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What Buddhists Believe.

What Buddhists Believe.

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Published by Sympathywin

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Published by: Sympathywin on Jul 25, 2011
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01/23/2013

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Dhamma darna By Sympathy 
 
 PART I
 
Chapter 1 - Life and Nature of the Buddha~~~******************~~~Gotama, the BuddhaThe Founder of Buddhism
Gotama Buddha, the founder of what came to be known asBuddhism, lived in Northern India in the 6
th
century B.C. Hispersonal name was Siddhartha, and family name Gotama. Thename 'Buddha' was given to Him after He attainedEnlightenment and realized the Truth. It means the 'Awakened'or the 'Enlightened One'. He generally called Himself theTathagata, while His followers called Him Bhagava, the BlessedOne. Others spoke of Him as Gotama or Sakyamuni.He was born a prince who seemed to have everything. He had aluxurious upbringing and His family was of pure descent onboth sides. He was the heir to the throne, extremely handsome,inspiring trust, stately and gifted with great beauty of complexion and fine presence. At sixteen He married His cousinnamed Yasodhara who bore Him a son whom they calledRahula. His wife was majestic, cheerful day and night, and fullof dignity and grace.Despite all this, He felt trapped amidst the luxury like a bird in agolden cage. During a visit to the city one day, He saw what is
 
known as the 'Four Sights', that is , an old man, a sick man, adead man, and a holy recluse. When He saw the sights, one afteranother, the realization came to Him that, 'it is subject to age anddeath'. He asked, 'Where is the realm of life in which there isneither age nor death?' The sight of the recluse, who was calmfor having given up the craving for material life, gave him theclue that the first step in His search for Truth was Renunciation.Determined to find the way out of these universal sufferings, Hedecided to leave home to find the cure not for Himself only, butfor all mankind. One night in His twenty-ninth year, He badeHis sleeping wife and son a silent farewell, saddled His greatwhite horse, and rode off toward the forest.His renunciation is unprecedented in history. He left at theheight of youth, from pleasures to difficulties, from certainty of material security to uncertainty, from a position of wealth andpower to that of a wandering ascetic who took shelter in the caveand forest, with His ragged robe as the only protection againstthe blazing sun, rain and winter winds. He renounced Hisposition, wealth, promise of prestige and power, and a life filledwith love and hope in exchange for the search for Truth whichno one had found.For six long years, He labored to find the Truth. He studiedunder the foremost masters of the day, and learned all thesereligious teachers could teach Him. When He could not findwhat He was looking for, He joined a band of ascetics andtortured His body so as to break its power and crush itsinterference, since it was believed that Truth could be found thisway. A man of enormous energy and will power, He outdidother ascetics in every austerity they proposed. While fasting,

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