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Hum 130 Buddhism Final Project Essay

2085 words - 9 pages


Traci Gentry

Hum 130


Buddhism is a path one chooses to take and it is not considered a religion. Buddhism is about experiencing the right of life through enlightenment. Meditation is the way of life for a Buddhist; anyone can learn meditation and experience great beliefs. The story of Buddhism begins with Siddhartha Gautama.
Siddhartha Gautama was born in Lumbini, approximately 2,500 years ago. He was said to have been born to a royal family and kept in the confines of his royalty. He lived with fine clothes, white umbrellas for shade, a mansion for each season, and a harem of dancing girls. His father the King kept Siddhartha from seeing the “four sights”. ...view middle of the document...

Some believe that having a son is necessary to perform their funeral rites so that they have a good afterlife. Buddhist however does not support this action, but they do believe that karma is responsible for the sex of the child. Neither a father, nor a mother can determine the sex of a child, only the child itself can. Siddhartha taught the law of karma and one is responsible for one’s actions. From history in the past it is learned that being married, the couple was interdependent on one another and they did not show their affection for one another publically. Instead they had a deep understanding respect for each other. Siddhartha stated that if couples would follow his advice to fulfill duties to each other that such things as a divorce would never happen. Divorce cases in Buddhism are very rare.
The process beyond basic meditation requires the faith of three jewels. Those are Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Buddha is the Enlightened one, Dharma is the truth of teaching, and Sangha is the monastic community with the order of Buddha’s disciples. The faith of these three jewels appears to come naturally to a believer.
At the age of twenty-nine Siddhartha Gautama decided to renounce his wealth to set out on his own, and that meant leaving behind his wife and new born son. As he set out he shaved his head and wore a coarse robe. As Siddhartha set out on his journey he traveled to the southeast where he underwent six years of extreme self-denial and severe fasting. He finally realized that this path is not leading him to enlightenment. So he shifted his journey to middle way of neither self-indulgence nor self-denial. He started accepting food once again to help heal his failing body.
Siddhartha sat beneath a tree and vowed “my flesh may wither, blood may dry up. But I shall not move from this spot until enlightenment has been won”. After sitting there for 40 days, he finally attained enlightenment. As Siddhartha continued on his journey he passed through four states. As he was passing through he recalled all his previous lives and came to the realization of the cause of suffering and the means to end it. His journey continued for decades. While he was walking and teaching a group of followers, Siddhartha began to be known as “Shakyamuni Buddha”. This is why he is called Buddha today.
Buddhism is described as a nontheistic religion. There is no certain God to whom prayers can be directed. During the sermon at Deer park, which, is believed to have been his first sermon, Buddha discussed what is known as the “four noble truths”.
The first noble truth he discussed is “suffering or frustration”. We all experience things such as grief, sickness, pain and even death. We may be happy at times but happiness is not a permanent fixture. The second noble truth is “desire”. The desire to have things such as fame and fortune, and wanting things to stay the same. Having desires will lead to suffering. Buddha taught us that we do not understand the...

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