Siddhartha Gautama, Buddha


Siddhartha Gautama, Buddha


Gautama Buddha was a spiritual teacher in the ancient Indian subcontinent and the historical founder of Buddhism. He is universally recognised by Buddhists as the Supreme Buddha of our age. The time of his birth and death are unclear, but most modern scholars have him living between approximately 563 BCE and 483 BCE.[1] By tradition, he was born with the name Siddhartha Gautama and, after a quest for the truth behind life and death, underwent a transformative spiritual change that led him to claim the name of Buddha. He is also commonly known as Sakyamuni ("sage of the Sakya clan") and as the Tathagata ("thus-come-one").
Gautama is the key figure in Buddhism, and accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules were summarized after his death and memorized by the sangha. Passed down by oral tradition, the Tripitaka, the collection of discourses attributed to Gautama, was committed to writing about 400 years later.


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Siddhartha Gautama, Buddha Quotes


A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.

All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.

All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?

Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals.

An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.

An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.

Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.

Ennui has made more gamblers than avarice, more drunkards than thirst, and perhaps as many suicides as despair.

Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.

Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.

He is able who thinks he is able.

He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.

He who loves 50 people has 50 woes; he who loves no one has no woes.

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

However many holy words you read,However many you speak,What good will they do youIf you do not act on upon them?

I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.

I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.

In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.

In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then beleive them to be true.

It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.

It is better to travel well than to arrive.

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.

On life's journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life, nothing can destroy him.

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.

Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.

The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.

The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.

The tongue like a sharp knife... Kills without drawing blood.

The virtues, like the Muses, are always seen in groups. A good principle was never found solitary in any breast.

The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve.

The world, indeed, is like a dream and the treasures of the world are an alluring mirage! Like the apparent distances in a picture, things have no reality in themselves, but they are like heat haze.

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.

There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.

Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.

To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.

To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.

To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one's own in the midst of abundance.

Unity can only be manifested by the Binary. Unity itself and the idea of Unity are already two.

Virtue is persecuted more by the wicked than it is loved by the good.

We are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act. Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them.

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.

What is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris? What's the proper salutation between people as they pass each other in this flood?

What we think, we become.

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.

When one has the feeling of dislike for evil, when one feels tranquil, one finds pleasure in listening to good teachings; when one has these feelings and appreciates them, one is free of fear.

Without health life is not life; it is only a state of langour and suffering - an image of death.

Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.

You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.

Quotes originally compiled by www.brainyquote.com


Siddhartha Gautama, Buddha Chronological Biography


563 BCE: Siddhartha Gautama, Buddha-to-be, is born in Kapilvastu, capital of Lumbini, Nepal.

534 BCE: Gautama leaves his inheritance and becomes an ascetic.

528 BCE: Gautama attains Enlightenment, becomes the Buddha, and begins his ministry.

Abt. 500 BCE: Classical Sanskrit replaces Vedic.

c.490 - 410 BCE Life of the Buddha according to recent research

Abt. 483 BCE: Sakyamuni Buddha died at Kusinara (now called Kushinagar), India.

400s BCE: Kharos't'hi script began to be used in Gandhara.

383 BCE: The Second Buddhist Council was convened by King Kalasoka and held at Vaisali.

300s BCE: Oldest Brahmi script (the ancestor of Indic languages) dates from this period.

Abt. 250 BCE: Third Buddhist Council convened by Ashoka and chaired by Moggaliputta Tissa, compiled the Kathavatthu to refute the heretical views and theories held by some Buddhist sects. Ashoka erected a number of edicts (Edicts of Ashoka) about the kingdom in support of Buddhism.

Abt. 250 BCE: First fully developed examples of Kharos't'hi script date from this period (the Asokan inscriptions at Shahbazgar'hi and Mansehra, northern Pakistan).

200s BCE: Sanskrit and Prakrit languages emerge in northern India. Indian traders regularly visited ports in Arabia, explaining the prevalence of place names in the region with Indian or Buddhist origin. For example, bahar (from the Sanskrit vihara, a Buddhist monastery). Ashokan emissary monks brought Buddhism to Suwannaphum, the location of which is disputed but the Dipavamsa and the (Mon believe it was a Mon seafareing settlement in present-day Burma.

