Siddhartha Gautama: Kako je oče budizma hodil od trpljenja do razsvetljenstva

Siddhartha Gautama: Kako je oče budizma hodil od trpljenja do razsvetljenstva


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Siddhartha Gautama, znan tudi kot Buda ali "razsvetljeni", je verjetno eden najvplivnejših posameznikov, ki so prišli iz Indije z naključnim ustanovitvijo budizma. Siddhartha Gautama v nasprotju z vladajočim verskim establišmentom in njegovimi nauki sočutja in odrekanja svetovnemu bogastvu pogosto primerjajo z Jezusom iz Nazareta, pozneje imenovanim Kristus ali »maziljenec«. Siddhartha Gautama in gibanje, znano kot budizem, sta podobna Jezusu in krščanskemu gibanju v odrekanju obredom in verski hierarhiji v prid globlji duhovnosti, ki vključuje osebno odgovornost za duhovno stanje.

Življenje Siddharthe Gautame pred budizmom

Po izročilu se je Siddhartha Gautama rodil v Lumbiniju v sodobnem Nepalu. Njegovi starši so bili iz klana Shakya in pripadniki kaste vladar/ bojevnik. Posledično je imel Siddhartha v svojih zgodnjih letih udobno življenje. Budistične zgodbe poudarjajo razkošje njegovih prvih let življenja v palači. Po eni legendi v budizmu je njegov oče slišal prerokbo, da bo njegov sin postal močan kralj ali Buda. Ker ni hotel, da bi njegov sin postal Buda, je storil vse, kar je bilo v njegovi moči, da bi preprečil trpljenje svojega sina.

Dojenček Buda, ki se kopa Gandhara, 2. stoletje našega štetja. ( CC BY SA 4.0 )

Ta načrt je nekaj časa deloval. Siddhartha je užival v palačnem načinu življenja in bil poročen z žensko po imenu Yasodhara. Imela sta sina po imenu Rahula. Rahula, je kasneje postal eden od Siddhartovih privržencev. Ko je Siddhartha dozorel, se je bolj zavedal trpljenja, ki je bilo prisotno zunaj obzidja palače. Budistične legende pravijo, da je tudi prišel do spoznanja, da se tovrstno trpljenje lahko zgodi tudi njemu. To in trpljenje drugih na svetu sta mu povzročila veliko stisko in na koncu se je odločil, da ne more nadaljevati s tako razkošnim načinom življenja, ko trpi toliko drugih.

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Odhod princa Siddharthe.

V določeni starosti, okoli 29 let, je Siddhartha zapustil svoje prejšnje življenje in postal potepuški asket. Budistična tradicija pravi, da je odšel na skrivaj, vendar to ni gotovo. Pridružil se je Sramanama, potujočim asketom, ki so takrat oblikovali sekte po vsej Indiji, ki so se odrekli svetu in konvencionalni veri. Siddhartha je dolga leta živel kot asket in iskal nekaj, način, kako osmisliti človeško trpljenje. Njegov asketizem je bil zelo hud in na neki točki je skoraj umrl. Po poskusu tako skrajnega asketizma pa še vedno ni našel odgovora. Privrženci budizma verjamejo, da se je na koncu odločil, da odgovora ne najdemo v skrajnem asketizmu tako kot v pretirano razkošnem življenjskem slogu.

Slika stenske slike v laoškem templju, ki prikazuje Bodhisattva Gautama (bodoči Buda), ki se je pred svojim razsvetljenjem ukvarjal z ekstremnimi asketskimi praksami. Bog nadzira njegovo prizadevanje in zagotavlja duhovno zaščito. Pet menihov v ozadju je njegovih prihodnjih 'pet prvih učencev', potem ko je Buda dosegel popolno razsvetljenje.

Pojav budizma

Po izročilu je Siddhartha nekega dne sedel pod smokvo in meditiral, ko mu je nenadoma prišel odgovor. Na tej točki je dosegel tisto, kar imenujejo budisti Nirvana. Na tej točki je Siddhartha postal Buda, Razsvetljeni. Kmalu zatem je imel svojo prvo pridigo v Sarnathu in začel razlagati, kaj bo pozneje postalo osrednji del današnjega budizma.

Natančen odgovor, ki ga je našel Siddhartha, ni povsem jasen, saj o njem še danes razpravljajo celo budisti. Beseda nirvana izvira iz besede, ki pomeni "izpihan" ali "izčrpan". Daje idejo o izumrtju ali prenehanju. Mnogi budisti danes to obravnavajo kot prenehanje želja. Osrednji del Budovega učenja je ideja, da je navezanost na stvari vodila v trpljenje. Siddhartha je spoznal, da bodo stvari, kot so bogastvo, dobro zdravje in celo prijatelji in družina, zbledele ali odmrle, in da bo navezanost na te stvari le še bolj boleč razhod s temi stvarmi in tako vodi v trpljenje. Budistična tradicija pravi, da je Siddhartha verjel, da je rešitev v tem, da se ne dovoli privezati na te stvari in da vse take želje prenehajo obstajati.

Budova Nirvana. Barva na svili. Nahaja se na Kongōbu-ji, Mt. Kōya, Wakayama, Japonska.

Temeljni nauki budizma

Siddhartha je odstranil vse rituale prevladujoče indijske religije v tistem času, da bi prišel do temeljne jedrne duhovne resnice, čeprav resnice, o kateri budisti ne morejo povsem doseči soglasja. Nekateri menijo, da je jedro budizma sočutje do ubogih in prizadetih. Drugi verjamejo, da je to prekinitev kroga smrti in ponovnega rojstva. Drugi menijo, da gre preprosto za uravnoteženo, moralno življenje brez trpljenja.

Čeprav mnogi menijo, da so to pomemben del naukov budizma, se pojavljajo v drugih verskih in filozofskih tradicijah na indijski podcelini, ki so bile pred budizmom. Eden od vidikov budizma, ki se zdi še posebej izrazit, je humanizem. Buda je bil jasen, da so ljudje odgovorni za svoja dejanja in ne za bogove ali magijo. Verjel je tudi, da so posamezni ljudje odgovorni za trpljenje, pa tudi za iskanje rešitve za trpljenje. Budistične zgodbe vedno poudarjajo dejanja in motivacijo navadnih ljudi in ne nadnaravne entitete.

Buda uči štiri plemenite resnice. Sanskrtski rokopis. Nalanda, Bihar, Indija.

V stoletjih je budizem pridobil različne obredne in liturgične tradicije ter nadnaravne, metafizične in kozmološke ideje. Nihče od teh pa res ni nujno, da je budist. Sam Siddhartha se jim ni zdel zelo pomemben, najpomembnejše pa je bilo, kako je treba živeti in kako je treba obravnavati vprašanje človeškega trpljenja.

Primerjava Siddharthe Gautame in Jezusa iz Nazareta

To sta si Siddhartha Gautama in Jezus iz Nazareta podobna. Njihove nauke o sočutju in kritiki obstoječe verske ustanove se pogosto primerjajo, vendar je drugačna značilnost naukov Siddharthe Gautame in Jezusa, kako sta oba prebila verska izročila in rituale, da bi prišla do bistvenih vprašanj obstoja. Siddhartha Gautama je verjel, da so vedski rituali in verski obredi izgubili svoj prvotni pomen in pomen. Jezus je imel podobne občutke glede verskih običajev judovskih duhovnikov in farizejev. Čeprav je v spoštovanju držal tempeljski kult, je verjel, da je duhovništvo postalo pokvarjeno in ni več pravilno častilo Boga. Zdi se, da sta oba bolj skrbela za denar in moč kot za duhovno prenovo.

Učenje Bude, iz življenjske zgodbe Bude, poslikava, samostan Tharlam tibetanskega budizma, Boudha, Katmandu, Nepal. (Wonderlane/ CC BY 2.0 )

Tako kot je Siddhartha za iskanje globlje duhovne resnice pustil na stran tisto, kar je videl kot prazne rituale in tradicije, čeprav ni povsem jasno, kakšna je bila ta resnica, je tudi Jezus razveljavil rituale in tradicijo, ki so sčasoma postali prazni. razkriti globljo duhovno resnico.

