Buddha was born as prince Siddhartha Gautama, in northern India, in a place, which now is part of Nepal. His exact lifetime is uncertain, but most historians date his lifetime from 563 BC to 483 BC.
Gautama was born into a wealthy family as a prince in present-day Nepal. Growing up, the Buddha was exceptionally intelligent and compassionate. Tall, strong, and handsome, the Buddha belonged to the Warrior caste. The sages predicted that he would become either a great king or spiritual leader.
Since his parents wanted a powerful ruler for their kingdom, they tried to prevent Siddharta from seeing the unsatisfactory nature of the world. They surrounded him with every kind of pleasure. He was given five hundred attractive ladies and every opportunity for sports and excitement. He completely mastered the important combat training, even winning his wife, Yasodhara, in an archery contest.
Suddenly, at age 29, he was confronted with impermanence and suffering. On a rare outing from his luxurious palace, he saw someone desperately sick. The next day, he saw a decrepit old man, and finally a dead person. He was very upset to realize that old age, sickness and death would come to everyone he loved. Siddharta had no refuge to offer them.
The next morning the prince walked past a meditator who sat in deep absorption. When their eyes met and their minds linked, Siddhartha stopped, mesmerized. In a flash, he realized that the perfection he had been seeking outside must be within mind itself. Meeting that man gave the future Buddha a first and enticing taste of mind, a true and lasting refuge, which he knew he had to experience himself for the good of all.
He left the palace secretly, and set off alone into the forest. Over the next six years, he met many talented meditation teachers(Sadus) and mastered their techniques. He practiced austerities such as food deprivation, living off of only one grain of rice per day and wondering around naked, until he nearly starved to death.
When this didn’t fulfill him, he promoted the idea of the “Middle Way,” which means existing between two extremes. Thus, he sought a life without social indulgences but also without deprivation.
Always he found that they showed him mind’s potential but not mind itself. Finally, at a place called Bodhgaya, the future Buddha decided to remain in meditation until he knew mind’s true nature and could benefit all beings. After spending six days and nights cutting through mind’s most subtle obstacles, he reached enlightenment on the full moon morning of May, a week before he turned thirty-five.
The meaning of the word Buddha is “The Enlightened One”, or “The Awakened One”, and refers to one who has become enlightened.
Saṃsāra is a Sanskrit word that means “aimless and directionless wandering.” It represents the cycle of death and rebirth. Souls begin their journey in a primordial state, and exist in a state of consciousness continuum that is constantly evolving through Saṃsāra. Some evolve to a higher state, while some regress, a movement that is driven by karma. The goal of the Buddha was to break free once and for all from this cycle.
Like the Netflix movie “Old Guard” the guards can not die completely and their endless cycle of eternity becomes overwhelming.
Release from Saṃsāra, or Moksha, is considered the ultimate spiritual goal
He would dissolve into the nothingness and into everything at the same time, just as a candle flame disappears when extinguished.
“Become your own lamp. Know yourself and the whole world is Conquered”
The Buddha taught that the problem begins with our illusionary view (Maya) of the world in which the perceived “ego” lives… The “I, Me, Mine” self-talk is the root of all suffering and the cause of this cycle of Samsara Our lives are full of illusions. What is your birthdate, The date you came our of your mother’s womb, or the date you were conceived, or the date your parents parents were conceived?
Enlightenment begins with rediscovering your true nature which is non-self nature. If you extinguish the delusion of self, our suffering ends and we have the ability to take back control of our lives.
Root out and Extinguish cravings, ignorance and delusion and then you break free of Samsara
He developed the Four Noble Truths as a guide to attaining this Enlightment.
“Believe nothing merely because you have been told it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings — that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.”
“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.”
“Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.”
“Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine.”
“If you are quiet enough, you will hear the flow of the universe. You will feel its rhythm. Go with this flow. Happiness lies ahead. Meditation is key.”
“Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.” – Buddha
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” — Buddha Quotes
“All know the Way, but few actually walk it.”
“There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.”
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
“There is nothing so disobedient as an undisciplined mind, and there is nothing so obedient as a disciplined mind.”
“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.”