Abt. 220 BCE: Theravada Buddhism is officially introduced to Sri Lanka by the Venerable Mahinda, the son of the emperor Ashoka of India during the reign of king Devanampiya Tissa.

185 BCE: Brahmin general Pusyamitra Sunga overthrows the Mauryan dynasty and establishes the Sunga Empire, starting of wave of persecution against Buddhism.

180 BCE: Greco-Bactrian king Demetrius invades India as far as Pataliputra, and establishes the Indo-Greek kingdom (180-10 BCE), under which Buddhism flourishes.

Abt. 150 BCE: Indo-Greek king Menander I converts to Buddhism under the sage Nagasena, according to the account of the Milinda Panha.

120 BCE: The Chinese Emperor Han Wudi (156-87 BCE) receives two golden statues of the Buddha, according to inscriptions in the Mogao Caves, Dunhuang.

1st century BCE: The Indo-Greek governor Theodorus enshrines relics of the Buddha, dedicating them to the deified "Lord Shakyamuni".

Original chronology compiled by Wikipedia


Siddhartha Gautama, Buddha Biography


The other major challenge to orthodox Vedism was founded by the son of a chief of a region called the Shakyas. This region lay among the foothills of the Himalayas in the farthest northern regions of the plains of India in Nepal. This founder, Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, has many legends and stories that have accreted around his life. While we can't be certain which of these stories and legends are true and which of the thousands of sayings attributed to him were actually said by him, we do know that the basic historical outlines of his life are accurate.

He was the chief's son of a tribal group, the Shakyas, so he was born a Kshatriya around 566 BC. At the age of twenty-nine, he left his family in order to lead an ascetic life. A few years later he reappears with a number of followers; he and his followers devote their lives to "The Middle Way," a lifestyle that is midway between a completely ascetic lifestyle and one that is world-devoted. At some point he gained "enlightenment" and began to preach this new philosophy in the region of Bihar and Uttar Kadesh. His teaching lasted for several decades and he perished at a very old age, somewhere in his eighties. Following his death, only a small group of followers continued in his footsteps. Calling themselves bhikkus, or "disciples," they wandered the countryside in yellow robes (in order to indicate their bhakti, or "devotion" to the master). For almost two hundred years, these followers of Buddha were a small, relatively inconsequential group among an infinite variety of Hindu sects. But when the great Mauryan emperor, Asoka, converted to Buddhism in the third century BC, the young, inconsequential religion spread like wildfire throughout India and beyond. Most significantly, the religion was carried across the Indian Ocean (a short distance, actually) to Sri Lanka. The Buddhists of Sri Lanka maintained the original form of Siddhartha's teachings, or at least, they maintained a form that was most similar to the original. While in the rest of India, and later the world, Buddhism fragmented into a million sects, the original form, called Theravada Buddhism, held its ground in Sri Lanka.

That's all we know about the historical life of Siddhartha, his mission, and the fate of his teachings. When we move into the Buddhist histories, the record becomes much more uncertain, particularly since the events of the Buddha's life vary from sect to sect.

What follows, however, is the most common outline of the nature of Siddhartha's life and philosophy. When Siddhartha Gautama was born, a seer predicted that he would either become a great king or he would save humanity. Fearing that his son would not follow in his footsteps, his father raised Siddhartha in a wealthy and pleasure-filled palace in order to shield his son from any experience of human misery or suffering. This, however, was a futile project, and when Siddhartha saw four sights: a sick man, a poor man, a beggar, and a corpse, he was filled with infinite sorrow for the suffering that humanity has to undergo.

After seeing these four things, Siddhartha then dedicated himself to finding a way to end human suffering. He abandoned his former way of life, including his wife and family, and dedicated himself to a life of extreme asceticism. So harsh was this way of life that he grew thin enough that he could feel his hands if he placed one on the small of his back and the other on his stomach. In this state of wretched concentration, in heroic but futile self-denial, he overheard a teacher speaking of music. If the strings on the instrument are set too tight, then the instrument will not play harmoniously. If the strings are set too loose, the instrument will not produce music. Only the middle way, not too tight and not too loose, will produce harmonious music. This chance conversation changed his life overnight. The goal was not to live a completely worldly life, nor was it to live a life in complete denial of the physical body, but to live in a Middle Way. The way out of suffering was through concentration, and since the mind was connected to the body, denying the body would hamper concentration, just as overindulgence would distract one from concentration.

