Buddhism Afterlife

Buddhism Afterlife - 1 World Religion 110 March 25, 2008...

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World Religion 110 March 25, 2008 Buddhist Belief about the Afterlife Death is an uncomfortable topic that most people try at all costs to avoid. Yet if there is one thing that is certain in life, it is that we will all die sooner or later. There are some people who are so fearful of death that they rob themselves of positive energy. On the other hand, there are many people who make the mistake of being frivolous about death and think, “Oh well, we are all going to die anyways. Why worry about it?” That’s a nice sentiment until a person is dying. Buddhism teaches that a person has to find a balance and awareness when it comes to death. In other words, a person should not fear death nor should they have a lighthearted attitude towards it. Siddhartha Gautama, the son of King Suddhodana and Queen Maya, founded the Buddhist religion. (Srinivasan) His father ruled a small kingdom in Northern India around twenty-five hundred years ago. (Srinivasan) King Suddhodana kept Siddhartha sheltered from the misery of the world beyond the palace walls. When Siddhartha finally left the protection of the palace grounds, he was stunned to find people growing old, becoming sick, and dying. His shock led him to depart from his privileged life and go out into the world to discover why people were suffering all around him. After pursuing an assortment of Hindu spiritual practices, Siddhartha finally found his own course to enlightenment, which has come to be known as “the Middle Way” between “a life of unbridled sensuous enjoyment and a life of extreme self denial.” (Lester 855) By practicing moderation, morality, and meditation, he finally “achieved an insight by which he became known as the “Buddha” or the “Enlightened One”. (Strong) After this 1
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awakening, he continued to wander as a monk-teacher, encouraging others to follow the path he discovered to enlightenment or nirvana. Nirvana refers to the ending of all desire and it is the liberation from future rebirth, old age, and death. It is also said to be blissful, but not in any sense of worldly pleasure or, for that matter, any pleasure defined by other than the absence of suffering. (Strong) The Buddha accepted the basic Hindu doctrines of reincarnation and karma, as well as the concept that the definitive goal of the religious life is to escape the cycle of death and rebirth. (Zammit) The Buddha’s view of reincarnation or rebirth is slightly different than the traditional Hindu belief. The Buddha compared reincarnation to lighting successive candles using the flame of the preceding candle. (Buddhist Beliefs about the Afterlife) Although each flame is causally connected to the one before it, it is not the same flame. (Buddhist Beliefs about the Afterlife) Thus,
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Buddhism Afterlife - 1 World Religion 110 March 25, 2008...

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