Siddhartas-existential-crisis/ Buddha’s Resolution- A proposal

Dukkha is the focus of all Buddhist doctrine – The Four Noble Truths- because Gautama Siddhartha’s original crisis, told in the story of the Four Sights, strongly brought Dukkha to the forefront of his awareness. This is how the legend of the Four Sights is significant. The lesson of them is that besides ordinary pain, as when people are in physical pain and emotional pain, there is an existential sorrow- the grief, alienation and despair resulting from one’s awareness of life’s inherent groundlessness. This paper will provide a brief definition of Dukkha and its variations to explore Siddhartha’s psychological and emotional response to the legendary Four Sights. The experience of the Four sights, which became the impetus for his seeking a life of renunciation to answer his question about Dukkha and its cessation, will also be described in this paper. Siddhartha’s Awakening became the basis of his resolution of that question prompting the Four Noble Truths. In this paper, the primary focus is to advocate that Siddhartha’s response to the Four Sights is best understood what modern psychology calls an existential crisis or crisis in understanding life.

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