Sir Albert Einstein, one of the world famous scientist, has said that “In an age when Science has advanced, the only doctrine, the Science cannot contradict, is the teaching of the Gouthama Buddha”.
Further he has said that “A religion without Science is lame and Science without religion is blind”. Before explain about the enlightenment of the Buddha, have you heard about the book “Light of Asia” which was written by Sir Edwin Arnold? It is a great literature creation regarding Lord Buddha. He had written this book by referring to the Buddha, wrote that he united the true pricey qualities, with the intellect of a sage and the passionate devotion of a martyr. Proffer Max Muller also had summarized the life of the Buddha as follow.
“Silently he prepares his doctrine, in six years of retreat and meditation. He propagates it solely by the power of the word and of persuasion for more than half a century, and when he dies in the arms of his disciples, it is with the serenity of a sage who has practiced goodness all his life and assured of having found the truth”.
Through these quotes you can take an idea about the “Buddha”. So it is impossible to condense the Buddha & Dhamma and its embellishment, which do not conflict with any philosophy or emotion into a short essay. But I try to give you a short explanation regarding the word ‘’Buddha’’.
Unbroken process of rebirth
Trough beginning less time, world systems arise, evolve and disintegrate, followed by new world systems subject to the same law of growth and decline. Each world system consists of numerous existences inhabited by sentient beings similar in most respects to ourselves. In here, the familiar human and animal realms, it contains heavenly planes ranged above our own. Realms of celestial bliss and internal planes below our own, dare realms of pain and misery. These realms go life to life in an unbroken named
This aimless rebirths happen because of our own ignorance and karmatic tendencies. That means good and bad deeds. That means our actions, speech and thought. According to this law, ensuring that good deeds bring pleasant rebirth and bad deeds a painful birth.
In all planes of existence life is impermanent, subject to ageing, decay and death. Even life in the havens, though long and blissful, does not that forever. Every existence eventually comes to an end, to be followed by a rebirth elsewhere like a wheel.
Beyond the conditioned spheres of rebirth, theme is also a realm or state of perfect bliss and peace, of complete spiritual freedom. This is called “Nibbana”, “the going out” of the flames of greed, hated and delusion.
Buddha’s functions against spiritual darkness
From time to time, however there arises within the world a man who, by his own unaided effort and keen intelligence. Finds the path to deliverance having found it, he follows it through and fully comprehends the ultimate truth about the world after he returns to humanity and teaches this noble truth to others, making known once again the path to the highest bliss. The Buddha is the person who realized this function.
As a great teacher, his path is to rediscover in an age spiritual darkness, the path to Nirvana, to perfect spiritual freedom, and thought this path to the world. Therefore, others can follow in his steps and arrive at the same experience of emancipation that he achieved by himself. Anyone who follow this path to its end, can realize the same goal. They are called “Arahant”. They have destroyed all ignorance and craving.
The teachings of the Buddha’s last long period of time in the world. The future Buddha is called as “”, an aspirant to the full enlightenment of Buddha hood. In each life he must train himself meditative, efforts and good deeds, to require the qualities essential to a Buddha. At birth, our mind is not a blank state, but brings along all the qualities and tendencies we have trained in our previous lives. To become a Buddha, requires the fulfillment to ultimate degree of all the moral and spiritual qualities that reach in Buddha hood. These qualities known as “P”. A bodhisattva should fulfill ten (10) Paramitas (Perfections).
- Moral Conduct
- Loving & Kindness
Throughout his every life after life he should cultivate Paramis have reached the peak of perfection that he is qualified to attain supreme enlightenment as the Buddha. Therefore, a Buddha is not born as enlightened one. We can say a horrific meaning to the Buddha is “The enlightened one or the awakened one”.
The Gauthama Buddha
In this “Kalpa” (terms of time witch no man can grasp years, but the Buddha knew to count), we have the Dhamma of GOUTHAMA BUDDHA. The Gouthama Buddha was born as Prince Siddhartha in the Sakyan republic that at present lies in South Nepal in fifth century B.C. He was the Son of powerful Monarch Suddhodana and Queen Mahamaya. Prince Siddhartha spent a luxury life as a royal prince. At the age of 16, he married the princess called “Yashodhara”. Though he spent luxury & joyful life he understood that the,
1. Birth 2. Illness 3. Ageing 4. Death
Are more suffering matters to everyone? He had to find the answer to this problem, as to how he could stop this ongoing cycle of birth, suffering and death. At the age of 29 he decided to seek the truth. In a Esala Poya day (Full moon day of June), he cut off his hair and beard, left his horse and entered to the homeless life to seeking a way to release from the cycle of rebirth, ageing and death. As a seeker, he wanted the counsel from well renowned gurus and famous teachers for their spiritual. But soon enough he realized that these teachings did not lead to the goal what he was seeking. Realizing the futility of such ventures, he set out on his own for six years in search of the .
