Buddham saranam gacchami
I go to the Buddha for refuge
Dhammam saranam gacchami
I go to the Dhamma for refuge.
Sangham saranam gacchami
I go to the Sangha for refuge.
Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhartha Gautam, Shakyamuni, or simply the Buddha, was a spiritual teacher from ancient times and the founder of Buddhism. He is universally recognized by Buddhists as the Supreme Buddha (Sammasambuddha) of our age. Yet his exact date of birth and death is uncertain but a majority of historians date his lifetime from circa 623 B.C. to 543 B.C. He is one of the few luminaries in the history of humans who is such a wide and lasting influence to the people. There are countless stories of the Buddha each tradition, each culture, each time period has their own stories .It is believed that, immediately after his birth he took seven steps and on each step a lotus blossomed which represents the seven colours of rainbow.
The tales say he was a son of a king raised in a palace with every imaginable luxury, he was called Siddhartha Gautama-a prince among a clan of warriors “When I was a child” he said “I was delicately brought up most delicately, a white sunshade was held over me day and night to protect me from cold, heat, dirt and dust. My father gave me three lotus’s ponds one where red lotuses bloomed, one where white lotuses bloomed, one where blue lotuses bloomed”
Pali talkie Gautam Buddha is the key figure in Buddhism. Discourses, and monastic rules were summarized only after his death and memorized. Passed down by oral tradition, the Tripitak- the holy book of Buddhism is also written on pali language only after 400 years of his death which is divided into 3 parts 1st the rules that a Buddhist monk needs to follow, 2nd Buddha’s admonition and 3rd Accounts of Buddha’s life.
Siddhartha Gautam was born in southern Nepal at the foot of the Himalayas on the famous gardens of Lumbini, which is located in the Terai plains of southern Nepal, testified by the inscription on the pillar erected by the Mauryan Emperor Asoka in 249 B.C. Siddhartha was a child with a contemplative bent of mind. He was inclined towards meditation and spiritual pursuits much against the wishes of his father. His father feared that Siddhartha might leave home, and so, kept tried to insulate him from the harsh realities of the world outside by keeping him inside the palace all the time. Sealed from pain and suffering Siddhartha indulged in a life of pure pleasure. Every whim satisfied every desire fulfilled. The Buddha once said “During the rainy season I stayed in my palace where I was entertained by musicians and dancing girls I never thought of leaving.” when he was sixteen his father draws him in tighter in to palace life, married him to his cousin which wasn’t long before they fell in love.
But one day when he goes outside travelling through the kingdom, and he has the first of four encounters he sees an old man and he ask his attendants and attendants replied oh! That is the change, no human being could stay young everybody needs to grow old. Then on his next tour outside he sees a sick man and doesn’t quite understand what it is, again he ask his attendants then his attendants replied oh! That happens to all of us everybody gets sick and don’t think you are a prince and you don’t get sick your father, your mother everybody will become sick. Then he sees that it isn’t just a sick person in fact it’s the universal and something is stimulated inside of him so he keeps getting the chariot to take him out then he sees horror after horror. And on his third trip outside he meets a corps then he recognizes impermanence, suffering and death as a real state of things, the world that he has been protected, sealed or kept from seeing and he was shocked then he realized this is my fate too I will also become old I will also become sick and eventually I will also die, how do I deal with these things. And then on his fourth trip outside he sees the spiritual seeker someone who was decided to live a life completely other than his life in order to escape impermanence, sufferings and death.
Soon after he left his family and Kingdom at the age of 29 and went into the forest in search of peace and truth. Siddhartha was alone in the world for the first time, on the bank of the nearby river he drew his sword “although my father and step mother were grieving with tears on their faces” Siddhartha said “I cut of my hair I put on the yellow robes and went forth from home into homelessness. I have been wounded by the enjoyment of the world and I had come out longing to obtained peace.” Then he wandered from place to place to gain knowledge. He met many scholars and saints but he was not satisfied. At last he started hard meditation bearing great physical suffering. Emaciated, exhausted Siddhartha tortures’ himself trying to destroy anything within himself that he sees it’s bad.
It is said that Siddhartha had lived many life before this one as countless animals, innumerable human beings and even gods across four incalculable ages that secret text say and many eons experiencing life in all at different forms.
Gautam Buddha seated under a pipal tree—now known as the Bodhi tree—in Bodh Gaya small town in north eastern India. For Buddhist there are hundreds of holy places but none more sacred than Bodh Gaya. It is the sacred point from which the buddhits faith radiates. It is their mecca or jeroselum or any other initiation forms of initiater. Then he vowed never to arise until he had found the truth so he sat down with his rags he was wearing under the shade of Bodhi tree at the bank of the river and began to meditate. It was spring time with a full moon on the sky at night, before the sun would rise siddartha’s long search would be over. Siddhartha now got transformed into Buddha or the enlightened one at the age of the thirty five. The pipal tree under which he got Enlightment came to be known as Bodhi Vriksha.
