July 18th, 2016
Siddhartha Gautama or Gautama Buddha lived 2,500 years ago, 50 years after Confucius, 500 and 1,100 years before Jesus and Mohammed, respectively.
Buddha taught that ‘no matter what the circumstances on the physical plane, you’ll end up losing everything you love; you’ll end up aging; and you’ll end up ill. YOU are your own Master!’ Buddha simply shows the path of enlightenment, that’s All! What Buddha has found, we can find!
In case you know nothing of the Buddha, allow us to share this synopsis of his life.
Reared in a palace with every luxury at his disposal, Siddartha was a Prince among a Clan of Warriors!
He was being prepared as the next Emperor of India, an empire of over 16 different Kingdoms.
His mother died when he was a ONE week old Infant.
His father married him to his cousin at the age of 16 years.
When he was 29 years old, he NO longer desired the luxuries to which he was accustomed. He eventually ventured outside his Palace with an attendant and has encounters resulting in THREE illuminating experiences, the first with An OLD man, the second with a SICK man, and the third with a DEAD man.
He realized, “I will also experience these things. How should one deal with these? Why does the Human Family suffer? Is there a TRUE escape from the sufferings?”
Siddhartha then decides to abandon his Palacial life, leaving his Wife and Newborn Child in the quest of answers to his questions. The young Prince comprehends that one does NOT gain without SACRIFICING. This is one of the hard Truths dealing with the existence of the Human Family: In order to gain ANYTHING, you must first LOSE EVERYTHING!
In his travels he encounters various HOLY men, each teaching his own Spiritual disciplines and apprentices himself to a Guru. After some time, he realizes that the problems he encountered are yet unanswered. So he finds another Guru, ultimately being confronted with the same mystery. Our young seeker realizes that the Ancient Hindu practices ESCAPE the problems temporarily, but do NOT solve the problems. These practices do NOT lead to direct knowledge NOR deeper awareness.
In response to this revelation, the b;ossoming Buddha embarks upon the practice of SELF-DEPRIVATION thinking “If you punish the body sufficiently, you could escape its influences. You could transcend some of the limitations that the body seems to impose”. He continues this exercise for SIX years.
Apprehending that his questions were still NOT answered after SEVEN years, he instictively develops a strong COMPASSION for ALL living things and discontinues his SELF-DEPRIVATION realizing that one can NOT progress as an individual in this world.
Our unfolding Buddha had depended on two Gurus who were of NO help to him. He had deprived his mind and body nearly killing himself only to now arrive to the realization that to find the answers to his questions, he must take the Journey within HIMSELF.
Embarking on a regimen of MEDITATION, our aspirant receives a Cosmic Vision of the workings of the Universe. At this point, he is AWAKENED as the Buddha. The Doorway to the Divine is through your body and mind. The future events have already happened. The past events are still happening. There is NOTHING but the HERE and NOW. There is NO where else to go. There is NOTHING else to be but yourself. There is NO destination. There is NOTHING to aim for in the Afterlife. It is simply the quality of your present life NOW!
The newly-awakened Buddha is hesitant to teach the people because of the people’s hard heartedness in India. Brahma/Abraham appeared to him in a vision and requested of him to teach what he had learned, exercising the COMPASSION of the Human Family. So, he did!
At age 35, Guatama shares the fundamental Law of ALL Existence called DHARMA!, now teaching from his heart drawing his life experiences. Teaching neither Self-Deprivation NOR Self- indulgence, but rathert to “Seek a path between these two points” called the MIDDLE Way.
The problems and solutions of the suffering with the Human Family were answered for him in this Revelation: “Suffering is, in fact, DISSATISFACTION (NOT being satisfied) and, therefore, mind is the cause of suffering amongst the Human Family. So one must comprehend one’s own CAUSE of suffering and NO one else can tell you this. How can one live with the DESIRES of their own mind? Desire MUST exist, however, and be implemented properly. So one develops Principles for the mind to be led towards ENLIGHTENMENT.”
In India’s CASTE system, The Brahman Priest were the TOP people. They were the ONLY ones who could mediate between the Divine Family and the Human Family. Next came the Warriors, the Caste from which Buddha came, then the Farmers, the Servants and at the bottom the Outcasts. It is the Hindu belief that whichever Caste into which you were born, you are HOTWIRED into the Universal Order of Nature with that particular Caste.
Caste was IRRELEVANT to Buddha, as were the Priests’ rituals. He now teaches, “Focus on the Universe within. What makes you Noble is exercising good morals and disciplines towards others and yourself.”
He established communities where people could live together and help one another . It was open to ALL Castes, Males and Females alike. The concept of Women becoming NUNS started with Buddha as did ‘Rosary Beads’.
One did NOT have to become a MONK or a NUN. Greed, Anger, and Ignorance are the three poisons that makes the burning (or HELL for yourself), he says. Generosity, Compassion, and Wisdom will extinguish this burning, he says.
He did NOT expect his followers to believe everything he taught. He encouraged CHALLENGE and DEBATE. He says, “Do NOT accept information out of DEVOTION to it, but rather by the EXPERIENCE it gives to you. Investigate based on SOUND RIGHT REASONING. If the information is CONTRADICTORY based on one’s own reasoning, you have the DIVINE RIGHT to reject it!”
He also stated, “Violence leads to More Violence!”
He performed miracles and taught for decades mostly in Northeast India.
When he was in Old Age and sickly, he was offered a meal by a young boy. The meal was spoiled and he knew it. He took it and ate it, anyway, because it was offered to him and he did NOT want the young boy to feel bad.
The Buddha grew weaker after eating this meal and eventually made his transition.