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Resnica, ki jo je moral Jezus razkriti, se je seveda zelo razlikovala od resnice, ki jo je moral razkriti Siddhartha, vendar bi lahko trdili, da sta oba povezana z osebno odgovornostjo za duhovno stanje. Čeprav je Jezus učil, da lahko samo Bog resnično spremeni človekovo duhovno stanje, je še vedno njegova odgovornost, da vstopi v osebni odnos z Bogom, da bi bila preobrazba mogoča. Podobno je Siddartha Gautama učil, da je odgovornost posameznika, da sprejme štiri plemenite resnice in živi v njihovi luči, da bi dobil mirno življenje brez trpljenja.

Jezus in Siddhartha sta menila, da mora posameznik prevzeti odgovornost, kar precej drugačna, vendar sta oba poudarjala to osebno odgovornost. To je verjetno eden od razlogov, da sta tako budizem kot krščanstvo zdržala. Oba imata posameznika odgovornega za njegovo duhovno stanje in ga tako vključita na način, ki presega zgolj zunanje vidike, kot so tradicija, obred ali celo politična stališča, do nečesa globljega, nečesa bolj univerzalnega.

Budistični menihi v Lumbiniju, rojstnem kraju Gospoda Bude. ( CC BY SA 3.0 )


Siddhartha Gautama

Občutek popolnega razumevanja samega sebe in tega, kdo ste, je nekaj, k čemur si vsi prizadevajo. Izogniti se užitkom in lenobi, da bi dosegli samoizpolnitev in jasnost, pomeni razsvetljenje. Siddhartha Gautama, princ iz kraljestva Shakya, se je odpravil na pot, da bi odkril sebe in razloge za človeško trpljenje.

Siddhartha je živel zelo zanimivo življenje, začenši z mlajšimi leti. S starostjo je postal pomembnejši zaradi svojih teorij in razvoja religije. Danes je zaradi svojih odkritij še vedno zelo pomembna zgodovinska osebnost in mnogi ga častijo. Siddharthovo iskanje razsvetljenstva je oblikovalo povsem nov način razmišljanja in nanj se moramo vedno spominjati po svoji zapuščini.

Okoli leta 536 pred našim štetjem v himalajski gorski regiji v mestu Lumbini se je Siddhartha Gautama rodil v bogastvu. Njegov oče, Suddhodana, in njegova mama Mahamaya sta mu dali ime, ker je pomenilo izpolnjevalca želja ali tistega, ki je dosegel svoje cilje (Pearson, 2). Pravijo, da so mu starši ob rojstvu napovedali, da bo postal Buda, zato so mu dali ime s takšnim pomenom (Pearson, 4). Dva dni po njegovem rojstvu je umrla njegova mati, ki ga je pustila v varstvu svoje sestre Mahapajapati, ker je bil njegov oče zelo zaposlen vladajoči kralj za kraljestvo Shakya.

Ko je odraščal, je Siddhartha zaradi svojega očeta živel v udobju in razkošju, vendar je bil zelo zaveten, tako da je ostarel le ob bogastvu in šel po očetovih stopinjah. Medtem ko je živel v kraljevski družini, je imel zelo visoko izobrazbo, učili so se filozofije, književnosti in celo borilnih veščin. Pri šestnajstih letih je bil dogovorjen, da se poroči z Yasodharo, rodila pa sta se pri devetindvajsetem letu. Siddhartha je od poroke do rojstva sina začel spraševati o njegovem življenju in o tem, kaj se dogaja okoli njega. Opazil je veliko trpljenja običajnih ljudi, kjer je živel. Zaradi vse te izpostavljenosti je postal zelo zaskrbljen in paranoičen. Misel, da je dovzeten za starost, bolezni, smrt in številne druge vrste trpljenja, ga je poslala v krizo.

Asketi so bili zelo samodisciplinirani in so se izogibali vsem oblikam samozadovoljstva. Ta način življenja je zanimal Siddharto, zato se je tako zgražal nad ljudmi v svoji vasi. Nanj je vplivala tudi izpostavljenost asketom, moškim, ki so se odrekli vsem posvetnim dobrinam v prepričanju, da bi lahko samoodpovedovanje kot duhovna disciplina prineslo razsvetljenje, (Pearson, 6). Najprej je postal menih, nato pa počasi prešel v popolno askezo, ker je menil, da je ta način življenja edina pot, ki ga bo pripeljala do razsvetljenja. Za to pot se je odrekel vsemu, družini, domu in vsem svojim materialnim dobrinam. Odločen je bil odkriti nekaj, kar se mu je zdelo zelo pomembno.

Pri svojem iskanju je doživel številne stiske, zato je moral za uspeh večkrat oceniti, kaj počne.
Kot menih je začel pogosto vaditi jogo in meditacijo. Želel je začeti vzpostavljati stik s svojim umom in telesom. Arada Kalama in Udraka Ramaputra sta bila njegova voditelja in ga skušali naučiti, vendar Siddhartha ni bil zadovoljen (Violatte, 14). Za težjo in zahtevnejšo metodo doseganja razsvetljenja se je obrnil k asketizmu. Po mnenju Pearsona bi asketi skupaj z drugimi samoiniciativnimi telesnimi stiskami prakticirali hudo pomanjkanje hrane in spanja. Uporabili bi jogijsko meditacijo za lajšanje bolečin in varčevanje z energijo. Tam je bil gozd pomemben za hindujce, skupna vera za ljudi na tem območju, kjer je Siddhartha odšel živeti kot asket.
Preizkušnje, s katerimi se je moral soočiti Siddhartha, so bile fizične, duševne in duhovne.

V šestletnem obdobju, ko je živel v gozdu, je doživel veliko bojev in stisk. Včasih ga lastne misli in zamisli pripeljejo v nevarnost. Post je bil za menihe običajna praksa in Siddhartha je menil, da bi lahko, če bi postil dalj časa, bolje razumel svojo zavest in dosegel razsvetljenje. Ženska, ki je potovala in opazila Siddharto, je prišla k njemu in mu ponudila hrano. Šele takrat je Siddhartha spoznal, da razsvetljenje ne bi prišlo iz pomanjkanja. Nato se je odločil, da se osredotoči na koncept, imenovan Srednja pot (Pettinger). Srednja pot je nekaj, česar bi se Siddhartha naučil v prihodnosti. Potem ko je dolga leta živel v lakoti, je prišel do zaključka, da se mora izogibati ekscesom posta in pogostitve, (Pettinger). Po tem spoznanju se je začel težje osredotočati in postal odločnejši.

Po besedah ​​Johna Pearsona, ki je za EBSCO napisal življenjepis o Siddharthi Gautami, naj bi doživel smrt svojega nekdanjega bitja. To pomeni preseči življenjsko izkušnjo kot cikel rojstva, smrti in ponovnega rojstva (znano kot samsara), da bi namesto tega doživeli nirvano, kar je imenoval, popolno izumrtje staranja in umiranja. ’ Trajalo je šest let, da je dosegel to razsvetljenje in bi na koncu postal eden najpomembnejših dni v zgodovini. Ko je Siddhartha dosegel nirvano, je postal znan kot Buda, kar pomeni razsvetljen.

Koncept razsvetljenstva je zelo zanimiv in zapleten. Je zelo vase usmerjen in tega se ne da naučiti. Nirvana je stanje, v katerem je oseba, medtem ko se zgodi razsvetljenje- nirvana se zgodi tudi ob smrti. Po besedah ​​Immanuela Kanta z univerze Columbia je razsvetljenstvo človeški nastanek iz njegovega samonametnega nonaga.

