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Buddha Essay, Research Paper

Life and Land

Siddharta Gautama, known as Buddha, was born in northeast India. He was born

in the time period between 560 to 480 B.C. His mothers name was Maya, and his father s

name was Sudhodana. His father was a clan chieftant, who by profession was a

land-merchant. Buddha who was the only child was born into the Gautama clan of the

Sakya hill tribe in Southern Napal. His family was well to do. Buddha was a very smart

young man that excelled in all of his studies, and was a very competitive athlete.

Buddha was tired of all the death, suffering, and problems that the world had to

offer him. He wanted to find a solution to all the problems of the world. At the age of 29,

he set out on a journey search for the meaning of life. He left his family and friends to do

what he felt was right. He also wanted to reach a state of true Nirvana which, is where

you are truly enlightened about your life and the way you live it. On this journey, Buddha

encountered many different people on his quest to find the meaning of life. He went from

place to place searching for enlightenment. He found a group of people that called

themselves the Guru s. This is where he decided to start fasting. He fasted for six years

straight, only eating a few vegetables, and rice each day. After fasting for so long, he fell

sick from food deprivation. A girl from a near by village fed him a bowl of rice and helped

to nurse him back to normal. When he finally was revised, he sat on eight bundles of hay

given to him by a farmer. He meditated for one night and one day. There he reached the

stage that he called The Enlightenment. Finally, after Buddha had spent six years of his

life searching for the meaning of life he reached it at the age of 35.

He spent the rest of his life preaching and teaching in India. When Buddha was

about to die he gathered all of his followers and said, My journey nears its end, and I

have reached my sum of days, for I am nearly eighty years old. He is bascially saying that

at this moment in his life, he had followed his dreams and aspiration. Now he is ready to

face the after life.

His Major Philosophical Contribution

The philosophy of Buddha can be viewed as therapy. Most people think that

Buddha s teachings were a form of religion, which it later became, but he was less

concerned with theology or ritual. He did not want to be a god or create one. He just

wanted to provide a tool for individuals to escape suffering. The goal of this method, the

Eightfold Path, is the elimination of one s desires and one s attachment to one s self. In

other words it is right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right

livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

The basis of his teachings is called the Four Noble Truths. His truths were that all

human life is suffering, all suffering is caused by human desire, particularly the desire that

impermanent things be permanent, human suffering can be ended by ending human desire,

and desire can be ended by following the Eightfold Path. From a metaphysical standpoint,

these Noble Truths make up and derive from a single fundamental truth. It is also based

on the idea that everything in the universe is casually linked. All things are composed up

of several elements. Because all things are composite, they are all transitory. The

elements come together and then fall apart. It is this transience that causes human beings

to sorrow and to suffer. This can also be viewed as a contribution to science.

Two Major Obstacles He Overcame

Physical Through Buddha s search for the truth, he came across many

Guru s. The Gurus tried to explain life in a different way that dissatisfied Buddha. It left

him to make choices only of himself. After Buddha left the Gurus he traveled to Urubela,

where he met five self-denying beggars. He spent six years fasting and doing penance.

Their he ate only seeds and herbs or one grain of rice a day. Weakened to death, Buddha

drowned himself into unconsciousness, later to be revitalized by a bowl of rice.

If I sought to feel my belly, it was my backbone I found in my


Buddha regained a clear mind and realized asceticism was not for him.

INTELLECTUAL Buddha, at the age of 29, set out to find the meaning of

life. This process was called the Great Renunciation. He came across a Brahemic ascetic

who taught him how to remain motionless while meditating. He was also taught to deny

himself and to fast like an insect during a bad season. The Brahemanical teaching got

Buddha nowhere while on his journey. He met another Guru and was taught not to search

for the answer through senseless pain or fasting. He learned that he should not follow the

ways of others, but to seek in himself for the answer.

So, Ananda, you must be your on lamps, be your on refugees. Take

refuge in nothing out side yourselves.

How His Contribution Has Led to Useful Knowledge


Buddha was one of the most influential teachers in the world. His method at that

time was the Eightfold path which comes from wisdom, proper conduct, and proper

mental qualities. This consists of a right perspective (we cause our on suffering), right

intention (a commitment to transcend the world), right speech, right behavior, right living

(ethical purity must become a matter of habit), right effort (control of the mind), right

mindfulness (keeping the contents of consciousness under control), right meditation (a

state which one experiences perfect joy and emptiness). Buddha s main concern at the

time was finding the meaning of life. He is also searching for truth in the world. He found

that meaning of life and truth can be found in ourselves.

Buddha s teaching has influenced 4.5 billion people. People look for truth in

themselves to reach for truth in Nirvana, the state that Buddha reached. The Sangha or the

order of monks was organized through Buddha s teaching.

What Type of Philosopher is Buddha

To explain Siddhartha in ways of knowledge, he was more of an Antinomian than

anything else. Siddhartha was a dropout to society. Growing up, he blended with the rest

of his culture, but later endured this own philosophy of life. One may wonder why he did

this, or why he acted this way. In a sense, it was as if he became tired of everyday life.

After he left his family, he journeyed to find more meaning of his personality, as well as for

other people. He seeked council and advice from others, but he only found it within

himself to answer the questions he longed the truth to. Some claim he did this out of the

act of rebellion, but others say there was more of a method than that. He wanted to

improve several aspects of culture by means of self determination, not by tradition.

Siddhartha believed that a man was his own temple, an independent individual, not

someone controlled by everyday life. This belief led him to what he has become today: not

only a great philosopher, but a true man of wisdom.

Our views

In our reading, we found Buddha to be an intelligent man, but mislead as well. He

seemed to us not to have over come much intellectually. That is we found very little

difference between his ways and the ways of the other religion, Hinduism. They both

meditate and practice self-denial. The differences between them are small. Hinduism

believes in many gods or many paths to god and integrates all religions. Buddha believes in

seeking ones own salvation but he believes this must be done through the four truths and

the Eight Fold path. Today, however, people now believe in Buddhism are Hindu. That is

Buddha s followers believe he is a god or someone to take refuge in. Buddha himself

never says he is a god, he only says he has enlightenment or understanding and tells his

followers at his death Go now and diligently, seek to realize your own salvation ;

Because of this, we believe Buddha to be highly misunderstood today. Some of us also

believe that the wisdom can come from anybody and Buddha himself was mislead by

himself and did not go in the proper direction.


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