The Life of Lord Buddha
Regards to my elders
Greetings ladies and gentlemen
In this post I will tell you about Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. This post of mine though won’t tell about the superstition and super natural happenings that surround the lord’s birth as we will talk about him who himself inspired a religion which is free from any such thing. The Life of Lord Buddha.
There has been controversy among historians about whether the lord was born in 566 BC or 563 BC. But 566 BC seems to be the correct year. The name of the Lord’s father is king Suddhodhan who used to rule the small republic of ‘Kapilvastu’. Mahamaya was the name of the lord’s mother. She gave birth Siddhartha, the one who went on to become Lord Buddha, near Lumbini gardens in ‘Kapilvastu’. Mahamaya could not survive 7 days after the birth of Siddhartha.
From early childhood Siddhartha was lost in the matters of life and death and used to ponder a lot about them. Siddhartha’s father, king Suddhodana, was deeply aggrieved to see the state of his son. He wanted his son to experience the worldly pleasures( as he clearly had experienced them. Siddhartha was brought up by his step mother Prajapati Gautami) and to fulfill these he provided all sort of royal luxuries around the prince, but the prince showed no interest in them whatsoever. King Suddhodhan married his son to a princess named ‘Yashodhara’ thinking that family life might change Siddharth. Siddhartha had a son named ‘Rahula’ which he considered as an impediment in his search for true knowledge.
Four Great Signs
Before the renunciation of Siddharth, four great incident which the buddhist literature text as the ‘Four Great Signs’ happened which exercised a great influence in the future life of Siddhartha and he came to be known as ‘the Enlightened One’
First, he saw an aged man who had wrinkles all over and was trembling while walking due to his age. Siddhartha realized that it is no good to be proud of youth as it is only transitory.
Second, he saw a sick man who was on the verge of death. He realized Health had no permanent importance.
Third, he saw a funeral and saw the relatives of the deceased who were weeping. He asked himself, was life really significant if its end was so tragic.
Fourth, he saw and ascetic who had renounced the world for the purpose of achieving salvation.
The religion which flourished during the 6th century BC such as Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism propounded the freed of soul from the cycles of birth and rebirth or the particular word ‘Nirvana ‘ .However all these three religion had propounded different ways of achieving it. Now, according to Buddhism one can achieve Salvation or can gain enlightenment if one extinguishes all his desires. This was simple, no desires means there can be nothing which can cause you happiness or sorrowfulness. No desires means you are not attached to any earthly feeling, hence you’re soul is now freed from the cycles of birth and rebirth or the ultimate spiritual feeling called Nirvana.
Siddhartha after witnessing these four incidents felt discontentment with himself, hence at the age of 29 he left his family, became an ascetic and went on the search for true Knowledge. He roamed the country for 6 years. He visited Rajgriha( patna district,Bihar) and Uravela near Gaya( Bihar) and got religious instruction from 2 Brahmins but his heart could not find solace. He practiced self-mortification, which according to Jainism is way to salvation, but this only brought him pain and his body became weak. He gave up this and took a bowl of milk pudding from a village girl named ‘ Sujata’. Having failed to attain true knowledge through the path of self mortification, Siddhartha took a bath in the stream of the river of ‘Niranjana'(Lilijan) and satunder a Pipal tree in Bodh Gaya. He started meditation with a determination that he will continue until he achieved true knowledge. After only 7 days at the age of 35 , Siddhartha attained true knowlege, gained enlightenment, and came to be known as Lord Buddha, ‘Tathagat’ never to be called Siddhartha again.
Gautam Buddha as a Preacher
After attainment of true knowledge Lord Buddha now began to preach his knowlege(which ultimately became a new religion) selflessly. He delivered his first Sermon in Sarnath which helped him gain five disciples. Lord Buddha preached his religion to everyone with any discrimination and hence gradually more and more people joined him. His parents, son and all his relatives joined him and many great rulers of that time such as Ajatsatru, Bimbisara and Prasenjit too embraced the Lord’s religion. Lord Buddha preached his religion for a period of about 45 years. He breathed his last in Kushinagar( Uttar Pradesh)in 486 BC.
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This was a long one. I had fun . Let’s end it here.
I hope I continue in future