What is the path to enlightenment?
Buddhist statue on Landau Island in Japan.
The Sanskrit word for enlightenment is "bodhi," which means "awakened." But awakened to what? What is there to be awakened to? Enlightenment can be defined as the cessation or ending of dukkha. The English translation of dukkha that most translation books use is suffering; although this is highly debatable and dukkha means lots of things to lots of people. But when the word enlightenment is used by practicing Buddhists, what they’re saying is that they have the full realization of the true teachings of the Buddha. Throughout this paper, we will draw from three cultural regions and highlight similarities they share with each other and agreements they share on how enlightenment can be reached. For this assignment I choose to compare Module 1, 4, and 5, and show how they are similar.
Siddhartha Gautama was born in 563BC in Lumbini Nepal. He was born into wealth and whose mother died seven days after his birth. He was raised by the king’s second wife; his aunt. It is said that a holy man looked over the baby and predicted that he would unite India or become a high political or a religious figure. Fearing this, his father, the king, shielded him from all ugliness, old people, and disease. He eventually married at 16 years old and had a son. This is when the story of the four encounters has significance. The first night he saw an old hunched over man, and discovered old age. On the second night he saw a man suffering from a disease. On the third night he witnessed a funeral procession and a corpse. The fourth night he met a wandering monk who had an inner...
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