Philosophy of Buddhism
Buddhism originated in India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE. Based on the teachings of the Buddha, or “the Enlightened One,” Buddhism is a philosophy concerned with how to live in order to relieve suffering and unhappiness in this life, and to ultimately release the soul from the cycle of rebirth into a permanent heaven, called Nirvana.
The great teacher known as the Buddha was born as a prince in India. The first time he was exposed to sickness, old age, and death, he left his rich life and meditated under a Bodhi tree for 40 days. When he awoke, he began teaching others about how to lead their lives with greater compassion in order to reach an eternal state free of suffering.
There are four “Noble Truths” that form the basis of Buddhism: temporary things cause suffering, coveting temporary things keeps souls trapped in a cycle of rebirth, not coveting temporary things releases souls into a permanent heaven, and the way to learn to stop coveting is by following Buddha’s teachings of the “Noble Eightfold Path.”
The Noble Eightfold Path includes the traits commonly translated as: right mind, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. In general, these factors include many sub-teaching and specific tenets, but they focus on becoming more knowledgeable as a path to enlightenment, acting in a conscientious way to alleviate suffering in the world, and deep meditation to connect with the unknown and unseen spiritual reality.
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