Nonage je nezmožnost uporabe lastnega razumevanja brez drugega vodstva, ne zaradi pomanjkanja razumevanja, ampak zaradi neodločnosti in pomanjkanja poguma za uporabo lastnega uma brez drugega vodstva. To pomeni, da je razsvetljenje nekaj osebnega in občutek bivanja v nirvani bo očiten in vse trpljenje osebe se bo končalo. Zamisel je, da delaš stvari zase in ne čakaš, da ti to rečejo drugi, in v svojem življenju stopiš naprej, namesto da se zadržiš. Pettinger opisuje nirvano kot blaženo zavest. Razsvetljenstvo je popolnoma nov pogled na življenje in Siddhartha je to lahko odkril in ga obdržal do konca svojega življenja na zemlji.

Ko je doživel nirvano, je še nekaj tednov nadaljeval z meditacijo, ker je želel izboljšati svoje učenje in doživeti več svoje nove resničnosti. Razsvetljenja. Buda se je odločil, da želi druge poučiti o svoji modrosti, in svoje nove ideologije razširil na vse. Nato se je odločil, da se vrne v fizični svet samsare in se začne izobraževati. Buda je želel, da bi ljudje razumeli štiri plemenite resnice, ki jih je sestavil v razsvetljenstvu.

Bili so: Človeški obstoj je trpljenje, trpljenje je posledica želje, le s končanjem želje lahko ljudje končajo trpljenje, Buddhova osemkratna pot lahko konča željo, (Pearson). Osemkratna pot je pot do razsvetljenja. Poučeval je tudi koncept, imenovan Srednja pot. Te tri ideologije so postale temelj budizma.

Štiri plemenite resnice so osnovne misli Bude o trpljenju in so bistvo budizma. Širijo idejo, da je trpljenje neizogibno, toda trpljenja je lahko konec. Po mnenju PBS pojem trpljenja ni namenjen prenašanju negativnega pogleda na svet, temveč pragmatični perspektivi, ki obravnava svet, kakršen je, in ga poskuša popraviti. Vsako resnico je skrbno premislil in določil v prizadevanjih za razlago življenja na zemlji in zakaj obstaja trpljenje. Te ideje je sestavil na podlagi lastnih izkušenj, ki iščejo razsvetljenje. Zagotavljajo vodenje po fizičnem svetu in ljudem dajo vedeti, da je razsvetljenje dosegljivo. Zadnja resnica opisuje Budovo osemkratno pot in kako lahko pripelje ljudi do življenja brez zemeljskih želja. Vsi elementi budizma so povezani in jih je ustvaril Buda.

Osemkratna pot je podobna praksam ali moralam, ki jih je treba po Budi upoštevati, da bi zagotovili razsvetljenje. Osem vidikov je: Pravilno razumevanje pravilnega načina razmišljanja pravilen način govora pravilno preživljanje, pravilen trud, pravilna pozornost in pravilna koncentracija (Galerov vir). Teh stvari se je mogoče naučiti in razložiti, vendar je del budistične religije razmišljanje zase in odkrivanje, kaj pojem pomeni za posameznika. Te prakse spodbujajo ljudi k spoštovanju in ravnanju, za katerega vedo, da je prav. Buda se je za ta posebna načela odločil, ker vsa vodijo do dobro zaokrožene osebe, za katero je bolj verjetno, da bo dosegla razsvetljenje.

Srednja pot je preprosto pogled Bude na življenje. Soka Gakkai International pravi, da je to pot ali pot, ki presega in usklajuje dvojnost, ki je značilna za večino razmišljanja. Srednja pot je popolno ravnovesje med preveč in premalo. Buda je to odkril, ko je imel najprej veliko razkošja, potem pa v gozdu ni imel skoraj nič. Prišel je do zaključka, da popuščanje ali premalo popuščanja ne bi vodilo k razsvetljenju, ampak nekje na sredini bi. Nekateri celo zamenjajo besedno zvezo Srednja pot in budizem, ker koncept srednje poti popolnoma posega v osnovo budizma. Buda je menil, da je treba vse te ideje in predstave oblikovati v versko prepričanje. Buda je domneval, da bodo ljudje sledili njegovemu govoru in se zavezali novemu sistemu prepričanj razsvetljenstva. Želel je, da bi drugi imeli enako osvobajajočo izkušnjo kot on (Hallisey, 13).

Buda se je vrnil v domovino, da bi govoril o svojih izkušnjah in poučeval druge v Indiji in okolici. Svoj prvi verski govor ali pridigo z naslovom Obračanje kolesa resnice je imel na mestu, imenovanem Sarnath. Do konca svojega življenja je imel veliko več govorov. Njegov cilj je bil širiti štiri plemenite resnice, njegovo razmišljanje o razsvetljenstvu in nirvani ter o srednji poti. Pri ustvarjanju tega sistema prepričanj si je prizadeval, da ne bi postal organizirana religija s cerkvijo in hierarhijo (Pearson). Verjel je, da se lahko njegovi nauki uporabijo kot vodilo za nadaljnje napredovanje, ne da bi se v celoti zanašali nanj.

Rečeno je, da je Buda v svojem življenju doživel tri spremembe srca. Bili so, ko se je odrekel svojemu življenju kot princ, na dan, ko je dosegel razsvetljenje, in na dan, ko se je odločil poučevati svoje ugotovitve. Te spremembe srca so vplivale na njegov način poučevanja in vplivale na to, kakšen učitelj je bil. Želel je biti motivacijski, a praktičen in nikoli ni poskušal vsiliti svojih misli ljudem. Da bi se držal več vrst poslušalcev, je Buda svoje sporočilo posredoval na različne načine in prilagodil, kar je imel povedati, glede na zmožnosti in nagnjenosti svojega občinstva (Hallisey). Izognil se je vsem pojavom pravil, ko je pridobil več privržencev- želel je, da bi budizem ostal čim bolj oseben za posameznika.

Ko se je Buddha vse bolj uveljavil kot učitelj, je pridobil nekaj predanih privržencev, imenovanih sangha, ki so postali budistični menihi (Berkley). Moral mu je dati pravico, da pravilno poučuje svoje filozofije, ker ni želel, da bi se kakšna njegova ustna lekcija spremenila ali napačno razlagala. Buda je še petinštirideset let učil, dokler ni pri osemdesetletniku umrl zaradi griže. Prešel je leta 483 pr.n.št.v svojem rodnem mestu Kushinagara, kjer se je njegova zapuščina nadaljevala, njegove ideologije pa so ostale pri mnogih ljudeh. Nekateri pravijo, da je zapustil svoje fizično telo in nadaljeval pot do parinirvane, kamor so šli razsvetljeni ljudje, ko so umrli (Berkley). Sangha je še naprej poučeval budizem in ga uveljavil kot religijo, da bi se lahko več ljudi pridružilo naslednjim, če bi to želeli. Razširila se je po vsej Indiji in Nepalu, sčasoma pa se je prebila tudi na Kitajsko.

Toliko ljudi je bilo navdušenih nad pojmom razsvetljenja in doživljanja nirvane.
Budizem je ena najbolj razširjenih religij v sodobnem svetu, in to zaradi Siddharthe Gautame. Imel je vizijo in ni obupal, dokler ni uspel s ciljem uresničitve v fizičnem svetu. Za budista je pomemben kot Jezus Kristus za kristjane (Violatti).

Ima veliko podobnosti in razlik s hinduizmom, ki je bil prevladujoča religija pred nastankom budizma. Džainizem je še ena vera, ki se je odcepila od budizma, in je veliko bolj intenzivna in porablja življenja ljudi. Večina jainistov je acetikov ali živi primerljivo življenje z asketom. Ta vera se je razvila po prestopu Bude in pravijo, da mu to ne bi bilo všeč, ker je v času, ko je bil v gozdu, spoznal, da oceti nikoli ne bodo dosegli razsvetljenja, ker se preveč odrekajo. Ker so bili vsi nauki Bude ustni, obstaja nekaj argumentov o tem, kaj je bistvo budizma. Nekateri pravijo, da gre za nenasilje, drugi pa za človeštvo. (Violatti).

