Discuss on our China Forum with
other visitors of Chinaorbit about Chinese culture
living and studying in China
History of the first Buddha
Buddhism began thousands of years ago in India by Siddhartha Gautama the first â€œBuddhaâ€, meaning â€œthe enlightened oneâ€. As a young boy Siddhartha lived the life as a royal prince privileged and sheltered from the evils and sufferings outside the royal palace gate in India. He soon witnessed and was astonished by the sufferings of human beings. Disabled, disease, old age, and death plagued the people of the kingdom. Siddhartha journeyed alone to find the answer in order to abolish human suffering. Under a Bolhi tree he meditated and starved enduring sufferings himself hoping it would lead him to the answers he was looking for. One full moon night in May, the answers came to him and he quickly understood the meaning and cycle of life; birth, death and rebirth. This enlightenment realization ended his spiritual journey and from this point forward he became â€œthe Buddhaâ€. He understood that his mission in life was to teach and spread the principles of Buddhism to anyone and everyone no matter their rank of class or gender.
The Four Noble Truths
One of Buddhaâ€™s first philosophies in Buddhism is the Four Noble Truths: Dukkha, Tanha, Nirvana, and The Eight Fold Path. These truths show his view towards human life and human suffering.
The first noble truth explains that suffering exists. This suffering can be in the form of pain, sickness, loss, separation, or even unsatisfied feelings.
The second noble truth tells us that there is a cause for suffering. The origin of
suffering is the attachment to desires or cravings. These desires may take the form of such things such as sexual pleasures, fame, or fortune.
The third noble truth informs you that there is an end to suffering. If you can let go of your desires and free yourself from attachment, you can end suffering.
The Eight Fold Path
The fourth noble truth shows you the way to end suffering. To stop suffering one must follow the Eight Fold Path which is a guideline for living everyday life. These values are Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.
Buddha teachings believe that you are responsible for your own actions. Karma, meaning â€œactionâ€, is the belief that intentional good actions bring happiness and that intentional bad actions bring suffering. These actions determine your next life when you are reborn.
The Buddha had seen all of his previous lives before him during his meditated
enlightenment. He followed the idea of rebirth, meaning that we are reborn once your current life has ended. Your next life could be in any of the six realms: the hell realm, the realm of the hungry ghosts, the animal world, the human realm, the realm of the jealous gods and the heavens. The actions from your previous life influence the next realm you will be reborn in. Reaching true Nirvana and enlightenment in the human realm is the Buddhist highest goal. Here the cycle of rebirth and death is over and a state of ultimate bliss and spirituality is met.