Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lord Buddha – A little about his life

Lord Buddha was born as a Siddhartha Gautam in the year 583 BC in present day Nepal. His father King Suddhodana was the sole leader of a large group of clan known as Shakya. His other died immediately after his birth.

When Siddhartha was very young a holy man prophesied that he would either become a great warrior or a great philosopher when he grows up. His father wanted him to become a warrior and tried everything in his capability to keep him away from religion, sufferings and other spiritual kind of things. But nothing can change destiny of a person.

Till the age of 29 he knew nothing about the outside world and this led to strange kind of curiosity in him. So one day he decided to go out of his palace. So he asked his charioteer to take him on a ride of the countryside. This ride changed his life forever. Here he saw four sights. First that of an old man, than a sick man, a corpse and ascetic. The sight of old age, disease death completely shook him up as he came in direct confront with the stark realities of life for the first time.

The ascetic was the one who also had a deep influence on him. His charioteer explained him that the wanderer had sought renunciation from the worldly desires and thus released himself from any kind of fear regarding life or death.

After this experience Siddhartha could never cope up with the life at palace. Things that gave him pleasure earlier were of no use to him now. In fact the birth of a son to his wife also could not please. Thus one day he decided to go in for a quest in search of enlightenment. He sneaked out of the palace, disguised himself by shaving his head and putting on a beggars clothes.

He began his search by first looking for answers to his questions and thus went to renowned teachers. With their help he came to know a lot about religion but after they had finished what the teachers had to offer Siddhartha's questions remained unsolved. This time he with five other disciples began their search of enlightenment.

They tried everything they could - starvation, mediation, holding their breath, enduring great pain. Yet Siddhartha's quests for his answers remain unfulfilled. He realized that the methods that he was following were of no use. But he realized that his search was directed to attain a middle way between pleasure and pain.

One day he took a bowl of rice milk from a small girl. This angered the other five followers and they left him. After this Siddhartha sat under a Boddi tree and began to meditate. Here Siddhartha confronted Mara the demon who is said to bring us passions. He tried different things to delude Siddhartha, even trying his beautiful daughter to seduce Siddhartha but of no avail. Finally one day Mara asked him what were his spiritual accomplishments and where was the proof. At this Siddhartha touch the earth and with this Mara disappeared realizing that the seat of enlightenment rightfully belong to Siddhartha. Thus Siddhartha found what he was looking for and became what we know today as Buddha.

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