Assignment #6 - Sweta Ramachandran Chiarrucci 224 Wheeler...

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Sweta Ramachandran Chiarrucci 224 Wheeler South and Southeast Asian Studies R5A 14 November 2007 Assignment #6: Manimekalai The Manimekalai , one of the masterpieces of Tamil literature, tells the story of Manimekalai, the daughter of Kovalan and Madhavi . The epic describes how she takes up social service as the primary aim of her life and how she sacrifices her reputation for just causes . The Manimekalai is often called a ‘Buddhist narrative’ because in a landscape rich in religious beliefs, the author truly succeeds in portraying the Buddhist faith as the best . Although Buddhism is often described as a religion and a collection of various philosophies, many believe that it offers teachings to guide one to directly experiencing reality . The primary guiding principle of Buddhist practice is the practice of non-extremism – a path of moderation away from the extremes of self-indulgence and opposing self-mortification . The Buddhist scriptures teach that in life there exists sorrow and suffering that is caused by desire, and it can be brought to cessation by following the Noble Eightfold Path . This teaching is called the Four Noble Truths, which state that there is suffering, craving is the cause of suffering, there is a cessation of suffering, and there is a way leading to the cessation of suffering . The Noble Eightfold Path is the way to the cessation of suffering, the fourth part of the Four Noble Truths . This is divided into three sections: wholesome physical actions, meditative concentration of the mind, and spiritual insight into the true nature of things; Manimekalai truly embodies these moral
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values and embarks upon the journey to end this suffering . In the Manimekalai the author effectively depicts these major aspects of Buddhism through the behavior and words of the various characters . Moreover, the author explores other religions and eventually comes to the conclusion that they fail to correctly explain important facets of life and reality in general . Overall, this story examines Buddhist beliefs and establishes the credibility of Buddhism . As the story begins, Manimekalai, the most promising young dancer in the city,
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2009 for the course CHEM Chemistry taught by Professor Nitche during the Spring '08 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Assignment #6 - Sweta Ramachandran Chiarrucci 224 Wheeler...

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