4-1: An Investigation of Introductory Buddhism and Daoism Rabin Chaulagain HUMN218-Q3WW
Franklin University Professor Omar Alomari
16th June, 2013
1. Review and answer the five questions below. Your answers must be typed, double-spaced, and grammatically correct. Each of the five answers should be approximately 3/4 to 1-1/2 pages in length and will be worth up to 10 points each. a. Discuss the lives of Siddhartha Gautama and Laozi as they relate to their ultimate religious views. Answer: Siddhartha Gautama was the first Buddhist monk. Siddhartha was born into a very wealthy family in the Himalayan foothills in Nepal. A fortune teller predicted that he would either grow to be a great leader or a “great holy man”. But his parents wanted him to grow to indulge in their lavish lifestyle, so they constantly surrounded him in decadent luxuries in order to discourage him from pursuing a life as a holy man. One day, Siddhartha’s curiosity peaked and he escaped the palace. While exploring the outside world, he experienced direct view of how unhappy life could be. He witnessed old age, sickness, and death. Also, while he was following his curiosity, he saw a holy man who was happy and at peace. The sights of this man lead him to forsake his family and the palace to “become a wandering mendicant”. When Siddhartha left the palace, he first studied under teachers who followed regimes of intense fasting and self-mortification. He rejected those teachers and realized that the only way to obtain salvation was through meditation, and that the meditation would only work if there were no physical distractions and discomforts. One night, after much meditation, Siddhartha finally broke free from the barriers of attachment. He became enlightened and awakened. This is how he got his title, Buddha. Buddha means “the enlightened one.” From that point in his life forward, Buddha knew that in order to be happy, he must live without any form of attachment. Unhappiness was caused by having many attachments. During his career as a monk, Buddha spent his time wandering from place to place teaching his enlightenment and Noble Truths to many people. The most basic and most imperative belief of Buddhists all over the world relies on Buddha’s teaching of "The Four Noble Truths". This provides man with the fundamental thought and awareness of suffering and shows how suffering can be avoided in order to obtain true happiness and enlightenment. The four noble truths are: 1) Life is Suffering – Dukkha
2) The Cause of Suffering is Attachment –Tanha
3) To free oneself of suffering, one must be free attachment. 4) To be free of attachment one follows the Middle Way of the Eight Fold Path Buddhism is not just a religion to some; many consider it a philosophy. It is a way of thinking about the world, or a way of leading a more ethical life asking us to reconsider our usual preconceptions of what is meant by religion. It deals with the truths which go entirely beyond the merely rational, unfolding a transcendental vision of reality which altogether surpasses all our usual categories of thought. Likewise, Laozi is a major figure in Chinese philosophy whose historical existence is debated. Chinese tradition states that he lived in the 6th century BC but many modern scholars claim that he may have lived in approximately the 4th century BC, during the Hundred Schools of Thought and Warring States Period (475-221BC). He is credited with writing the seminal Taoist work, the Dao De Jing, and became a popular deity in the Taoist religion's pantheon. Little is known about Laozi's life. His historical existence is strongly debated, as is his authorship of the Dao De Jing....
References: Fronsdal, G. (n.d). Rituals in buddhism. Retrieved from http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/books-articles/articles/rituals-in-
Laozi. (n.d). Retrieved from http://www.chinaculture.org/gb/en_madeinchina/2005-09/27/content_73460_2.htm
Molly, M. (1942). Experiencing the world 's religion. (5th ed., pp. 124-234). New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies.
The dalai lama 's biography. (n.d). Retrieved from http://www.savetibet.org/resource-center/dalai-lama/the-dalai-lamas-biography
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