up with power, wealth and fame, at the age of twenty nine, he left his life of privilege and luxury to discover spiritual
freedom from humanity’s endless suffering. Struggling with his decision, he left behind his wife and only child under
the care of his father and the court, and became an ascetic wanderer for the next six years. During that time, he studied
under the best spiritual teachers of the times. Finally, after rejecting ascetic practices, he discovered the Middle Way,
and then one day he resolved to attain Enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. After going through temptations and inner strife,
alas, he manifested enlightenment for the sake of all of us and transformed into the Buddha, the Awakened One. One scripture
recounts this historical event as follows.
the moment of awakening, the Buddha exclaimed, ‘Wonder of wonders, all living beings are truly enlightened and shine
with wisdom and virtue. But because their minds have become deluded and turned inward to the self-centered ego, the fail to
is also referred to as Shakyamuni, Sage of the Shakya clan, and the King of Truth (Dharma), and the Light of the World.
Unlike the popular western image of him as a fat and happy sage, the scriptures recount his physical appearance as quite extraordinarily
attractive, fairer skinned, athletically built and he possessed a magnetic charisma and a quick wit.
the next forty-five years, he taught his core teaching of the Four Noble Truths, which affirmed the human condition, its limitations
and its potential for evolutionary achievement.
- Life is dukkha (suffering and unsatisfactoriness)
- dukkha is caused by craving (which is the result of a dualist mind-set)
- dukkha can be transformed into Nirvana (peace and a non-dual mind-set)
- The path to realize Nirvana (the Eightfold Path)
in his life as his disciple grew spiritually mature and numerous, he taught the bodhisattva practices of the Six Perfections
which include that following practices.
- Zeal or Energy
lived his life as an example of beauty, love and naturalness. Throughout his noble life, he taught and served others in multiple
ways regardless of race, caste, age, class, gender or species. He taught the cultivation of the mind, the practice of ethical
living and wisdom. He said, "Consider others as yourself," and "cease to do evil, learn to do good and purify your
many years of teaching, one day on Mt. Vulture
in Rajagrha, he finally told the Sacred Story of Amida to his disciples Ananda and Maitreya. This historical event and mythic story was
later recorded down in the scripture called The Larger
Sutra of Immeasurable Life. In this text the Buddha taught,
sentient beings who have heard the nembutsu, rejoice in received faith, remembering her even once and sincerely transfer the
merit of virtuous practices to that realm, aspiring to be born there, will attain birth and dwell in the stage of non-retrogression.” --Chap. 22
his eightieth birthday, in a grove near Kushinagar, he passed away peacefully into Parinirvana. His last words were, “...
be a lamp unto yourselves, look for no other refuge. Let the truth be your map and your refuge ... work out your own salvation