By Kayla Falcinelli
For those of you unfamiliar to the religion of Buddhism, it is religion focused on rebirth and reaching illumination. The Buddha himself, a son of a warrior king named Siddhartha Gautama, founded the religion. He searched for enlightenment and found peace with meditation.
Buddhists believe in karma, and that it plays a role in rebirth. It is believed that unless you reach a state of Nirvana, the cycles of life and death will be on going. The religion encourages its followers to detach from stressful habits and memories, and to cleanse the mind. Death is inevitable, but if we prepare ourselves for the next stage of life, there is a greater chance of achieving enlightenment.
According to Tibetan Buddhism, when a person dies their soul will go through three stages before entering realms of reincarnation. These stages are called “bardos”, and will last a total of forty-nine days. At the end of these stages a person will either return to earth to be reincarnated, or achieve enlightenment.
There are six realms of reincarnation, which include the Realm of Asura, the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, the Hell Realm, the Animal Realm, and the Human Realm. Rebirth into the Asura realm means you’re filled with power and jealousy. The Realm of Hungry Ghosts is full of craving, and includes obsession and addiction. The Hell Realm is said to be the worst, and is occupied by anger and hatred. Rebirth into the Animal Realm is guided by ignorance and stupidity. The Human Realm is driven by desire, and gives someone the opportunity to achieve Nirvana
Buddhism is very centered on pushing out all the bad thoughts and feelings, and finding peace within you. It is important to have compassion for yourself and others when following the journey to enlightenment.
To learn of the importance of compassion, be sure to come see his Holiness the reincarnated 14th Dalai Lama at Western Connecticut State University October 18th and 19th 2012. The public is invited to a free showing (video simulcast) in the Ives Concert Hall, 181 White St. To help promote this opportunity, WCSU students in the Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process Department's Advertising, Copywriting and Promotions class are writing this blog and they created a Twitter page.