Buda se nikoli ni videl kot verski voditelj, ampak le kot učitelj. Menil je, da slovesnosti in rituali, ki so zaužili življenja ljudi, niso potrebni, in menil je, da bi morali ljudje imeti možnost čaščenja toliko ali najmanj, kot se jim zdi bistveno. Violatti pravi, da se mu zdi ironično, da je Buddha po njegovi smrti na koncu čaščen kot bog, in da so ga obravnavali kot hierarhično bitje.

Indijske tradicije so se začele povezovati z budističnim načinom življenja, zato so začeli čaščiti bogove in boginje, ki so predstavljali različne vidike budizma. Buda si ni želel, da bi se to zgodilo, ampak je ustvaril tudi budizem, ki ga je treba slaviti, kakor si je posameznik želel.
Siddhartha Gautama je bil zelo pronicljiva oseba, ki je v svojem življenju naredila ogromno spremembo za izboljšanje sebe in drugih.

Njegovo spoznanje trpljenja in dejstvo, da je bil slep temu v mlajših letih, sta mu dala to spremembo mišljenja. Njegovi dosežki pri ustvarjanju nove vere, ki ima danes 488 milijonov privržencev. 7% svetovnega prebivalstva sledi veri Bude v upanju, da bo doseglo razsvetljenje. Budisti gredo na svojo osebno pot, da bi našli sebe in tisto, kar jim je pomembno.


Zgodovina budizma

Sedeči, a ogromni, z zaprtimi očmi v meditaciji in razmišljanju, velikanski, strogi kipi Velikega Bude gledajo na populacijo privržencev, ki se razteza od Indonezije do Rusije in od Japonske do Bližnjega vzhoda. Njegova nežna filozofija privlači tudi številne vernike, razpršene po vsem svetu.

Ocenjuje se, da je med 500 milijoni in 1 milijardo ljudi po vsem svetu budistov.

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Prav meglena narava Budove filozofije, ki jo prečkajo številne sekte privržencev z vrtoglavo izbiro prepričanj in pristopov k veri, otežuje natančno oceno, koliko je budistov. Nekateri učenjaki gredo tako daleč, da budizma sploh ne želijo opredeliti kot religijo in ga raje omenjajo kot osebno filozofijo, način življenja in ne kot pravo teologijo.

Pred dvema stoletjema in pol se je fant po imenu Siddhartha Gautama rodil v kraljevi družini v podeželskem zaledju na severovzhodnem kotu indijske podceline, v sodobnem Nepalu. Astrolog je dečkovemu očetu, kralju Suddhodani, povedal, da bo, ko bo otrok zrasel, postal kralj ali menih, odvisno od izkušenj v svetu. Ker je Siddhartha oče nameraval vsiliti to vprašanje, mu nikoli ni dovolil videti sveta zunaj obzidja palače, ki je bil do 29. leta virtualni zapornik. Ko se je končno odpravil v resnični svet, se ga je dotaknilo trpljenje navadnih ljudi, s katerimi se je srečal.

Siddhartha je svoje življenje posvetil asketskemu premišljevanju, dokler ni dosegel »razsvetljenja«, občutka notranjega miru in modrosti ter prevzel naziv »Buda«. Več kot štirideset let je peš prečkal Indijo, da bi razširil svojo Dharmo, niz smernic ali zakonov za vedenje svojih privržencev.

Ko je Buddha umrl leta 483 pred našim štetjem, je bila njegova vera že vidna po vsej osrednji Indiji. Njegovo besedo so razširili menihi, ki so želeli postatiarhatsali sveti možje. Arhats je verjel, da jih je mogoče doseči Nirvanaali popolnega miru v tem življenju z asketskim življenjem kontemplacije. Samostani, posvečeni spominu na Budo in njegove nauke, so postali vidni v velikih indijskih mestih, kot so Vaishali, Shravasti in Rajagriha.

Kmalu po Budovi smrti je njegov najvidnejši učenec sklical sestanek petsto budističnih menihov. Na tem zboru so vsi Budini nauki, oz sutre, pa tudi vsa pravila, ki jih je Buddha za življenje določil v svojih samostanih, so bili kongregaciji na glas prebrani. Vse te informacije skupaj tvorijo jedro budističnega svetega pisma do danes.

Z opredeljenim načinom življenja, opisanim za vse njegove učence, se je budizem razširil po preostali Indiji. Razlike v interpretaciji so se prikrajale, ko se je število privržencev oddaljilo drug od drugega. Sto let po prvi veliki skupščini je bila sklicana še ena, da bi poskušala odpraviti njihove razlike, z malo enotnosti, a tudi brez sovraštva. Do tretjega stoletja pred našim štetjem je v Indiji delovalo osemnajst ločenih šol budistične misli, vendar so se vse ločene šole medsebojno prepoznale kot privrženci Budove filozofije.


Budisti praznujejo rojstvo Gautama Bude

8. aprila budisti praznujejo spomin na rojstvo Gautame Bude, ustanovitelja budizma, za katerega velja, da je živel v Indiji od leta 563 pr. do 483 pr. Pravzaprav je budistična tradicija, ki praznuje svoj rojstni dan 8. aprila, prvotno rodila v 11. stoletju pred našim štetjem in šele v moderni dobi so znanstveniki ugotovili, da je bil bolj verjetno rojen v šestem stoletju pred našim štetjem in morda maja kot aprila.

Glede na Tripitaka, ki ga znanstveniki priznavajo kot prvi obstoječi zapis o življenju in govorih Bude, se je Gautama Buda rodil kot princ Siddhartha, sin kralja ljudstva Sakya. Kraljevina Sakyas je ležala na mejah današnjega Nepala in Indije. Družina Siddhartha je bila iz klana Gautama. Njegova mama, kraljica Mahamaya, ga je rodila v parku Lumbini, v današnjem južnem Nepalu. Steber, ki ga je v spomin na dogodek postavil indijski cesar v tretjem stoletju pr. še stoji.

Ob njegovem rojstvu je bilo napovedano, da bo princ bodisi postal veliki svetovni monarh bodisi Budin nadvse razsvetljen učitelj. Brahmani so očetu, kralju Suddhodani, povedali, da bo Siddhartha postal vladar, če bo izoliran od zunanjega sveta. Kralj se je potrudil, da bi svojega sina zaščitil pred bedo in vsem drugim, kar bi lahko vplivalo na njegovo versko življenje. Siddhartha je bil vzgojen v velikem razkošju, poročil se je in rodil sina. Ko je bil star 29 let, se je odločil, da bo videl več sveta, in se na svojem vozu odpravil na izlete z dvorišča. Na zaporednih potovanjih je videl starca, bolnega moškega in truplo, in ker je bil zaščiten pred bedami staranja, bolezni in smrti, je moral njegov voznik razložiti, kaj so. Nazadnje je Siddhartha zagledal meniha in se je, navdušen nad človekovim mirnim vedenjem, odločil, da gre v svet, da bi odkril, kako je lahko človek tako miren sredi takšnega trpljenja.

Siddhartha je skrivaj zapustil palačo in postal potepuški asket. Odpotoval je na jug, kjer so bila središča učenja, in študiral meditacijo pri učiteljicah Alari Kalama in Udraki Ramaputri. Kmalu je obvladal njihove sisteme in dosegel visoka stanja mistične realizacije, vendar ni bil zadovoljen in se je spet odpravil iskat nirvano, najvišjo stopnjo razsvetljenja. Skoraj šest let se je lotil posta in drugih strogosti, vendar so se te tehnike izkazale za neučinkovite in jih je opustil. Ko si je povrnil moč, se je usedel pod pipalo na današnjem mestu Bodh Gaya v zahodni osrednji Indiji in obljubil, da se ne bo dvignil, dokler ne bo dosegel najvišje razsvetljenja. Potem ko se je boril proti Mari, zlemu duhu, ki ga je skušal s posvetnimi udobji in željami, je Siddhartha dosegel razsvetljenje in pri 35 letih postal Buda.