With this insight, Siddhartha began a program of intense yogic meditation beneath a pipal tree in Benares. At the end of this program, in a single night, Siddhartha came to understand all his previous lives and the entirety of the cycle of birth and rebirth, or samsara, and most importantly, figured out how to end the cycle of infinite sorrow. At this point, Siddhartha became the Buddha, or "Awakened One." Instead, however, of passing out of this cycle himself, he returned to the world of humanity in order to teach his new insights and help free humanity of their suffering.

His first teaching took place at the Deer Park in Benares. It was there that he expounded his "Four Noble Truths," which are the foundation of all Buddhist belief:

1.) All human life is suffering (dhukka).
2.) All suffering is caused by human desire, particularly the desire that impermanent things be permanent.
3.) Human suffering can be ended by ending human desire.
4.) Desire can be ended by following the "Eightfold Noble Path": right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

From a metaphysical standpoint, these Noble Truths make up and derive from a single fundamental Truth (in Sanskrit, Dharma, and in Pali, Dhamma). The Buddhist Dharma is based on the idea that everything in the universe is causally linked. All things are composite things, that is, they are composed of several elements. Because all things are composite, they are all transitory, for the elements come together and then fall apart. It is this transience that causes human beings to sorrow and to suffer. We live in a body, which is a composite thing, but that body decays, sickens, and eventually dies, though we wish it to do otherwise. Since everything is transient, that means that there can be no eternal soul either in the self or in the universe. This, then, is the eternal truth of the world: everything is transitory, sorrowful, and soulless–the three-fold character of the world.

As pessimistic as this sounds, the philosophy of Siddhartha Gautama is a kind of therapy. In fact, classifying it in Western terms is impossible. We think of Buddhism as a religion, which it unquestionably became, but Siddhartha was less concerned with theology or ritual or prayer as he was with providing a tool for individuals to use to escape suffering. The goal of this method, the Eightfold Noble Path, is the elimination of one's desires and one's attachment to one's self. Once one has understood correctly the nature of the universe (Right Understanding) and devoted one's life to selfless and altruistic actions (Right Action) and, finally, by losing all sense of one's self and by losing all one's desires, one then passes into a state called Nirvana (in Pali, Nibbana). The word means "snuffed out" in the way a fire is snuffed out or extinguished. At this point, the self no longer exists. It is not folded into a higher reality nor is it transported to a land of bliss, it simply ceases to exist. This is the state that the Buddha passed into at his death.

Like Jainism, then, Buddhism centrally concerns the problem of the eternal birth and rebirth of the human soul. Unlike Jainism, Buddhism in its original form does not posit some transcendent alternative as a goal. In fact, Buddhism in its original form held that the soul actually died when the body died. How, then, could a soul pass from body to body? What passed from body to body was a chain of causes set in motion by each soul; the Buddhist philosopher Nagsena said it was like a flame passing from candle to candle. The individual, in snuffing out the self, brings those chain of causes to an end.

A large part of the program prescribed by Buddha involved selflessness in the world. Buddhism represents one of the most humane and advanced moral systems in the ancient world. The first steps on the road to Nirvana were to focus one's actions on doing good to others. In this way one could lose the illusion that one is a unique self. The Buddhist scriptures disapprove of violence, meat-eating, animal sacrifice, and war. Buddha enjoined on his followers four moral imperatives: friendliness, compassion, joy, and equanimity, the "Four Cardinal Virtues."

This is the philosophy that Buddha left the world. In the years following his death, the teachings began to slowly develop into various sects. Buddhism became so fragmented that barely one hundred years after the death of Siddhartha, a council of Buddhists was called to straighten out the differences. The earliest forms of Buddhism, which are now only practiced by a small minority, are called Theravada, or "The Teachings of the Elders."

Original biography compiled by www.wsu.edu

(For more information see Wikipedia)

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