Buddhism originated from the island of
Ceylon in India. Buddhism has spread from Ceylon to the islands of Japan and
then all through out Asia and China. Buddhism is based on the teachings of a
man named Siddhhartha Gautama. He lived in the 6th century BC.
This is the time of Confucius in china;
time of some of the finest prophets whose teachings we find in the Bible‘s
old Testament. Gautama Buddha laid the foundation for one of the noblest structures
ever created by the human spirit. Buddha means the enlightened one. Gautama
was brought up in princely luxury and splendor.
Young Gautama liked sports and archery
was his favorite. It was in an archery contest that he won the hand of his bride.
Gautama had three palaces - one for the cold months one for summer and one for
the times of rain. Now it seemed that all the good things in life were in his
hands, he had servants to wait upon him, entertainers to play for him, a lovely
young wife and a new born son. All this luxury shut the sadness of the world
out side and Gautama did not like this.
His father, was afraid an old prophecy
told Gautama never to leave his palace but Gautama ignored him and rode out
on a horse into the world. For the first time Gautama saw other peoples pain.
He saw a man weak with old age. He saw a sick man, a Hindu, who had surrender
the world and starved him self to skin and bones and a dead man. Gautama then
returned to his palace but he had worry in his heart about the pain around him.
He decided to walk away on the riches that he had and find out for him self
the truth in life that was the way with Hindus. Gautama was 29 at this time.
He made up his mind to solve the riddle of life. The search took him six years.
He joined five holy men who thought the
way to learn the truth was to starve themselves. Gautama starved him self and
yet he had learned nothing; so he started to eat regularly and the five holy
men left him in repulsion. That was one extreme and the other was richness and
wealth, which he knew well and it had left him hungry for the truth so he decided
to try the middle way. He ate enough so his hunger didn‘t bother him any
more and then sat down silently under a tree - the sacred Bodhi tree. For 49
days he meditated, in a site he saw the armies of Mara, evil seducer of the
world. They attacked him with storms, rain, rocks and shining weapons.
Mara himself offered the riches of the
world if he gave up his search but Gautama sat still and the armies of Mara
fled. After 49 nine days of meditation Siddhartha Gautama reached the enlightenment
that he had been searching for for six years, the answer to the riddle of life.
From then on, he has been known as Buddha or the 'Enlightened one‘. Buddha
stood up and made his way to the holy city of Benares. When he was there, he
met the five holy men again, at a park out side of town.
He preached his first speech on the meaning
of life. From then on, for 45 years the Buddha traveled up and down the northern
part of India lecturing and making converts to his religion. Finally his body
gave way to the strain on him from his efforts and he lay down to die. He gathered
his disciples around him to give his last lecture. Then he passed on to Nirvana
which his religion says is the goal to all men work.