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නිර්වාණ ධර්ම බ්ලොග් අවකාශය | Nirvana Dhamma BLOG

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Samma Sambuddha's Life in Brief!

Buddha had lived previously on this Earth itself as well as on other planets in the universe. The Buddha spent nearly Asankya Kalpa with just a thought of becoming the Buddha one day till he get the blessing to become a Buddha for sure from the Buddha call Deepankara Buddha. At that time his was a ascetic name Sumedha. The time he felt about being a Buddha and thus for many lives, the Buddha had developed altruism and it was after having gathered such vast strength of character that the Buddha was born to spread his infinite kindness to all beings.

In the birth of the Buddha in the life which is most relevant to our present discussion, there did not occur anything extraordinary. Over 2500 years ago, the Buddha was born as a human being, out of human parents, and in perfectly natural conditions.

But for the environment into which he was born, the Buddha’s position at birth was that of any other human being. The Buddha was born into a Royal family, King Suddhodana, ruler over Kapilavattu being his father and Queen Maha Maya Devi being his mother. It was only the Royal position he assumed on his birth that raised him above the average. The baby thus born had to face the realities of life from the very outset. Queen Maha Maya Devi, the mother of the Buddha, died hardly seven days after the Buddha was born, and thus the advantages of the tender care and caressing of a real mother were lost. King Suddhodana, however, provided adequately for the upbringing of the child who was his only son and heir to his throne. Almost immediately the Queen Maha Maya Devi died, the King appointed a nursing mother, Prajapathi Gotami who was the sister of Queen Maha Maya Devi, to look after the motherless child. And Prajapathi Gotami honored the trust places on her by the King extremely well, and the child grew up in health and vigor to his father’s expectations.

As it is now in many normal homes, it was more so in that Royal Family that certain celebration should follow the birth of a child. According to the custom that prevailed at the time, therefore, there was the “Naming” ceremony for which the King summoned the chief sages of his kingdom to discuss and decide on a name to be given to the child. The sages of this time were people who had cultivated occult arts, and the foretelling of future events was one of the subjects in which they specialized. The sages, after examining the baby, decided to name the child Siddhartha, and meanwhile, the sages also advised the King about the child’s future. These sages expressed their unanimous opinion that the child would mature to be a great man, but they could not agree as to the particular direction in which the child would be great, whether he would be a great King or whether he would be a great reformer. They also did not exclude the possibility of the child developing interests in a religious field.

King Suddhodana, who apparently was not satisfied with the many religions that existed at that time (there were nearly 62 different religions competing with one another then), decided no to allow his son to enter any of the religions. Accordingly, the King advised his Ministers to exclude from the child (now Prince Siddhartha) any experience which would kindle in him an interest in the numerous religious beliefs that prevailed. In carrying out this order, the King’s Ministers kept the Royal Prince cut off completely from the dismal side of life, and from the sages and ascetics particularly. The Ministers trained the Prince only to take over the responsibilities of the kingdom after his father’s death, and, therefore, the Princes were given the necessary education both in literature and the arts of warfare. He was really talented and learns everything so quickly.

King Suddhodana decided to provide with the most luxurious life one can think of in order to keep away the Prince with sorrows of life. He even built 3 palaces for 3 seasons call Ramya, Suramya & Subha. Perhaps owing to the King Suddhodana’s excess of precaution to prevent this son from entering a religious life, marriage was arranged for the Prince Siddhartha. The prices, therefore, married the beautiful Princess Yasodara, who was his wife for many births. The king’s Ministers could not keep the Princes Siddhartha cut off from the reality of life any longer. The Prince began to experience real life step by step, and in his Charioteer, Channa, he found and intelligent person with whom he could discuss these problems.

When the Prince left the Palace in his Royal Chariot for the Royal Gardens to recreate himself, he had interesting discussion with Channa, his Charioteer. Prince left the Palace One day when his wife Yasodhara was about to give birth to their child. On their way, they met a very weak looking man walking, the Prince asked about that man and Channa told him “He is a sick man”. Then Prince asked Channa “why people fallen sick in this world?” . And he said no body can escape from that, it’s the reality of life. Prince got upset and turned back to palace. The next day they went the same journey and met an old man, and he asked “why people getting old?”. And Channa said “ No body can escape from being old”. Like previous day Princess headed back to palace thinking and discussing about that. Next day again while they are traveling they met a funeral procession, and he asked “ will all people die ?” Channa replied “ No matter who you are no one can escape from death” . And the princess shocked and headed back. And the Prince thought about the deceptiveness of the life. On the fourth day the Prince saw an ascetic and the discussion was centered on the ascetic life that day. On their way Prince was thinking about the ascetic more & more and once they go back to the palace they got to know that Princess Yasodhara had given birth to their son. Then Princes muttered a phrase ; “Rahula was born, another bond begins”; because of that their son was named as Rahula.