Buddha saw nature of the people envy, jealousy and strong negative mental stage. He analyzed all the people in the world they are like the fishes riddling in the very shallow water. So Buddha he himself is afraid to teach the people. Then, the myth says the god BRAHMA himself comes to the Buddha kneeling down and asked Buddha to teach people what he had gains during all his life BRAHMA implies that is what every human needed to satisfied one’s life otherwise the human life would never be fulfilled. And then Buddha decided to give his teachings.
For the remaining 45 years of his life, the Buddha devote his rest of his life bringing his teachings the “Dharma” the fundamental laws of all things into the world. He preached his first sermon in Sarnath, near Varanasi. He taught that the world is full of sorrows and people suffer on account of desire. Hence desires needed to be conquered by following Eightfold Path. Of these eight paths, the first three would ensure physical control, the next two ensures mental control, and the last two would ensure intellectual development.
It is said that the Buddha traveled in the Gangetic Plain, in what is now Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and southern Nepal, teaching a diverse range of people: from nobles to outcaste street sweepers, murderers such as Angulimala, and cannibals such as Alavaka. Cast was irrelevant to the Buddha so his teachings focused within the universe. From the outset, Buddhism was equally open to all races and classes, and had no caste structure, as was the rule for most Hindus in the-then society.
Bliss, nirvana the Buddha taught could be found in a freeing movement through the practice of meditation the Buddha showed to his followers how to come to the terms with their own roiling thoughts and desires by paying attention to them, by becoming aware becoming mindful. What Buddha realizes is that if we can get rid of this fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of itself based on egotism, we won’t screw up everything we do, because we are thinking about it in a wrong way. Once you stop centering your feelings about feelings on yourselves, what naturally arise are simple compassions, compassions for your own sufferings and others as well.
For decades the Buddha shared his teachings all across north eastern India that all beings be happy, he taught weak or strong, great or small. He said let us cherish all creatures as a mother her only child. Bare foot in his robes he was still walking along the roads when he was eighty an old age was upon him his back hurt, his stomach was often in pain, “I am old worn out” he told to a trusted disciple “like a deflated craft held together within straps”, the world is so sweet he said that he could understands to wanting to live at least another century but he was fragile and exhausted he become ill at the village named Kushinagar near Nepal.
Kushinagar is revered by the pilgrims where the Buddha finally left this world. It was in Kushinagar where he grew weak and has to laid on his side in a quite grove of Sal trees as near the end his disciples began to weep striking with grief. But the Buddha reassured them that all things change he said whatever is born is subject to decay. He was saying these is natural process he tells his disciples, use this time, use the energy here even this, for your own awakening , so he use even his own death and their sadness as a time to remind them of what they real task was.
Now, Buddhism is more than 2500 years old there are more than 350 million followers in the world who follows Buddhism. The gist is Buddhism arose as a result of Siddartha Gautam’s quest for Enlightenment in around the 6th century BC. There is no belief in a personl God in Buddhism. It is not centred on the relationship between humanity and god. Buddhists believe that nothing is fixed or permanent- change is always possible. The two main Buddhist Sects are Theravada Buddhism and Mahayam Buddhism, but there are many more. There is not particular place where Buddhists can worships they can worships both at home or at a temple. The path to enlightenment is through the practice and development of morality, mediation and wisdom.
“It may be that after I am gone that some of you will think that now we have no teacher but that is not how you should see it, let the dharma and the discipline that I have taught you be your teacher, all individual things pass away strive on untiringly” Buddha’s last words.
The fundamental need for the peace is the peace in the individuals mind. We can give others only the values and idea that we possess. Only the happy and satisfied person, therefore, can provide the happiness and love to others and be able to unite people. The present world situation is the result of our way of thinking. World peace is possible only when all the people love each other. If everybody thinks about each other we would not have problems, but we are habitual in our thinking and define everything according to ourselves or group or community or country. If we steal from another, we steal from ourselves. Instead, we should learn to give and take care of things that belong to our family, to the school, or to the public. Proper conduct shows respect for oneself and others. Our bodies are gifts from our parents, so we should protect them from harm. Young people should especially keep their natures pure and develop their virtue. It is up to them to make the world a better place to live.
Religion is religion only when it unites people and not if divides. We therefore, need conversion from leaders to masters, religious persons to spiritual persons to achieve a level of World Peace.
HAPPY BUDDHA JAYANTI : May 25, 2013
Peace and Harmony,