Gautama Buddha


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Buddhism is probably the most tolerant religion in the world, as its teachings can coexist with any other religions. Buddhism has a very long existence and history, starting in about 565 B.C. with the birth of Siddhartha Gautama. The religion has guidelines in two forms in which Buddhist followers must follow. These are the "Four Noble Truths" and the "Eightfold Path.
It all started in about 565 B.C. when Siddhartha Gautama was born. He was a young Indian prince born to the ruler of a small kingdom that is now known as Nepal. Gautama's father was said to have been told by a prophet that if Gautama saw the sick, aged, dead, or poor he would become a religious leader. If he didnt see these four things he would become an emperor. Because of this prophecy Gautama's father decided to isolate his son from the outside world, where he might "see how the other half lived", for the good of his empire and his citizens. Trying to shelter Gautama from all the four sights was impossible, and Gautama ventured out and that is when he eventually saw the four sights, which would, if experienced as it had been told to Gautama's father, lead the young prince to a religious leader. These sights or as how Buddhists refer to them "The Four Signs" were in turn, a sick man covered with terrible sores, an old man, a corpse, and a wandering monk. The sightings of these men made Gautama think of the suffering and inevitable death which comes to all people great and small. This brought further questioning such as the meaning of life and the ultimate fate of man. As time passed these thoughts became great burdens to Gautama and he increasingly became dissatisfied with the shallow dissolute life of the royal court in which he lived. Therefore at the age of 21, although married with a beautiful young son and also the heir to a very rich throne he forsook it all and became a traveling holy man. After a while of traveling as a holy man there was a great even that transformed Gautama into the Buddha (or the Enlightened One).
Siddhartha had been meditating under a bodhi tree for six years, but had never been fully satisfied. Eventually at dawn it all began on Gautama's thirty-fifth birthday. He finally realized the essential truth about life and about the path to salvation. He realized that physical harshness of asceticism was not a means of achieving Enlightenment and Nirvana. From then on, he encouraged people to follow a path of balance rather than extremism. He called this path the Middle Way. "Devotion to the pleasures of sense, a low practice of villagers, a practice unworthy, unprofitable, the way of the world [on one hand]; and [on the other] devotion to self- mortification, which is painful, unworthy and unprofitable. By avoiding these two extremes the Buddha has gained knowledge of that middle path which giveth vision, which giveth knowledge, which causeth calm, special knowledge, enlightenment, Nirvana." He cleaned his mind of all evil thoughts and achieved Enlightenment at the age of thirty-five, earning the title Buddha, or "Enlightened One." Because of this Gautama then became the Buddha and remained at this spot for many days while remaining in a trance-like state and told his teachings to five ascetics for many weeks. This experience made Gautama feel a desire to share his knowledge with others, so he and his five students preached to the world. Gautama was a teacher and guru until his death in about 483 B.C.
Buddhism is a lot like other Indian religions based upon the beliefs. Such as the beliefs in reincarnation, dharma, karma and Nirvana. But mostly in Raja Yoga the profound meditation which holds the key to enlightment and therefore to the way of Nirvana. Buddha himself expressed the base of his beliefs when he said, "I teach only 2 things, O disciples, the fact of suffering and the possibility of escape from suffering. These ideas are expanded upon in the "Four Noble Truths" and the "Eightfold Path".  In His first sermon to the five ascetics in the Deer Park near Varanasi, the Buddha spoke of the ... more

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5 page report on buddhism
To begin this report, I will relate the story of the Buddha. Once a king had a son, his wife dying during labor. The childs name was Siddartha (meaning all wishes fulfilled) Gautama. As the boy grew up, there was a hermit who lived near the castle who saw a shimmering about the castle grounds. Taking this as an omen, the hermit went to the castle. When he saw Siddartha, he foretold that if Siddartha stayed in the palace until he was an adult, he would be a great ruler. But if Siddartha were to leave the palace and go into the world before he was mature, he would become the Buddha and save us all. At first the king was delighted to hear this news. But gradually, he began to worry that his son might become a homeless recluse instead of a mighty ruler. When Siddartha was about twelve, he was let out of the castle, and saw a bird eat a worm. This image stayed with him when he went back to the castle, and he asked himself Is everything naturally this savage?. The king saw his son sad and in deep contemplation, and the thought he needed a distraction. Siddartha was married.  After the wedding, there were many parties and other such events to help to cheer him up. Throughout this, Siddartha contemplated his question, and eventually left the castle to pursue enlightenment. As soon as he had left the palace, he shaved his head and got a beggars bowl, realizing that material goods would not help him on his quest for enlightenment. To help in his quest, for 15 years, Siddartha lived in a hut on only half a grain of rice a day. Afterwards, he realized that this didnt help his state of mind at all, because he was always hungry and in pain. He realized that suffering is necessary, but can be avoided in the long run.
One common misconception of the Buddha is that he is a god according to the general belief that many of the Buddhist schools share. The Buddha is three things : First a teacher, second a great man, and third a universal ruler. There was a small Buddha cult right after Siddartha became Buddha, and that is where the last interpretation came from. In reality, there are three main things you must learn about and advance in these are: Buddha, his teachings called the Dharma, and the group of other people who study Buddhism with you.
Buddha means Enlightened One the first of the three gems, as they are called is act as the Buddha would, this includes following the eightfold path, with an emphasis on three virtues. The first virtue is wisdom this includes from the eightfold path right understanding and right thought . The second of these virtues is morality this includes right speech, right action, and right livelihood. The third of these virtues is concentration right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
The second of the three gems is the Dharma, the teachings of the Buddha. This includes the majority of Buddhism, because this is where you find all the main ideas. Ill start with Siddarthas first discourse as the Buddha, the four truths. The first truth is that there is suffering in the world, and that suffering fits into three categories : the first type of suffering is  the suffering that no one can avoid: birth, sickness, old age, and death. The second type is the suffering produced by change, an example is losing a job, and the insecurity that comes with it. This second type cannot be escaped from either, for nothing can last forever. The third is the only one you can prevent to some extent, it is attachments to material things or experiences, specifically these five aggregates: matter, sensations, perceptions mental formations, and consciousness.  
The second truth is that suffering has a cause, there are two causes of suffering: not having the realization that everything is temporal, and not knowing that there is no ego. Both of these seem absurd at first, but that is because, according to most eastern thought, the world is much less than we make ... more

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