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Buddhist concept of the nature of things, people, the world, and nirvana - Essay Example

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Buddhist concept of the nature of things, people, the world, and nirvana

During Samsara, living beings continuously face pain and suffering because of the wrong doings of the previous life. As long as a living being continues to commit sins and do bad, it creates reasons for rebirth and thus the cycle continues till self-recognition which ultimately leads to enlightenment and nirvana. In Buddhism rebirth is considered as a continuous process and each subsequent rebirth takes place within one of the five realsms based on the karmas performed by the living being. Naraka being is the worst of all and people who are born as Naraka beings are bound to live in hell during that particular life. Another form of birth is Preta or the ghost-form. Being a human being is considered as the only type of life in which the attainment of final enlightenment and thus Nirvana is possible. Being an animal or a Deva (spirit or angel) are also forms of life which can be achieved after rebirth. Mahayana teachings have presented a sixth form of life after rebirth in which a person can be reborn as a demon or titan, this form is called Asura. A formless realm, ‘arupa dhatu’ can only be achieved by the people who can meditate with intense depth (Smith and Novak). The whole concept of Samsara, the cycle of suffering and rebirth is based on Karma is the Sanskrit word for the actions and deeds performed by a person in this world. The future life of the person after rebirth is based on the Karma performed by him during the present life. Buddhism gives a lot of importance to the impact of actions of a person on the surrounding people and environment and thus Karma is referred to those deeds and actions which are intentionally committed and have certain consequences on the individual and the surroundings. A person is supposed to receive a ‘Phala’ or fruit for his Karmas. There is a difference of opinion about Karma in the Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism with the later presenting the strict version of the two (Conze). According to Theravada Buddhism, a person is responsible for his Karma and will receive reward or punishment for his bad or good Karmas but a Karma once committed is attributed to a person and there is no way in which the punishment can be avoided. However Mahayana presents a softer ideology and according to Mahayana texts, the negativity of bad Karmas can be obliterated by reciting the specific Mantras (McGovern). The reality of life is explained by the Four Noble Truths which were the first teachings of Gautama Buddha. The life of a person always leads to sufferings in one way or the other because of the cravings of living beings which never end. Ending the cravings is the only way in which a living being can put an end to the sufferings and achieve liberation from the circle of life. Ending the carvings and achieving liberation is possible by following the Noble Eightfold Path as guided by Gautama Buddha. The Eightfold Path is based on finding out the actual reality of things which is in most cases different from the apparent form. A person who wishes to achieve Nirvana should be pure in his intensions, truthful in his dealings and harmless in his actions. By virtue of his existence, a person is bound to commit sins and bad Karma because he cannot control his mind (Keown). Meditation is the only way in which complete mind control can be exercised by making a sincere effort to improve the mindset and thinking. Samadhi is the correct way of meditating with clear consciousness and awareness about the reality of life ...Show more

Summary

According to the people who practice Buddhism, it is an organized practical understanding of true nature of things. Buddha defined the nature of things and the world during his pursuit of truth and thus put forward a way of living which was considered to be of a much higher level than morality (Harvey)…
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Buddhist concept of the nature of things, people, the world, and nirvana essay example
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