Tuesday, December 27, 2005


The Buddha ws neither a God or the prophet of a God. He was born, lived and died a man. He left no room in his teachings for any other supposition. The Buddha's mortality is man's greatest hope for the future, since in Him we have no deity or supernatural being, but one who showed the great heights to which a man could reach.

He himself has become acknowledged as the greatest man who ever lived, but few of us will possess the courage and determination to approximate his greatest example. Yet it is within the province of all of us to follow his Teachings and eventually attain the Goal of Sublime Peace.

We can do this without becoming Buddhas ourselves, for it is not in the nature of everyman to become a Buddha, by following the Path of Deliverance which Buddhists call the Buddha Sasana, or as it is knwn among western people: Buddhism.

Let us learn more about this man, who conquered what is least easily conquered; who attained what is least easy to attain; and who left the world a treasure of philosophy which has been the guiding light for the greater part of mankind and endured for more than twenty-five centuries.

He was born about 623 BC, at Kapilavathhu, a hundred miles north-east of Benares, at the foot of the majestic Himalayas. The city of Kapilavatthu, was once the small capital of the Sakya Clan, an Aryan people who had the same ancestors, as the people of Europe, America and Australia claim today. the area now lies within the frontiers of Nepal.

Son of a noble family and having advantages denied to many, he enjoyed the pleasures of life which come easily to a child born of wealthy parents.

After he passed the sgtage of boyhood and became a young man, his thoughts turned to the suffering of mankind which the philosophies of those days held to be inescapable. he realised that although wealth and position, gave advantages over less fortunate people, it could not save one from the sufferings of birth, disease, old-age or death. While confronted with this problem the transient pleasures of life began to lose their value and He not only felt that there must be some way of escape from suffering, but he determined to find it.

He was not the first to recognize the universal nature of suffering, for many of those days, had sought or were seeking for a cure, but none had ever been successful.

With the determination, that he would seek and find, He renounced his home, family and position; and clad in the yellow robes of a penniless mendicant, wandered alone to find the Eternal Peace.

In the first sermon which the Buddha preached, after attaining His Enlightenment, He explained the Middle Way, The Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, which we have referred to in an earlier chapter. These may be likened to foundation stones on which the entire Dhamma is based. Everything which is found in the entire Buddhist Scriptures, is in fact, an expansion of the Four Noble Truths.

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