|Who is e Buddha?|
Buddhism is a way of life, a religion which is based on the practice
of discipline according to the teachings of the Buddha Siddharta
Gautama who is also known as the Buddha Sakyamuni. e word
"Buddha" derives from the root Sanskrit word "Budh" which
means "to know". It is used as a title to denote an "Enlightened
Being" -- one who has attained, by, his own personal efforts and
merit, the pinnacle of intel ect and divine knowledge.
Buddhism is a religion of peace and loving kindness, in the
name of which no blood was ever shed in its long history, there
had never been any association with kil ing and destruction in
its manner of persuading people to walk its gentle path. It is a
religion of reason and meditation and its final goal is Deliver-
ance, meaning the Liberation of the Self from the cycle of birth,
old age, disease and death.
ho is e uddha?
Historical y, this refers to Siddharta Gautama who was born
in 560 BC to Queen Mahamaya and King Suddhodanna of the
Sakya Kingdom in the vicinity of Nepal. e queen had, prior
to the birth of the child, a dream of a beautiful white elephant
entering her womb through her side. Gautama was born in
Lumbini Park on a ful -moon day in the month of Vesakha. A
week after his birth, his mother died and he was brought up by
his aunt, Mahaprajapati. At a name giving ceremony he was
given the name Siddharta which means One Whose Aim Is
Ancient Pali commentaries relate a significant incident which
occured during the Ploughing Ceremony, when as a young child
and left alone in a tent under a rose-apple tree, his nurses later
found the prince to be seated in a lotus posture and having en-
tered one-pointedness of mind known as Samadhi.
e young prince grew up in the midst of luxury and splendour
and at the age of 16, was married to his cousin, the beautiful
Yasodhara. For almost thirteen years after his marriage, he led a
blissful life unaware of the ever changing nature and misfortunes
of life outside the palace.
When he was 29 years old Gautama encountered four significant
sights which marked the turning point of his life. First he saw a
weak and frail old man leaning on a staff, next a diseased person,
then a corpse and final y, a shaven-headed hermit in yel ow robe
moving around with a peaceful and serene countenance. e first
three sights convincingly showed him the inexorable nature of
life, and the universal ailments of humanity; the fourth showed
the means to overcome the il s of life and to attain to calm and
peace. Realising the worthlessness of sensual pleasures and the
value of renunciation he decided to leave home in search of Truth
and Eternal Peace.
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