A Discussion of Buddhism

Essay by BeDazzled2525College, UndergraduateA+, April 2004

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Siddhartha Gotama Buddha was a Hindu yogi during the early 6th century B.C. Unsatisfied with his religion, and the inability of its ways to help him overcome craving, he awakened to a new path, the one now called Buddhism.

Since Buddhism stems from Hinduism, they are alike in some ways. For example, both believe in the discipline of yoga, and the benefits it brings. Both believe in rebirth, although they come from different outlooks. However, for the most part they are vastly different.

Buddhism believes in no-thingness, essentially, that nothing really exists, neither this physical world, nor the spiritual. All is process, not illusion. The eight-fold path, the middle road or fulcrum between pain and pleasure, is the process of detachment that eventually leads to nirvana. Unlike Hinduism, in which Samsara is an illusion that one must see through, in Buddhism Samsara is an illusion created by the transfer of energy.

Once the energy is harnessed and extinguished by way of the eight-fold path, nirvana is reached. The fundamental problem is that of craving, which gives rise to the illusion of a phenomenal world. Samsara, or the illusion world, changes with no-thing changing, it is just successive states like each slide in a film, and all flipping by so fast it seems like a moving picture. However, in all reality, it is just a transfer of energy. Nirvana is the extinction of this transmission, the final realization of reality as no-thingness, and the release of the mind.

This path to awakening is reached by understanding what are known as the four noble truths, and by following the eight-fold path. The eight-fold path consists of right thinking, attitude, effort, action, livelihood, meditation, concentration, and mindfulness. All of this culminates in total detachment, which, in the body is paranirvana, but out of...