Spread of the Buddhist movement

Gautama Buddha delivered his first sermon in Benaras, Sarnath to a group of monks during the month of Ashadha (full moon day).

He then sent his monks worldwide to propagate the Buddhist movement.

Likewise, when he entered the land of Rajagriha, King Bimbisar got influenced by his teachings and adopted Buddhism.

Thereafter on his father’s invitation, Buddha visited Kapilavastu to meet his family.

There too he followed his spiritual discipline and consumed food derived through alms.

His father Sudhodhana grew extremely pleased to see his son complete his spiritual quest.

Buddha meets his wife

Gautama’s wife Yashodhara had always felt his absence and lived the life of a renunciant living in the palace.

“Why did he punish his dutiful wife?”- so she thought

Hence, she didn’t go to receive him.

On not finding her in the family meet, Gautama Buddha himself went to her chambers to enquire about her.

On seeing him, Yashodhara couldn’t contain her happiness.

Today, she had reaped the fruits of her austerity.

So, she prostrated at his feet and worshiped him with great devotion.

Even his son Rahul met him and said- “Father, Kindly hand over your legacy to me.’

So, Buddha initiated him into Buddhism and handed over his teachings as his possessions.

This was the greatest treasure he could offer.

Thereafter he resumed his preaching expedition.

A merchant from Shaitali contributed greatly in the expanse of the Buddhist movement.

In the honor of the Buddha, he built 45 monasteries and donated them to the Buddhist Sanghas.

Likewise, many others provided monetary support.

Envious of Buddha’s growing fame, his brother-in-law Devadutta conspired with king Ajatashatru of Magadha.

Strangely, the king himself got influenced by Buddha’s teachings and adopted the Buddhist way of life.

In Nalanda, Buddha was impressed by Sariputra’s brilliance.

Hence, Sariputra and Maudgalyayana became his prime disciples.

When Buddha reached Vaishali, the proud dancer Amrapali tried to seduce him by her beauty.

However, she underwent a change of heart on seeing his repose and serenity.

Thereafter, on her invitation, he partook food at her place and initiated her into Buddhism.

Likewise, he uplifted many such fallen souls.

At the age of eighty in the very town of Vaishali, he left this mortal body and attained the blissful sate of Nirvana.

Specialty of Buddhism

Gautama Buddha had devised a mid-path for the betterment of the world.

He neither propagated pure materialism nor the path of utter abstinence.

According to him-

1) No soul is high or low. All are brothers and should live in harmony.

2) Actions decide a person’s credibility.

Man can always transcend the cycle of birth and death through his good deeds.

3) He strongly stood for non-violence. Hence, he opposed the practices of human and animal sacrifice.

4) Desire is the root cause of suffering. Hence, by conquering desires you automatically become free of all sorrow.

5 )You can conquer desire only through these eight means or noble eightfold path.

These are-

1) Right View

2) Right Intention

3) Right Speech

4) Right Action

5) Right Livelihood

6) Right Effort

7) Right Meditation

8) Right Mindfulness

His middle way seemed easy for most to follow, hence it popularized rapidly especially in foreign countries.

Currently not many Buddhists exist in the country, but there are crores of them in China, Japan, Tibet, Burma, Lanka, Sumatra, Java and Indonesia.

Prohibited Acts in Buddhist school of thought

5 actions are considered sinful according to Buddhism.

1)Violence- This prohibits the slaughtering of humans and animals. The path promotes peace and living in harmony.

2)Stealing- Do not steal others’ belongings. Because Karma pays all equally As we sow, so we reap.

3)Sexual misconduct- Buddhist practitioners should follow celibacy and refrain from acts violating sexual conduct.

4)Speaking lies- The followers of Dhamma should always speak the truth and discard all falsity of character.

5)Intoxication- They should not fall for alcohol or drug abuse.

Also those aspiring to live in the monasteries should avoid these 5 activities

1) Eating meals ujtimely

2)Engaging in sense activites like singing, dancing and entertainment.

3)Using scents or perfumes.

4)Sitting on pedestals

5)Adorning gold and silver

What is Karma in Buddhism?

Karma as wrongly perceived doesn’t refer to destiny as per the buddhist thought.

To simply put it- It stresses on the good and bad actions that man performs.

One should perform good actions to reap positive benefits. However bad actions have adverse results. Indeed, Karma is the account that keeps life going.

Neutral karma includes basic life process such as eating and sleeping.

Human life

Human life is a rare opportunity to unlock the inconceivable which even the denizens of heaven are incapable of.

There are three highly and lowly platforms which include heavenly and ghostly births.

Human life is indeed rare as it falls under the higher category. It is the bridge to transcendence.

A human can chose whether to graduate to the highest platform or fall into the womb of the nether worlds.

Only Humans can attain nirvana or equanimity, a state of utter contentment.

Celestial beings on the other hand possess other-worldly pleasures, but are yet bound by the 6 vices, or suffering.

Their body is unfit for spiritual pursuits.

Animals and ghosts suffer miserably in ignorance of ages since they the lack the awareness encrypted in the human body.

4 Noble truths

The four noble truths as expounded by the Buddha connect desire and suffering. They are-

  1. Accept that there is suffering. This is the first and foremost step.
  2. Identify the root cause of your suffering, desire being the only answer. First realize the mirage-like nature of desire. It brings untold dissatisfaction and misery.
  3. The Importance of disowning that desire. We are in many ways responsible for our present state of mind. Indeed, we chose pleasantness or unpleasantness in life. Hence, we must renounce all that causes ruffle in our mental slate.
  4. Eradicating the false ‘I’. The sense of I and mine, the clutching of the mind is the very cause of suffering. Hence, the fourth noble truth covers the process of giving up desires by following the eight fold path.

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