His next step as the path of extreme asceticism, through self-mortification, failing, which he resorted to self-mortification. Finally, it down on him these two extremes wave hindrance to his progress and the only way open, was the ‘’Middle path’’, having regained his strength by taking foods. One day he approached a small spot by the bank of the “Neranjana” river. Under the tree, he sat down cross legged. After the Enlightenment, this tree named as The Bodhi tree. Making a strong resolution that he would never rise up from his seat until he had won his goal. He entered into deeper and deeper stages of meditation. The aspirant of the Buddha (Bodhisattva) strenuously preserved with great determination to unmark the treasure latent in him morality, mental discipline and wisdom (Seela, Samadhi, Prajna) and through the four Noble Truth on a Vesak Poya Day (full moon day of May). That was the day Enlightenment of the Gauthama Buddha 2550 years ago.
The first 20 years of the Buddha’s life
After attaining Enlightenment, the Blessed One was dwelling at the Bodhi Tree meditating for seven weeks. He then wanted to teach the world the doctrine of self-discovery, which anyone had never heard of before. He wondered if the profound world could understand that profound Dhamma. Then he looked at the world with great kindness and saw that there were sages who could understand that profound Dhamma. When he first thought about who should preach the Dhamma, He reminded of the intellectuals he met in his time of truth-seeking. When he had finished his hardships while caring for himself, the Buddha came to know that the five ascetics (Kondanna, Vappa, Bhaddhiya, Mahanama and Assaji) who had left him were in Isipathana, Benares. He decided to give the first sermon to that group.
It was for this purpose that the Buddha reached Isipathana on the full moon day of the Esala, which is two months after attaining enlightenment. The five ascetics accepted the Buddha. Although they did not believe at first, after explaining the facts, they accepted that Siddhartha Gautama had attained enlightenment and prepared to hear the Dhamma from him.
“O monks, these are two extremes abandoned by the clergy. Namely Atthakilamathanu Yoga (severe austerity) and Kamasukhallikanu Yoga (indulging in sensual pleasures).”
That is how the Buddha began to preach the Dhamma. It is called as Dhammachakka Pawattana Sutta. In here, firstly the Kondanna Thera realized the Dhamma and attained Sovan. The Buddha stayed there and preached the Dhamma for few days. In her the Buddha realized that the other four monks also have attained Sovan. After hearing the Ananthalakkhna Sutta, the five monks overcome from all defilements and attained the title of Arahanthood. The Buddha spent that rainy season in Isipathana itself. During this time the Yasakula, the son of the emperor of Benares, and fifty-four of his friends came to the Buddha, heard the Dhamma, and became monks & attained the nirvana. By the end of the first year, there were sixty-one Arahants in the world, including the Buddha.
Later, the Buddha sent his disciples on a mission to spread his message throughout the country and to show the way for Nirvana for the people.
“Charata bhikkhave charikan bahujana suhkaya bahujana hitaya, athaya hitaya deva manussanam.”
“O monks, to cure the minds of many, for the betterment, for the compassion of the world, for the well-being of the people and God, behave in villages. No not let two go the same way. Preach the Dhamma that has become absolute in every way.”
Sixty Arhants were sent in different directions, and the Buddha ascended to Uruvela region to preach the Dhamma.
On the way to Uruvela, thirty princes of Bhaddavaggiya met the Buddha. They heard the Dhamma from the Buddha and became monks. These disciples were also engaged in the propagation of the Dhamma.
The Uruwela Kashyapa Nadi Kashyapa and Gaya Kashyapa, three brothers who lived near the Neranjana river in Uruvela region, also realized the Dhamma and attained Arahanthood after hearing the Dhamma from the Buddha. With these brother their thousands of followers also listened the Dhamma and attained Arahanthood. As mentioned, during the first year of his enlightenment, the Supreme Buddha ascended to Mahiyangana in Sri Lanka for the first time. The god Saman, who heard the Dhamma and attained Sovan. After returning to Uruvela region, the Buddha traveled to Rajagaha with 1003s of above Bhikkus to fulfill the requests made by King Bimbisara of Magadha during the Siddharta ascetic seeking for truth. King Bimbisara, attained Sovan after hearing the Dhamma and offered his Weluwana garden (the Bamboo garden) to the great monks of the Buddha. It is the first Arama Pooja in the Buddha Sasana. In the same time, under the guidance of Arahant Assaji, Upatissa and Kolitha, who were seeking the truth, went to the Buddha and attained Arahanthood realizing the Dhamma. These two were known as Sariputta and Moggallana. They were the two chief disciples of the Buddha.
