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Buddha And His Sermon

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Hindu Kshatriya, who was warned by "Brahman soothsayers", let his son leave home to live among the seekers of the forest. His son was Gotama Siddhartha, known to most historians as Buddha. What is said to be Buddha's first sermon was delivered briefly after his enlightenment. The sermon contains what eventually becomes the way of life for people who follow the Buddhist religion; the four noble truths, the eightfold path, and the middle way. Since Siddhartha was so sheltered from reality, he set out on a journey to find out where he would fit in his life, and through this he became extremely enlightened.

Siddhartha questioned many things on his daily adventures in the park. Why people aged, why people died, why some pursued religious beliefs, and why illness fell on certain people. He asked himself what these people have done to deserve these things. The raja did not like the fact that his son was feeling sorrow for these people. From then on he made sure that Siddhartha was surrounded with only blissful sights. The raja figured if he kept seeing these things, he would never want to become a ruler. Throughout this story it seemed as though Siddhartha lived, until this point, a very unrealistic life. (Reilly, 164)

In Siddhartha's journey he witnessed a man with a yellow robe, and no hair. The charioteer explained to him that he was a very religious man and valued everything in life. He then went home and shaved off all of his hair and wore a yellow robe. (Reilly, 171) The people were outraged that the prince took these actions, and thought it was foolish; because by doing these things did not make him religious. Siddhartha became known as Gotama the Bodhisat. All he wanted was to find a way for people to escape their sufferings and misfortunes. Siddhartha then started becoming enlightened on his journey to become religious.

The real meaning of Buddhist thought involved the following; four noble truths, the eightfold path and the middle way. The four noble truths contained four statements of logic. Stating that life is sorrow, sorrow is the result of selfish desire, selfish desire can be destroyed, and it can be destroyed by following the eightfold path. The eightfold path is eight steps to a peaceful mind. The eight steps included right views, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. The middle way was in-between the two extremes of the pursuit of pleasure and the pursuit of pain. (Reilly, 173)

Saying that life is sorrow means that during life, it would not be possible to live a completely happy life. The second truth, that sorrow is a selfish desire is basically saying that because all people want to be happy, they become selfish when things do not go their way.



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