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  • Malkiat Singh Duhra

Buddha




Buddha was an Indian philosopher, religious teacher, and the historical founder of Buddhism. India, during the 6th century BC, was a land of religious and political turmoil. The Northwest was dominated by the Indo-Aryan invaders who had entered India in the 2nd millennium, bringing their own religious and social institutions, which were dominated by a great sacrificial cult and hereditary priestly elite, the Brahmins. Buddha decided to preach the doctrine anyway, out of his love and compassion for all men. Buddha sought to avoid deep philosophy, he avoided using the term God, preferring to talk about the practical way that a person may escape the cycle of birth and rebirth and attain enlightenment. Buddha’s teaching were known as dharma. He taught that wisdom, kindness, patience, generosity, and compassion were important virtues. He did not believe in any kind of diety or god. Buddha seeks a middle way between the extremes of dogmatism and skepticism, emphasizing personal experience, a pragmatic attitude, and the use of critical thinking towards all types of knowledge.


Siddhartha was born approximately 563 BC near Kapilavastu in the district of Lumbini which is now a modern-day Nepal, close to the Indian border. He died at the age of 80 years in 483 BC at Kusinagara. He was the son of Saddhodhana, the Chief of the Sakya clan of Kapilvastu in the Nepal Tarai area. Siddhartha lost his mother at the time of his birth and was brought up by his aunt and step-mother. Siddhartha married to a beautiful princess Yashodhara, the daughter of a Sky’s noble. He was brought up in a palace with all the comforts and luxuries possible. Growing up a young noble prince, it is said his father sought to shield the young prince Siddhartha from the pain and suffering of the world. It is said his father had a premonition that Siddhartha would one day renounce the world. Siddhartha left the palace and wandered around the kingdom. He came across different people suffering from old age and illness and witnessed death. This showed him the transitory nature of life, which had a great impact on him. As a consequence, Siddhartha resolved to seek a deeper meaning of life.


At the age of 29, Siddhartha secretly left the place; leaving behind his wife, son and all the worldly comforts that he had enjoyed. He devoted himself to meditation, seeking enlightenment amongst the ascetics of the forest. He fasted extensively so his body wasted away; however, despite his great efforts he could not get enlightenment by torturing the body. He resolved to follow a middle path, avoiding excess of both fasting and feasting. Siddhartha was successfully entered into the blissful consciousness of Nirvana. He made the decision to spend the reminder of his life teaching others how to escape the inherent suffering of life.


For many years, Buddha travelled around India and Nepal teaching his philosophy of liberation. His teachings were transmitted orally and not written down until many years after his death. His essential teachings were of love, compassion, and tolerance. Buddha sought to avoid deep philosophy, he avoided using the term God, preferring to talk about the practical way that a person may escape the cycle of birth and rebirth and attain enlightenment. The Buddha passed away at the age of 80 years after many years of teaching and travelling throughout India. On his deathbed, he told Ananda (his dearest disciple) that he should now rely on his teachings and own ethical conduct to be the guide of his life.


Four Noble Truths

1. The truth of suffering: Dukhka.

2. The truth of the cause of suffering: Trishna.

3. The truth of the end of suffering: Nirvana.

4. The truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering


Principles of Buddhism

  1. Right view.

  2. Right aspiration.

  3. Right speech.

  4. Right action.

  5. Right livelihood.

  6. Right effort.

  7. Right mindfulness.

  8. Right concentration.


Precepts/Beliefs

  1. Refrain from taking life. Not killing any living being.

  2. Refrain from taking what is not given. Not stealing from anyone.

  3. Refrain from the misuse of senses. Not having too much sensual pleasure.

  4. Refrain from wrong speech.

  5. Refrain from intoxicants that cloud the mind.


Eightfold Path

  1. Correct view, an accurate understanding of nature of things, specially the 4 noble truths.

  2. Correct attention, avoiding thoughts of attachment, hatred, and harmful attention.

  3. Correct speech, refrain from verbal misdeeds such as lying, divisive speech, harsh speech, senseless speech.

  4. Correct action, refrain from physical misdeeds such as killing, stealing, and sensual misconduct.

  5. Correct livelihood, avoiding trades directly or indirectly harming others, such as selling slaves, weapons, animals for slaughter, intoxicants or poison.

  6. Correct effort, abandoning negative states of mind that has already arisen, preventing negative states that have yet to arise, and sustaining positive states that have already arisen

  7. Correct mindfulness, awareness of body, feeling, thoughts, and phenomena (the constituents of the existing world).

  8. Correct concentration, single-mindedness.


Teachings of Buddha That Can Help You in Your Life:

Life and relation, peace, happiness, success, kindness, patience, equality, mind.


Goal of Buddhism

The ultimate goal of the Buddhist path is to release from the round of phenomenal existence with inherent suffering. To achieve this goal of Buddhism is to become enlightened and reach Nirvana. Nirvana is believed to be attainable only by the elimination of all greed, hatred and ignorance within a person. Nirvana signifies the end of the cycle of death and rebirth.


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