The shadow of the Bodhi tree

Posted by on Dec-12-2009

Most of the humans we call ‘great’ had spent their life in pursuit of a remedy of the eternal state of sadness and suffering of human race.

And Siddharta Gautama was one among them.

Tracing his biography is a challenge in itself as history and myth are blended in ‘his story’. He was born around 565 B.C. in Lumbini in modern day Nepal. According to the legend he lived many lives and was born again to reach the state of ‘the enlightened one’.
Gautama was born to live a life of a king- his father was the king of Kapilavastu in Magadha. He had every luxury he could imagine around him. At his birth a sage is said to have predicted “If he remains at home, the child will become the Wheel-rolling King. If he leaves home, he will become the great teacher, the Buddha.” His father wanted to groom him to a king and, out of his concern, barred him religious teachings. But his son was lost into thoughts in times, into deep and seemingly endless phases of meditation.
Later he came across the “four sights” that changed his life forever. On a journey in his chariot he saw an old crippled man, a diseased man, a decaying corpse, and finally an ascetic.
All men who are born eventually have to die. Sickness comes to everyone so is old age. Renouncing worldly possessions is the way to attaining peace and salvation.
He was depressed and started contemplating on the ways to over come the sufferings in life. It ended in what is termed as ‘the great departure’. He left his family and fortune behind and went for a hard and tiresome journey in search of truth which leading to his enlightenment.
Thus started a journey of a thousand miles…
He meditated under a papal tree, now know as the Bodhi tree, in Bodh Gaya in India. After 49 days of meditation he attained enlightenment. From then on he was known as ‘Buddha’ or the ‘Awakened One’.
In the beginning he wondered whether or not he should teach the ‘Dharma’ to human beings. Human beings are often overpowered by greed, hatred and delusion, they would not be able to see the true dharma, which was subtle, deep and hard to understand. But soon he became a teacher.

The Buddha delivered his first sermon at Sarnath. In this sermon he shared the knowledge he had gained through meditation.

He traveled vastly and taught his doctrine and discipline to diverse range of people. The community of Buddhist monks continued to spread his teachings after his death.

From what I learned from his life, he is serenity personified. His mind, just like his teachings, is like the sky without the clouds. It is beyond the clutches of emotions.

In the present world the advent of technology or the after math of industrial revolution haven’t given us more happiness or peace. Our problems and the crisis we face keep increasing. Could be because we are still overpowered by greed, hatred and delusion.

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