With the invitation of King Suddhodana and Kaludai Thera, the Buddha came to kimbulwatpura for the betterment of his relatives, in the second year after of his Enlightenment. The bossy Sakya dynasty heard the Dhamma from the Buddha and pleased on him. King Suddhodana attained Sovan. The Buddha went to see princess Yasodhara with Sariputta and the Moggallana. She wept at the feet of the Buddha and quenched her grief. When King Suddhodana praised her devotion to the Lord, the Buddha preached the Sandakinduru Jataka, saying that it was the same as her previous lives. During these days Prince Nanda, son of Queen Maha Prajapati Gothami and Prince Rahula, son of princess Yashodhara were entered to the Buddha Sasana.
Afterwards, Prince Ananda and Devadatta, a barber named Upali, also joined to the Sasana. During the Buddha’s return to the Veluvanaramaya in Rajagaha, peple in the Vishala city felt into three kinds of fear (fears of diseases, demons, hungry ghosts etc and famine). The Buddha visited there and said to Ananda Thera to preach the Rathana Sutta (Pirith) and heal the people of that city.
The noble kindness of the Buddha was extended to people from all around in the society. It was because of the great grace of the Buddha many people like Sunitha, who were despised by the society as inferior to the caste, and the helpless like the miserable Sopaka became Arahants and were honored by God.
Once upon a time, when the Buddha was at the Nigrodharamaya in the city of Kimbulwatpura, the Sakyans and the Koliyans were ready for a war because they could not share the waters of the Rohini River. The Buddha admonished and advised the two groups on the battlefield. On that day, five hundred Sakyna and Koliyan princes, 250 from each party, were ordained.
In the fifth year after his enlightenment, when the Buddha was in the city of Wishala, Maha Prajapati Gotami and five hundred other women went there and asked permission to become bhikkhunis. Although the Buddha initially disliked it, at the urging of Ananda Thera, queen Gotami persuaded to follow the eight precepts and ordained. After that princess Yashodhara and other women were ordained by Maha Prajapati Gotami Theri. Until then, the door to liberation was open to women who had been neglected in society. Due to Buddhism, the dawn of women’s freedom also began.
During the same period, the Buddha visited Nagadeepa in Sri Lanka for the second time. In the Naga community king Mahodara and his nephew Chulodara were quarrelling over the Gem-studded throne. The Buddha managed the struggle and preached the Dhamma and brought peace to the land
In the seventh year, the Buddha went to the of Thavatimsa Divine and preached the Abhidhamma to the Mother. In here many gods attained Sovan.
While the Buddha was in Kosaba, a Brahmin named Magandiya saw his beautiful daughter and asked from the Buddha to marry his young daughter Magandiya. Magandiya Brahmin attained Sovan after hearing the teachings of the Supreme Buddha, realizing the abhorrent of the human body. Magandiya daughter later became a queen of King Udeni, mistakenly thought that the Buddha had insulted her and his beauty. She used a gang to take revenge on the Buddha he was coming down the road in various ways. But the Buddha did not waver and endured all those insults and carried on the work of the Sasanas which he had carried on.
At one time there was a quarrel between the monks of Vinayadhara (the monks who accepted the Vinaya is the first) and Dharmadara (the monks who accepted the Dhamma is the First) in Kosamba city. The monks did not accept the Buddha’s advice and they did not reconcile. Therefore, the Buddha went to the Parileya forest and spent the tenth Vassa (rainy season) alone, with the help of an elephant. Later, the rebellious monks reconciled and forgave the Buddha.
In the 12th year, the Buddha went to Veranjana as the invitation of a Brahmin named Udaya and spent that Vassa. But Udaya Brahmin forgot that he invited to the Buddha. Although during this hard time the time the Supreme Buddha, unperturbed by the Eightfold Path. He went to the Brahmin’s house at the end of the rainy season, saying that he would return after completing Vassa period.
The Buddha spent the 16th year in Alaw city. In there, the day of the sacrifice of Prince Alaw to devil Alaw had dawned. The Buddha using his noble quality of Purisadhammasarati and power of his patience, subdued the demons, solved the problems he had heard, and made him as a who abstain from killing. Prince Alaw, who was dedicated to death, and many others received their freedom back.