Buda Gautama je nato odpotoval v park jelenov blizu Benaresa v Indiji, kjer je imel prvo pridigo in opisal osnovne nauke budizma. Po budizmu obstajajo 𠇄 plemenite resnice ”: (1) obstoj je trpljenje (2) to trpljenje je posledica hrepenenja ljudi (3) je prenehanje trpljenja, kar je nirvana in (4) nirvana lahko biti dosežen v tem ali prihodnjih življenjih, čeprav po 𠇎ightfold poti ” pravilnih pogledov, pravilne odločitve, pravega govora, pravega ukrepanja, pravega preživetja, pravega napora, prave pozornosti in prave koncentracije.

Do konca svojega življenja je Buda učil in zbiral svoje učence sangha, ali skupnost menihov. Umrl je pri 80 letih in svojim menihom rekel, naj še naprej delajo za svojo duhovno osvoboditev, tako da sledijo njegovim naukom. Budizem se je sčasoma razširil iz Indije v osrednjo in jugovzhodno Azijo, na Kitajsko, v Korejo, na Japonsko in v 20. stoletju na zahod.  


Ubogi Gautama

To življenje se ni izpolnilo. Bilo je težje. Beseda "težje" je verjetno podcenjevanje njegovih izkušenj. 29 let razkošja in potem, ko se je takoj potopil v oster in neprizanesljiv svet, ga je naučilo lekcij, ki so mu za vedno odprle oči.

In this time, he encountered many teachers and learned something from all of them. He was still dissatisfied and lived in abject poverty and depravity. Gautama and his five friends went to the extent of eating a single grain of rice a day. A once vibrant and strong young man had wasted away to the point of his ribs showing.

Enough was enough, and thus Gautama tried to have a better go at life and tried to improve his nutrition. In doing so, his friends viewed him as indulgent, and this led to ostracization, and they finally left him. He was all alone.


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Siddhartha Gautama lived in the present-day border area between India and Nepal in the 6th century before Christ his exact birth date is unknown. Because the life of the historical Buddha is inseparable from legend, the following text is not meant to be a historically exact biography, but a short life story based on what has been passed down by generations. The dates are based on present day historians' mainstream view.

Siddhartha Gautama is born in Lumbini, near the Nepalese-Indian border to his father, King Suddhodana, ruler of the Sakya tribe, and his mother, Queen Mayadevi. The father gives his son the name of Siddhartha (=the one who obtains success and prosperity), his second name is Gautama (=name of the clan).

Seers predict that Siddhartha will either become a Universal Monarch or a Buddha. Asita, the wisest of the seers, is sure that he will become a Buddha (=one who has supreme knowledge). His mother dies seven days after the birth.

Siddhartha spends his childhood in the palace of his father at Kapilavastu, Southern Nepal, where he is raised by his aunt Mahaprajapati until the age of seven. In his early childhood, during a ploughing ceremony, Siddhartha makes his first unprecedented spiritual experience, where in the course of meditation he develops the first jhana (=meditative absorption) through concentration.

As a young boy he learns the skills of a warrior, including the technical and athletic skills of man-to-man fight. Siddhartha is trained in spiritual disciplines and becomes proficient in the art of archery.

At the early age of sixteen, he marries his beautiful cousin Princess Yasodhara, who is of equal age.

The young prince spends thirteen more years together with his wife in the royal court of his father. Three palaces are built for him, one for the cold season, one for the hot season, and one for the rainy season. Siddhartha enjoys the lavish court life while his father is trying to screen him from all troubles and worries. A son is born while Siddhartha is in his late twenties.

Despite of the amenities of life, Siddhartha is not satisfied with the mere enjoyment of fleeting pleasures due to his inquiring and contemplative nature. One day, he leaves the palace for an excursion and there he encounters what so far has been purposely veiled from him:

He sees a decrepit old man, a diseased person, a corpse being cremated, and a sadhu (=holy man, hermit). Siddhartha realises that there is old age, sickness, and death, and that people ultimately have little control over their lives. The fourth sight provides the inspiration that leads to a dramatic change in his life.

In the night of his 29th birthday, Siddhartha gives up his life as a prince and secretly leaves the court while everyone is asleep. He travels far and crosses the river Anoma, where he shaves his hair and hands over his princely garments to his groom Channa, with instructions to return them to the palace.

The Bodhisattva (=future Buddha), who once lived in luxury, becomes a penniless and homeless wanderer. He leads a life of self-mortification and spiritual study, becomes first a disciple of several then famous Brahman teachers, and later attracts his own disciples.

After a long and exhausting period of searching and self-mortification, he finally becomes disillusioned with the Indian caste system, Hindu asceticism, and the religious doctrines of his time. He gives up the ascetic life and loses all of his disciples as a result. Nevertheless, he continues his search for truth through the practice of meditation.

April/May 528 BC - Enlightenment

While meditating under a Bodhi tree in Bodh-Gaya, south of Gaya in the state of Bihar, India, the Bodhisattva experiences the Great Enlightenment, which reveals to him the way of salvation from suffering. He spends seven weeks meditating in the vicinity of the site of the Bodhi tree and attains the status of a fully realised Buddha at the age of 35.

June/July 528 BC - First Sermon

Buddha finds his former five disciples in Benares. In his first sermon he teaches them what will become the gist of Buddhism. Upon hearing it, one of the disciples instantly attains the status of an arhat (=one with enlightened wisdom). This event marks the beginning of the Buddhist teaching and his disciples become the first five members of the sangha (=Buddhist order).

During a short period of time, Buddha establishes a great reputation in western Hindustan by converting thousands of people to the dhamma (=the Buddhist teaching). People hear the dhamma delivered either by himself, or by the monks of his order. During this time he delivers the fire sermon.

The Buddha briefly returns to the palace of his father to convert the royal family and ordains many of the Sakya tribe.

Four years later Siddhartha's father, King Suddhodana, dies. Buddha returns to the palace and Mahaprajapati, where Buddha's aunt -upon meeting Buddha- becomes the first woman to ordain, despite of the protest of some contemporaries. From this moment on women were admitted to the sangha. According to Indian tradition, however, they were separated and under the authority of male monks.

In the 45 years following his enlightenment, Buddha travels around Northern India to teach the tenets of Buddhism. He is extremely successful and attracts first thousands, then ten thousands, and later hundred thousands of people from all walks of life, who voluntarily decide to follow his teachings, the dhamma. During the monsoon, when travelling becomes difficult due to the weather, Buddha and his close followers interrupt their journey. During these month, monks, as well as laypeople, receive the teachings at a site selected for retreat. One such site is Sravasti in Nepal, which has become very famous since then.

Buddha's success does not only attract admirers, but also provokes envy and ill will. Several attempts are made on his life, but all of them fail. Although he is being criticised and defamed, this does not affect the popularity of his teaching.

483 BC - Death and Pari-Nirvana

Having achieved the goal of spreading the teaching to the greatest number of people, Buddha dies at the age of eighty years, as a result of food poisoning. He dies in a forest near Kusinagara, Nepal, in the company of his followers reclining on a bed where he speaks his last words: "All compounded things are ephemeral work diligently on your salvation." With these words on his lips, he passes into the state of Pari-Nirvana.


The Enlightenment of Siddhartha Gautama

Buddhism entered the world 500 years before [[Wikipedia:Christianity|Christianity]]. Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, was born in what is now Southern Nepal to Queen Mahamaya and King Suddhana. Queen Mahamaya had a dream that a great royal soul would be born to her. She lay under a tree where a while elephant walked around her three times and then entered her womb. She gave birth to her holy son while standing up. Siddhartha was born upright and able to take seven steps upon birth. He also spoke "I am born for enlightenment. This is my last birth in the world of Phenomena".
  At age 29 Siddhartha left his home to find a cure for the suffering in the world. He renounced all of his power and gave up his earthly possessions to seek salvation and find a cure for the harsh world he lived in. He wandered around as an ascetic, one who gives up earthy desires, for six years (Brown, n.d.). He fasted to conquer the desires of the flesh. When he almost died of starvation, he realized that physical deprivation was not the way to find spiritual peace. He went to a place called the "enlightened place" to meditate all nightlong and it was there that he became Buddha, meaning "enlightened one".

