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

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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.

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