About Buddhism

Buddhism was founded in Nepal, India by Siddhartha Gautama born in Lumbini somewere between c. 563 BCE to 483 BCE and died c. 483 BCE (aged 80) or 411 and 400 BCE Kushinagar(Uttar Pradesh) and he is also know as the Buddha meaning the awakened one. On top you see the original portrait of the Buddha.

In his early life Siddhartha Gautama was a prince, lived in luxury captivity not being aware true life outside the doors. His parents did this to protect him from seeing the suffering, sickness and death of true life. Somewhere at the age of 29 he left the palace and he encountered a diseased man, a decaying corpse, and an ascetic. These depressed him, and he initially strove to overcome aging, sickness, and death by living the life of an ascetic. Gautama initially went to Rajagaha and began his ascetic life by begging for alms in the street. After King Bimbisara’s men recognized Siddhartha and the king learned of his quest, Bimbisara offered Siddhartha the throne. Siddhartha rejected the offer, but promised to visit his kingdom of Magadha first, upon attaining enlightenment.

Siddhartha and a group of five companions led by Kaundinya are then said to have set out to take their austerities even further. They tried to find enlightenment through deprivation of worldly goods, including food, practicing self-mortification. After nearly starving himself to death by restricting his food intake to around a leaf or nut per day, he collapsed in a river while bathing and almost drowned. Siddhartha began to reconsider his path. Then, he remembered a moment in childhood in which he had been watching his father start the season’s plowing. He attained a concentrated and focused state that was blissful and refreshing, the jhāna. After realizing that meditative jhana was the right path to awakening, but that extreme asceticism didn’t work, Gautama discovered what Buddhists call the Middle Way.

Following this incident, Gautama was famously seated under a pipal tree—now known as the Bodhi tree—in Bodh Gaya, India, when he vowed never to arise until he had found the truth. Kaundinya and four other companions, believing that he had abandoned his search and become undisciplined, left. After a reputed 49 days of meditation, at the age of 35, he is said to have attained Enlightenment. According to some traditions, this occurred in approximately the fifth lunar month, while, according to others, it was in the twelfth month. From that time, Gautama was known to his followers as the Buddha or “Awakened One” (“Buddha” is also sometimes translated as “The Enlightened One”).

So Buddhism is a godless religion, a nontheistic religion. Siddhartha Gautama is recognized by Buddhists as an awakened or enlightened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end their suffering through the elimination of ignorance and craving by way of understanding and the seeing of dependent origination, with the ultimate goal of attainment of the sublime state of nirvana—literally means “blown out”, as in a candle. Referring to the imperturbable stillness of mind after the fires of desire, aversion, and delusion have been finally extinguished.

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