The Teachings Of The Buddha Essay

1452 Words Dec 8th, 2015 null Page
It does not seem right to think that the dog I walk, feed, and potty trained could be one of my ancient relatives. In our Christian household I was raised on teachings that stated the opposite because that was simply what the Bible said. I was taught that when I face death, my body remains mortal and decomposes here on earth, and my soul would continue on to either an eternity of torture, or in paradise if I have proven my trust in our savior, God. This doctrine would be considered exclusivism or judegementalism. However, in the face of Buddhism, such ideas are feuded. Siddhartha Gautama, the supreme Buddha, taught that there is no established heaven or hell as viewed by Christians, but rather a rebirth into another body or the achievement of Nirvana. To clearly understand either of these ideals taught by the Buddha, the meanings must be explored. The Sanskrit term, Samsāra, literally means “continuous movement” which is based upon the idea that consciousness amongst one’s body simply carries on to the next life after death, such as a “stream of consciousness.” The Buddha further explains this idea through the anatta doctrine, which states there is no permanent, underlying substance amongst humans that can be called the soul. Based on this no-soul anatta doctrine, the Buddha described this process of passing consciousness through the metaphor of lighting candles using the flames from the proceeding candles. Each of the flames are connected to the flame that came…

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