An Introduction To Buddhism Part 1: History And Origin

Buddhism: A Philosophy of Truth

Buddhism is one of the most popular religions today, and has been for about 2,000 years.
It’s influence spreads across the globe, and it’s influence on science and history cannot be understated.
Buddhism is not concerned with labels such as “Christian” “Hindu” or even “Buddhist”. It’s a philosophy that anyone can follow; this is why there has been little to no violence associated with Buddhism throughout history.
Buddhism can be summed up very simply: find true and lasting happiness.

History and Origin

In the 5th century, Siddhartha Gautama was born a prince in India. Upon his birth, it was predicted by a famous astrologer that he would be a great king or a holy man, depending if he saw what life was like outside the palace walls. 
The king (Siddhartha’s father) decided then and there that the prince could never leave the palace grounds. He was determined to see him become a king, and protected him from the truth of life and death from an early age.

But this was not to be; Siddhartha’s curiosity got the better of him one day and he snuck outside the palace walls. There he saw stages of life he hadn’t seen before: a corpse, a sick man, an elderly man, and a holy man.

Seeing the nature of life and death, he became inspired to lead a spiritual life. 
Renouncing his kingdom, Siddhartha became an ascetic and lived like a pauper. He traveled many places to learn meditation and the philosophies of the day; but eventually he came to the conclusion something was lacking.
The way of an ascetic was too extreme, he believed. Spiritual living needed balance. He then created his own path, known as the “middle way”- the balance between opposite extremes.

His path decided, Siddhartha became determined to fulfill his spiritual quest; he then sat underneath a Bodhi tree and vowed never to rise until he achieved enlightenment.
After many days, at the age of 35, he finally conquered the inner battle and freed himself from the cycle of suffering and reincarnation.

From then on, he was known as the Buddha, or “enlightened one”.
He then sat out to spread his message and realization throughout the world until his death in his 80’s.

Click here for part 2!


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