk. The path was a difficult search that lead him through three phases….. The first phase involved learning Hinduism tradition by going into deep study with Hindu masters, however, he quickly become proficient of their ways and decided to seek further on to asceticism or abstinence of worldly goods to reach a spiritual level. Soon he conquered the practice, but felt that this was not helping him; he went so far into the practice that he almost died from starvation. The third phase became a middle ground of thought and mystic concentration that led him to enlightenment. He became aware that there had to be a balance between certain things, so he began on a path of moderation; the body has to stay healthy in order to complete levels. Under the Bodhi Tree, Siddhartha started to meditate in hopes of reaching enlightenment, but he was not without temptation and disruption. As he sat, he was tempted by The Evil One, Mara, by desire, death, and challenge. Desperate to keep Siddhartha from concentration, Mara used the desire of three goddesses, but failed to break through his meditation. Then, she decided to threaten his life with the destruction of flaming rocks, however, that also did not work, since the rocks became flower petals from Siddhartha’s strong, mystic concentration. Mara’s last disruption was challenging Siddhartha’s right of doing, yet with the touch of a fingertip to the ground, she vanished and left him to continue his path to enlightenment. Finally, his mediation reached the deepest level and the universe became clear, he became the enlightened one, the Buddha. However, Mara returned for one last time and spoke of one last temptation; she tried to convince the Buddha that no one would listen or follow him, but he quickly rejected this notion.
Buddhism is a branch off of Hinduism, however, the traditional structure is the difference between these two religions. The Buddha wanted a path to enlightenment that did away with...

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