what are the core beliefs of buddhism? how do buddhists view craving?

Essay by kheziaHigh School, 11th gradeA, February 2013

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"Craving is like a great tree with branches. There are branches of greed, bad thoughts and of anger. The fruit of the tree of craving is suffering, but how does the tree of craving grow? Where can we find it? The answer, says the Buddha, is that the tree of craving has its roots in ignorance. It grows out of ignorance, and its seeds fall and flourish whenever they find ignorance."

After the Buddha learnt that suffering (or Dukkha ) was an unavoidable part of life, he realised that he could find a way to end the suffering, by first finding what causes it; much like a doctor analyses the symptoms of his patient before making a diagnosis and giving them the appropriate prescription to cure their illness. Buddhists hold many beliefs, the most important being the Four Noble Truths and the Three Marks of Existence, with these beliefs they hope to give up craving and finally escape the cycle of rebirth, or Samsara, and reach Nirvana, or enlightenment.

As with most religions, Buddhism contains many analogies to explain the religious ideology behind the practise; by likening craving, and all its roots and consequences, to a tree, it makes an otherwise rather abstract thesis, simple and understandable.

Buddhism teaches of the Three Marks of Existence;

Annica : all things are constantly changing

Anatta : there is no permanent self

Dukkha : Suffering

And of the four noble truths:

Dukkha : The truth of suffering

Samudaya : The truth of the origin of suffering

Niroda : The truth of the cessation of suffering

Magga: The truth of the path to cessation of suffering

All of these beliefs are all centred on the notion of suffering, or Dukkha, and explore its many aspects. If craving was indeed a tree,