• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain how the Sermon at Sarnath contains the key teaching of Buddhism.

Extracts from this document...


Explain how the Sermon at Sarnath contains the key teaching of Buddhism. The Buddha's first sermon is imperative as it outlines the major teachings of Buddhism; he explains what he has discovered in terms of the four truths. His sermon began by explaining to the ascetics that he has found through his personal experiences that both a life of pleasure seeking and of denial of pleasure was harmful and furthermore was enlightened to see a new way of life, which was that of moderation, the middle path. This discovery enabled him to see clearly the four truths. The middle path is the concept which all Buddhist must both learn bust also become intuitive, it is the concept of avoiding extremes, this is outlined in the sermon " To indulgence of pleasure in the objects of sensual desire... and there is devotion of self torment to discover nibbana... one avoids both extremes." This belief is fundamental to Buddhism as it provides a basis of all moral and ethical decisions. The first Nobel truth is a statement that there is something fundamentally wrong with how humans see life and existence. ...read more.


The concept of ones ego prevents humans from breaking down the chronic limitations and thus resulting in further suffering. As unenlightened or ignorant humans we desire senses, experiences, life and permanence and as a result this causes a chain reaction of our desires and cravings leading to the concept of re-incarnation (rebecoming.) the whole cycle of rebecoming is called samsara. "Over and over, he tries and he struggles: over and over, the ignorant goes to the womb, over and over, he's born and he dies: over and over, he is borne to his grave. But one who has wisdom as wide as the earth is not born over and over, for he has gained the path of not becoming over again."2 This illustrates the samsara cycle in this cycle until we get away from desire we will be forever ignorant and due to it will simply continue but once we become "awakened" we will be able to break this cycle leading to Nibbana. Samsara is the opposite to nirvana, it is a name for existence seen as bondage to a set of ongoing rebirths caused by karma, and it is not until one is able to detach ourselves from the existing will one be able to reach nirvana. ...read more.


Wisdom is the acceptance and the knowledge of all Buddha's teachings and key Buddhist beliefs it also shows that one must not only learn it but theses teachings must become intuitive to ones existence. Conduct refers to moral behaviour. The basic moral behaviour is in the 5 precepts, which are, avoided killing, stealing, false speech, sexual misconduct and intoxicants. This is the basic ethical teaching for Buddhist and basically it is to act out of compassion for all sentient beings. The meditation component is used to achieve the elimination of ignorance and to help the beliefs penetrate as deep as possible into the consciousness both intellectually and intuitively. The upheaval of all elements of the eightfold path will result in the cessation of suffering and furthermore the achievement of enlighten. The sermon is imperative to the understanding of Buddhism as it accurately outlines the principle beliefs, which underline Buddhism. These are ideas such as the middle path, impermanent, Dukka, cessation of suffering, samsara, karma, the eightfold path and nirvana. The upheavals of these beliefs as explained through the sermon will lead to an awakened state and sub sequentially the elimination of suffering thus nirvana. 1 Hagan, S. 1989. Buddhism Plain and Simple, Broadway 2 Student worksheet Page 55 (White Sacred Texts and Writings) 3 Living Religion Third Edition, Pearson Education, 2005 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Buddhism section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Buddhism essays

  1. Buddhism - Eightfold Path. Training the mind properly is more important than acting ...

    they have done during their life. They believe that their life force will be reincarnated to a higher life if they do good actions, and a lower life if they do bad actions. This cycle is called the samsara and when they escape this cycle it is called nirvana.

  2. Buddhism is a religion that offers a new perspective on life. Many view Buddhism ...

    many a birth in samsara wandered Seeking, but not finding, the builder of this house. Sorrowful is repeated birth. House builder, thou art seen. Thou shalt build no house again. All thy rafters are broken; thy ridgepole is shattered. The mind attains the unconditioned. Achieved is the end of craving."

  1. Overview of Buddhism.

    development of a mental force that occurs in natural consciousness, although at a relatively low level of intensity, namely concentration. . Right concentration for the purpose of the eightfold path means wholesome concentration, i.e. concentration on wholesome thoughts and actions.

  2. What are the main differences between Sikhism and Buddhism?

    Dasam Granth - writings of the Tenth Guru * Janam Sakhis - The life stories of Sikh Gurus * Hukamnamas - the letters written by the Sikh Gurus in their lifetime * Varan Bhai Gurdaas - Hymns composed by Bhai Gurdaas (I and II )

  1. Analyse the pencil and explain how it might be applied to a persons employment.

    I undertake to abstain from wrong speech. Wrong speech is the opposite to right speech, which is part of the noble eightfold path. It includes things like not telling lies and not spreading gossip. I can think of no job that is in contradiction to it unless the person makes

  2. Analysis the Sutra on the Eight Realizations of the Great Beings.

    Therefore, if people can understand that the nature of five aggregates is emptiness, they can experience the selflessness. According to Buddhism, the body of five skandhas is to unite with karmic cause, which is impermanence. Thus, there is no self.

  1. Describe Buddhist teaching about how people should treat the environment and animals.

    In other words it can mean acting in the right way and not afflicting any harm on others. 'Right Action' - Buddhists follow five precepts they are a bit like guidelines for life. Right action is concerned with acting in the right way towards others and the environment.

  2. Discuss in as much the doctrine of Anicca is essential to the religion of ...

    Whilst discussing in as much the doctrine of Anicca is essential to the religion of Buddhism in understanding the human condition it is necessary to refer to Buddhist practice on contemplating Anicca. Buddhists believe they can gain better awareness of Anicca through practising meditation and through mindfulness in the Eightfold Path.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work