20 years after becoming a Buddha, he was 55 years old. So far he has not had a permanent attendant. The Buddha thought that he needed a permanent attendant to continue his mission. Many monks tried for the post of Buddha’s Attendant. Ananda Thera, who did not make such a request, was given the post because he had sought it for the post from previous lives in Samsara.
During the first 20 years of Enlightenment, Buddhism spread to almost all of the sixteen states in India. People of all grades in the society, from low-level garbage collectors to royal courtiers, became consoled to hear that they were Buddhists and became Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis.
Buddhism has attracted many people. The Buddha’s exemplary life, the decent behaviors of the disciples of the Buddha, the special virtue of treating humanity not only in terms of wealth, power, caste, etc, but also in preaching an unprecedented doctrine of enlightenment, and in not influencing the recruitment of disciples, and the Buddha’s influence on the followers of other religions are some of the reasons for the spreading the Buddhism.
The last 25 years of the Buddha’s life
During the first twenty years of Enlightenment, Buddhism was spreading in 16 states of India. The fame of the Supreme Buddha had also spread throughout the country. In this way Buddhism spread in the country and hundreds of thousands of people took refuge in the Triple Gem and many were ordained. Kings, princes and princes became devotees of Buddhism. The Buddha, worthy of sacrifice, received immense fame and praise. But the Buddha did not like any of that. At the same time, there was a party who were unhappy with the praise the Buddha was receiving. Devadatta Thera and pagan ascetics were among them.
Devadatta, the brother of Princes Yashodhara was also ordained when the Buddha first visited the city of Kimbulwat. Devadatta Thera thought that “I also from the royal family. So, shouldn’t I deserve to receive the honor and hospitality same as the Buddha.” But he did not receive such a thing. Because of this reason, Devadatta Thera created a hatred towards the Buddha.
Devadatta Thera built a friendship with Prince Ajasatta, the son of King Bimbisara, and planned to kill King Bimbisara to hand over the Magadha kingdom to Prince Ajasatta. His another aim was to kill the Buddha and gain the kingdom of the Buddha (the Buddhahood) for himself. Prince Ajasatta, deceived by Devadatta, liked the idea and sent his father to prison to become the king of Magadha.
Later, Ven. Devadatta used various tactics to kill the Buddha. Once the archers went to kill him, they went refuge the Buddha. After a stone was rolled over the Buddha, he was walking under the Gijjakuta rock. But it hit in another rock and stopped rolling towards the Buddha. The Buddhas toe was injured with the small stone came from that. Later, Devadatta himself sent a fierce elephant named Nalagiri to the front of the Buddha. The elephant knelt at the feet of the Buddha with the noble loving kindness of the Buddha. Every tactic to kill the Buddha were unsuccessful. When King Ajasattu understood the reality, he stopped treating Devadatta. Again Devadatta Thera went to the Buddha thinking that his only salvation is staying with the Buddha. But in a few days he wanted to create disunity among the monks, so he converted the five hundred newly ordained monks into his own thoughts and went to Gaya and stayed there. The Buddha sent Ven. Sariputta and Moggallana to brought back the misguided monks. In this way, the Buddha dealt graciously with the Devdatta who even tried to kill him.
Heretics saw that thousands of people was becoming Buddhists. Therefore, they thought then their alms were not received. So they did a lot of tricks to make chagrin the Buddha and his disciples among people. Once they secretly killed a beautiful girl named Sundari and buried her near Devuramvehera pond. They later found the Sundari’s dead body, dug it up, and proclaimed throughout the country that it was the work of the Buddha and his disciples. Some who believed in this insulted the Buddha and his disciples. The Buddha did not even go out for alms and endured all those insults. After revealed that Sundari’s death was a crime done by other heretics the public’s pleasant for the Buddha and his disciples was increased.
Once again, the heretics used a beautiful woman named Chinchimanavika to insult the Buddha. She was dressed and wrapped in woods like a pregnant woman and went to the Buddha and said that she was pregnant because of him. “Sister, only you and I know the truth of your story.” The Buddha calmly said that. Suddenly, her fake stomach bulged and fell to the ground. The people there understood the matter and insulted her and chased her out of Devram Vehera. This incident also emphasized the Buddha’s noble qualities.
The Buddha spent his entire life in altruistic service. Even in the old of life, he went to helpless how far it was. It was also the custom of the Buddha to welcome and help those who came to him in distress. Once a farmer was plowing a field, the Buddha used to talk with the farmer on all his working days, such as sowing, weeding, etc., with the intention of helping him one day in the future. The farmer was to give a part of his harvest to the Buddha. But the fertile paddy was destroyed one day because of heavy rains. The Buddha went to farmer’s house to console him, saying that the cause of every suffering is despair, and led him to realize the reality and he attained Sovan.
