Buddhism: Gautama Buddha and Eightfold Path Essay

Submitted By lilkimmieg
Words: 900
Pages: 4

Buddhism is possibly the oldest religion. The word Buddha means enlightened one.
Siddhartha Gautama is the main figure in this religion. The time of his birth and death are not certain. Recent claims are that his birth would have been somewhere around 563 BCE and his death from 486 to 483 BCE. His teachings are thought to have initially been memorized by his followers and passed down first by word of mouth. His writings were thought to have been written down about 400 years later. Dharma has more than one meaning. It can be loosely translated to mean protection. It is from ancient writing called Sanskrit and doesn’t have an exact translation to English. The more in depth meaning is that it is an individual’s responsibility towards selfless duty, parents, family, society, environment and humanity. Dharma is a very important concept to Buddhists. Everyone and everything has a dharma. A child’s dharma is to obey their parents. An adult will have a different dharma and an older adult may have another dharma. The earth’s dharma is to rotate and the sun’s dharma is to shine. Through meditation one can focus on their own dharma. Dharma is perhaps the most important part of Buddhism. It is very important to find ones purpose and follow the appropriate path. When you follow the right path then you will be closer to finding true enlightenment. Peace can only be found within and not from external development or material things. Dharma is everything around us and within us. The eightfold path is the way to end suffering and reach nirvana. The eightfold path consists of rules that one must follow to be enlightened. They are the right understanding, the right thought, the right speech, the right actions, the right effort, the right concentration, the right livelihood, and the right mindfulness. The eightfold path is divided into three sections. The first section is wisdom and the first path is the right view. This means to see things for what they really are. The next path is the right intention. This means dedication to mental self improvement. The second group of paths regards ethical conduct. The third path is the right speech. This means that one should only speak the truth and their speech should always be positive. The fourth path is the right actions. This refers to being kind and compassionate. The last group of paths is mental development. The fifth path is the right livelihood. This just means that one should earn a living the righteous way and the legal way. The sixth path is the right effort. This states that one should have positive mental energy. The seventh path says that one should actively observe and control their own thoughts. The last path is regarding concentration. It suggests that meditation is helpful in achieving this goal. The mind should be able to wholly focus on one thing. The eightfold path is their written rules of their religion. They are equivalent to Christianities’ ten commandments. It is a guide for freeing oneself from worldly attachments. One must follow the eightfold path to reach true enlightenment. True enlightenment is the goal for Buddhists. There are four noble truths in Buddhism. The first truth is that life means suffering because we are not perfect and neither is the world around us. The second truth is the origin of suffering is attachment to the physical world. The third truth is that the cessation of suffering is