The Life Of Buddha Essay Research Paper — страница 3

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patience, truth, determination, universal love, and equanimity. Mara was vanquished and fled headlong with his armies of evil spirits. According to the Pali Sutanipata, one of the earliest texts, Mara approached him saying such things as: ” You are emaciated, pale, you are near death. Live, sir, life is better. Do meritorious deeds. What is the use of striving.”Gotama replied,” Lust is your first army; the second is dislike for higher life; the third is hunger and thirst; the fourth is craving; the fifth is stupor and sloth; the sixth is fear; the seventh is doubt; the eight is hypocrisy; the ninth is gains, praise, honor, false glory; the tenth is exalting self and despising others. Mara, these are your armies. No feeble man can conquer them, yet only by conquering them

one wins bliss. I challenge you! Shame on my life if defeated! Better for me to die than to live defeated. Mara was overcome with shame and grief and disappeared. Having defeated Mara, Gotama spent the rest of the night in deep meditation under the tree. During the first part of the night he gained the knowledge of his former existence. During the second part of the night he attained “the superhuman divine eye,” the power to see the passing away and rebirth of beings. In the last part of the night he directed his mind to the knowledge of the destruction of all defilements and realized the “Four Noble Truths.” In the words of the Buddha himself, ” My mind was emancipated . Ignorance was dispelled, knowledge arose; darkness was dispelled, light arose.” It is in this way

that Gotama at the age of thirty -five, achieved enlightenment. After the Enlightenment the Buddha spent several weeks meditating on the various aspects of the dharma that he had realized, particularly on the most important and difficult doctrine of casual relations, known as the dependent origination. This doctrine views everything as relative and interdependent and teaches that there is no eternal, everlasting, unchanging, permanent, or absolute substance, such as the soul, within or without man. Four weeks after his Enlightenment, while seated under a bayan tree, the Buddha is reported to have thought to himself: ” I have realized this truth which is deep, difficult to see, difficult to understand, comprehensible only to the wise. Men who are overpowered by passion and

surrounded by a mass of darkness cannot see this truth which is against the current, which is lofty, deep, subtle, and hard to understand.” His next task was to take what he had learned and teach it to others. At first he doubted that the knowledge that he had gained was possible to transfer to anybody else. He thought that perhaps the comprehension of the knowledge was something far beyond the grasp of effort or pure intelligence. When a prominent Brahman persuaded him otherwise that his knowledge should be shared, he set about the task of finding the appropriate people who would be receptive to his information. He thought of the five companions who had left him a few years before because he had chosen to give up self-mortification as a path to enlightenment. Upon finding

them, he told them that he was an arhat, ” a perfected one,” that he had realized the immortal and that he wished to teach it to them. These wandering mystics didn’t believe him at first. It took quite a bit of convincing before they finally took him at his word. When they did come to accept what he said they began to refer to him as Reverend Gotama. The Buddha then delivered his first sermon, which can be translated to mean the ” Sermon on Setting the Wheel of Truth in Motion.” An ancient stupa ( a building containing a religious relic) still exists on the place where this sermon was supposed to have happened. The substance of the first sermon is this: a man who has left home and gone forth should not follow two extremes, namely self- indulgence and self-mortification.

Avoiding these two extremes, the Buddha has discovered the middle path leading to vision, to calmness, to awakening, to nirvana. This middle path is known as the Noble Eightfold Path consisting of right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right mode of living, right endeavor, right mindfulness, and right concentration. The first Noble Truth is that man’s life is full of conflict, dissatisfaction, sorrow, and suffering. The second Noble Truth is that all this is caused by man’s selfish desire. The third Noble Truth is that there is emancipation, liberation, and freedom for human beings from all of this, which is nirvana. The fourth Noble Truth, the Noble Eightfold Path, is nirvana. At the end of the sermon these five mystics were admitted by the Buddha as monks