To keep the soul anchored, one must lay their faith somewhere. Practicing a religion can be one of the many ways that keeps one grounded. Buddhism has seen a massive rise in followers in recent times due to the spiritual connection it offers its buddhist practitioners. Before jumping into the ways through which one can practice this way of life, we must get down to the basics. What is Buddhism? Who started it? Let us try to understand what makes this unique and how can one be devoted to practicing Buddhism.
The Way Of Buddha: Followed By Buddhist
Siddhartha Gautama or Gautama Buddha was born a prince in the north-eastern part of India. His father raised him alone as his mother died shortly after birth. Gautama grew up in a life sheltered from the harsh reality of the world and knew nothing but the riches and luxury of his palace. A marriage when he was just a young boy of 16 made him a father very early in his life. On discovering the world for what it was, Siddhartha was left astounded. He sought a desperate end to the cycle of suffering and death and renounced his crown to seek answers for the same. He left his family and resolute to help humanity find an answer to all sufferings.
The Rise Of Buddhism
Buddha spent the next six years living a life of severe austerity, thinking that this would perhaps help him see what he hasn’t been able to. He spent all his time meditating. Soon five ascetics started following him, believing in his ways. Time passed and he got no closer to the answers he sought. Upon being fed some rice by a village girl, he realized that such harsh conditions are not a prerequisite to attaining salvation. He gave up his ways of austerity and started leading a simple life of a common man, much to the dismay of the five ascetics who were following him.
Beliefs Of Buddhist
Meditating under the Bodhi tree, abandoned by his followers and having defeated a demon by himself, Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment. Besides, nsure how to spread the knowledge he had received, Brahma urged Buddha to go forth and share with the world what he now knows. Buddha preached the “madhyam path” or life lived through the “path in the middle”. To be happy, to be genuinely happy and contented, a life lived through a balance of opulence and austerity guides the soul in the right direction. He urged the five ascetics who had abandoned him to give up leading such a harsh life in the greed of attaining a higher truth and to instead strike a balance where they good to the community by participating in it fully.
His first sermon laid the foundation of Buddhism. He talked of setting in motion the wheel of Dharma, explaining the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold path. The five ascetics are considered to be Buddha’s first disciples and constitute the Sangha (Community of Monks). Practicing Buddhism was made for all. There was no discrimination of any sorts- women, people from all classes and races were allowed as long as they had the desire to gain enlightenment.