13-year-old Swarup Shenoy gives insights on Buddhism, desires, and sorrow.
Gautam Buddha is known as the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, He was the founder of the religion of Buddhism. He was born in 6th century BCE in Kapilavastu, Nepal and taught his disciples in Varnasi in Uttar Pradesh.
He was born as a prince in an aristocratic family of the Licchaur tribe. He was named as Siddhartha. Gautama lost his mother at a very early age and was looked after by his aunt Gautami. His father gave him all the happiness of the world so that he would not miss his mother. He exceled un arts and learning, mastered in vedas and archery and was adept in military training, sports and martial arts. He was one of the finest archers of this time. He was married to Yashodha who bore him a son who was named Rahul. As time came he was declared the crown prince of Licchavis.
One day he saw three sights which shook him while he was parading in the capital in his chariot. The first was of an old man- to which his charioteer said that everyone gets old, the second was of a sick man- the charioteer said every will get sick and a dead man—his charioteer said that everyone will die one day. Finally, he saw an ascetic and his desire to be an ascetic was born. In time it became stronger. The day his son was born, where there were celebrations everywhere, Siddhartha made up his mind to become an ascetic.
That night, he mounted his horse and went to a place faraway. He cut off his flowing locks with his dagger and sent his horse and dagger to the palace and exchanged his clothes with that of a poor man. He spent time seeking for knowledge with some disciples but could not seek it. He fasted a lot but fell unconscious. He realized that fasting is not the solution for this. He decided to eat simple food and to meditate. One day he started meditating under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya(in Bihar). After forty-one days he got enlightened and came to be known as ‘The Buddha’- The enlightened one. (You can still find the Bodhi tree in the Mahabodhi temple – a Monastery and a Buddhist temple).
Buddha preached non-violence, good Karma an the right Dhamma(prakrit word for Sanskrit Dharma). He preached four noble truths and eight-fold paths. He said that all suffering is due to worldly desires like greedy appetites, immortality, personal success, worldliness and avarice. These desires cause humans to know sorrow.
Four Noble truths—
- The world is full of suffering
- Desire is the main cause of suffering
- Suffering can be overcome by killing our desires
- Desire can be overcome by achieving Nirvana (salvation or freedom from birth, death and rebirth)
Buddhism is a world religion which has spread to countries like China, Japan, Korea, Nepal, SriLanka and South East Asia as well as countries like Maldives, Philippines, thanks to Emperor Ashoka.
Buddham sharanam, Gachami!!
(Swarup is a student of Smt. SunitiDevi Singhania School, Thane)
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