Born in the year 563 B.C. to King Sudhodhana & Queen Maya
His birth name was Sidharatha
In Lumbini in the Kingdom of Kapilavastu in Nepal
Wherein he had his upbringing
With love and affection overflowing
From childhood itself he was emotionally surcharged.
He used to feel much pain
When he saw anybody in utter pain
Hence the King kept him at his residence
With a lot of opulence
And all the comforts which a person needs.
Prince Sidhartha was married to princess Yasodhara
So that his son remains busy in the palace life itself
Just cut off from the outside existence
Filled with pain and sufferings
As his father wanted him to be the king and rule his kingdom after him
But the seers predicted that Sidharatha would be spiritual oriented.
A Buddha – is the most enlightened one
The one who possesses Bodhi
An unparallel perspicacity
An ideal state attained through spiritual orientation
With scholarly and ethical perfection
Who would transform others’ lives with all his realizations
But what is destined will surely happen.
One day he saw the outside life with pain in abundance
With sickness, oldage and finally death
He also saw a monk just wandering about
He wished to be a monk too
For understanding the real meaning of life in real sense
He ultimately left the comforts of the palace
Did strictest penance
For six long years.
While meditating under a Bodhi tree
In Bodhgaya in present day Bihar
With single minded meditative trance
Without taking anything for days on end.
He wanted to know the cause of human sufferings
Which is commonly seen
Removing ignorance can remove sufferings
He faced many a hurdles during his meditation so severest
Ultimately he attained enlightenment
And became Buddha – the one suffusing with immense wisdom.
Got what he aspired for in case of human existence
As prophesied by the seers!
FROM CHILDHOOD TO THE ENLIGHTENMENT
It is significant to note that from the childhood itself, he was very emotionally oriented and used to get emotional on small pretexts. The seers predicted that one day he will become Bhuddha. But the King wanted to see him as a great king. With this point in mind, he told his wife to keep him away from miseries of life and provided him all the comforts within the four walls of the palaces. With this point in view, the King Sadodna kept him away from the lives of common people and the hard lives that they lived.
At the age of sixteen, Prince Sidhartha was married to princess Yasodhara. The king provided all the comforts in the palace so that his son may remain engrossed in the ways of the world and never leave the palace. But a person who is destined to become a great Buddha cannot be kept aloof in the comforts of the palaces.
Therefore, one day, finding time he went outside and saw for himself the life outside his palace. Not only one, he made three trips in which he saw sickness, old age and death. On the fourth trip outside his palace, he saw a wandering monk. He determined to be like him. Therefore, he determined to leave everything including his nears and dears. He got his hair cut, changed his clothes and subsequently called himself Gautama. He wanted to know as to how to remove the suffering from our midst. For this purpose, he went to different sages and wise preachers. But none could alleviate or satiate his doubts.
Importantly, in order to find the cause of sufferings for a period of six years, he practiced strict penance in which he took fruits, leaves and root of the trees. Many a times he remained hungry for days on end. But he could not get what he wanted. Then again he began eating health giving food in order to get what he actually wanted.
Axiomatically, it has rightly been said that for a determined man everything is possible. Therefore, while he was sitting under the Bodhi tree (In Bodhgaya) in meditation, he determined that he will not get up from this spot until he got satisfactory answer to his prayers. It has rightly been observed that whenever we are in quest for a truth, we have to surmount so many hurdles. In order to get pure gold, it has to undergo different processes, therefore, he too had to go through tests. Subsequently during the night Mara (an evil soul) visited him and threw different temptations to him but Gautama came over every temptation with his virtue. Finally, he realized the cause of suffering. Thus he became Buddha as destined and prophesied by sages.
After he got answers to his strict penance in the form of enlightenment, he went to Deer Park in the city of Benares and shared his enlightenment with five holy monks who understood him and thus became his disciples. Thus the journey for teaching Bhudhist teaching started. For a long period of 45 years, he travelled far and wide to preach his dharma. During this period he along with his disciplines faced many hardships but they did not tarry from their path of spreading true teachings. There was sobriety and piety in his speech which attracted his audience immensely.
It was during the reign of King Ashoka was Bhuddism spread from India to other countries as well.
There is a famous story about Gautama, during his preaching trip, he found one monk down with contagious disease. He washed the monk thoroughly and rebuked the other monks as to why they were not taking care of his brother monk who was suffering in pain.
Buddha taught that everyone of us could imbibe Buddha nature and teachings and become Bhuddha himself/herself. He also preached that we should know our ordinary nature which include our fear, anger and jealousy. But our true nature include pure, wise and perfect. We have to discard our ordinary nature and know our true nature. This termed as Bhuddha Nature.
TEACHINGS OF BUDDHA
KNOWLEDGE CAN REMOVE IGNORANCE AND SUFFERINGS
Matter turns into energy and energy turns into matter. We are born of our parents and our children are born out of us. If we harm others, in turn, we would also be harmed ultimately.
- Everything changes. Nothing remains static, everything changes. Our like is like a river whose current goes on and on. It does not change. Sometimes it is smooth and the other places its current is swift. The current also passes through hurdles in the form of rocks etc. Anything could happen at any time.
- Law of cause and effect. The third truth is that there are continue changes taking due to law of cause and effect – which is governed by our Karmic deeds and misdeeds. Everything happens to us due to our own Karma. If we are doing good to others, the good things would be done to us too and vice versa.
THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
(a) There is suffering. Which is common to all.
(b) Cause of suffering. We are the cause of our suffering.
(c) The end of suffering. One should enlighten oneself by removing ignorance.
(d) The path to the end of suffering. This is by adopting Noble eight path – middle path which constitutes:
- Right view. See through the eyes of the Buddha (With wisdom and compassion).
- Right thought. Clear and right thoughts makes huge difference.
- Right speech.
- Right conduct.
- Right livelihood.
- Right effort.
- Right mindedness – goodwill towards others.
- Right concentration. Focusing one right thought at a time.
Buddha breathed his last around 486 BC at the age of eighty but his preaching are most relevant and followed round the globe.
From the life of Gautama Buddha we can adopt the following things in our lives:-
- Right action leads to right results.
- If we be good to others, others will be good to us.
- If we make right and sincere efforts, we would be successful in our efforts.
- Our sufferings are due to our own Karmic deeds or misdeeds.
- We should focus on good deeds.
- We should cultivate good mannerism and conduct for successful living.
- We should use right words during our conversation with others.
- We should always act with wisdom and foresightedness.
- Right action should follow right thought.
- We should never adopt corrupt ways in earning our livelihood.
- Our ignorance is the cause of our suffering, remove the ignorance and all our sufferings will stop.
- Nothing is destroyed in nature should always be kept in mind.
- Change is the ways of nature. Everything under the sun changes should never be forgotten.
- As you sow so shall you reap should never be forgotten.
- Nothing is lost in the nature should never be forgotten.
- Right attitude leads to right results.
May his teachings remain etched in our heart and remain guiding us to make our life sublime, peaceful, purposeful along with living righteously.