Siddhartha Gautama Buddha and his teachings – Buddhism
For centuries, Buddhism has been the dominant and one of the largest religion in the world. According to historians, it was founded in the late 6th century B.C.E by Siddharta Gautama – the famous “Buddha”. (The word “Buddha” is a title which means “the one who is awaken or enlightened.”) He was born as a prince in Lumbini, Shakya Republic which was part of the Kosala Kingdom on the Indian-Nepalese border. He had a privileged upbringing but was agitated out of his sheltered life on realizing that life includes harsh fact of suffering such as old age, poverty, sickness and death. This dissonance prompted him ponder over the meaning of life. Eventually he felt impelled to leave his place and follow the traditional Indian path of the wandering holy man, a seeker of truth. He attained enlightenment one day as he was seated beneath the Bodhi tree (the tree of awakening) without moving from his seat he became deeply absorbed in meditation and reflected on his experience of life determined to penetrate its truth. On the 7th day, he finally achieved enlightenment and became the Buddha.
And also according to historians Gautama Buddha did not claim to be a god or a prophet. He was only a human being who became enlightened and understood life in the deepest way possible.
Buddha’s philosophy is simply about the 2 things: The nature of suffering and the cessation of suffering. He also taught the popular “Four Noble Truths and “The Eightfold Path.” The “Four Noble Truths” comprise the essence of Buddha’s teachings these are: the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. On the other hand, the Eightfold Path also called the middle way or middle path is the system of following these eight divisions of the path to achieve spiritual enlightenment and cease suffering. These are: Right view, Right intention, Right speech, Right action, Right livelihood, Right effort, Right mindfulness and Right concentration.
Other Buddha’s teachings include belief on “reincarnation or rebirth”. Thus, the ultimate goal of the Buddhist is to reach the state of enlightenment (Nirvana) and liberated oneself from endless reincarnation and suffering.
The Buddhist Prayer
The purpose of Buddhist prayer is to awaken our innate capacities of courage, wisdom and strength rather than to beseech external forces.
Here are some the most popular Buddhist Prayer worldwide:
We reverently pray for
eternal harmony in the universe.
May the weather be seasonable,
may the harvest be fruitful
may countries exist in harmony,
and may all people enjoy happiness.
- Buddhist Prayer
Tibetan Wind Horse Prayer
As Wind carries our prayers for Earth and All Life, may respect and love light our way.
May our hearts be filled with compassion for others and for ourselves.
May peace increase on Earth. May it begin with me.
- Tibetan prayer flag is 'Lung ta', meaning 'Wind Horse.
Prayer of Lovingkindness
May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings awaken to
the light of their true nature.
May all beings be free.
- Metta Prayer
I am a link in Lord Buddha’s golden chain of love that stretches around the world.
I must keep my link bright and strong.
I will try to be kind and gentle to every living thing, and protect all who are weaker than myself.
I will try to think pure and beautiful thoughts, to say pure and beautiful words, and to do pure and beautiful deeds, knowing that on what I do now depends my happiness and misery.
May every link in Lord Buddha’s golden chain of love become bright and strong and may we all attain perfect peace.
- Buddhist Prayer
Well, Happy, and Peaceful
May I be well, happy, and peaceful.
May my teachers be well, happy, and peaceful.
May my parents be well, happy, and peaceful.
May my relatives be well, happy, and peaceful.
May my friends be well, happy, and peaceful.
May the indifferent persons be well, happy, and peaceful.
May the unfriendly persons be well, happy, and peaceful.
May all meditators be well, happy, and peaceful.
May all beings be well, happy, and peaceful.
- Buddhist Prayer
Some of the people consider Buddhism as a religion, some see it as a philosophy and others think it is the way of finding reality. Buddha passed away around 486 B.C at the age of 80. Although he is no longer in this world, the spirit of his compassion and kindness remains.