Buddha, the Great Doctor of the World Essay

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The Great Doctor of the World The Buddha has been described as a pessimist but he is the compassionate doctor of the world, recognizing its ills and proposing a remedy so all the living might experience the true and everlasting happiness. The story of the Buddha’s realization of the ultimate reality begins while fasting beneath the tree of knowledge. Siddhartha Gautama spends seven days wrapped in meditation. That seventh night it is said that he let his mind wander through a string of connections to find the causes from which the pain and suffering of existence arises. A translation of writings about the Buddha describes these thoughts: “from desire comes clinging (to existence); from clinging (to existence) comes being: from being comes birth: from birth comes old age and death, pain and mourning, suffering, sorrow, and despair” (Oldenburg 115). It was this realization that awakened Gautama, transforming him into the Exalted one. This formed the basis for all of the Buddha’s teachings. It was here that he created the Four Noble Truths. The first of these Noble Truths has caused many to criticize the Buddha for his supposedly negative outlook on life. The First Noble Truth is Dukkha, which roughly translated to ‘suffering’. This is only partially correct in the sense that Dukkha means much more than the simple word suffering as is understood within the confines of the English language. In the context of the Buddha’s First Noble Truth, the Buddha says that “birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is displeasing is suffering; not getting what one wants is suffering” (Gowan 31). In the case of aging, illness, and death the word ‘suffering’ seems like an apt description, but for the others it is too negatively connotated. The Buddha was a realist and

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