Explore BrainMass

Siddhartha Gautama Middle Path

Explain the middle path that Siddhartha Gautama taught. A couple questions to get you started: What is this path in the middle of? Where is this path directed? What actions place you on the path?

The Vedas are considered to be sacred writings of the Hindus. What are these vedas? How are the vedas used in modern Hindu religious practice? How do they compare to Christian scripture?

Solution Preview

Hi there! Thanks so much for letting me respond to your post and offer you the best I can. I hope you find the content of this response most helpful for engaging in the subject and recognizing your questions and opinions are worth sharing!

The first question seems more complicated to me than the second one. This is because the 'middle path' is actually a summary label derived from the rest of Gautama's work. What is most important to know before showing those basics are that Gautama (a) became disillusioned with wealth and material goods; (b) found asceticism unnecessarily damaging to the process of finding enlightenment (what its role is after enlightenment is up for debate, really, because of course there seems to be no higher aim than that in Buddhism). This seeming counter-balance in his process of finding a 'path' is perhaps the root of the word 'middle,' but just like a tree those roots branch into other more specific expressions that explain the term. So, as far as content ideas go for the first question, you could be looking at the most fundamental pieces of understanding for the Buddhist religion. That understanding, perhaps consistent with its practices, is ordered in terms of how one becomes aware of them. In order:

1) Suffering & Self: all creatures suffer, but all creatures suffer due to attachment, to themselves or to other things.

2) Desire: the source of this attachment is desire, or wanting; it keeps people in an endless cycle of 'getting that new thing' or 'getting the next fix,' whatever material possession ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines Siddhartha Gautama middle path.