There are various religions in the world which people follow for their spiritual quest. Buddhism is one of the religions and disciplines that some groups of people adhere. Buddhism branched out from Hinduism that is considered as the reformation movement of the religion. The founder of Buddhism is Siddharta Gautama who was born in the warrior caste of India known as the Shakya clan (“Background of Gautama and Buddhism”, 2008). Born in leisure and luxury, Siddharta was shielded from the harsh realities of life and the suffering in life.
One day when Siddharta made his rare trips outside the palace, he saw an old man, a sick man and a dead man which was his first encounter and witness personally the suffering of human life (Burns, 2009). After the mentioned experience, he decided to seek the truth that was hidden from him his whole life.
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He tried to attain the truth through the supervision of the Brahmin priests but he was disillusioned by the teachings of Hinduism. His self-mortification brought him closer to death instead of enlightenment (“Background of Gautama and Buddhism”, 2008).
He decided to take a new path in search of enlightenment. He dedicated his life in meditation as he sat under a fig tree known as the Bodhi tree or the tree of wisdom. Through this, he attained the highest degree of consciousness referred to as Nirvana. Siddharta surpass the challenges and temptations and attained enlightenment. He was known to have found the way to escape the cruel causality of samsara or the cycle of rebirths. He also discovered the Four Noble Truths or the wisdom of Realization.
Siddharta Gautama was known as the “enlightened one” as he found the answers on various life’s questions and why there is the existence of pain and suffering (“Background of Gautama and Buddhism”, 2008). One of the teachings of Buddhism is the samsara or the cycle of rebirths and the never-ending journey. It is described as the process of continuous birth, growing old, suffering and death (Buddhism Teacher, 2008). Samsara is a Sanskrit word for “journeying”. In Buddhism, as well as in other religions such as Hinduism and Jainism, samsara is defined as the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
Samsara is sometimes depicted as the opposite of Nirvana. However, in Mahayana school of Buddhism, Nirvana and Samsara are viewed as mental representations that a person appreciates the true nature of the world (O’Brien, 2009). Many people perceive samsara as a place, instead, it is a process to keep creating worlds and how people will move into the world. The worlds we create are associated with suffering from the date of our birth up to our adulthood (Bhikku, 2002). Samsara is the continuous life cycle of a person. It is believed that people are being born again as another person or entity.
In India, some people are believed to be born in another caste or in another life situation. Samsara is also associated with Karma which is also another teaching in Buddhism wherein the life situation or the present existence of a person is based on the past life events. Karma explains to us the concept of cause and effect and helps us understand the idea of samsara. It explains to us in understanding interdependency, interconnectedness and unity (Buddhism Teacher, 2008). Karma is also taught in other religions like Hinduism that explains the punishment on the sins committed on the past life.
It explains why some people are born in better life situations that the others. Some people believed that when they have done good in their present life, they will be rewarded in their future life. Buddhism is one of the religions that attempt to explain the worldly views and questions that concerns life’s sufferings and reincarnation. Buddhism incorporates the attainment of enlightenment or realization of the truth in life that will enable us to fully understand the ongoing events and our current life’s situation.
Buddhism relates to the people of various social classes who follow an esteemed and righteous path for spiritual wellness. References Background of Gautama and Buddhism. (2008). Let Us Reason Ministries. Retrieved May 22, 2009, from Bhikku, T. (2002). Samsara. Esolibris. Retrieved May 22, 2009, from Burns, M. G. (2009). Archangels Wisdom. Retrieved May 22, 2009, from Buddhism Teacher. (2008). Samsara. Retrieved May 22, 2009, from O’Brien, B. (2009). Samsara. About. com. Retrieved May 22, 2009, from