From The Buddha - F rom The Buddha T he major world...

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From The Buddha The major world religion known as Buddhism is based on the teachings of the Buddha (Enlightened One), Siddhartha Gautama. In his book The Buddha (1983), author Michael Carrithers explores elements of the Four Noble Truths, the central principles of Buddhism, which were formulated by the Buddha in the 6th century BC . The first two of these Truths, described below, assert that suffering is inherent in existence and that desire and craving are the causes of suffering. Desire and craving derive from ignorance of the true nature of reality. From The Buddha By Michael Carrithers …[According to the Buddha] human action has moral consequences, consequences which are inescapable, returning upon one whether in this life or another. There is a fundamental moral order. One cannot steal, lie, commit adultery or 'go along the banks of the Ganges [a river in India] striking, slaying, mutilating and commanding others to mutilate, oppressing and commanding others to oppress', without reaping the consequences. There is an impersonal moral causation to which all are subjected. Misdeeds lead to misery in this life or in later lives. The Buddha's teaching was devoted to the apparently selfish purpose of self-liberation, being directed to sentient [perceptive] beings in so far as they are capable of misery and final liberation from misery. But the teaching also touched sentient beings as moral agents, as agents capable of affecting the welfare not only of themselves but of others as well. Some of his teachings seem to treat only personal liberation, others morality, but for the Buddha the two matters were always intimately and necessarily connected. The teaching most closely connected with the awakening chiefly concerns personal misery and personal liberation. This is the doctrine of the Four Noble Truths ( catt ri ā ariyasacc ni ā ) , which cover under their spacious umbrella the central tenets of Buddhism. These are phrased after the pattern of a medical diagnosis: this is the disease, these are the causes of the disease, this is the judgment of whether it is curable, this is the method of treatment. The disease is 'suffering' ( dukkha )—a condition which covers all that is meant in English by 'suffering' but more as well, and this wider sphere of meaning must be borne in mind. The first Noble Truth is that there does indeed exist the disease, suffering, and this is the Truth of Suffering. The second Noble Truth is that there are discernible causes of suffering: this is the Noble Truth of the Arising of Suffering, which contains an account of those causes. The third Noble Truth is that there is in fact a cure for suffering, and this is the Truth of the Cessation of Suffering. The fourth Noble Truth is that of the cure for suffering, the Truth of the Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering. Let us take the first Truth, that of the existence of suffering, in a form in which the Buddha is
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From The Buddha - F rom The Buddha T he major world...

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