The Buddha’s Perspective on the Two Extremes in Life - Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature


Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature

The teachings of the Buddha are aimed solely at liberating sentient beings from suffering. The Basic Teachings of Buddha which are core to Buddhism are: The Three Universal Truths; The Four Noble Truths; and The Noble Eightfold Path.

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Friday, October 11, 2019

The Buddha’s Perspective on the Two Extremes in Life

By avoiding the two extremes and following the Middle Path, the Buddha eradicated all his defilements and gained the super-knowledge. Thanks to that, he could understand completely the four Noble Truths, attained Arahattaship and supreme Omniscience and finally became a Fully Enlightened One. So what are the two extremes?
One extreme is indulgence in sensual pleasures (kamasukhallika-nuyoga), which is low, vulgar, unprofitable, practised by worldlings, but not by noble persons. The other extreme is self-mortification (attakilamathanuyoga) which is painful, ignoble and unprofitable.
The Bodhisattahad enjoyed the best sensual pleasures as a prince until he renounced the world at the age of 29, and he knew that indulgence in sense pleasures was low, vulgar, practised by many, and that it would never lead to higher knowledge.
He also practised the severest form of self-mortification called “Dukkharācariya” for six years long. Again he discovered that this practise was just painful, ignoble, unprofitable and this did not lead to his final goal - Nibbāna. Then he gave up these extremes and followed the Middle Path (Majjhima-pātipada). To restore his health, he accepted the milky cakes offered by Sujāta and sat cross-legged under the big Boddhi Tree. He decided not to rise from his meditation until he gained wisdom. After that, he attained the freedom of mind; freedom of wisdom and became the Buddha.

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