Ananda, a miserly aristocrat from Srawasti city, was born a deformed child of the Saddle caste after his death. One day this saddle child went begging to his former soulmate’s house. The servants of the aristocrat Mulasiri, beat the crippled child and threw him in the rubbish heap. When the Buddha arrived, the saddle child proved that the helpless saddle child was the dead father of the Mulasiri aristocrat, and pointed out a hidden treasure. Mulasiri went refuge in the Triple Gem and has been caring for the helpless saddle child from there.
Women of all walks of life, who were helpless due to various reasons, also went to the Buddha for wishing the heal. Patachara, who lost her husband, two children, mother, father and brother on the same day, came to the Buddha like a manic woman in extreme helplessness. After receiving the grace of the Buddha and hearing the Dhamma, she was ordained as a Arahat.
A woman named Kisagotami placed her dead child at the feet of the Buddha and asked him to heal and cure him. The Buddha told her to bring some mustard from an undead house (on one have died in the house) to cure him. Kisagothami, who went to find some mustard from an undead house finally realized the truth. She left her dead son in the grave and returned to the Buddha and was ordained.
Rajjumala, a royal housemaid, who had escaped from her mistress’s cruelty, went to the forest and tried to hang herself.
Seeing this his Devine Eye, the Buddha said, “Daughter Rajjumala, come to me.” Hearing those kind words, Rajumala bowed down to Buddha’s feet. Hearing the Dhamma she attined Sovan.
Forty-five years after his enlightenment, the Buddha healed the people, turning eighty. To attain the Parinibbana, he walked from Rajagaha to Kusinara to benefit the four-fold assembly who he met the way to Kusinara. He walked from city to city with his disciples and preached the Dhamma to hundreds of thousands people. Most preached was important of the develop Sila (ethical conduct), Samadhi (mental discipline) and Panya (wisdom).
In the city of Visala, the prostitute Ambapali offered her mango garden to the Buddha and offered alms. She was ordained and attained Arahanthood.
The Buddha spent his last days in the Beluwa village. In here the Buddha had a severe stomach ache. The Buddha addressed Ven. Ananda, with his illness.
“Ananda, I am now eighty years old. My body just like a decaying cart. It can only be maintained by mental strength.
Ananda Now you have to help yourself and live without thinking of any other help. The Dhamma should be relied upon and be disciplined.”
In the Pava city, Chundakarmara offered alms to the Buddha. It was the last alms he received. On his way from Pava to Kusinara, he fainted on the way. Ananda Thera brought water and he drank it. For the end, the Buddha ascended to the Upawatthana Sala Gardena, of the Mallla Kings.
There the Buddha addressed Ananda Thera and said,
“Ananda, I am very tired. Feeling dizzy. Arrange a seat between these two Sala trees to sleep as I can lay head to north.”
the Buddha rested his right foot on his left foot and slept on the right side of the lion’s posture. At that time, the two Sala trees were blooming prematurely and flowers were falling on the Buddha. Divine flowers such as Parasatu Madara also felt on the Buddha from the sky. The voice of divine drums started to hear.
Knowing that the Parinibbana of the Buddha would happen at that night, the Ananda Thera stepped aside and began to weep. The Buddha also addressed the gathering of Bhikkhus and consoled Ananda Thera describing his good qualities.
When King Malla heard that the Buddha was going to attain Pirinibbana that night, they and their wives, children came to the Buddha. They wept and worshiped Buddha’s feet.
Then a man named Subhadda asked permission from the Buddha to ask a question. Although Ananda Thera intended to prevent it and the Buddha willingly allowed it. Subhadda was the last disciple to go to the Buddha, after clear his doubts and be ordained.
Even at this last moment, the Buddha was kind enough to say,
“If anyone has any doubts about the Buddha or teachings of the Buddha, ask now, but if anyone can’t ask directly ask via a friend.” But no one had any questions.
“O bhikkhus, all arisen phenomenon is impermanent. Therefore, behave in the Dhamma without delay.” This is the last word of the Supreme Buddha.
The Arahant Buddha, gradually attained the state dhyana, finally attained the last status of the fourth ascended and attained the Pirinibbana.
At that time the earth shook. The sky began to thunder. It was to inform to the world about the Parinibbana of the Buddha.
“Hard to find a pure-bred man (the Buddha). He is not born everywhere. Where such a wise man is born, that tribe goes to happy”