The life-history and teachings of Lord Buddha founder of Buddhism by Bishwa Nath Singh.
.Gautam Buddha previously known as Prince Siddhartha was born in the year 623 B.C., in Lumbini at Kapilavatthu that is situated at present in the country of Nepal close to our Indian border. His father was King Suddhodana of the Sakya clan and that was the reason that Buddha was often known as "Sakyamuni" and his mother was Queen Maha Maya. The literary meaning of Buddha, is one who is awake' in the sense of having 'woken up to reality' was the first title honored to Lord Buddha. It was over 2500 years ago when Prince Siddhartha Gautam left all the worldly pleasures to attain the reality of life, and became the Buddha - the enlightened one. It was a state in which the Buddha gained an insight into the deepest workings of life and therefore into the cause of human suffering, the problem that had set him on his spiritual quest in the first place.Siddhartha Gautama was born in 563 BCE in Lumbini in Nepal as a son of Shuddhodhana, the king of Kapilavastu and his Queen, Mayadevi. Unfortunately, Mayadevi died only seven days after the birth of Siddhartha and so, he was brought up by His stepmother, Gautami. It is interesting to note that when Siddhartha was born, the astrologers had predicted that the prince would sacrifice the comforts of the materialistic world and instead, opt for a path of His own. When the King Shuddhodhana came to know about the prediction, he naturally became extremely cautious and tried to prevent a thing that was bound to happen, and he did not let Siddhartha even move out of the palace. It was the deepest desire of the king that his son would fulfill his father's dream one day by becoming a King. of honor.When Siddhartha had grown into an intelligent young man, He moved out of his palace one day, and saw certain things that changed the entire course of His life. He first saw a very old man who could barely walk, a sick man who was in a severe pain, and lastly a corpse. Since, He had never been exposed to pain before, these sights affected him immensely, although his charioteer tried to explain Him that pain and death - both were inevitable. This entire episode turned his life and his heart compelled him to evaluate his life completely and then he began the search for the reason of existence. King Shuddhodhana got perturbed by whatever his son was going through and therefore, he arranged Siddhartha's marriage with a young and beautiful princess, Yasodhara. For some time, Siddhartha again got involved into the worldly pleasures, but somewhere at the back of His head, He had still not forgotten what he had seen! It was soon after the birth of son Rahul, that Siddhartha on a starry night, left His wife and son in deep slumber and left the palace.Siddhartha was only twenty nine when He had left home. For some time, he moved around the entire country meeting various sagas and saints in his quest for inner peace. It was during this period that Siddhartha lived the life of a hermit and involved himself in rigorous ' tapasya' (going under physical penance) in order to comprehend the reason for life and death. A time came when he realized that it was useless to torture one's body while finding the truth, and then, he denunciated the method of tapasya(going under physical penance) and fast. Then one fine day as Siddhartha reached Bodh Gaya and being very exhausted, He took a seat under the shade of a papal tree and closed his eyes. He was in very shattered health. He came across a nearby village girl named Sujata who cautioned him not to torture one’’s body as much as that it may not last long citing example of musical instrument Veena and offered him Pious made of rice,, milk and molasses. Many take Sujata as his first teacher who taught him basic values of life. Later on, It was then that he had felt one day a divine light coming within Himself. This was the turning point in His quest as he realised that the truth is within every human being and to search for it outside was baseless. After this incidence, He came to be known as ' Buddha' or the enlightened one. For forty five years, Buddha spread His message of spiritual life to not only His disciples but the common people as well. . He had delivered his first public sermon in the Deer Park at Sarnath in Varanasi District of Uttar Pradesh.State of India, setting in motion the wheel of the Dharma ( spiritual law) as he had expounded the doctrine of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. After teaching for forty five years at the age of eighty the Buddha entered into a deep trance and died peacefully in Kushinagar close to the headquater of Deoria District of U.P. in India. After his death Buddhism split into number of schools the two main schools being termed "Hinayana," or "Lesser Vehicle" and "Mahayana," or "Greater Vehicle." Mahayana school propounded a goal of universal salvation, while the Hinayana emphasized the importance of working primarily for one's own emancipation. The Mahayana ideal is the 'bodhisattva' a person who seeks to attain the state of Buddha hood in order to help others to find the path to final happiness. The Hinayana ideal being is one who overcomes all ties to the phenomenal world and so attains nirvana, which is said to be a state beyond birth and death. It is also described as perfect bliss. Spread of Buddhism to neighboring Asian countries took place during the reign of King Ashoka and other rulers of Maurya and Gupta period. Mahayana school of Buddhism became predominated in Central and East Asia-countries such as Tibet, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and China, while Hinayana schools took is dominant in Southeast Asia, in such countries as Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia. Revival of Hinduism in India with advent of Sankaracharya and Ramanuja saw a decline of Buddhism in India. The all-encompassing Hindu religion accepted Buddha as an incarnation of God (Lord Vishnu). Muslims invasion of India in the beginning of second millennium led to the large-scale destruction of Buddhist Monasteries, Viharas, Stupas. The ancient Universities Nalanda University Vikramshila, Odantapura, Jagddala were totally destroyed by Mohammed Bakhtiar Khilji around 1200 A.D. resulting in destruction of an invaluable collection of books and scriptures. With the Muslim onslaught, Buddhism, which was already on decline, nearly had come to an end in India. The primary teachings shared by all schools of Buddhism are the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path and the Precepts. Within these teachings are woven the Buddhist doctrines of suffering , the five aggregates of being , no-self , ethics, karma, rebirth, enlightenment and Nirvana.The main aim of life, as per Buddhism, is the extinction of suffering. By recognizing the four noble truths of life and following the noble eightfold path, one can end the suffering in life and that is the main salient feature of Buddhism. In Buddhism, it is firmly believed that one can escape from the vicious cycle of birth and death by following the noble eightfold path, consisting of the following eight steps: (1)Right Actions (2)Right Concentration (3)Right Effort and Exercise (4)Right Livelihood (5)Right Mindfulness /Awareness (6)Right Speech (7)Right Thoughts and (8)Right Understanding . The Four Noble Truths, forming the essence of Buddhism, are: (A)The Noble Truth of Suffering (B)The Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering (C)The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering and ( D)The Noble Truth that leads to the Extinction of Suffering . Let us inculcate goodness of Buddhism in our life to make our life blissful free from any miseries and sorrows!. Lord Buddha had laid emphasis on the purification of mind, heart and ultimately, soul by following the Eightfold Path, the Four Noble Truths and the Five Perceptions. This path included the right speech, understanding, determination, deeds, efforts, awareness, thinking and living. As per Buddhism, if one follows these paths, one could overcome desires, which were the reason for all their miseries and grieves. Today, Buddhism has a strong following in various Asian countries and is gradually finding its feet in some of the western countries as well. Japan adores him as an incarnation of God. Hardly, there is any house in Japan, where inmates have not converted their best room in a Pooja (worship) room where they have not installed a statue of Lord Buddha-such is their faith in Lord Buddha. Let us join to pay our humble obeisance to the lotus feet of Lord Buddha and seek His bliss for well-being of all living-being of this universe especially to all those where chaos is prevailing and people are suffering because of one reason and other besides all those who are living in Japan and other countries who have suffered much due to the recent earthquake , tsunami and other natural calamities that had created caused havoc there and taken too many lives and damaged both Public and Private properties!
By Bishwa Nath Singh
(Two Photos of Lord Buddha)
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Bishwa Nath Singh
Let us join to pay our humble obeisance to the lotus feet of Lord Buddha and seek His bliss for well-being of all living-being of this universe!
Dolly Jamwal :