Buddhism and Human Rights One Essay
- Length: 10 pages
- Sources: 8
- Subject: Mythology - Religion
- Type: Essay
- Paper: #28012010
Excerpt from Essay :
3. There is the cessation of suffering (duhkha-nirodha); and 4. There is a path leading to the cessation of suffering (duhkha-nirodha-marga)." (Willis)
In Buddha's opinion, suffering (duhka) can be represented through any kind of pain and regardless of its form. The best representation of suffering can be presumably felt when a change from a state of happiness to a state of unhappiness occurs.
The cause of suffering (duhka-samudaya) states that most of the suffering that humans feel is because of their desires. Most humans are inclined to wish for something that they believe would grant them happiness. However, in most cases, the goal set by some might not have the desired effect on them once it has been achieved. In order for people to leave suffering behind, they would need to understand that the human nature does not necessarily depend on granted wishes.
The cessation of suffering (duhka-nirodha) refers directly to people liberated from suffering and to their state which is called Nirvana. Few people actually knew the true meaning of Nirvana until the more recent ages. Nirvana had been believed to be reached only through death. However, Buddhists had been aware that the true meaning of Nirvana had been referring to a state in which people would leave their previous teachings behind. With people being set free of their limited conceptions and their prejudgments, they would be able to reach the sacred Nirvana. Thus, Buddhism only advises people to abandon their false preconceptions and to overcome their limits.
On the path leading to the cessation of suffering (duhka-nirodha-marga), people are being presented with the method of escaping suffering. The contract of freeing people from suffering implies the fact that people should learn that their previous concepts in life had been inadequate. With that, the first step on the path of liberation from suffering would be achieved. After taking the crucial first step, people would need to enter into deep states of meditation and practice. Consequent to the meditation, people would reach the state that Siddhartha had reached and they would feel enlightened by the divine.
Buddhism had begun to spread throughout India with a high speed as people embraced the ideology for its remarkable methods and for the meditations that it required. Not long after Siddhartha's death, Buddhism was spreading out of India and across portions of Asia.
Recent studies have determined that there are over 300 million Buddhists all over the world. Buddhism does not depend on ethnicity or skin color, as there are all kinds of people that have chosen the way of Buddha.
The Buddhist religion is one of the most important promoters of the concept of peace as it relates to people keeping a non-combative character. Siddhartha had been concerned about rescuing mankind from one of its most terrible problems. The respective problem has three distinct parts:
1. Man vs. nature
2. Man vs. Man
3. Man vs. himself" (Dr. P.K. Sundaram)
In Dr. Sunderam's opinion, the last of Siddhartha's issues when concerning the rescuing of mankind is also the most important of the three. Its importance is based on the fact that once a man can win the battle with his most inner and darkest thoughts, it would be easier for him or her to succeed in any other battles. One would then have control of all of one's thoughts and actions, with no more impediments standing in the way towards finding peace.
Buddhism states that only humans can decide if they want to go to war or if they choose to live in peace. Furthermore, Buddhism teaches that the future has not been already written and that humans can give it shape at any time they want.
Buddhism, as an ideology, is intended to help people win the battle with themselves in order for peace to be present everywhere. As Buddha had stated, the way to find peace is to understand the concept of peace and to understand the thing that people need to let go of in order for peace to prevail. For world peace to exist, every single person would have to find it. However, most people would agree that attaining permanent peace would be an impossible task for an ordinary human being.
It would be enough for most people if just a tiny portion of the concept of world peace would be obtained. For total world peace to exist, people would need to meditate deeply and find the causes that stop peace from becoming a palpable and permanent reality. In Buddha's opinion, all people are part of a single whole which would lead to world peace once all the people unite.
In Buddhism, all of life's stages are owed to karma and it can determine any of the occurrences in one's life. The past actions of all people can decide their faith in the present.
According to Damien V. Keown, Buddhism has no direct connection to political, ethical, and philosophical problems with reference to human rights when studying Buddhist lectures. (Keown) One of the most feasible reasons for the occurrence would be that there has been no clear case regarding such matters in Buddhist history.
Some believe that Buddhism might have become too traditional for the modern world and its problems. Apparently, Buddhist teachers would need to adapt their teachings so that they would comply with the most difficult problems that the world faces today.
One of the most obvious situations when Buddhists have been put face-to-face with the violation of human rights is the case of Chinese atrocities in Tibet. One of the most notorious Buddhist public figures to have stood in front of the Chinese government has been the Dalai Lama. His Holiness has chosen to approach the problem with a strategy of non-violent resistance. The act has made him a hero for the world and has brought him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.
The first state of affairs that brought together Buddhism and human rights goes back in 1956 when Hindu B.R. Ambedkar had chosen to leave Hinduism in favor of Buddhism. His act had triggered a mass conversion and approximately four million other Hindu people had left Hinduism along with Ambedkar. Ambedkar and the rest of the Hindu had chosen to leave Hinduism for the reason that the religion had failed in most occasions from assuring the basic human rights to its followers.
Ambedkar's choice has been determined by the fact that Buddhism seemed like the only viable alternative to Hinduism in India at the time. Christianity had been another of Ambedkar's options, but he decided to deny it for the fact that it did not seem to provide much help to its community when concerning human rights.
In Ambedkar's opinion, there is a strong link between democracy and human rights, and both concepts refer to the respect between fellow humans. Unlike Hinduism, Buddhism did not make a difference between upper and lower classes of society.
In Buddhism, all human beings have equal rights, and all are entitled to choose their path in life. The Buddhist ideology clearly states that hatred, greed, and delusion are the three main motives for which people cannot be at peace with themselves. The method through which one can escape the three issues is to concentrate on breaking free from their domination.
Buddhism is known as one of the religions which do not require its followers to complete an unjustified series of duties. By this, it breaks away from other religions which have their followers fulfill groundless tasks in order to be purified by their god. There have been cases in which Buddhist extremists have aggressed people because of the fact that they belonged to a different religion. There have also been reports of Buddhist people being persecuted for their religious preferences. However these are rather exceptions or unfortunate decisions of governments that felt threatened by the ideology.
The Dalai Lama is Tibet's political and spiritual leader, and he is given his title from early childhood, after the Tibetans determine that he is truly their leader. Along the centuries, Tibetans have had 14 leaders, and the one in the present is a symbol of Tibet and of Buddhism generally. Tibetans believe that all of the Dalai Lamas have been incarnations of Buddhist Masters.
From his entitlement as the 14th Dalai Lama and until 1959, Tibet's leader has ruled over his country in peace. Things had changed, however, as the Chinese authorities had took over the country and Dalai Lama felt obliged to take refuge and to continue his ruling in exile. From there on, the Dalai Lama had been compelled to learn about the atrocities that the Chinese had committed, without having any power to save his people.
Tibet's leader has succeeded in winning the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize after having instructed his people not to fight the Chinese, but to adopt a non-violent resistance policy. After the occurrence, Dalai Lama has captured the whole world's attention and since the incident he has…