Master of Buddhism Final Essay
By Rev. Patricia Buben
The term "Buddha" means enlightened one. Buddha was a young prince who was born in Nepal around 563 B.C. His real name was Siddhartha Gautama. There were prophecies about Siddhartha. If he stayed within the palace, he would be great leader; if he left the palace, he would become a holy man. Because holy men were poor and often became beggars, Siddhartha's father kept him within the palace. At the age of 29, Siddhartha left the palace because he felt there was something missing in his life and could no longer bear to see the suffering in the world. By the age of 35, Siddhartha became enlightened under the Bodhi tree, where he meditated and has been known as the Buddha from that time.
Buddha's compassion is very similar to the ten commandments. These are the things that he taught himself to avoid:
- The killing of any living creature so that he might attain a long life
- The sin of stealing because he wished everyone to have everything they need
- The sin of adultery; he wanted all people to know the blessedness of a pure spirit and not suffer from insatiable desires
- All deception, he wanted all people to know the tranquility of mind that would follow in speaking the truth
- Double-talk; he wanted all people to know the joy of fellowship.
- Abusing others; he wished that all might have the serene mind that would follow by living at peace with others
- Idle talk; he wished that all might know the blessedness of sympathetic understanding.
- Greed; and by this virtuous act he wanted all people to know the peacefulness that would go with this freedom
- Anger as he wanted all people to love one another
- Ignorance; he wanted all people to understand and not disregard the law of causation.
- Thus Buddha's compassion embraces all people, and his constant consideration is for their happiness. He loves people as parents love their children and he wishes the highest blessedness for them, namely, that they will be able to pass beyond this ocean of life and death
Like Jesus, the Buddha was a man of parables and this is how he taught his disciples. The system of religion that has developed as a part of the Buddhist practice include the elements of the eight-fold path:
Right Understanding – approaching everything with a positive attitude or joy
Right Intention – a commitment to mental and ethical self-improvement
Right Speech – being careful of the words we speak
Right Action – behaving in ways that do not harm others
Right Livelihood – earning a living honestly
Right Effort – using diligence, perseverance and exertion
Right Mindfulness – pay attention to what we are doing when we are doing it
Right Concentration – meditation
In summary, living according to the Buddhist teachings will help to bring serenity, through ethical behavior, compassion and respect for all life. The teacher can only bring you so far, the student must apply this knowledge in order to raise his or her own consciousness.
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