Siddhartha Gautama [Buddha]

by Nathaniel

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else;
you are the one who gets burned."



Buddha is the founder of Buddhism. He was a prince but the most important thing he did was inspire others. Before Buddha, whose name is really Siddhartha, was born, his mother had a dream of a white elephant descending from heaven in to her womb. She asked a soothsayer to interpret her dream and it was said that her child would be pure. His mother was traveling when Siddhartha was born. She happened to be in a town called Lumbini. His mother’s handmaidens cast a tent around a large tree under which Siddhartha was born. The exact date is unknown but is believed to be around either 560 or 620 B.C. When he was born he had the 32 signs of a great man according to Brahmanism. He was a child prodigy who excelled in math and spoke many languages. He also was good at many princely athletics, including archery and martial arts.

As a young man Siddhartha spent most of his time in the palace and had never seen anybody suffer, and had no awareness of aging, death, or sickness. This was because there had been a prophecy that he would be a Buddha or a king of the world. His father wanted him to be a great king, so he kept away all things that might lead Siddhartha on a religious path. Although his father kept the truth away from Siddhartha a long time, eventually he set foot outside the palace and discovered how life really is. This was his inspiration to find a cure for suffering.

Buddha at his enlightenment
Buddha at his enlightenment

Siddhartha knew that to find this cure for suffering he would have to reach enlightenment. So he snuck away in the night so that he could find a place to meditate. Siddhartha tried many things to reach enlightenment but none of them actually worked. He needed a way that all people could use to escape pain and suffering. Then he found a method of mediation called the middle way which is not harsh and does not involve starving yourself. The middle way led people away from suffering and pain and to Nirvana the place of everlasting life.

Siddhartha found a tree and sat under it and vowed not to leave until his enlightenment was reached. He saw many things and was temped in many ways but he was determined to reach enlightenment, and he did. After Siddhartha reached his enlightenment he was known as the Buddha or enlightened one. As the Buddha he traveled through northern India and Nepal, teaching his philosophies to anybody who would listen. He taught beggars and thieves as well as high ranking people.

Buddha inspires me because he gave up his palace life to try to benefit the world. It would have been easy for him to have ignored suffering and stayed in his palace, but he was determined to find a cure to suffering. He also gave up a chance as a world king to be a teacher. He was very determined too and that is something I admire. He never gave up even when life was difficult.

Buddha changed my life because he helps me understand that life is hard enough and we do not need to make it harder. He also showed me that sometimes to do great things you have to make sacrifice. Buddha is my hero.

“With the bow of meditative concentration, I will fire the arrow of wisdom into the tiger of ignorance in all living things.” Buddha

Fun fact about Buddhism

• Largest religious text is the Tipitaka which are Buddhist scriptures that include 40 volumes and 20000 pages

• Oldest Buddhist university is Nalanda in India established 427 CE – one of the oldest of any kind

• 1.2 billion to 1.6 billion Buddhist in the world

• 6,133,661 Buddhist in the US

• Only scriptures written by women

• Only religion where the followers can obtain the same level as the founder

• The oldest living tree is the Bodhi tree that Buddha reached his enlightenment under

Four Noble Truths
1. Life means suffering
2. The origin of suffering is attachment.
3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.
4. The path to the cessation of suffering.

Eight Fold Path
1. Right view
2. Right intention
3. Right speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration

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