A path to spiritual discovery

903 Words Jul 16th, 2018 4 Pages
As Madhu Bazaz Wangu indicates, Buddhism is a path to spiritual discovery (8). Being Buddhism, a non-theistic religion, their disciples follow the monotheistic doctrine demonstrating they believe in only one deity. Siddhartha Gautama, mostly known as Buddha––the enlightened––, is the one deity Buddhists believe in. As Wangu writes, Siddhartha practiced severe self-denial and meditation before he could reach Nirvana (state of mind that ends the path of suffering) (8). Siddhartha came to the conclusion that in order to reach Nirvana one should be able to eliminate desire by doing right and thinking right. This could be done by following the Dharma (the law of Buddhism). Because the Buddha never wrote down any of his teachings, his disciples …show more content…
Because Shunyata teaches that everything is independent, and that only understanding this concept will allow to eliminate disturbing emotions in order to reach Nirvana, it is the primordial philosophy in Mahayana. Shunyata can be realized by purification, practice of ethics, and single-pointed concentration; this will allow the individual to understand him/her self as an independent I. Moreover, it allows realizing that society does not shape an individual, but an individual shapes his/her self by comprehending shunyata. Even though Mahayana Buddhists believe in Buddha, they believe in a different form of Buddha; Bodhisattva––Being of Wisdom. As Heinrich Dumoulin points out, a Bodhisattva is an enlightened Buddhist monk who delays Nirvana in order to help other people obtain release from the path of suffering. Mahayana Buddhists believe that Buddha had been a Bodhisattva in his past lives before he was born as Siddartha Gautama. Apart from showing compassion, a bodhisattva also plays a sacrificial role just as any other deity in order to help the latest individual to obtain nirvana. Being a savior, a bodhisattva practices the Six Virtues, or Paramitas to gain merit for humankind. According to Wangu, the Six Virtues are, the perfection of giving (dana), the perfection of morality (sila), the perfection of patience (santi), the perfection of courage (virya), the perfection of meditation (dhyana), and the perfection of wisdom
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