Buddha and His Teaching
By: Joe Hing Kwok Chu
Buddhism is one of the most widespread religions in the world. It originated approximately twenty five hundred years ago in the borderlands of India and Nepal, by the Indian
prince Gautama. He was called the Buddha, meaning "the enlightened one". He is also known as Sakyamuni, meaning
"Sage of the Sakya clan". 1.01
Buddha Sakyamuni was born approximately twenty six
hundred years ago as Prince Siddhartha Gautama. He was the son of King Sudhodana Gautama and Queen Maya of the Kapilavastu
Kingdom in India.
When the Prince was born, his father asked a famous
Brahmin priest for a reading. The Brahmin priest told his father that if the Prince stayed home, he would grow up to be a great ruler; and that if he chose to be a religious man, he would become a man of great wisdom. The king was very happy to hear that. He named the son "Siddhartha" which meant "able to accomplish". When the Prince was seven years
old his mother, Queen Maya passed away and he was raised by his aunt, Mahabosubuddhi. The King hired famous Brahmin scholars to educate Prince Siddhartha. Within a few years the Prince was well versed in scholastic subjects, military strategies, and martial arts. The King was worry that the Prince might one day leave home to pursue religious study,
so when the Prince was seventeen years old, the King ordered
him to marry one of his cousins. They had a son named Rahula.
One day the Prince accompanied the King to inspect the country side.1.02 During the tour, the Prince discovered the miseries and sufferings of the subjects of his kingdom.
At the age of nineteen, he left home to seek solutions to
the problems. King Sudhodana, his father, sent some of his high ranking officials to look for him. They could not persuade him to return home. Fearing that they might be reprimanded by the King for their failure of the mission,
they joined the Prince. Prince Siddhartha consulted many teachers and religious persons but could not fulfill his
needs. He became disappointed and went to fast and meditate.
Eating very little, the Prince became ill. A woman shepherd nursed him back to health by feeding him goat milk and
bathing him in the river. His followers thought that he had
given up his goal, so they left him.
After he regained his health, he went back to meditate and analyzed the problems under a fig tree (bodhi tree) until he discovered the truth of life and then he started to preach.
At that time, he was thirty years old.
According to the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, misery
is an inevitable part of life, and misery originated from desire, and desire can be eliminated, and to overcome desire, and hence, suffering, one should follow the eightfold path of virtue1.10:
1. Right understanding
2. Right thought
3. Right speech
4. Right actions
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration.
The Buddhist Scripture
Buddhist meditation and qi
Tibetan Tantric Buddhism
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Last update: Aug 18, 2009; 5:12 p.m. LAH