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Biography on Siddhartha Gautama

By PerseverePat Dec 12, 2010 466 Words
Buddhism is a religion that developed in India, founded by Siddhartha Gautama. He was born in Kapilaustu, C. 563-483 B.C. There was a man who ruled a clan called the Shakyas.  He was head of this clan, and the king of this country. His name is Shuddodana Gautama, the father of Siddhartha. Shuddodana’s wife was the beautiful, Mahamaya.  Mahamaya was expecting her first born.  She had had a strange dream in which she saw a baby elephant that was beautiful, bright, and silver. Brahman priest interpreted her dream and said that her child would become a monarch or either a Buddha. He was born into a noble family who believed in a prophecy that could tell if a child would become a world ruler. Once was born he showed signs of being a great man. Therefore his father isolated him as a child so that he would become a universal spiritual leader.

Once isolated, Siddhartha got married and had a son. While away he walked in a forest in India for six years seeking religious truth and the understanding of suffering. He then fasted eating only six grains of rice a day. His last experience leads him to the understanding of suffering because he sat under a tree near Gaya for forty nine days. From then on he became known as the enlightened one.

He preached his first sermon near Varanasi. This sermon was presented to five of his companions who would then become the first monks admitted to the Buddhist religious order. This religious order also consisted of nuns. The nuns and monks of the religious orders were required to make vows that consisted of them living in a life of poverty, not getting married, and being nonviolent. These monks and nuns followed the Eightfold path and dharma. The eightfold path to them was a way to release themselves from selfishness and pain. Earlier followers of this religion were laborers and crafts people.

Theses followers followed sacred commentaries, rules about monastic life, and manuals on how to meditate after Siddhartha’s death. It is believed that his relics are contained in a sacred mound. Buddhists visit this mound which is also known as stupas, and gather around it in a circle moving in a counter clockwise direction. Then they lay face down as a sign of humility while leaving flowers. These are common rituals held by Buddhists.

Buddhism is now a worldwide religion practiced by billions of people. The spread of this religion occurred because of missionaries from India who converted people in Sri Lanka. The religion had also spread to Korea and Japan. This spread of religion occurred during the trade each country had with one another. Buddhism is more than a religion to Buddhists but a way of life.

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