Buddhism is a religion often associated with peace and enlightenment. It is based largely on the teachings of the Buddha which include beliefs and practices. Buddhism is based on spiritualism on a wider view rather than worshipping a deity. To live life on the path of ethical and moral conduct what the religion is about.
Buddha is revered as a human being who attained enlightenment through meditation. In search of truth, he recalled his life experiences to find the meaning of life.
The Spark of Renunciation
But as he thought, it was his present life that pulled him away from the wisdom he wanted to have. He was born as a prince named Siddhartha Gautama, destined to be a king one day and rule his kingdom. He was married at the age of 16 and had a boy child. Buddha had three palaces, a family, servants and all things he wished that gold can buy. Still, he was not content with what he had and felt that life’s ultimate goal was not material things.
Introduction to Despair
Buddha’s father tried to keep his son far from the sufferings of the world, even from the thought of it. One day when Buddha was travelling through his kingdom, he was deeply disturbed when he saw a diseased man for the first time. He was shocked more when he saw an old man and his state of helplessness.
The Confused Prince
On one side he saw happiness of the palaces and riches and on the other, he witnesses the disguise of the worldly belongings. His mind is bewildered by the thought that one day he may get sick, grow old and would be helpless like any other mortal. Buddha has now a decision to make, either to live the life of ignorance with shallow pleasures or one with enlightenment and free from belongings to achieve peace of mind.
The greatest obstacle he faced was his wife and son he had to take care of. He had a kingdom to rule, his citizens to lead after his father. The thoughts of leaving his responsibilities were the reason he was afraid to take a leap.
He named his son Rahula after mythological snake Rahu which caused the lunar eclipse. For the Buddha, he was a chain that bounded him from his wife and his present life.
Death of Siddhartha, Birth of Buddha
He accompanied by Channa, his chariot driver and his horse Kanthaka departed from his palace. It’s said that “the horse’s hooves were muffled by the gods” to prevent guards from knowing of his escape.
The determination of Siddhartha transformed him into an ascetic man. He left his family and fortune for the path of truth.
On an occasion when Buddha visited home according to Pali Canon, Rahula’s mother advised him to ask his father for his inheritance since the Budha has renounced the palace life. Rahula after meal said, “Give me my inheritance”.
Buddha while walking in a park with his son thought, “He desires his father’s inheritance, but it is wrought with troubles. I shall give him the benefit of my spiritual Enlightenment and make him an owner of a transcendental inheritance.”
He then taught his son the value of truth and never to deceive or to be dishonest. Rahula became one of his disciples and followed the path of Buddhism.
He lived his early life as an ascetic as a beggar and survived on the least. From a glorious prince, he became a saint. He left worldly belongings for enlightenment and was named Buddha, “The Enlightened One”.