The Life Of Buddha Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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sleeping chambers to take a last look at his wife and his sleeping babe. He resolved to come see them again one day. Once he got a reasonable distance away from his palace and crossed an important river, he sent his servant back with his horse. He headed south from there where places of learning and spiritual enlightenment flourished. He went to Rajagaha, the kingdom of the Magadha kingdom where he ran into the king. The young man’s handsome appearance and his serene attitude impressed the king. Upon learning that the young man standing before him was a former prince he tried to give the young prince every possible comfort and to stay and share his kingdom. Young Gotama, now at the age of twenty-nine, rejected the king’s offer explaining that he had no need of these things

which he had already renounced. So instead the king struck a deal with Gotama that when he succeeded in his quest and attained enlightenment that would return to Rajagaha again, to which Gotama agreed. So now Gotama’a search for truth begins in earnest. Gotama went from here in a search for teachers. He finds Alara Kalama, a renowned sage, and expresses his desire to attain enlightenment and asks for the sage to take him as far as possible. The sage agrees to take him on as a student. Gotama studied and rapidly mastered Alara” whole system and then inquired to his master how far he had realized his own system.. He was told that he had reached “”he sphere of no- thing.” Gotama soon attained the same mystical state himself . Kalama now declares that he and Gotama are now

equals in every respect. He had now learned everything from this mystic that he could. Although he had reached a very high mystical state, he was not satisfied with this plateau. He was in search of nothing less than pure and absolute nirvana, and thus he left Kalama.He then went to Uddaka Ramaputta, another great teacher. This one taught him to attain the “sphere of neither-perception-nor -perception. This was a much higher level of conscienceless than the “sphere of no-thing,” but it wasn’t what he was searching for, so he left.As he was traveling through the Magahda country, he came upon,” a beautiful stretch of land, a lovely woodland grove, and a clear flowing river with a pleasant river flowing by and a village close-by for support.” He was joined there by a

group of five other mystics. One of these mystics is Kondanna, the Brahman who predicted at his naming ceremony that he would defiantly become a Buddha. It is around this time that his real struggle for truth begins. He began practicing self-mortification and inflicting much punishment on himself. The following text is a selection from the ancient text the Majjhima Nikaya: Because of so little nourishment, all my limbs become like some withered creepers with knotted joints; my buttocks like a buffalo’s hoof; my backbone protruding like a string of balls; my ribs like the rafters of a dilapidated shed; like pupils of my eyes at the bottom of a deep well; my scalp became shriveled and sunk as a bitter gourd cut unripe become shriveled and shrunk by sun and wind; the skin of my

belly came to be cleaving to my back-bone; when I wanted to obey the calls of nature, I fell on my face then and there; when I stroked my limbs with my hand, hairs rotted at the roots fell away from my body. From these experiences his body became so frail and weak that he once fainted and was believed to be dead. From these experiences he came to learn that one could not attain enlightenment by punishing one’s body like that, and so from then on he began to eat the proper amounts of food and to take care of his body.One morning, Gotama was seated under the shade of a banyan tree when he was offered a bowl of milk rice from the daughter of the landowner of a nearby village, which he graciously accepted. This is purported to be his last meal before Enlightenment. He spent the day

in a grove of sal trees and in the evening went to the base of a pipal tree, and sat there cross-legged resolved to remain there until he attained Enlightenment. It is at this point that the most difficult part of Gotama’s struggles began: Mara, the evil one, the tempter who is the lord of the world of passion, determined to defeat him and prevent him from attaining enlightenment. He approached Gotama with his demonic hordes. Gotama, however, sat unmoved in meditation supported only by the ten paramitas (virtues). In order to attain buddahood, all bodhisattvas (those who seek to attain Enlightenment) have to perfect during innumerable past lives as a bodhisattvas the 10 paranitas: charity, morality, renunciation, wisdom, effort, patience, truth, determination, wisdom, effort,