The Eightfold Path and Nirvana, What is Reaching Nirvana?June 28, 2021
The eightfold path is the way to destroy desires. In other words, it is the path that will lead people to happiness and lead them to the middle path. These eight stages are; right behavior, right purpose, right lifestyle, right effort, right concentration, right word of mouth, right understanding and right awareness. These eight stages are the recipe for a good life and happiness.
Gautama thinks that the ultimate purpose of life on earth is to end the cycle of suffering (birth, death, and rebirth) into which we are born. By following the Eightfold Path, a person can overcome his ego, live a life free from pain, and prevent being reborn into another life in which he will suffer.
Gautama realized his place in the “non-self” and became one with the eternal. It has attained the state of nirvana: Nirvana is variously translated as “without attachment”, “without being” or literally (with a candle) as “withering away”.
During Gautama’s lifetime, Brahmanism and subsequent Hindu religion define Nirvana as being one with god, but Gautama carefully avoided mentioning the name of a god or the ultimate purpose of life. He defines Nirvana as far superior to any sensory experience that is “unborn, unborn, uncreated and unformed.” It is an eternal and immutable state of “not-self” and thus a final deliverance from the suffering of existence.
After his enlightenment, Gautama spent years traveling around India, preaching and teaching. During his lifetime, he had a serious following and Buddhism was established as a great religion as well as a philosophy. His teachings were passed down by his followers from generation to generation, eventually being written down for the first time in the 1st century AD.
As Buddhism spread throughout India, various schools began to appear and then spread eastward as far as China and Southeast Asia, where it rivaled Confucianism and Taoism in popularity. Gautama’s teachings It came to Greece in the 3rd century, but had little influence on Western philosophy.
There are similarities between Gautama’s approach to philosophy and that of Greek thinkers, especially in that Gautama emphasized the importance of reasoning as a way to achieve happiness and that his students used philosophical dialogues to explain his teachings.
His thoughts also echoed the ideas of Western philosophers after him. Hume’s concept of “self” and Schopenhauer’s view of the human condition can be cited as examples. However, Buddhism did not have a direct impact on Western philosophies until the 20th century.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook