This is a research paper; therefore, all primary and secondary sources must be cited.



Write a critical essay (1,200 words, 4 to 5 double spaced pages) on one of the following topics.

This is a research paper; therefore, all primary and secondary sources must be cited. In other words, your paper must include a bibliography and footnotes. Bibliography and footnotes must to add. Use sources and cite them. Any APA or MLA

Plagiarism will result in a failing grade.


1) The cessation of suffering is the one objective all Buddhist doctrine is directed to attaining. Provide an argument that either defends or rejects the following claim: "in light of the Four Noble Truths, it remains a reasonable aim to end suffering in our present life." Your essay should include a discussion of the Four Noble Truths and the three marks of existence. (1. impermanence, anicca; 2. suffering, dukkha; and 3. non-self, anatta ).

2) "Here, Sariputra, form is emptiness, emptiness is form. ... Precisely the same may be said of form and the other skandhas: feeling, perception, impulse, and consciousness." Provide an argument why the above passage and the Heart Sutra in general should or should not be considered as the essence of Buddhism in its aim to end suffering. You may want to consider the three marks of existence, impermanence (anicca), non-self (anatta) and suffering (dukkha).

3) The Dhammapada begins with the passage, "All that we are is a result of what we have thought ...". What is the relationship of this passage to the Buddha's first of the Four Noble Truths regarding suffering or dukkha. Present an argument supporting or rejecting the notion that all the human condition as defined by suffering is self caused. 

4)In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna's concern before the battle is karma. If he prosecutes the battle he will incur negative karma. Similarly, the Jains are equally concerned with the negative effects of karma. The goal of Jainism is to attain freedom from karma. From this common ground the Jains and the Gita move in diametrically opposite directions. Krishna encourages Arjuna to prosecute the battle, while the Jains uphold the principle of ahimsa or non-violence. While the nature of ahimsa is compassion, although the setting for the Bhagavad-Gita is a battle field, is compassion the underlying theme of dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna? Compare and contrast these two approaches to violence and the karmic consequences of each. Provide an argument supporting one response to violence over the other.

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