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Buddha & Buddhism

“You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger”—Quoted by Buddh

It was more than 2500 years ago, Buddha was born as prince of King Suddhodana leader of Shakya clan in Kapilavastu kingdom which is current Lumbini in south of Nepal. And his birth was widely celebrated within the whole kingdom and various sources holds that Buddha’s mother Queen Maha Maya was died at his birth, a few days or seven days later, the infant was given the name Gautama Siddhartha, meaning “he who achieves his aim” where Gautama was his family name. As being a prince of a kingdom he was free of vexations, one day he disguised as a servant, he came into town and discovered all the miseries of the world. One evening, he met an old man, a dying man, then a man who had the plague crying in pain and a corpse covered with blood. He then realise that life as it always seemed to him was not a bed of roses and material wealth is not the ultimate goal of anyone.

From then on Gautama Buddha dedicated himself to find a way or a solution to end human misery and pain. He went on to become an ascetic, but that was not what he was looking for, he somewhat was not getting what he wanted, nor did he find solace in the so-called spiritual guidance of his times. It was then one fine day, when he heard a music teacher who would help him with his musical learning’s, speak of the resistance of a string. If the string on an instrument was too tight it would not play the notes too well, however if it was too lose it would play shabby, that is when he realized and went ahead for the middle path, a road that went between he beliefs of an ascetic and the worldly human. With this as a key to his definition on saving humanity Gautama Buddha went ahead and began his ways of finding an answer through intense yogic forms of meditation, this was beneath a Pipal tree in Benaras, India. At the end of a single night of undisturbed meditation, he got to understand the meanings of life and death and the cycles of rebirth, and most importantly, he understood and got the answer to his main question on how to end the cycle of infinite pain and sorrow in this world, and if preached and practiced in a virtuous manner, he could save the world at large. Here is when Siddhartha Gautama emerged as the Buddha, or the Awakened One. His first teachings took place at the Deer Park, Benaras, which is where he made his first discourse on the Four Noble truths of the world. This is what the Buddha had gone forward doing in various parts of India and the world and thus after the holy master had long passed away, and when King Asoka of the Mauryan empire converted to Buddhism, the teachings of the holy master gained momentum and started spreading like wildfire across the country and parts of South East Asia and other places like Sri Lanka and Japan, as well. Buddhism now has become a fragmented stream in various parts of the world, except in Sri Lanka where they follow strictly the original ways of the maters teachings.

After Buddha’s death, steles, stupas and monuments were built wherever Buddha had preached and his disciples met one year after his death in Rajagrha, capital of Maghada, in order to write the buddhist holy canon, this is divided into 3 “parts” Vinaya (the discipline), Sutras (sayings of the Buddha) and Abbidharma (or metaphysics). It was then gradually established that other Buddhas, Tathagathas (4 or 7) had preceded him, and one defines the statute of Boddhisatvas. Who are these Boddhisatvas? In fact future Buddhas who, before deliverance, remained halfway, and they were given as mission, helping men to reduce the number of rebirths in order to reach a quicker deliverance. They are the ones who will receive our prayers. When the image of a Buddha is stared at, there is no communication, because he is outside this world; on the other hand, if one stares at a Boddhisatva, this one may transmit to us this strength we are seeking from him. This is why the Dalai-lama who represents a Boddhisatva will be more venerated than the Panchen-Lama who represents only one Buddha. In -250 B.C., a school put forth the assumption that the Buddha and his likenesses, could only be produced outside any concrete existence. Then, within the Indian University of Nalanda, a legendary man, Nagarjuna founded the school of Madhamika (or average path) which obtained a deep importance in the diffusion of Buddhism in Tibet and in China. In holy texts, there were the 10 capital sins, the 10 virtues, and among them 6 are transcendental or ” paramitas “. He multiplied texts named Prajnaparamitas or “transcendental extreme intelligence” which develops the doctrines of the vacuity, or void through texts full of meaningless expressions, but whose reading brings us closer to the deliverance. The concept of void takes form. ” Tantrism ” is a form of Buddhism which followed from there, copying the symbol of the couple Shiva-Kali, and introducing female demonstrations (dakkinis, yoginis, etc) into the Buddhist Pantheon. This new form of Buddhism is called Mahayana whereas it’s primitive form that one meets in South-East Asia (Thailand, Burma, Kampuchea, etc) is named Hinayana. The first texts of Mahayana arrived in China around 65 years A.D. Many Chinese travelers, Fa-hien, Hiuan-tsang, etc. came in Maghada to obtain texts over the Himalayas in the solid mass of Karakorum, they speak little about Tibet, yet the Buddhist texts spoke of the holy lake of Anavatapta from where spout out the four large holy rivers of India and in the north of this lake, of a giant tree whose top (sap) is transformed into gold sheets and touches the sky. One recognizes the lake Manasarovar and the Mt Kailash in Tibet. Then gradually it also rooted later in the 7th century and well flourished till then.

Indeed, in the world, there are animals, creatures deprived of conscience and thus responsible for their acts, for whom misfortunes in their existence are without explanation. There are individuals deprived of moral who are able to perpetrate the darkest deeds to satisfy their desires. There are others who, although non-evil, are greedy who work to get rich (and often without success) and finally there are those who like him wish to have an existence where the individual, transgresses his personal case, seeks a healthy life, in harmony with nature, animals and especially people. Moreover, this moral objective must place the conscience on a level where earthly misfortunes are controlled by the spirit and with no effect on our minds. Thus the pain and all terrestrial miseries can be dominated. The spirit of conscience will rise to the level of the gods such as imagined at the time unburdened by human vicissitudes and away from time.

Buddha defined the twelve stages which mark the life of an individual, the discovery of the 5 senses, knowledge, love, founding of a family, getting property, etc. Moreover life is no more than an uninterrupted succession of births and rebirths. This conscience which is given to us at birth, if it is well used, if is gradually enriched by knowledge, humanism and generosity, it still transcends mankind towards a level of higher happiness. Thus any action, any word, corresponds to an energy which will be either positive (towards goddess or the ideal of man), or negative (as the animal) according to whether we achieve good or evil deeds. In the same way, our soul will leave an imprint on the spirit of future generations. Thus, it can be said it does not die.

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