Buddha: Buddhism and Siddhartha

Topics: Buddhism, Gautama Buddha / Pages: 10 (2487 words) / Published: Oct 9th, 1999
Buddha

The word Buddha means "enlightened one." It is used today as a title to the one who has given us more religious beliefs than almost any other human who lived in this world. However, he was not given this name at birth; he had to earn it for himself by undergoing long, hard hours of meditation and contemplation. Buddha has changed the lifestyles of many cultures with new, never-before asked questions that were explained by his search for salvation.
He began an entirely new religion that dared to test the boundaries of reality and go beyond common knowledge to find the answers of the mysteries of life.

India During the sixth century BC, India was a land of political and religious turmoil. It was an era of great brutality with the domination of Northwest
India by Indo-Aryan invaders. Many people, influenced by the Aryan civilization, began to question the value of life and it 's true meaning. Schools were opened because of this curiosity where teachers would discuss the significance of existence and the nature of man and held programs to reconstruct one 's spiritual self. (Pardue, page 228)

Background Near the town of Kapilavastivu, today known as Nepal, lived King
Suddhodhana and Queen Maya of the indigenous tribe known as the Shakyas.
(Encyclopedia Americana, page 687) Queen Maya soon became pregnant and had a dream shortly before she gave birth. In this dream a beautiful, white elephant with six tusks entered her room and touched her side. This dream was soon interpreted by the wisest Brahmin, or Priest of Brahmanism, that she was to give birth to a son that would, if he were to remain in the castle, become the wisest king in the world, but if he were ever to leave the castle he would then become the wisest prophet far into future generations. (Encyclopedia Americana, page
410)
In around the year 563 BC, Siddhartha Gautama was born into a life of pure luxury. (Wangu, page 16) His father wanted to make sure that his son was well taken care



Bibliography: "Buddha and Buddhism." Encyclopedia Americana. 1990. Cohen, John Lebold. Buddha. Mary Frank, 1969. Pardue, Peter A. "Buddha." Encyclopedia of World Biography. McGraw Hill, 1973. "The Buddha and Buddhism." The New Encyclopedia Britannica. 1990. Wangu, Madhu Bazaz. Buddhism. New York: Facts On File, 1993.

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