Buddha is not a name but a title which is a Sanskrit word for “Enlightened one.” Siddhartha Gautama was born in 567 B.C.E. in the Himalayan region of Kapilavastu, Shakya which is now a modern Lumbini, Nepal. He born to the King Sudhodhana, who rule Kapilavastu in ancient Bharata Khanda, And Queen Maya.
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When he was born a Brahmin guru prophesize that young Gautama would either become an Emperor of Bharata Khanda or a very holy man, which worried his father Sudhodhana who desperately wanted his son to become the former, so he decides to keep Gautama locked in the place. Gautama led a blissful life in palaces until he was 29. But one day he decides to leave the palace for a short excursion where he discovers an inevitable part of the human condition which one day he would be affected by it too. He began to take more trips outside the palace where he learned more about human suffering. In that trip, he also met a holy Guru who seeks spiritual life in the mindset of the vastness of human suffering which inspired him so much that he decides to leave the place (Cite).
Gautama began his journey and tried to find the cause of human suffering. He tried to learn from other holy men by following what they did, but it didn’t solace his suffering. So he began his own journey to find truth behind why humans suffer and the way to find peace within oneself; he ate , mediated for month and finally reached the highest state of nirvana. Nirvana, is also referred to as the “blowing out of the flames of desire” (Cite). With this, Gautama became the Buddha, “The awakened one.” With Buddha awakening he recognized all of the creation from distraught ant to dying human beings, is unified by suffering so after understanding that he began to teach people who later on became his disciples. Bhuddha began teaching and encouraging people to have compassion for each other and that they should develop their own virtue; “you should do your own work, for I can teach only the way.” (pg6,). He began teaching everything he knew after obtaining nirvana, and his main purpose of teaching was to end suffering. Buddha had three main focuses on his teaching which were the three universal truths: the four noble truths, and this three have become the core of now (Cite).
Buddha began by identifying the threefold way of ethics, meditation, and wisdom. The first is Sila is a virtue, good conduct, and mortality. Which is based on two principles that all living things are equal and the second principle is the same as Christianity “golden rule” that to do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you. This can be found in almost all major religions around the world. The second one is Samadhi, which is a meditative absorption, concentration, and our mental development. When you practice to control your mind and body, this will help you maintain good conduct. The last one is Prajna or Panna which is wisdom, and insight. Gautama focused a lot on prajna because he believed that “wisdom will emerge if your mind is pure and calm” (Cite).
The first truth Annica is that everything in this life will change. This theory resembles the seasons like how summer changes into fall and all the leaves began to fall and everything around us will die. But as fall changes into winter. Winter will bring cold weather; then, winter transitions into spring where new life will begin. Tress will once again grow new leaves and winter everything around us will be alive again. Just like this, we are born into this world so as time changes we will grow, raise a family, and grow old and eventually we will die. Death is most certainly in living things. We cannot stop this cycle from happening, no matter how hard we try. Therefore, the change is the only thing that is permanent. The second truth is Dukkha meaning suffering. This is also one of the core teachings of Buddha and that our desire is the cause of our suffering. We humans are so full of desire and greed that we don’t see how much we are suffering because of this. We all crave for things, and we don’t have wisdom to appreciate what things we have; therefore, we are never satisfied with what we have; we all want more and more of what we don’t have. This desire will eventually make us evil, and we will end up doing cruel things to fulfill our desire. Even if you do achieve that, things you will never truly be satisfied with it because you will crave for something more or something new.
The third truth is Anatta which means there is no self. There is no such a thing as yourself. so you never claim that something is yours. The true meaning behind Anatta is that there is no you so you should not be selfish, claiming you own that or this. When you remove the anatta, you are selfless, and then you are truly desired free. Nothing is lost in the universe. This is an example of how a flower dies and then is turned into soil. We living beings are the same the river that flows downward. We all are same, so if we destroy anything around us, somehow we are also destroying ourselves. If you try to cheat somebody, you are also cheating yourself because the act of karma will come around.
Now let’s talk more about the four the four noble truths which are Dukkha, Samudaya, Nirodha, and Magga. The first one Dukka is suffering and dukkha is real, and it has many causes like pain, failure, heartbreak, loss, and the longing. The next is samudaya which means the truth of the cause of suffering. Gautama believed that we suffer because we desire and that desire and desire can be good or either bad, but it doesn’t matter because whether it’s good or bad; we will always desire for more and at the end, our desire will be the cause of suffering in our lives. The third one is Nirodha that there is an end to suffering and that we can overcome our attachment. When a person is free of attachment to desire and believe, and there is no such thing as self, then they can obtain nirvana, which is the unlimited goal of life by Gautama.
