THE BUDDHA  


THE BUDDHA

Initial y the Buddha was hesistant to reach out to teach the
Truth because he felt that the world being caught up in the pas-
sion and darkness of Samsara will find it difficult to accept the
truth of his teachings. However, due to his great compassion and
his realisation that man exists at different levels of spiritual de-
velopment he decided to reach out and set in motion, the Wheel
of Truth, which is depicted by the `mudra' or hand-signs of the
fingers as shown in the il ustration.
e Buddha spent his remaining forty five years travel ing all
over India, teaching the Dharma and living in the manner of a
begging monk. He formed the first monastic Order in the world
which is known as the Sangha and his most notable disciples in-
cluded Sariputra, Mahakasyapa, Mogal ana, Subuti and his per-
sonal at endant and cousin, Ananda. His fol owers were people
from all walks of life which included kings, princes, ministers,
ascetics, brahmins and commoners. He taught them according
to their ability to learn, with parables and through questions
and answers applying all suitable means to aid them to spiritual
growth. He did not demand blind faith, but adopted the unusual
"come and experience for yourself" at itude which won the hearts
of thousands. His was the path of self-reliance which required
unswerving personal effort.
e Buddha also converted his father, his family, and a large
number of the Sakyan people. At the urging of his close disciple
Ananda, he formed the first Order of Nuns and his foster mother,
Queen Mahaprajapati, and a large number of her friends became
the first members of the Order.

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