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Contact Us. Early Life. Prince Siddhartha was born during the fifth month of Vesakha, a full moon day in BC. The baby immediately took seven steps, and with each step a lotus flower appeared. Five days after the birth of the prince, eight wise men came to the palace for a naming ceremony. Seven of the wise men raised two fingers and said that the prince would either become a Great King or a Buddha.
One of the wise men, but the name of Kondanna, only raised one finger, and said the prince would become a Buddha. The baby was then named Siddhartha. Only two days after this ceremony, his mother, Queen Maha Maya, passed away. The queen's sister, Pajapathi Gotami, was also married to the prince's father King Suddhodhana, and she took care of the young prince. King Suddhodhana wanted the prince to marry a beautiful girl. Many of the girls from the country came to prince's palace so he could choose a wife.
The prince gave each of the girls a gift, but to one princess, he gave a ring from off his finger. Her name was Princess Yasodhara, and they soon got married. The Four Sights. One day, the prince went out of the palace with his horseman, Channa. On the first trip out of the palace, Prince Siddhartha saw an old man, and realized that everyone had to one day grow old.
On the second trip, he saw a sick man, and he knew that everyone could become sick. On the third trip, the prince saw a dead body, and knew that everyone has to die some day. One the fourth trip, the prince saw a monk. The monk was very calm and happy, because he led a peaceful life. After seeing the monk, the prince decided he wanted to leave the palace and help people find peace and happiness, just like the monk.
Soon after, he heard that he had a new son names Rahula. Leaving the Palace. When Rahula was born, King Suddhodhana threw a big party. After having a lot of fun, everyone fell asleep.
Profile of Rahula: The Buddha's Son and Disciple
At midnight, Prince Siddhartha took one last look at Yasodhara and Rahula sleeping soundly, and left the palace with Channa and his horse, Kanthaka. At the river, the prince took off all his jewelry, and asked Channa to return it to the king. Then, the prince cut off his hair with a sword and changed into yellow robes. The prince was only 29 years old.
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After dressing himself in simple robes, Siddhartha went to houses with his alms bowl, to look for food like other monks. Now, he was called Ascetic Gotama. He wanted to find a way out of suffering.
Soon he met two monks, and being a good student he learnt all of the teachers' teachings. He then decided to find the Truth by himself. Seeking Enlightenment. Ascetic Gotama decided to find the end to pain and suffering.
Because nothing is permanent, a life based on possessing things or persons doesn't make you happy. There is no eternal, unchanging soul and "self" is just a collection of changing characteristics or attributes. Four Noble Truths Human life has a lot of suffering. The cause of suffering is greed.
Children of the Buddha
There is an end to suffering. The way to end suffering is to follow the Middle Path. Right values and attitude compassion rather than selfishness. Right speech don't tell lies, avoid harsh, abusive speech, avoid gossip. Right action help others, live honestly, don't harm living things, take care of the environment. Right work do something useful, avoid jobs which harm others. Right effort encourage good, helpful thoughts, discourage unwholesome destructive thoughts. Right mindfulness be aware of what you feel, think and do. Right meditation calm mind, practice meditation which leads to nirvana.
What is meditation? Meditation takes many forms: It can be sitting quietly beside a beautiful arrangement of rocks, contemplating beauty. It can be practicing a martial art such as karate or aikido since they require mental and physical control and strong concentration. It can mean focusing on a riddle such as "What is the sound of one hand clapping? It can be in a meditation room of a monastery. It can involve chanting.
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It can involve the use of a mandala to focus attention to the invisible point at the center of interlocking triangles. It can involve quietly noticing one's breath as it goes in and out It can happen anywhere at any time. Where are Buddha's words written down? If Buddhism began in India, why is it all over some many eastern countries?
The Five Precepts Even though each form of Buddhism took on its own identity, all Buddhists follow a set of guidelines for daily life called the Five Precepts.