The Origins of Buddhism

The Origins of Buddhism

Buddhism is a popular religion in most of the Asian countries. It was found by Siddhartha Gautam is also known as the “Buddha”. The origins of Buddhism are from the late 6th century. Buddhism is based purely from the Buddha’s life experiences. His life act as an example to preach others, this is known as Dhamma or Dharma. Buddha Charita written by Ashvaghosa portrays his life story. He started writing about him in the 1st and 2nd century. It is a detailed account of his life and experiences. Near the Himalayan foothills, Buddha was born is a place called Lumbini. He first started teaching in Benares at Sarnath. He was one of the preachers who were spiritual, social as well as intellectual. His belief to leave family and social life in order to pursue his spiritual goals became quite widespread as written in Upanishads. 

The Origins Of Buddhism

Originally, Buddha was born in a royal family. His mother and father were queen and king. There is the belief that at the time of his birth, there was a prediction that he will not lead a lavish life and sacrifice everything to gain enlightenment. Though he had a life full of luxury, he chooses to leave everything behind and set a great example for the world. He got deeply upset to see the life of common people in his province. The miserable life they lead, the sacrifices they made.

Gautam Buddha

Gautam Buddha

This moved him and he decided to give up everything and make the world a better place to live. He left his wife and son seeing the difference between his life and the life common people live. Then, he took a group of people with him who were knowledgeable and went to renunciate in the forest until starvation. He ate the food and drank water after going through starvation and again sat under the tree to meditate. Therefore, it is a belief that he went through enlightenment within six months which gave him the answers he was looking for. 

The Teachings Of The Enlightened Buddha

The enlightened Buddha now started preaching to others. He taught about the truths behind suffering and pain. The hard truth of life is that it is full of suffering. Life is full of pain mental as well as physical. He also said that happiness is not permanent. We want happiness because we want our sufferings and pain to end. Craving is the result of suffering as the second truth of life.

Buddhism

Buddhism

Every suffering has an end and ways to end the sufferings have a mention in the third and fourth Nobel truth. Therefore, if a person practices both the eightfold path and the Nobel Truth, he can attain enlightenment and understand the real meaning of life. Hence, attain Nirvana. He refused to give many answers like is there “Atma” or not. 

His followers, however, after the death of Buddha made many monasteries that taught people the two important principles of life. People started believing and him and it gained popularity throughout. Hence, many people later started practicing Buddhism.

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