Реферат: Buddhism And Death Essay Research Paper Does

Buddhism And Death Essay, Research Paper

?Does Anything Survive Death?? The Buddha, already enlightened and therefore

having reached the state of Nirvana, taught and explained many concepts and

principles to his students. He was released from the life cycle, which every

individual should seek to escape. He said that in order to be released from the

torture of reincarnation, one must cease to desire, for it is the failure to

fulfill one?s desires that causes one?s misery. He also explained that

possessions and material things are all a delusion. Since people are not born

with belongings and do not die with them, they are not really belongings, but

only burdens. Even the body itself is not owned by the mind inhabiting it,

because it dies and decomposes as the soul goes on. The body could be looked at

as the prison of illness, because there is a very fine line between health and

sickness. The mind however is eternal, with thoughts and feelings. In modern

society, the mind is not developed; it is polluted and requires training. Once

one attains control of the mind, one also attains control of the body and

speech. Then, the truth will become apparent. What becomes apparent is one?s

true essence. One?s true essence is Buddha: everyone has the potential to

become Buddha. In the present state of ignorance, however, people have developed

a false sense of self. ?According to the teachings of the Buddha, the idea of

self is an imaginary, false belief which has no corresponding reality, and it

produces harmful thoughts of ?me? and ?mine?, selfish desire, craving,

attachment, pride, egoism, and other defilements, impurities, and

problems??(Seven Dilemmas in World Religion) It is these unconscious

assumptions and false information about reality that cause people to become

selfish and self centered, therefore neglecting the fact that all people are

actually pure energy and pure awareness. People need to realize that they are

living in a state of constant mental evolution and should focus on achieving

egolessness. With the withdrawal from the normal concerns of worldly existence

and the elimination of ?I? comes enlightenment, which is the ultimate goal

of every Buddhist. Buddhists believe there is no life and no death, however,

there is duality. When the body dies, the mind goes on. Consciousness, which is

always enlightenment, also survives the physical death. Everything is an

illusion and is going to disappear, whereas impermanence is reality. One?s

true identity is Buddha. ?Buddha is a state of mind that has no obscuration of

the truth.? Buddhists tend to visualize the process of reincarnation, or the

life cycle itself as either a river or an ocean of birth and death. This river

is the unexplored aspect of life, which needs to be crossed in order to reach

the ?incomparably wonderful?(The Hungry Tigress) enlightenment. The Buddha

is the vehicle by which this river is crossed. It transports one from dukkha, or

suffering to the other side ?endowed with hundreds of virtues, full of such

qualities as trance and wisdom, immaculate, free from all substrata, changeless

and without sorrow.?(?The Hungry Tigress?) Since Buddhism stemmed from

Hinduism, the beliefs of the two religions concerning the cycle of life and

death are very similar. Hindus also look at the cycle of samsara as a river.

Hindus believe that when one reaches the river, one admits that there are some

things that are not yet understood. In contrast, a Buddhist says, ?we dare to

go where others do not go?, upon reaching the river. Buddhists believe that it

is where people are afraid to go, is what suffering comes from. People are the

cause of their own suffering; however, they can control and manipulate their

karma. Hindus, on the other hand, accept karma as a given. Since it is both good

and bad karma that determines the quality of the next incarnation, this is an

important difference in the two belief systems. However, both Buddhists and

Hindus agree on the belief that the last thought at the moment of death

determines the character of the next incarnation. Buddhists and Hindus agree

that individuals who have lived virtuous lives will achieve Nirvana and

individuals who have developed a karmic pull will be drawn again to rebirth. An

opposite perspective on life and death can be found in Christianity as in most

other western religions. The belief in God as a creator and maintainer of human

life does not allow for reincarnation. Since God is also a judge, He is the one

who looks at one?s good and bad deeds and judges accordingly. With the

possibility of forgiveness of all of one?s sins, many people interpret this as

an excuse for wrongdoing. Whereas in Buddhism, one is responsible for one?s

own karma and is therefore responsible for one?s own future incarnation or

possible release from samsara. The Christian belief in heaven and hell is also

very contrasting to Buddhist belief. Although heaven is mentioned in relation

with Bodhisattvas, it is not such a clear interpretation of a physical place as

it is in Christianity. Christians believe that both their soul and their body

end up in either heaven or hell after death. In contrast, Buddhists believe that

there is an immense difference between the physical body and the soul, or

conscience in that body. There are very few similarities in these two religions,

especially with the question of what happens after death. In Buddhism, the

concept of reincarnation of the soul is difficult to grasp for some, however

karma is present in every religion, only in different forms. Since it is karma

that determines one?s ultimate destiny, it is very important to understand

what has to be done, not only to reach Nirvana, but also to become a better

person in this life. One very important lesson taught by Buddha is that

everything is guru. Life and everything in it should be used as a teacher to

attain control of mind, body, and speech. People are in a relationship with

everyone and everything and should therefore be calm, flexible, aware, and in

control of themselves. The Buddhist principles of reincarnation and what has to

be done to reach Nirvana are useful to anyone in the present and could make

anyone a better person altogether.

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