The Buddha (THE ENLIGHTENED ONE)
Amidst the stresses of the modern world, many tend to seek a Path towards spiritual tranquility. In this search to discover piece of mind and inner quietness, they increasingly turn towards the words of the Buddha. This is because his words contain truths that bring about the stillness of the mind. Essentially His teaching is the reality of man and his existence.
It is necessary, to being with, to have an idea of who the Buddha was. Even today there are those who would mistake him for a legendary character. But the Buddha is a historical individual. He is an exceptional human being who struggled alone to pioneer a path towards the soling of the human-riddle. He was born in the 6th century B. C. in Northern India in the city of Kapilawattu. His father was a ruler of the Sakyan clan and was Suddhodana by name. Buddha’s mother was Queen Mahamaya. The Buddha was given the name Siddhartha. His doting father warned by seers that the prince might leave the worldly life, did the best he could to keep him engrossed in pleasures and recreations. As required by clan tradition the young prince Siddhartha took the hands of his cousin Princess Yasodhara in marriage, while he was still a mere 16-year-old. Luxury and comfort surrounded his life. The sufferings and the privations of the outside would were not allowed to affect his life.
In spite of all these, the young Prince was moved by a spiritual disquietness. Confronting the reality of existence he discovered the ways of ordinary humanity. He realized that men decay anddie and are subject to affliction. But he was not prepared to accept this universal law. He embarked upon the search of the path that will lead man out of this suffering.
Moved by thus urge, he left his home, his young wife, his new born son and the throne he was heir to, and wandered forth, as an Ascetic. He was twenty nine then. In the first six years of his search, he travelled around examining the existing religious systems. He spoke to various teachers and practiced their ways. At times he subjected himself to severe Asceticism, inflicting pain on himself . Those spiritual trials did not bring about the Enlightenment he sought. Abandoning the accepted religious ways of that time he decided to go on his own. Deep in contemplation under a sheltering Bodhi tree, his mind began to work on the problems of man. The ultimate reality dawned upon him. Enlightenment was at last attained.
To him, it was the result of an intense personal search. He had initial misgivings. Will the world at large understand what he has so assiduously realised? Although he had these doubts, he felt that it was his duty to impart his Enlightenment to his early partners in the spiritual voyage-the group of five ascetics. The Buddha presented to them a spiritual report of his search for the attainment of Enlightenment. This was his first Sermon to these five monks gathered in the Deer Park at Isipatana. He turned the Wheel of Dhamma and they became the first converts to the Buddha’s words.
Thus began a life of service dedicated to the high ideal of teaching humanity the way out of this bewildering jungle of suffering. From the first time in human history, spiritual liberation became a gift to the whole of mankind and not only to a privileged elite. For 45 years he travelled around meeting men and women from all walks of life. He spoke to beggars and kings, to the rich and the poor, the Brahmins and outcasts, to saints and sinners and especially to those with troubled mind. He did not recognise distinctions of caste or creed. His word was available to all men and women.
He spoke to people the problems that assailed their minds .He helped those suffering men and women to inwards and to see the reality of their own live .
He passed away at Kusinara in India at the age of 80. But this words are perpetually alive because they have the unchanging human condition as their basia.
Due largely to the human crises of the present day, the words of the Buddha has inspired a new spiritual hope for man .In consequence , in most countries of the world today , Buddhism is known . It is present with a traditional vigoure in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao, Vietnam, Tibet, China, Japan, Mongolia, Korea , Taiwan, Pakistan and Nepal .In India, the land of The Buddha, His word have begun to make a come-back .Strong Buddhist groups exist in almost all parts of the words.