Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A write-up on Lord Buddha as flashed on the f.b. on March 5,2011.

Bishwa Nath Singh
Buddha, means 'the enlightened one'. Gautam Buddha was one of the greatest religious teachers that the world has seen. His teachings expounded in Buddhism, are immensely popular in Burma, China, Japan and other South Eastern Countries. Gautam Buddha was born in 563 B.C. as Siddhartha to Shuddhodana the king of Kapilavastu in the small state of Kapilavastu, in what is now Nepal, and later to have taught primarily throughout regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kośalain His mother Mayadevi expired when he was just seven days old and he was brought up by his stepmother Gautami. The name Siddhartha means “wish-fulfilled” or “one who has accomplished his goal

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    • Bishwa Nath Singh
      Siddhartha was made to lead a very sheltered life as the astrologers had predicted that he would give up worldly pleasures to follow a different path. The King wanted to avoid this at all costs and so did not let him out of the palace. He ...hoped that Siddhartha would one day become king. When Siddhartha had grown into an intelligent young man, he ventured out of his palace one day, and chanced on a few sights that changed the course of his life. He first saw a very old man who could barely walk, a sick man who was in a great deal of pain, and lastly a corpse. He had never been exposed to pain before, and so these sights had a deep effect on him. His servant explained that pain and death were inevitable. This made Siddhartha very sad and he started to rethink his life and began to try to fathom the reason of existence. Seeing him so thoughtful, his father decided to get him married and get his mind off such serious topics. He was married to a beautiful princess called Yashodhara, who soon gave birth to a son who they called Rahul. Despite this, Siddhartha found no happiness in materialistic pleasures and so left the palace in search of salvation - ' Moksh'. He was only twenty nine years old. He roamed the country, meeting various sadhus and saints in his search for inner peace. He lived the life of a hermit and underwent rigorous ' tapasya' to achieve his purpose, but still could not understand the meaning of or reason for life and death. Finally, one day he reached Bodh Gaya. He was very tired and so sat under the shade of a Papal tree.While he was mediating, he came across a village girl Sujata. who had impressed him not to go for so much a physical penance that it could affect his life and offered him pious. He shut his eyes and was blessed with a divine light. This was the turning point, as he realized the truth is within every human being. The search outside was pointless. After this he was known as ' Buddha' or the enlightened one. After his awakening, the Buddha met two merchants, named Tapussa and Bhallika, who became his first lay disciples. They were apparently each given hairs from his head, which are now claimed to be enshrined as relics in the Shwe Dagon Temple in Rangoon, Burma. The Buddha intended to visit Asita, and his former teachers, Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, to explain his findings, but they had already died. He then travelled to the Deer Park near Vārāṇasī (Benares) in northern India, where he set in motion what Buddhists call the Wheel of Dharma by delivering his first sermon to the five companions with whom he had sought enlightenment. Together with him, they formed the first saṅgha: the company of Buddhist monks.All five become arahants, and within the first two months, with the conversion of Yasa and fifty four of his friends, the number of such arahants is said to have grown to 60. The conversion of three brothers named Kassapa followed, with their reputed two hundred, three hundred & five hundred disciples respectively. This swelled the Sangha to more than thousand.For forty five years, Buddha spread his message of a spiritual life. He did not believe in rituals but pointed to an eight fold path towards salvation - that of right speech, right understanding, right determination, right deeds, right efforts, right awareness, right thinking and right living. At the age of eighty, the Buddha announced that he would soon reach Parinirvana, or the final deathless state, and abandon his earthly body. After this, the Buddha ate his last meal, which he had received as an offering from a blacksmith named Cunda. Falling violently ill, Buddha instructed his attendant Ānanda to convince Cunda that the meal eaten at his place had nothing to do with his passing and that his meal would be a source of the greatest merit as it provided the last meal for a Buddha.Mettanando and von Hinüber argue that the Buddha died of mesenteric infarction, a symptom of old age, rather than food poisoning.The precise contents of the Buddha's final meal are not clear, due to variant scriptural traditions and ambiguity over the translation of certain significant terms; the Theravada tradition generally believes that the Buddha was offered some kind of pork, while the Mahayana tradition believes that the Buddha consumed some sort of truffle or other mushroom. These may reflect the different traditional views on Buddhist vegetarianism and the precepts for monks and nuns.Ananda had protested the Buddha's decision to enter Parinirvana in the abandoned jungles of Kuśināra (present-day Kushinagar, India) of the Malla kingdom. Buddha, however, is said to have reminded Ananda how Kushinara was a land once ruled by a righteous wheel-turning king that resounded with joy. According to Buddhism, by following this path one could overcome desires, which were the root cause of grief and misery. The Buddha died in 483 BC at the ripe age of eighty at after successfully spreading his message to the world. Buddhism still lives and has a strong following in various Asian countries. He is also regarded as a god or prophet in other world religions or denominations, including Hinduism, Ahmadiyya Islam and the Bahá'í faith, Gautama Buddha is also described as a god or prophet in other religions. Some Hindu texts say that the Buddha was an avatar of the god Vishnu, who came to Earth to delude beings away from the Vedic religion.Let us join to pay our humble obeisance to His lotus feet!

      Rajesh L Joshi
      Mindfulness is the way to the Deathless
      (Nibbana), unmindfulness the way to Death.
      Those who are mindful do not die, and those who
      are not are as if already dead.


      Anil Kumar O LORD ! BLESS US.
March 5,2011.

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