  The path of the Buddha is to find freedom form the constraints of the world, to find peace from within, and to live a spiritual life through meditation. Through meditation, spiritual wisdom and strength are gained. Desires of the flesh must be relinquished or the wisdom will be lost.
  Buddhists believed that they have many lives. They are on a quest for nirvana, the final state of a Buddha, leaving him free from suffering. Nirvana is the ultimate goal of all Buddhists. It breaks the re-birth cycle called samsara, meaning perpetual wandering, and refers to the journey of soul through many lives. The Buddha even believes that gods can die and be replaced by other gods. Nirvana is the final resting-place for the Buddha. The Buddha must completely relinquish all fleshly desires to reach Nirvana, once he has reached Nirvana he can rest and be at peace.

  Buddhism compares to other religious belief systems such as Judaism, [[Wikipedia:Christianity|Christianity]], Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism in several ways. In all belief systems the believer follows a God, gods or someone who is considered holy. The believer must make sacrifices to enter the final resting-place and be at peace. The believer must meditate or pray to gain inner strength. They must live a decent, moral life, free of sin to enter the final resting-place. All of these belief systems compare to Taoism and Zoroastrianism because all of the belief systems are a state of mind and of being. They are all seeking an eternal peace and moral fortitude.

  All civilizations are shaped by their belief system. If the people believe in God or gods, and eternal damnation, the society will be better for it. Belief in God or gods and their authority over the society as a whole requires people to have morals. If a society is anti-moral and allows a "anything goes" attitude, the society will certainly fail. Buddhism, [[Wikipedia:Christianity|Christianity]], Islam, Hinduism and Confucianism have thrived for so many years because of the belief in God or gods who expect them to have morals before they can have eternal peace and life which has kept the belief system moral and strong.


Investigating Awakening

This part of the Buddha’s story is a bit foggy, as much of our understanding comes from the suttas. Siddhartha’s father tried to shield him from the suffering of the world, but he went out on his own one day. Believed to be 29 years old, Gautama left his home with a charioteer to meet with others in his community.

He came across what are now known as the Divine Messengers. He saw an old man, a sick man, and a decaying corpse. This was the time in which Siddhartha came into contact for the first time with the realities of old age, sickness, and death. He also saw an ascetic, or wandering spiritual man. He was immediately discontented by these sights, and set off to investigate religious and spiritual practices for himself.

Just as there are many different types of Buddhism today, there were many different forms of meditation and spirituality then. The Buddha meditated with various teachers, including Alara Kalama and Udaka Ramaputta. With both teachers, he excelled quickly. Eventually, he was asked to succeed the teacher and lead the community. However, the Buddha did not feel fulfilled by these teachings and moved on.

He investigated a strong ascetic practice, which was a popular method of spiritual growth at the time. Part of this practice was the belief that material pleasure was a hindrance to spiritual progress. As such, people starved themselves, carried nothing, and lived a life free of pleasure. However, the Buddha found for himself that this was not the most useful path to awakening.

He discovered what we now call the Middle Way, or Middle Path. This is a path of moderation, steering clear of extremes. It’s become a foundational Buddhist teaching, and was one of the first teachings the Buddha discovered that has made its way into modern Buddhist teachings.


Siddhartha Gautama: How The Father of Buddhism Walked From Suffering to Enlightenment - History

1. Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, was born of the Sakya clan in northern India (in 560 B.C.). His father was a nobleman, of the Kshatriya class or caste. According to legend, at Gautama's birth it was foretold that he would either become a great political ruler of all India or he would become a spiritual redeemer. To make sure of his son's political future, Gautama's father protected him from the pain and suffering of human beings. Despite this "sheltering," Gautama is said to have witnessed "Four Passing Sights" -- a man wracked by disease, a man decrepit with old age, a corpse, and a monk begging alms. These sights so affected the sensitive Gautama that he resolved to leave his relatives and his life of luxury in order to discover for himself the truth of human life and suffering.

2. At first, he studied meditation with three Hindu ascetics. This did not answer his question. Then, he tried severe self-mortification and fasting, almost to the point of death. This too, he resolved, was not the answer. He determined that when it comes to the needs of the body, the "Middle Way," or the mean between excess and defect, is proper. One should give the body what is natural and necessary and no more. Finally, Gautama tried a new more intense period of meditation. This led to his enlightenment or awakening under the famous fig tree or, as it is now called, the "Bodhi" tree. Bodhi means enlightenment or awakening. The title "Buddha" means one who is wide awake. According to Gautama, men sleep away their lives in senseless and self-centered preoccupations this self-centeredness can lead only to pain and suffering. The illusion of selfish craving blocks awareness of things as they really are. Self-centered striving is a painful dream from which humans must awake in order to have peace. After his enlightenment, Buddha was tempted by the evil one (Mara) to enjoy this nirvana or peace by himself for, as Mara tried to deceive him, no one would listen to Buddha or understand what he was saying. But Buddha replied, "There will be some who will understand." Gautama possessed a rare combination of mind and heart he was extremely logical and philosophical and at the same time extraordinarily loving and compassionate. In fact, one might say that the two branches of Buddhism that later arose, the Theravada (or Hinayana) and the Mahayana, were based on these two sides of the Buddha himself. Theravada Buddhism stressed meditation. Mahayana Buddhism stressed compassion.

3. Gautama taught for many years. His teaching was regarded as heretical by conservative Hindus. After all, Gautama disregarded many of the traditional Hindu religious views. First, he questioned the authority of the Brahmins or the priestly caste or class. In fact, he rejected all divisions into castes and the proscription of certain individuals as "outcastes." Many of Gautama's most famous disciples were at one time "outcastes." According to Buddha, each person can and must strive for enlightenment through his own efforts. Secondly, though he was extremely "philosophical" in his own way, Buddha had no patience with philosophical systems or metaphysics. What one does, not what one believes, is important. When asked about eternity of the world and life after death, Buddha replied that explaining such things will not solve the problem of human suffering here and now. Thirdly, Buddha had no interest in miracles and rituals. He taught that there was no quick road to salvation or nirvana. Neither god nor ritual can bestow salvation salvation must be worked for by each person through self-discipline, practice, and meditation. Years after Buddha died, Buddhism was indeed transformed into a full-blown religion with rites, mysteries, and other such trappings. But this was not Buddha's original intention. When asked if he was a god, Buddha replied, "I am not a god." Buddha did not want to be prayed to or worshipped.

4. After nearly fifty years of teaching, Buddha died (480 B.C.) from eating a poisonous mushroom accidentally served up by a friend. With great compassion and sensitivity to his grieving friend, Buddha told him that he had had two exceptional meals in his lifetime. The first was the meal he enjoyed under the fig tree after he had attained nirvana. The second was this meal served by his friend, that opened the gates to final release from suffering.
5. Buddha's first sermon at Benares contained the essence of his message. He taught there the "Four Noble Truths":

(1) Life is suffering (dukkha). Dukkha has the connotation of losing one's center or balance, like a wheel that has come off the axle, or a "dislocation," like a bone that has come out of joint. Dukkha is the suffering of existence that is not what it should be, that is out of whack, that is missing the point. Sickness and death are what they are human life is impermanent and transient. But the pain associated with these and other parts of life is due to a subjective dislocation, an attitude that takes things the wrong way, that wants things to be different.

