Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Story of Lord Buddha

Story of Lord Buddha

Some 2500 years ago there lived in North India a Raja named Suddhodhana. He had a son named Gautama, a fine and handsome youth. At the age of sixteen he was married to a beautiful wife named Yasodhara and had a little son named Rahula. He lived in fine palace enjoying all the splendours and pleasures befitting a royal prince.

Beyond the bare fact that from the age of sixteen right up to the age of twenty-nine he lived the life of a householder nothing can be said about the early life of Gautama, who was destined in course of time to shine forth as a brilliant pole-star in the spiritual firmament of the world.

Prince Gautama, also called Siddhartha, had always been a wise and thoughtful lad. Gentle in his speech, kind hearted, and full of mercy to all living beings, when one fine morning he accompanied his royal father for a ride on horse-back, he felt quite pleased and happy. But the next moment he saw a plough man beating a poor bullock that had a sore on its back till it dropped down with intense pain and agony. As he rode along a little further he saw a dove being eaten away by a hungry hawk. Then he saw another dove eating some flies. Gautama went back home full of sorrow.

After a few days Gautama had a dream. He saw an old feeble man unable to walk and hardly able to stand and groaning under the burden of old age. And a voice addressed Gautama: "Thou wilt also get old and feeble like this old man, O Gautama!"

He then saw a man suffering from some dire malady and crying aloud unable to bear the torturing pain. And the voice said to Gautama: "Thou wilt also get ill and full of pain like this, O Gautama." Then he saw another man lying dead on the ground. And the voice again said to Gautama : "You must also die one day, O Gautama."

Supreme Vairagya dawned upon Gautama now. He fully realized the utter transitoriness of life and leaving his home, wife and child and all the pleasures and joys of life, he retired into the forest and became an ascetic. For full seven years he lived in the woods trying to find out some means to put an end to pain, sin and sorrow in the world, to seek something higher and nobler than the things of the sense conditioned in time.

Thus we learn that Siddhartha's reason for renunciation was his profound conviction that all worldly pleasures and happiness were fleeting, and his intense longing to attain to peace and calm which nothing could shake or end. Of course he sought this first for himself only, but afterwards he thought that what had given him peace and calm would be equally beneficial to others as well.

One night as he sat meditating under a Bodhi Tree (the Tree of Buddhahood), Truth dawned upon him. He realized that man's life is full of pain, that desire is the cause of pain that pain can be ended by putting an end to all desires, and that desire can be ended by right thought, word and deed. From this memorable day onwards, he came to be known as Buddha or the "Enlightened."

Buddha was one of the noblest and kindest men who ever lived. His religion is called Buddhism. He taught the world to be good and kind to all beings including animals and crawling creatures and that it was a sin to hurt anyone. He had a large following. Even today Buddhism is considered to be a great religion by all right-thinking men.

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