Compassion in Mahayana Buddhism

Topics: Gautama Buddha, Buddhism, Mahayana Pages: 3 (1057 words) Published: October 4, 2008
In the Mahayana Buddhism perspective compassion is an essential virtue. In a pursuit to minimize suffering and obtain inner peace, having compassion for nature, and the every other living being is a course to enlightenment due to the belief that all things are connected. Because of an unselfish perspective the belief of Mahayana Buddhism ensures that all reach enlightenment.

Buddhism is one of the world’s religions. It is based on the teachings and experience of Siddhartha Gautama who became known as the Buddha or the Awakened One. Siddhartha is the son of King Suddhodana, the leader of the Shakya tribe, his mother died shortly after his birth. Siddhartha’s father had hopes that his son would follow in his footsteps. Siddhartha lived in great luxury and was kept from the knowledge of religion and human suffering. He married at a young age and trained to become a warrior. At the age of 29 Siddhartha disobeyed his father and left the royal grounds to visit a nearby town. It was here that he learned of the suffering of ordinary life. He was shocked by what are now called the Four Passing Sites. He saw an old man and was shaken by the sings of old age. He saw a sick man who was exhausted by the burden of his illness. He also saw a corpse bring taken for cremation. Lastly, he saw a holy man who though, without possessions, seemed to be at peace. Siddhartha returned to the palace but came to realize that his life had been nothing more than a pleasant prison. One night he left this life to begin his quest for enlightenment. He rode to the edge of the palace grounds where he cut his hair, changed into plain clothes and left his horse with a servant. Siddhartha spent many years seeking answers to his questions by traveling from teacher to teacher. He learned that the teachers didn’t all agree on the answers to his questions so with the company of five followers he set out to find the answers he needed. He lived on very little food, drink and sleep with the hopes that...
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