Thus the Prince began to grow curious about the various aspects of life, and, ultimately, at the age of 29 years, the Princes arrived at the firm and irrevocable decision to ascertain for himself the truth about life. Everyone at that time believed that the ultimate truth about life could be ascertained only by practicing asceticism, and asceticism involves renouncing everything including one’s position and family. At the time when the ambition to look for the ultimate truth about life entered his mind, the Prince had no new ideas to refute the current theories about asceticism. Hence, the Prince decided to experiment with asceticism in the first instance, in spite of the sacrifices it involved. The Prince, therefore, renounces his claim to the throne, and he renounces his wife and family too. The Prince thus entered the forest to practice asceticism.

In the forest, the Princes met 2 ascetics, Aalarakalama & Uddaka – Ramaputta, and with their guidance, he practiced asceticism. Soon he gained all the knowledge form them and found it was not what he has looked. The Prince decided to seek his goal by himself and left these 2 ascetics. Later, he met five other ascetics, whose names were; Kondanna, Bhaddiya, Vappa, Mahnama, Assaji. With these five ascetics, the Prince practiced extremely difficult forms of asceticism which involved self- torture of the worst kind. The Prince practiced extreme asceticism for six years, not achieved anything new other than very weak body. Then he realized enlightenment has nothing to do with body but a mind game. Then he began to feed his body in order to gain his lost body energy. By seen this, the five ascetics thought Prince has given-up and left him.

The Prince realized, choosing a one extreme means refusing the other one. If someone mention the “NON - EXISTING” word means the “EXISTING” word also hidden there. He thought, to wisdom, there cannot be an opposite side. There can be only one Reality in this world and the path of this wisdom is unique. So the Prince left all the ascetics and began on his own to follow the method of Contemplation and meditation, keeping to the middle path; Medium to attain Nirvana. He saw the uselessness of life. And the attempt was completely successful.

The Prince began to purify his mind by Contemplation and Meditation and as he was progressing, the defilement which remained hidden in his mind sprang up to obstruct him. Suppressing and overcoming all these obstacles, the Princes continued, and, ultimately, under a Bodhi tree, the Prince destroyed the last fetters of defilement and attained full enlightenment with 5 Unique Buddha Gana (Buddha’s Wisdom). Thenceforward, he was Buddha.

After attaining enlightenment, the Buddha remained for 7 week in the same vicinity of solitude mostly enjoying the bliss of enlightenment and also taking stock of this position. He also planned out his future campaign whilst remaining there. After 7 weeks, the Buddha stepped out and began his career of preaching and, on the Esala (July) Full moon day which 5 ascetics under whose guidance and company he had lived for the major part of the six years he spent in the forest. These 5 ascetics were convinced of the truths the Buddha unfolded and they became the first followers of the Buddha, and were of great assistance to him in his campaign later on.

The news of the Buddha’s achievement spread far and wide and for 45 years after his achieving enlightenment, the Buddha continued his campaign of preaching, sending missions to various parts of the country, working for the welfare of all, and, generally, assisting everyone from his father, step mother, wife, and child, down to every stranger he met. He too had enemies like his brother in law Devadaththa. But no one can kill a Buddha. Because to achieve the Buddha hood one must groove him for billions of births. No body in this world can terminate that. But Devadaththa tried several ways and once he tried to push a rock from a hill onto the Buddha while he is walking. But Devadaththa failed to kill him and Buddha got a little scratch on his body.

Buddha saw the people surrounded by a illusion whom doesn’t know they live such a deceptive life and thinking they are enjoying. It’s like crab in a water pot enjoying itself until that water gets boiled. He spread his understanding of the world to everyone, very kindly. He allow the women also to become his followers and many women including his wife Yasodara, nursing mother Prajapathi Gotami lived those time period achieve the enlightenment and become Arahat. The Buddha also preached against the caste and class systems which elevated some persons above others merely because to their birth or their economic affluence.

The Buddha taught the equality of each human being. He also taught that only virtue could raise one man above any other. Thus having revolutionized the conceptions about life which prevailed at that time, and having gathered a vast number of followers to his Doctrine, and having raised a large number of persons to the level of Arahats, the Buddha passed away from this world into the state of Nibbana / Nirvana at the age of 80 years.

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