(2) The cause of suffering is self-centered craving (tanha). The cause of suffering is the need to refer all things to ourselves. According to Buddha, there are five skandhas or types of grasping that give us trouble they are: the grasping of the body, or concern over this body that I call mine, "my body" the grasping of perception, or concern with my way of seeing things, my perspective, my view the grasping of feeling, whereby I am concerned with my feelings and subjective states -- I call them mine and I am attached to them the grasping of emotions or impulses, that I am attached to the grasping of ideas or thoughts, about which I am defensive, which I claim to be my own. According to Buddha, the body, perception, feeling, impulses, and thoughts are indeed real. The are constantly changing conditions of existence. What is unreal is the linking of these conditions to the notion of a "self." The illusion of a self (ego) only appears or "emerges" in an attitude of self-concern and selfish striving. The self is a name that we give to the point of intersection of all inwardly directed craving we wish to appropriate the world for ourselves, to suck everything into the ego, to draw things into ourselves. What we call the ego or the self or the spiritual substance or "soul" is really the creation and the byproduct of a selfish and self-referential attitude. Self-consciousness is an attitude that creates the illusion of an individual soul it is not a method that scientifically discovers the soul. According to Buddha, there is no such thing as an individual soul behind the "heaps" of body, perceptions, and the rest, there is but one life or consciousness that flows through all living things. My outward existence is but one manifestation of innumerable manifestations of the hidden absolute life. Thus, for Buddha, preoccupation with "me, myself, and I" is the cause of all human suffering. One must overcome "subjectivity" and "self-concern" in order to obtain release from suffering, peace, or nirvana.

(3) In order to bring an end to suffering, one must bring an end to self-centered craving. If each desire is like a draft, that draws inward toward a point called the self, one must stop or even reverse this flow. One must stop referring all things to oneself. One must overcome subjective interpretations in the light of subjective needs and desires. One must see things as they really are, not simply as they are for us. One must reverse the flow so that one no longer draws things inward, but rather lets the absolute within swell up and flow outward in universal compassion toward all living things. As long as one draws to himself, the inner power of compassion is trapped if the drawing ceases, the compassion is allowed to emerge. All living things partake of the same life, the same infinite stream that flows within. Self-centered striving is an obstacle to the discovery and release of this universal life.

(4) The way to cease craving is to follow the eightfold way or path. This includes right views, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

6. There are no simple explanations of the Eightfold Way, but some brief comments might be of help:

(1) Right views: Though Buddha had little interest in complicated theologies or doctrines, some beliefs are necessary. Quite simply, right belief is acceptance of the Four Noble Truths.

(2) Right intention: One must dedicate himself wholeheartedly to overcoming the dislocation of self-centered craving one must want this emancipation more than anything else. One must not let his heart wander from this path.

(3) Right speech: One must stand guard over his speech, avoid lies and deceptions, cultivate honesty and truthfulness. One must refrain from unkind speech and practice speech that is kind and benevolent.

(4) Right action: One must examine his behavior, determine whether each action is selfish or self-less. One must practice other-centered rather than self-centered actions. Moreover, one must obey such precepts as: Do not kill. Ne kradite. Do not lie. Do not be unchaste. Do not drink intoxicants.

(5) Right livelihood: One must not engage in any occupation that opposes or distracts one from the path. For example, since all life is sacred, one may not become a butcher, etc.

(6) Right effort: One must pursue the path with the right exertion. On the one hand, one must strive diligently in order to practice the cultivation of virtues and the curbing of vices. On the other hand, one must not be "over-zealous" and run the risk of burning oneself out and abandoning the way altogether.

(7) Right mindfulness: One must elevate his thoughts, to see things as they really are beyond the haze of moods and emotions. One must clear up his mind, clean "the dust off of the mirror." One must rid his mind of self-centered thoughts, thoughts that separate, and replace them with thoughts that bind together, that see all beings together. One must make his concentration objective rather than subjective. One must think in terms of others as well as oneself.

(8) Right concentration: This is similar to raja yoga in Hinduism. Through self-discipline and rigorous meditation, one gradually overcomes self-centered ways of thinking. In the advanced stages, one learns to concentrate all of one's consciousness on a single object -- perhaps the flame of a candle. By so concentrating, all other thoughts and objects are extin- guished. Then, one must extinguish consciousness of even this one object. In this way, one extinguishes the last flame of grasping consciousness. This is readiness for nirvana. Nirvana is the complete bliss of "blowing out the candle" of the self, extinguishing all thoughts of the self. Having let go of all concerns, having relinquished all objects, one is finally empty. This emptiness is the peace of nirvana. It is not the emptiness of nothing, but a pregnant emptiness, an open-mindedness wherein there is room for all things. Having cleared itself of "my things," "my desires," "my thoughts," there is room now for everything. Nirvana is the empty room that makes room for all things, the heart that is attached to no one thing and is therefore ready to love all things.

7. As Buddhism spread to countries throughout the Far East, two main branches developed: Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism. Theravada, the Buddhism "of the elders," emphasized solitary meditation and detachment from the world. The Arhat or sage, who had achieved bodhi or wisdom, was the central figure of Theravada Buddhism. But Mahayana Buddhism referred to Theravada Buddhism as "Hinayana" Buddhism. The word yana means "raft." Hinayana means "little raft." Mahayana means "big raft." Mahayana Buddhists were critical of Theravada Buddhists, who seemed to restrict salvation to but a few -- the monks. Mahayana Buddhists, on the other hand, believed that salvation was for everyone Mahayana Buddhism was seen as a big raft that could carry everyone -- all living creatures in fact -- from suffering to nirvana. The Mahayana Buddhists, who stressed universal compassion (karuna), were not content until the last blade of grass would be saved, would be carried over to nirvana. Thus, although Gautama had stressed both wisdom (bodhi) and compassion (karuna), the branches of Buddhism were less able to maintain this balance. Mahayana Buddhism had broader popular appeal and a greater following throughout the Far East.

8. For Mahayana Buddhism, the central figure is the Bodhisattva (enlightenment-being), who postpones his own enlightenment in order to help others. This concept is found in Theravada (Hinayana) Buddhism, but is especially emphasized in Mahayana Buddhism. According to Mahayana Buddhism, the Arhat (the saint or sage or solitary enlightened one in Hinayana Buddhism) has not completely shaken off attachment to I or mine. The Arhat seeks and wins Nirvana for himself, sees himself as different from others, set off from others. This separating off or dividing himself from others is seen, according to the Mahayanists, as an indication that ego has not yet been extinguished, that the "turning-about" has not yet been achieved. In other words, once the ego and ego-concerns have been extinguished, to celebrate one's enlightenment would be missing the point such celebration would be but another manifestation of "ego." According to the Mahayanists, one who has reached enlightenment does not see himself as different from others. He is more like them than he has ever been before. Before enlightenment, one struggles in the midst of others one climbs the highest mountain to get a better view. After enlighenment, one is once more down below in the midst of others one is different and sees differently, but one is not conscious of the difference. One is filled with universal love and compassion.

9. The Bodhisattva, according to the Mahayanists, must take the whole of creation with him into Nirvana. Unselfishness goes beyond giving material goods to the needy (although this is also necessary) to helping the suffering towards enlightenment (release from suffering). The Bodhisattva does not separate himself from others, either in the mind or in the heart he must wait until everyone has been helped into Nirvana. The Bodhisattva sees no individual persons, yet is resolved to save individual persons he sees the center of the universe as nowhere in particular and everywhere and therefore is not biased toward himself or any one at the same time, he is "other-centered" and places the well-being of others ahead of his own. In him, love is not lust or desire or need to have or possess or bring others and things to himself, but a clear flowing stream that issues from his heart and toward others to cleanse and refresh them.

10. To be enlightened, one must see the truth that all things are empty. Sunyata means emptiness sunya means relating to the swollen. Thus, things are empty or swollen or hollow. Our personality, built up from the five skandhas, is swollen but also hollow inside. Swollen can also mean filled with something foreign. According to this meaning, personality contains nothing that really belongs to it it is filled with foreign matter. Thus, the "self" is empty and open in itself it is in fact an emptiness, an opening, a place or space where things and people can enter. We tend, however, to fill this space with clutter, like a vacuum cleaner bag filled with dust and dirt and debris sucked in from the world. We call this debris our own we feel we can not live without it we name the whole collection "self" and we pride ourselves (self-esteem) on our self-possession. These attachments, bodily, sensational, perceptual, emotional, intellectual, though they cause us suffering, are tied so tightly to our ego (or rather, the ego is the tying) that we are unwilling to untie them. We are unable to "lighten up," "loosen up," stop taking ourselves so seriously, see ourselves in perspective, see ourselves as no more and no less important than others, see our needs as not absolute, see that this ego which we believe to be the center of the universe is not in fact the center, see that the center is nowhere or everywhere (as God in Christianity is nowhere and everywhere). Even more absurdly, our suffering as the result of self-preoccupation itself can become an ego possession that we can not let go of. We can become morbidly attached to our own misery (a pathological state).

