Gautam Buddha as the ‘Light of Asia’

Gautam Buddha as the ‘Light of Asia’

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Siddhartha Gautam,also known for light of asia, the prince of Kapilvastu and the son of King Shuddhodana and Queen Mayadevi was born in 623 BC. He is well known by the name of Gautam Buddha or Lord Buddha which means the one who is awakened. During his meditation, he had an enlightenment of life, and then onwards he taught about the immorality of boundless love and the importance of balance between physical and mental conditions of life. He taught and perched the Law of Righteousness from Nepal to almost all parts of Asia.

History of Buddha’s birth and his childhood life

At the time of the birth of Gautam Buddha, the queen had a dream of a white elephant with nine tusks that came to her from heaven and entered the body. The queen gave birth to Siddhartha in the garden of Lumbini grasping the branch of a tree facing the east so Lumbini has several temples including the Mayadevi temple. Several Buddhist monuments stand right in Lumbini to this day so it has already been established as one of the prominent tourist destinations in Nepal. More than 25 states all over the world have constructed the monasteries and temples in Lumbini to highlight the cultural importance of Buddhism.

 It is also believed that Lord Buddha walked seven steps under a lotus flower as soon as he stepped on the earth. Soon after his birth, a sego predicted that he was destined to live his life as a saint by abdicating the throne and giving up all the richness of the palace but the King wanted his son to become a great emperor so he decided to prevent Lord Buddha from the truth of the outer world.

 Buddha’s childhood was spent around the luxuries of the palace and soon when he turned 16 he was married to Yashodhara and had a son named Rahul. One day Siddhartha, who lived his life inside the palace for a very long time asked his Chartier to take him on a tour beyond the castle. On his tour, he came across sorrow, pain, and death and those suffering them, he saw a sick man, a holy man, and a dead man. The prince was deeply troubled by his encounter with the outer world and had many questions that were left unanswered. He then awakened a deep desire to find all the answers about life and death and find the cause of suffering.

At the age of 29, when all were asleep inside the palace, he left the loyalty and began the life of a holy man. He started meditating under a big fig tree at Bodh Gaya and after 49 days of meditation on a full moon night, Siddhartha attained enlightenment and had a direct realization of Nirvana (Inner peace). After this day he was known as Lord Buddha.

Four Holy Sites during Buddha's life

Lumbini is one of the holy sites of Buddhism where it is believed that Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautam. Lumbini spreads a divine sentiment to the millions of Buddhists all over the world. Gaya, a holy city in the northern Indian state of Bihar lies Bodh Gaya where Lord Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment is another holy place during Buddha's life.

Sarnath is a place located 10 km northeast of Varanasi and the deer park in Saranath is the place where Gautam Buddha taught and where Buddhist sangha came into existence. The death or the last Nirvana of Gautam Buddha at Kushinagar, India is also one of the holy sites of Buddhism.

Lord Buddha’s three Universal Truth

  1. Everything is impermanent and changing – i.e. everything changes.
  2. Impermanence leads to suffering, making life imperfect- i.e. nothing is lost in the universe.
  3. The self is not personal and unchanging.

The three universal truth of Lord Buddha is based on the law of karma that says, “For every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according to its cause was skillful or unskillful.”

The Four Noble Truths of Lord Buddha

  1. Dukkha- All life involves suffering (the Truth of Suffering).
  2. Trishna- Suffering is caused by desire and attachment (the Origin of Suffering).
  3. Nirvana- Desire and attachment can be overcome (the Truth of Cessation).
  4. Margha- The way to overcome them is by the Eightfold Path (the Truth of the Path).

The Eightfold Path of Buddhism

The eightfold path of Buddhism explains a way to overcome the greed, ego around us and achieve harmony and peace and eliminate the pain that we experience. Following the eightfold path, one feels awaken and achieves Nirvana.

  1. Right seeing and understanding – e.g. the Noble Truths (Sammaditthi).
  2. Right thought or intention – e.g. acting considerately (Sammasankappa).
  3. Right speech – e.g. avoiding lies or gossip; saying what you mean (Sammavaca).
  4. Right action – e.g. honesty and not harming living things (Sammakammanta).
  5. Right work or livelihood – e.g. avoiding jobs that harm other beings (Sammaajiva).
  6. Right effort – e.g. seeking to overcome desire, selfishness and attachment (Sammavayama).
  7. Right mindfulness – e.g. thinking before acting; meditation (Samma sati).
  8. Right concentration – e.g. freeing the mind of distractions before meditation (Sammasamadhi).

Not only as a principal figure in Buddhism, but Gautam Buddha is also worshipped as a manifestation of God in Hinduism, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, and the Baha’i faith. He shared his knowledge with many people and died at the age of 80 from illness.


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