I thought I’d give a brief introduction into the religion of Buddhism, I think it’s important to understand the different religions across the world you’ll come into counter with and as a young woman, it’s important to know the different religions for multiple reasons:
- You’re more educated of all the worldly religions, thus you’re more educated
- You’re empowered to choose what religion is “right” for you, if you decide to be religious
- You’re culturally accepting of other people’s behaviors and traditions if you know a little of their background
The way Buddhism was founded is actually pretty cool, there was this son of a very wealthy man in India, named Siddhartha Gautama. Growing up and through young adulthood, Siddhartha lived a very flamboyant lifestyle, but he soon came to boredom of his indulgent life, and he began wandering the world searching for meaning—probably the meaning of life, as many of us do. Whilst wandering Siddhartha came across a dead body, a diseased stricken man and an ascetic (a person who practices strict self-discipline from abstaining from the normal pleasures of life). Through this life-changing encounter, he gave up his royal title as well as all of his material possessions to become a monk, and to seeking to further understand the world about him.
Would you do something like what Siddhartha did? Give up all of your materialistic possessions to lead a simple, possession free life?
One day, after a long time of searching, he finally comprehended how to be free from the suffering, and found salvation—through this enlightenment, he became known as Buddha, which means “Enlightened One”. He then lived the rest of his life travelling throughout India, teaching others.
Buddha taught The Four Noble Truths:
- The Truth of Suffering
- The Cause of Suffering
- The End of Suffering
- The Path that Leads to the End of Suffering
Buddha did not mean to intend a negative-connotation of the world, but a more realistic view of the world, and how to try to change it. Attaining to the idea that there is suffering in the world, there is a cause for it, but there is an end to suffering, and the cause will bring about its end. Buddha acknowledges that pleasure is unappeasable—a recurring problem, which can never be appeased. One will search and search for it, only to never be fully satisfied.
What do you think of Buddha’s theory of pleasure? Can it be attained and kept? On the other hand, once you attain pleasure, then you want more pleasure, flowing into a vicious cycle.
Furthermore, Buddha has a similar concept of happiness—stating that in the end, only aging, sickness, and death are definite.
I want to continue the story of Buddhism next week, and I hope that this week’s post makes you reflect and contemplate the purpose of life, as Buddha did so long ago.
PS check out www.onequay.org