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Discuss in as much the doctrine of Anicca is essential to the religion of Buddhism in understanding the human condition.

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Introduction

Discuss in as much the doctrine of Anicca is essential to the religion of Buddhism in understanding the human condition. The word Anicca is a household word in every Buddhist country. It means impermanence. Impermanence or change is a fundamental concept in Buddhism. According to Buddhists belief everything is impermanent. Without a realisation of impermnanence Buddhists believe there can never be any true insight through which we can see things as they really are. It is therefore necessary to discuss in as much the doctrine of Anicca is essential to the religion of Buddhism in understanding the human condition. Firstly, it is necessary to explain the link between our human condition and Anicca. The concept if Anicca is one of the "Three Marks of Existence" along with Anatta (no-self)and Dukkha (suffering.) The Buddha teaches that we can only understand Dukkha and Anatta through an understanding of Anicca. It is the knowledge of Anicca, impermanence, that heals Dukkha, suffering, and consequently leads to Nirvana (enlightenment). Buddhists believe that by understanding Anicca, we come to understand that there is no permanent entity underlying our life (Anatta). The concept of Anicca is related to Anatta when related to human beings. Buddhism centres round the belief that as nothing is permanent there can be no soul. Thus, by seeing no difference between `self' and `others' Buddhists learn to become dispassionate about things. ...read more.

Middle

From his birth onwards Prince Siddhatta's life shows the continual tension between the reality of impermanence and the desire for permanence that everyone experiences. Prince Siddhatta's mother died shortly after giving birth and he is brought up by his father and aunt who becomes his stepmother. His father's attempts to cheat impermanence are doomed to failure. As a result of Asita's prophecy he keeps Siddhatta within the palace walls and spoils him with a life of indulgence. This limits Siddhatta's experience and encourages him to crave more knowledge about life. After his escape from the palace the four sights the prince saw are the most obvious example of the impermanence of life as they illustrate the changes that old age, sickness and death cause. Also the Dhammapada explains the concept of Anicca and shows it is necessary in understanding the human condition. The Dhammapada teaches that Anicca is central to human life: "Consider this body! A painted puppet with jointed limbs, sometimes suffering and covered with ulcers, full of imaginings, never permanent, for ever changing." It also claims that understanding this truth is the way to get rid of suffering and attachment to life: "When a man considers this world as a bubble of froth, and as the illusion of an appearance, then the king of death has no power over him." ...read more.

Conclusion

This could be regarded as more important than withdrawing yourself in meditation to grasp and experience the human condition. In conclusion, I believe, although there are arguments against Anicca, in Buddhism, to understand this impermanent characteristic of the world is so important. It is an essential tenet of Buddhist wisdom: "Yam kinci samudaya Dhammam sabbam tam nirodha Dhammam" (whatever of the nature of arising has the nature of ceasing). This is a common utterance by Buddhist Saints. Impermanence and change is something common and natural to every one of us. I believe that is why change is a characteristic of life. I believe impermanence can help to explain how life exists and operates. In short, whilst I do not agree completely with Buddhist views, as I would rather get involved in the world than meditate to grasp and experience the human condition and I believe there could be some fundamental concepts which are permanent , for example, although feelings may change, I believe that whilst the aspect of love may change the essence shall remain. I do acknowledge that unnecessary disappointment, despair and frustration in our daily lives often stem from ignorance of the law of nature, that being the nature of impermanence. I think that it therefore could be important for us to understand the nature of change in order to face problems courageously in our daily lives. ...read more.

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