In the first two truths, Gautama talks about the main problem of being faced which suffering and on the third one, he talks about the cause of suffering and how we can end that suffering. The last one is Magga the truth of the path to the cessation of suffering. In this last Noble truth, Gautama talks about the Eightfold path, which is a cure or prescription. Buddha knew that we humans are vulnerable and that we all are emotional beings who feel pain because we suffer. We are delusional and we get angry. this is why he created an Eightfold path that teaches us the right way of living the life. Following this Eightfold path will move us forward toward the attainment of Nirvana.
The Eightfold path is a third main core circle of Buddha teaching. This path is timeless philosophy which is a practical way of living a life. These eightfold paths are grouped into three essential elements which are moral conduct, mental discipline, and wisdom. The eightfold path is also called the middle way which is a guideline that helps you learn and discover yourself. The first one, in the eightfold path, is Samma Ditti, meaning the right understanding of the four noble truth. An example of this is when you see a food picture on the internet; you will have an understanding of how it looks and detail on how it’s supposed to taste. But you will only know the real taste of that food when you eat it yourself. Only your own experience will guide you to have the right understanding of that food. The second one is Samma Sankappa which is having the right intention. Having the right understanding will help you understand what life really is and having right intent will let you decide from your heart. Having a right understanding will decrease your ignore and right intention will remove the desire that comes with the wrong intention which is the cause of our suffering.
The third one is samma vaca which means right speech. We humans often forget the power of speech and will speak without thinking about the consequence of that word. This third path encourages us to speak kindly and have the consideration to others around us. The fourth one is Samma Kammanta which means the right action. Gautama says, “We need to take an ethical approach in life and also consider about other who live in this world. Right action has five precepts which are given by the Buddha which is to Not to kill, steal, lie, to avoid sexual misconduct, and not to take any kind of intoxicant which will make you lose your mind which will cause to have wrong speech and action” (Cite). Right action also talks about how we should care of the world and make a safe place for future generations.
The fifth is Samma Ajiva, and that is having the right livelihood. You should lead a life without hurting others. You also need to be honest while living your life. The sixth is Samma Vayama, which means making the right effort. It encourages you to have positive thought and try to make a right effort toward yourself and others. The number seven is Samma Sati which is having the right mindset to learn about your body and emotions. This also focuses on overcoming your hunger, hatred, and your ignorance toward any living creature. The last eightfold path is Samma samadhi which is having the right concentration. We focus more on meditation and ways to achieve a higher state of consciousness. Gautama has tried to explain his knowledge in different words and ways so he can help people led a better life. The eightfold path focuses more on practice and individual mental development. The eightfold path is a way to sets up disciple in your body, mind, and also a path to self-purification. The eightfold way is a path which will lead you to the ultimate reality, happiness, freedom from the illusion of the world.
Gautama worldviews were that karma is our act and ethical consequences of our action. According to Buddha, your karma can also lead to rebirth as human, or an animal or a ghost. His aspect on karma is a lot like Hindu belief on karma and rebirth cycle. Your karma is like a report card which will keep track of your actions and will go effectively when you have a rebirth. Buddha has a lot of philosophies, and now we have a religion based on his philosophy called Buddhism. He, himself, expressed his philosophy on these two rules “I teach two things, one disciple, the nature of suffering and cessation of suffering. A lot of Greek philosophers focus more on god or a supernatural power which exists beyond this world, while Buddha only focuses more on ending living suffering and what is life. I really liked how he focused on all living beings and worked so hard to teach us compassion.
He focused more on what was happening in the present and how we could improve ourselves to be enlightened. Regarding, Buddha’s philosophy, you can consider it epistemology; everyone claims to have the true knowledge of how everything was made, but how can we know they are true? Focus more on what you have rather than focusing on things you don’t even know if they even exist or not. We have a lot of things in life that we cannot control like universal change and death. But likewise, you also have two things in life that you are in total control of and that’s your attitude and your effort. Our consciousness depends on name and form. Our sensation depends on desire, and desire is dependent on attachment. Our attachment is also dependent on existence and existence is dependent on natural birth.
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