The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Kurlansky
Siddhartha is a novel written by Herman Hesse. It is about a young man named Siddhartha who is the son of Brahmin. Everyone thinks that Siddhartha should follow in his father’s footsteps, but Siddhartha thinks otherwise. Siddhartha practices all of the religion rituals, but he is not satisfied. He feels something is missing. He wants to find enlightenment as a munk. So he goes on a journey with his friend named Govinda and does just that.
One day a group of ascetics called Samanas pass through their village. The Samanas’ believe that enlightenment can be achieved through asceticism, which is basically is practicing self-discipline and avoiding physical desire. Govinda believes that there has been some changes since joining but Siddhartha quickly learns that Asceticism still is not fulfilling his soul. The Samanas, Siddhartha, and Govinda hear about Gotama the Buddha. They hear that Gotama has attained total spiritual enlightenment. Govinda wants to leave the Samanas and seek out to Gotama. Siddhartha and Govinda go to Gotama’s camp. They learn the four noble truths, the eightfold path, and other aspects of Buddhism.
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One of the aspects of Buddhism that distinguishes it from religions such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, is that it involves no beliefs, no practices or even traditions. Beliefs have no relevant role in Buddhism. This is because Buddhists feel that nothing is fixed or permanent, and also change is always possible. Buddhists feel they will not be here forever. All of life is completely temporary. Buddhist feel the body and the mind does not belong to a specific God.
Resisting what is inevitable is pure stupidity. The best things in life don’t always come from what we think they might. The Four Noble truths of Buddhism are as follows: the First Noble Truth states that unsatisfaction and suffering exist and are universally experienced. The Second Noble Truth is that Desire and attachment are the causes of unsatisfaction and suffering. The Third Noble Truth states there is an end to unsatisfaction and suffering.
The Fourth Noble Truth says that the end can be attained by journeying on the Noble Eightfold Path. You can’t walk down a path blindfolded, you have to know where you want to go and why you were going there. Knowing the rules of the road will keep you from getting into trouble on your path. You have to have the right view, right intention, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
There is also five morals that Buddhists feel strongly about, not harming living things, not taking what is not given, not practicing sexual misconduct, not lying or gossiping, and not taking intoxicating substances. Despite the fact that Buddhists don’t believe in any God, they do have morals. That makes them good people. Eventually Siddhartha started questioning Gotama’s way of thinking and he leave Govinda behind, and he continues to search for spiritual enlightenment.
Siddhartha meets a girl named Kamala, she says she will not be with him unless he has money. He get a mentor learns how to make money and now his world is just about lust and greed. In due time, he gets tired of the material life and throws everything away. One day Siddhartha meets this man named Vasudeva at a river, he finally achieves spritely enlightenment as he sits beside Vasudeva and listen to the river.
There is a light of importance placed on belief in this part of the world. Why you believe is your way of living life. It is crazy how everyone thinks they have the right way to view life and it so many different views. Buddhists believe in humanity. Humans can make mistakes and learn from them, therefore we cannot judge. All religions are different but we all have morals and we all break them sometime. You don’t have to suffer. We fail ourselves when we depend our happiness on what someone else thinks about us.