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Buddhism 3

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Buddhism 3


Buddhism is probably the most tolerant religion in the world, as its teachings can coexist with any other religion's. However, this is not a characteristic of other religions. The Buddhist teaching of God is neither agnostic nor vague, but clear and logical. Buddhism was created by Siddhartha Gautama, who was born in the sixth century B.C. in what is now modern Nepal. Siddhartha grew up living the extravagant life of a young prince. His father was Suddhodana and was the ruler of the Sakya people. According to custom, he married a young girl named Yasodhara at the age of sixteen. His father had ordered that he live a life of total seclusion, but one day Siddhartha ventured out into the world and was confronted with the harsh reality of life and universal suffering. At age twenty-nine, he left his kingdom and new-born son to lead a plain, reclusive life and determine a way to relieve this universal suffering. Siddhartha meditated under a bodhi tree for six years, but he was never fully satisfied. One day, however, he was offered a bowl of rice from a young girl and he accepted it. At that moment, he realized that physical harshness was not a means of achieving liberation. From then on, he encouraged people to follow a path of balance rather than extremism. He called this path the Middle Way.

"Devotion to the pleasures of sense, a low

practice of villagers, a practice unworthy, unprofitable, the way of the world [on one

hand]; and [on the other] devotion to self- mortification, which is painful, unworthy and unprofitable. By avoiding these two extremes

the Tathagata [or Buddha] has gained knowledge

of that middle path which giveth vision, which

giveth knowledge, which causeth calm, special knowledge, enlightenment, Nibbana [or Nirvana]." (Smart 236)

That night, Siddhartha sat under the bodhi tree and meditated until dawn. He purified his mind of all evil thoughts and attained Enlightenment at the age of thirty-five, thus earning the title Buddha, or "Enlightened One." For the re-

mainder of his eighty years, the Buddha preached the dharma in an effort to help other people also reach Enlightenment. The Buddha objectively examined the phenomena of life. Studying effects and tracing their causes, he produced a science of living which ranks with any other science known to man. He described life to be one and indivisible. Man, he declared, can become Buddha, Enlightened, by the principle of Enlightenment within. This process is simply to become what you are, to develop to the full innate Buddha-Mind by destroying the ignorance, sin, and evils of human nature. According to the Buddha, all forms of life can be shown to have three characteristics in

common; impermanence, suffering, and an absence of a permanent soul which separates itself from other forms of life. The Buddha also pointed out that nothing is the same as it was only a moment ago. Everyone and everything are constantly changing. There ...

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Keywords: buddhism 3 poisons, buddhism 3 jewels, buddhism 3 main beliefs, buddhism 3 universal truths, buddhism 3 major beliefs, buddhism 3 marks of existence, buddhism 3 beliefs, buddhism 3 facts

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