Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Protestant Vs. Socially Engaged Buddhism :: essays research papers

Protestant vs. Socially Engaged Buddhism   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚     Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Somewhere in the sixth century BCE Buddhism was born, born from a single man Siddhartha Guatama, the Buddha. After gaining his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, the Buddha didn’t think that the rest of the world could handle all that he had learned. He did not want to teach others, nor did he want to spread his wisdom. Until at last his great compassion came over him and he started to gain the respect of few by going to his old peers first. By starting with other intellectuals he secured that they at least had the capacity to learn what he had to teach. From this point on he spread his philosophy on the middle path with everyone who would listen.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  He preached pacifism and that it was wrong to take any life be it a man’s or any lesser being’s. He taught that the noble eightfold path was the route to end all suffering, and that the individual was the most important factor in achieving enlightenment. The Buddha taught about the five aggregates, the notion that the human being is made up of matter, sensation, consciousness, perception, and mental formations. In all of his teachings however the Buddha did not do so much as a lay a groundwork for which his followers could build a society on.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  The Buddha was acting out of compassion in that he had found the way to end his suffering and wanted to help others do the same. He was not however trying to build himself up as a God, and create a religion under which he was the focal point. Since this was not his goal, he did not get into politics, social formations, or anything else of the like. However, sooner or later, with the rapid growth of Buddhism in India, and the whole of Southeast Asia, these were the things that would determine the survival of its followers. That is, an entire society of Buddhists had emerged, far greater numbers and organization than even the Buddha had imagined. With this emergence of community came more and more problems with which the leaders had no frame of reference to combat. For instance, what to do when pacifism doesn’t work in protecting your community. How to maintain peacefulness when outside forces are conquering violently. In many areas, where this sense of a Buddhist community had been created, the members had a great deal of pride in what they had created and were a part of, but their pride was kept in check by their inability to justify the right course of action.

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