The life of the Buddha has been written about hundreds and thousands of times over the course of the last 2500 years and my writings on this great man who had an entire philosophical religion created around him, aren’t going to add anything more than is already known.
This is just my own humble take on his life towards full enlightenment. If you’ve never heard the story of the Buddha then this is a great place to start.
Siddhattha Gotama The Buddha or Fully Enlightened One
The historic Buddha was born into a high-caste family of royalty during the sixth century B.C. in what is now part of northeast India and Nepal.
The Buddha’s father Śuddhodana was a ruling chief of the Sakya clan holding considerable lands in the north east of India. The Buddha Mother was Queen Māyā of Sakya descending from royalty herself.
According to the Shakya tradition, the queen Māyā upon finding out she was pregnant left and headed for her father’s kingdom to give birth.
Along that journey, the Buddha to be, is said to have been born in a Lumbini garden, which is in modern day Nepal, and under the shade of a Sala tree.
After a childhood and youth filled with the indulgences of a Prince, Siddhattha Gotama was becoming dissatisfied with life’s sufferings. It is said he experienced three sights that profoundly changed him. That of the sick, that of old age and then experienced a dead body.
Siddhattha Gotama became more and more convinced there must be a way to truly understand our human experience and free himself from this old age, sickness and death. His father notice the unrest in his son and organised the marriage to the beautiful princess Yaśodharā and a son soon followed whom they named Rāhula.
However an unrest still lay deep within Gotama’s heart and in the middle of the night he left his beautiful princess and son Rāhula for an ascetic life style in search of spiritual answers on the causing of our sufferings.
After years of practice with the masters of his time, studying religious text and practicing long periods of fasting to near death, Gotoma still felt no closer to the truth. He had though come to realise meditation was giving him great insights into the mind consciousness and so decided with a complete resolution to meditate in one spot until he had gained full enlightenment into the causes of human sufferings.
He chose his spot next to a small river gently passing through a lush countryside, by the river bank an old bodhi tree cast just enough shade for his task at hand. There Siddhattha Gotama sat with a determination not to rise until he had gained full enlightenment.
During the time sat under the bodhi tree gaining enlightenment, It is said the Buddha experienced every Defilement or poison of the mind keeping him from experiencing the true reality of life itself. One by one he combated these defilements observed in deep meditation allowing him to truly understand there workings. There cause and effect, there birth and passing.
It was not gods that concerned him, but the mind of man and its sufferings. We are unhappy, he explained, because we are slaves to our desires and our wants. Extinguish desire and suffering goes with it.
If people could be taught that the physical or phenomenal world is an illusion of mind construct, then they would cease their attachment to it, thereby finding release from their self-destructive mental sufferings.
The Buddha spent 45 years of his life teaching to the rich, poor, ill and healthy he had No distinction, discrimination, or duality, he excepted all, open heartedly and helped those that sought his guidance.
The Four Noble Truths was the Buddha’s first sermon and still considered the most important with all Buddhist sects today.
Leaving a lasting legacy that has spanned well over 2500 years slowly spreading out from India intro Asia and the Middle East. Buddhism is more than just a religion, it’s a way of life. Known as the philosophical religion it now touches every corner of the world.
Buddhism has split over those thousands of years into many different schools or ways of teaching the main three being Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Each of the schools use the Buddha’s first teachings of The Four Noble Truths and The Eight Fold Path at there centre for reference and as there core principles.
The Practice of Meditation & Mindfulness
Meditation & Mindfulness allows us to truly understand our mind and how it works within the world around us. Practicing this ancient art isn’t just about relaxing and feeling better, those are just great side effects of something that has the potential to change your life.
Practiced by the Buddha and passed down along a line of monks dating back more than 2500 years. A practice or path to follow to achieve enlightenment and relieve suffering of mind. The same path that has seen thousands upon thousands of male and female, young and old, educated or uneducated follow that same path to become enlightenment and end the cycle of suffering.
If your looking to learn this ancient art of Meditation & Mindfulness then our Meditation series have been developed to take you from beginner to meditating like a monk in no time at all. Using all the tricks I learnt while spending my own time as a Buddhist monk in North Thailand these meditations have been passed to me from a linage dating back the the Buddha himself.
Images supplied by Pixabay. Photographers: DuongNgoc19 & DEZALB
*Dhamma Tāpasā is a trained former Buddhist Monk and the spiritual name given to Andrew Hallas. A Buddhist Life Coach, Mindfulness Trainer, Motivational Speaker and Published Author.
Creator of the highly acclaimed “The Four Trees” a story of learning how we can all live a more fulfilled and content lifestyle.
By using his unique approach of storytelling, mixed with ancient Buddhist Monk Secrets, all combined with 21st century scientifically proven techniques, Dhamma Tāpasā is able to capture your imaginations whilst teaching you valuable Life Skills and True Wisdom.