Buddha Series

 

 

Buddha, also known as Gautam Buddha is a great man ever born on earth since the inception of civilizations. e was born as a human being but rose to stature of God. In Buddhism, Buddha means any being who as attained full enlightenment, has permanently overcome desire or craving (lobha), aversion(dosha), and delusion(moha), or ignorance and has achieved complete liberation from suffering.

Birth and early life of Buddha

Buddha was born as Siddharth in Lumbini in 563 B.C.in the Kapilavastu region of present day Nepal.His father Shudhodhan was the chief of Shakya clan and mother Maya was a Koliyan princess.His mother had died a week after giving birth to Siddharth.On his birth hermit seer Asita came a long way down from northern mountainous region and made a prediction that this child would be a great king(chakravartin) or a great holy man. Among several astrologers and saints who were invited to his naming ceremony, Kodanna was the only one who said the child will become Buddha.

As his mother had died, he was brought up by his maternal aunt Maha Prajapati, the younger sister of his mother.

To foster Siddharth only as a great king, Shudhodhana kept him out of any suffering or sorrow and gave him a blissful and a luxurious life. He shielded him from all religious teachings and knowledge of human suffering. To scale this objective He conducted marriage of Siddharth at the age of 16 with Yashodhara, a princess. Yashodhara later gave birth to a son named Rahul. Although his father provided him with all the things that he would need, Siddharth always felt that material wealth was not the ultimate goal of life.

Life Turning Incident

Four scenes completely changed the life of Siddharth. While he went outside his palace for short excursion he supposed to see an old man, a diseased corpse, a crippled man and an ascetic. These sights are referred to as four sights or the four heavenly messengers(devadutas).He was deeply depressed to see these suffering realities of life and wanted to get rid of old age, illness and death by living the life of an ascetic.He soon left the royal palace and his family members in search of truth at the age of 29.In Pali literary traditions this particular journey of Siddharth is known as “Mahabhinishkraman” .

The Life of an Ascetic

The great departure followed several attempts to find out the truth.First he meditated hard for the ultimate objective. But it was not enough and he was not satisfied with the path he was following. He then adopted the practice of a mendicant monk and moved to Magadha presently in Bihar. Here he adopted much rigorous practices of physical and mental austerity.but he could not achieve what he wanted through this. In this process he became fasting ascetic leaving all the worldly things including food and water. But again for no avail. Then he reconsidered his method of practice.

The Great Enlightenment

After this reconsideration, Buddha discovered what Buddhist say the Middle Path or the path of moderation away from extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification. He accepted some rice pudding from a little girl, Sujata and sat under a peepal tree, now known as the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya. This time he took a vow not to arise until he found the eternal truth. On the – day of his vow he arose with the objective of knowing the truth, accomplished. Siddharth came to be known as “Buddha” or “the Awakened One” after this incident. In Buddhism he is also known as Shakyamuni Buddha. At this point of time, he is believed to have stated that he had attained complete awakening and insight into the nature and cause of human suffering which was ignorance, along with steps necessary to eliminate it. These facts were later compiled into “Four Noble Truths”.Nirvana was the ulimate goal of life which was a state of supreme liberation.

After gaining supreme knowledge he gave sermon to his five fellow hermits who later became his disciples.The sermon he gave in Sarnath, and this incidence is known as “Mahachakkapravartina”. The Buddhist philosophy of insight, thought, and meditation practice is not believed to have been revealed divinely, but by the understanding of the true nature of the mind, which could be discovered by any common human being.

For the remaining 45 years of his life, the Buddha is said to have travelled in the large area of Gangetic Plain of Northeastern India and Southern Nepal, teaching his doctrine and discipline to the people of diverse ranges— from nobles to outcaste street sweepers, including many adherents of rival philosophies and religions. The Buddha founded the community of Buddhist monks and nuns called “Sangha” to continue the dispensation after his “Parinirvana” (Pali: Parinibbana) or "complete Nirvana", and converted thousands of men. This religion was open to all races and classes and had no caste bias.

Mahaparinirvana

According to the Mahaparinibbana Sutta of the Pali canon, the Buddha announced at the age of 80, that he would soon enter Parinirvana or the final deathless state abandoning the mundane bodr this, the Buddha ate his last meal, which, according to different translations, was either a mushroom delicacy or soft pork.Subsequently he died.Eight Noble Paths are the the ways to attain Nirvana.


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