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AS and A Level: Buddhism

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  1. The middle way

    The middle way is the path between luxury and poverty and the way to reach enlightenment. When Siddhartha died he reached Nirvana, which is the Buddhist equivalent heaven. Although it is not a place merely, a state of mind where everything is seen clearly and there is no suffering. A key part of the "middle way" is called the 4 noble truths. These are: Dukkha- All life involves suffering,-this is to be comprehended. For example illness and death, because no one can escape from suffering. Tanha- The cause of suffering is desire,-this is to be abandoned.

    • Word count: 1460
  2. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

    The Eightfold Path shows the way to enlightenment by overcoming desire. 1.Right views-Define the problem. 2.Right intent- Are you sure you want enlightenment? 3.Right Speech-Take care in what you say. 4.Right Conduct-(5 precepts) Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not lie, Do not be unchaste, Do not drink intoxicants 5.Right Livelihood - Engage in things that promote life and spiritual progress. 6.Right Effort - Try hard to continue and you will reach you goal. 7.Right Mindfulness - Become aware of why and how you do everyday things.

    • Word count: 1957
  3. Select, describe and explain the events in the life of Siddhartha Gantama which illustrate his religious development

    He joined a group of ascetics for six years, almost starving himself to death. One day he went to a river and a local girl, seeing how skinny he was, offered him a bowl of milk rice. Here, he realised 'The Middle Way'. When he had lived in complete luxury, getting everything he wanted he was still unhappy. When he was an ascetic and deprived himself he could not reach enlightenment. 'The Middle Way' is now an important Buddhist teaching, telling us not to take things to the extreme. Siddhartha decided that if the now empty bowl floated upstream then he would become enlightened that night and sure enough it did.

    • Word count: 1945
  4. Comparing Gotma to Siddhartha, why did Siddhartha reach his goal and not Gotma?

    Everyone was shocked at his decision; Govinda knew not what to say, and Siddhartha's father became enraged at first thought, but later admits something very important to Siddhartha. "You will go to the forest and be a samana. If you find salvation in the forest, come and teach me salvation. If you find disappointment, then come back and let us once more sacrifice to the gods together." His father has never reached the goal he has sought after his whole life, even now as an old man, and he understands that Siddhartha must leave for himself.

    • Word count: 1488
  5. We don't possess any genuine freedom to act ethically. Discuss.

    If this argument holds, hard determinists are restricted to moral nihilism. Those who are also ethically naturalistic may also point out that there are good reasons to punish criminals: it is a chance to modify their behaviour, or their punishment can act as a deterrent for others who would otherwise act in the same manner. The hard determinist could even argue that this understanding of the true and various causes of a psychopath's behaviour, for instance, allow them to respond even more reasonably or compassionately.

    • Word count: 857
  6. Explain the Concepts of Anicca and Anatta

    Although we understand that things change, most of us still believe that there are at least one or two things which are permanent. The Buddha came to the conclusion that there is nothing which is not subject to change and explained that this change, or impermanence, operates on two levels; the gross and the subtle. The gross level of change is obvious physical changes ? people aging, day turning to night, the weather changing as well as thoughts and feelings.

    • Word count: 908
  7. Buddhism. Many aspects of the belief system represent notions of continuity and change including gender roles, sacred places and scripts and the contemporary issue of technology.

    This was due to arising conflicting interpretations of Buddha?s teachings and the meaning behind them. The Buddhist movement divided into the Theravada (Teaching of the Elders), also known as Hinayana (small vessel), and the Mahayana (large vessel) movements. This division essentially arose from disagreements over matters of practice and doctrine. The most significant different between the two variants is the belief of the Theravadans that Buddha is a fully enlightened human teacher whilst the Mahayana?s developed a transcendental view of him. The Mahayana concept welcomes the idea of worship of a divine grace rather than the attainment of enlightenment through practice[3].

    • Word count: 1706
  8. Buddhism in culture and media around the world.

    Buddhism was introduced to Europe and the USA in the 19th Century, with most traditions and their arts now being represented. Many well known western artists in the past century have been influenced by Buddhism. Contemporary Buddhist art is just emerging in the UK. There are over 151,816 Buddhists in the UK from culturally and racially diverse backgrounds and Buddhist organisations from all traditions all of which welcome people from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Traditional Buddhist art forms are made to complement and enhance traditional practices found in temples, monasteries, centres, hermitages, the home and places of retreat.

    • Word count: 1817

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