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1. Who was the Buddha?
1.1. Early Life of Luxury
Siddharta Gautama, better known as the Buddha, was a prince of India who was born in Nepal and was heir to the thrown of the Sakya tribe of the Gautama clan. He was born, not for the first time, in 566BC. His first name means “goal reached and was commonly known as Gautama or Sakyamuni, the “wise man of the Sakya”. His father was told be a sage at Sakyamuni’s birth the “If he remains at home, the child will become a great King. If he leaves, he will become a great teacher”. At 16 he was married to Yasodhana with whom he had Rahula, his son. At the age of 29 he had been tormented by the mysteries of existence, after being shaded form the pain and suffering of life, Siddharta ran away form his palace one day to pursue his quest, his search for true inner peace with the world, to find enlightenment.
The Buddha\'s birth was miraculous. On the eighth day of the fourth lunar month, Queen Maya was walking in the Lumbini Garden in Suddhodana\'s palace grounds, south of the Himalayas. As she stood under a sala (ashoka) tree and raised her right arm to pick a blossom, the infant Buddha sprang from her side without causing his mother pain or bloodshed. He immediately took seven steps towards the north, and announced in a loud voice that this was his final incarnation.
1.3.The Middle Way
On his quest for truth he deprived himself of food and basic necessities for six entire years. After realising that neither entire luxury nor entire depravation seamed to answer the questions of life, he devised the middle way. In doing so he created a system that has been looked upon by thousands of generations after him. The middle way demonstrates that the soul is not truly happy if it has all the necessary things in life as well as more than on needs or wants, or that your are truly happier when you have none of you necessities or extra wants or needs. After the six years of starvation of all necessities, Siddharta came close to death and renounced his mortification of the flesh. This scandalised his companions, who in turn abandoned him. Siddharta Gautama was not the only Buddha to exist. If fact, there were and possibly still are many other Buddha’s that have existed, Siddharta was just on of the more well known Buddha’s for he invented Buddhism, by discovering the meanings of life and death and teaching the world of his finds.
1.4 Reaching enlightenment.
With no one beside him, Siddharta sat in the lotus position, under a sacred fig tree at Bodh-Caya in around 531BC. As time passed, the secrets of life and death were revealed to his spirit, in knowing this he became certain that riding himself of all passions and desires he was freed from the cycle of birth and rebirth. Siddharta had reached the state of enlightenment, thereby becoming a buddha. At 80 years of age Siddharta Gautama, announced that his time was at an end. He ate a meal that was an offered to him from one of his followers. In eating this meal it brought on a final illness. He walked a little further, and then lay down on his right side between two trees. His final words were “Decay is inherited in all compound phenomena! Work for your liberation with diligence!”
2. What IS Buddhism?
2.1 The name Buddhism comes from the word \'budhi\' which means \'to wake up\' and Buddhism is the ‘philosophy of awakening’. This philosophy has its origins in the experience of the man Siddharta Gautama.
2.2 Buddhism is both a religion and a philosophy, while at the same time it is neither. Specifically it is a non-theistic religion, meaning it has no god but uses religious practices. Seen through this, it shows that you cannot pray to Buddha, you can only try to achieve enlightenment and try to be like Buddha.
2.3 The word philosophy comes from two words, \'philo\' which means \'love\' and \'sophia\' which means \'wisdom\'. Buddhism teaches that we should try to develop our intellectual capacity to the fullest so that we can understand clearly. It also teaches us to develop love and
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Buddhas, Nondualism, Buddhahood, Buddhism, Mahayana, Gautama Buddha, Buddhist meditation, Mantra, Bodhidharma, Bodhisattva, Buddha-nature, Rebirth
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