11. Emptiness is not nothing it is the absence of self (ego or center or point of reference) or self-effacement, self-extinction. It is openness. Intellectually, we are open when we do not cling to a yes or no, when we do not insist on defending an opinion (from our military bunker -- the ego) we are ready to listen and to learn because we have not shut out what we do not believe. We call this open-mindedness. Emotionally, we are empty when we are free of bias we have emptied out prejudices, preferences, etc. The empty heart, uncluttered by particular concerns, has room for all. It is neither a storehouse for things nor a pure nothingness. It is a realm of infinite possibility. It is like the clear, empty, tranquil sky, where birds and clouds and rain enter and leave without restraint, without being captured or "possessed" or "owned" or "hitched to an ego." Emptiness is the pure "can be." As an empty room is full of room, so the emptied heart can let in everyone (without possessing).

12. Another word for reality without me, myself, and I connotations is suchness: reality as it is in itself without subjective references, interpretations, self-reference, etc. Enlightenment means emptying out rigid actualities, becoming full of possibility (openness), and viewing and loving the world as it is in itself (not as we wish it or need it to be). Enlightenment means waking up to see things as they really are for the first time -- not from a self-centered point of view, but from a universal or total point of view. Self-preoccupation is a self-centered sleepiness wherein the real world is never able to penetrate past the self-constructed dream world -- the idiosyncratic world of my interests, my suffering, my needs, my goals, my friends, my failures, my successes, my religion, my God. The real world is clear, transparent light the self is a paintbrush or a colored glass that tints everything. Suchness is the plain, homely truth that things are what they are apart from our desires and claims.

13. Enlightenment is characterized by:

(1) Non-attainment: Nirvana can not be attained, obtained, gotten, caught, possessed, etc. Nirvana is not reaching a goal. Nirvana is not a thing, not an object. It is a way of being that has ceased to attain and grasp and desire. One could never know that one is in Nirvana. Nirvana is forgetting oneself in complete self-surrender. It would be extremely odd for one who does not think of himself, is not self-conscious, to think to himself that he has reached Nirvana. When one has crossed the water (on either the big or the little raft) one no longer distinguishes one shore from the other. Nirvana is not a higher, superior point of view it is the extinction of point of view in order to be open to and to accept all. The process is not one of learning and becoming greater, but of unlearning and becoming no one in particular (open to everyone). Thus, one can be with anyone and can live in any place.

(2) Non-assertion: One is not "defensive." One is beyond yes and no. One is empty of all theories, philosophies, theologies, etc. Nirvana cannot be defined, explained, named, etc. It is not an object of consciousness it is a different kind of consciousness -- a consciousness unattached to content. The Bodhisattva does not debate or defend a view. If consciousness can be thought of as a mirror and objects of knowledge as images in the mirror, becoming enlightened requires that one first "clear the dust from the mirror" (by ridding oneself of all vices or selfish habits), then empty the mirror of all objects, and finally let go of the mirror itself. The highest consciousness is the consciousness that dissolves and lets beings be and shine for themselves as they really are, unreflected by subjective consciousness.

(3) Non-relying: One must live without supports. One must accept radical insecurity. One must learn to let go of all things and of all persons. Generally, most of us, when insecure, grab onto the nearest life-raft. For one who is non-relying, peace does not depend on security. In fact, grasping for security and fleeing from insecurity can cause the greatest suffering and turmoil. Pain and suffering are the result of clinging and grabbing. One must learn to let go, even of oneself. The Buddhist believes that letting go of everything does not leave one with nothing letting go releases everything and everyone, including oneself, to really be for the first time.

(4) All-knowledge: Nirvana is not a "trance" or a perpetual dreamless sleep. It is being wide-awake (remember: Buddha is one who "woke up" from the daydream of self-centered existence). One who has overcome self-concerns sees things as they truly are. He does not see into a "transcendent" other world rather he finally sees this world as it really is, unfiltered by subjective concerns and subjective desires. His "mind" freely includes and is wide-open to all things his "heart" freely includes and is wide-open to all living things. He is free from intellectual and emotional partiality.
14. Of some interest is the "Unlimited," a method for cultivating the emotions. There are four stages to this method:

(1) Friendliness: wishing others well.

(2) Compassion: concentration on the sufferings of others, suffering with them, desiring to remove their suffering.

(3) Sympathetic joy: joyous sympathy with the happiness of others, feeling their elation, identifying with their joy.

(4) Evenmindedness: to treat all people alike, to steadily diminish one's personal preferences and antipathies.

1. Describe Siddhartha Gautama's life and its importance for Buddhism. What were the "Four Passing Sights"? Describe his coming to enlightenment.

2. How was Gautama's teaching regarded by conservative Hindus? Pojasnite.

3. Name and explain the Four Noble Truths.

4. List and describe briefly the Eightfold Way.

5. Explain in detail right mindfulness and right concentration, the steps on the Way closest to nirvana.

6. How did Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism differ? What do the words Hinayana and Mahayana mean? What do they refer to?

7. Who were the central figures of Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhism? Discuss their importance. Was Gautama himself closer to one than the other? Pojasnite.

8. Explain emptiness. How do Westerners view emptiness? How do Westerners view non-possession? Contrast Aristotelian self-fulfillment with Buddhist self-extinction.

10. Describe non-attainment? Why can one not "strive for" enlightenment?

11. Describe non-assertion? How might a Westerner view non-assertion? Discuss.

12. Explain the difference between non-relying and "self-reliance."

13. Is nirvana a state of "trance" or self-hypnosis? Pojasnite. Does nirvana give one a glimpse of a transcendent realm? Discuss.

14. Explain the "Unlimited" and its importance for cultivating universal compassion.

15. Do Buddhists believe in a "spiritual soul"? Pojasnite.

16. Describe the process of transforming selfish grasping into unselfish giving.

17. Name the five skandhas. How is the self or ego fabricated over and above these five skandhas? Why does this cause suffering? How can the process be reversed and suffering be reduced?

18. What is nirvana? What is nirvana not?

19. Using the metaphor of crossing the river by raft, describe Buddhism and nirvana. Explain in this way, also, the difference between Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhism.

20. Compare the notions of craving, suffering, and "happiness" in Aristotle, Epicurus, Epictetus, Hobbes, Kant, and Buddhism.


Osemkratna pot

In order to end suffering and gain enlightenment practitioners should follow “The Eightfold path” (The Noble Eight Fold Path),This is a set of principles that encourage a Buddhist lifestyle that can create happiness, peace, balance, and self-control.

  1. Right understanding- The truth
  2. Right Intent- Think Morals
  3. Right speech- Don’t tell lies
  4. Right action- Peaceful conduct
  5. Right livelihood- Moral living
  6. Right effort- Do good
  7. Right mindfulness- Be aware
  8. Right meditation- Be discipline

The Eightfold Path is just one step in order to teach Buddhism’s ethical conduct. Like most religions, these ethics create a robust foundation that supports a healthy lifestyle. By walking on the right path we can end suffering, create happiness and achieve enlightenment.

Attachment can manifest in trauma, self-destructive habits, negative lifestyle, and more suffering. Our frailties have made us susceptible to suffering, but moral conduct, mental discipline, and wisdom can end such suffering and create better versions of ourselves. The Three Universal Truths, The Four Noble Truths, and The Eight Fold Path are fundamental principles to live by.

Desire only leads to suffering zaradi impermanence of that desire and the presumption that you are entitled to it. Absorbed in one’s Ego, attachment to desirable things and refusal of inevitable spremeniti is the three most detrimental internal and external conflicts that we will face throughout our lifetimes. How we deal with these conflicts determines our Karma cycle of reincarnation. To end this endless cycle one must reach Nirvana, the highest form of selflessness, happiness, and spirituality.


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