Gautama Buddha and Siddhartha Gautama Essay

Submitted By enjoystein
Words: 801
Pages: 4

* Although it is not known precisely when he was born, it is estimated that Siddhartha Gautama was born 485 B.C. on the border between India and Nepal. * At his birth, a seer, Asita, predicted that the young boy was destined for either political or spiritual empire and thus, Buddha’s parents named him Siddhartha, which means ‘one who has accomplished his goal’ * His mother died when giving birth to him * He got married at 16 with Yasodhara * His father tried to keep him away from the pressures and sadness of the world and locked him into wealth, beauty and happiness. However, his curiosity led him to discover the real sadness in the world: * He discovered aging when he saw an old man on the road. * He discovered sadness and disease. * He met a parivrajaka which sowed a seed of freedom and doubt in his mind. * The birth of his son was seen by him more of an obstacle than a miracle * Thus, he ran away and began his journey of ‘awakening’, trying to free himself of sadness, aging and trying to find the true meaning of life * He became a student of a couple of teachers but their meditation did not seem to please him because it had no moral or cognitive meaning. Then he was taught by the ascetics, in their way (torturing the body to gain spiritual enlightenment) but decided to leave this as well. * He became awaken at the age of 35 * For 45 years he preached the whole of India * He died at 80, with the final words: “All compounded things are liable to decay; strive with mindfulness”

* There are three levels of understanding, called prajna:

* First level: wisdom which is heard, the level of understanding which one has after something has been explained verbally, or read in a book * Second level: wisdom which is developed through thinking, that one develops for oneself, through one’s own sustained thinking upon a particular subject. This is higher than the first level and this means that Buddhism is not based on faith, in a theistic sense, but it is greater than this. * Third level: the complete understanding, an understanding in which one has not merely heard that something is the case, nor even thought of it for oneself; but, rather, that one has taken the matter totally to heart. This is done only by meditation. * Pure Land is a sect of Mahayana. Mahayana, translated, means "Big Vehicle" and is used to describe Buddhism in China, Tibet, and Japan. (As well as a few other places.) Theravada is prevalent in Lao, Sri Lanka, and Thailand and is translated as "Teaching of the Elders". Theravada is older than Mahayana. * I lived as a monk for 3 months and tried to learn as much as possible while I was at the monastery. I'm Cambodian and it's part of our culture for the young men in our society to do this. In the motherland countries they do it for 1+ years. Sometimes forever. In the west most kids usually do it for about