Buddhism Worldview

Essay by snswitherUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, September 2007

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Buddhism is a religion that dates back over 2500 years. Buddhism is the religion of awakening and enlightenment. The Buddha taught his followers to find strength and end suffering by looking within ones self.

HistoryBuddhism’s history began with the birth of the Buddha (the enlightened one) around 563BC in Kapilavastu in the foothills of the Himalayans. According to legends the birth of the Buddha was the result of a dream his mother, Queen Mahamaya, had in which a white elephant entered her right side impregnating her through Immaculate Conception (Fisher, 2002). Mahamaya was to travel to her father’s kingdom to give birth; however, during the journey her labor started and she gave birth to her son. The Queen returned home and died seven days later (Boeree, 1999). The son was named Siddhartha Guatama, Siddhartha meaning wish fulfilled. At the time of his birth it was predicted by a Brahmin seer that Siddhartha would rule over all of India, but only if he were sheltered from the reality of death and suffering; otherwise, he would renounce his position to become an enlightened spirit spreading his knowledge to the world (Gach, 2004).

Siddhartha’s father, King Shuddhodana, was a wealthy ruler of the Kshatriyas caste. As a result of the prediction, the king; wanting his son to inherit his kingdom, kept Siddhartha from the reality of death and sickness by surrounding him in a lavish palace full of beauty and youth (Fisher, 2002). During this time he married a young princess, Yashodhara, from a neighboring kingdom. The young couple soon gave birth to a son, Rahula (Boeree, 1999).

The luxury of the palaces could not content the young prince and he soon grew curious of the world outside. He demanded to be able to see the people of the kingdom. In fear that...