Author Topic: Buddha Poornima - 2009  (Read 1326 times)

Subramanian.R

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Buddha Poornima - 2009
« on: May 09, 2009, 05:52:08 PM »
Today, the Vaisaka, (as per moon based calendar), Visaka,
which always falls on Poornima day, is the Buddha Jayanti.
This noble man lived 2500 years before on this planet, in India,
at least 500 years before Christ.  He was a born Hindu, as any Indian would be in those days, a prince and a happy man in material life.  But things changed for him, and he left the palace for seeking the Truth, that is beyond religions and  rituals, beyond misery and pain, pleasures and sorrows, why even beyond death.  He attained enligthenment at the age of 50, came to be called Buddha, the enlightened.  His original name was Siddhartha. He lived upto 83 years, a thirty three years of life in the enlightened state in body,
as Bhagavan Ramana lived for 54 years in the enlightened state
while in body.

Buddha wanted to discover only a philosophy.  He never intended to
start a religion.  In fact, the rituals and sacrifices, festivals and ceremonies of Hinduism only made him to explore a new path.  But
no philosophy can stand aloof.  That is the lesson of history.  So his
followers made a religion out of it, and this gave rise to Hinayana
and Mahayana.  Buddhism did not thrive in India, because of the
inherent strength in Hinduism even though the religious activities
gave much room for criticism and despair among people. 

The Four Noble Truths were propounded by Buddha.

There is a quote from Digha Nikaya:

It is through not understanding, through not penetrating the
Four Noble Truths, O Bhikshus (Bhikkus in Pali), that we have
wandered round this long, long journey of rebirth, both you and I.
What are these four noble truths?  The Truth of Suffering, The Truth
of the Cause of Suffering, The Truth of the Ceasing of Suffering and
The Truth of the Way to the Ceasing of Suffering.

Sankara had great regard for Gautama Buddha.  His guru's guru
Gaudpada also had great regard for the Buddha.  In fact, Sankara's books reveal that he did not disturb the basic irrefutable tenets of Buddhism, when he codified Advaita.  He only improved upon it.
Sankara was sometimes, for this reason, criticized by the Karmavadins as Pracheena Buddha, the hidden Buddha.

Buddha did not touch certain points in his philosophy, because he felt that these need not be investigated.

1.  The position of God or Brahman.
2.  The concept of Heaven and Hell.
3.   The cause of the suffering is karma, but how karma comes, he
      did not want to explore, because he did not believe in many
       births for an ordinary person, and since karma and vasanas
       are dependent on many previous births, he did not go into that
       area.

Buddha fought against casteism, but was not willing to permit women in Sanghas.  Only a few women were permitted into the Sangha during
his lifetime.

Buddhism spread to China and later to Japan and other south Asian
countries, thanks to the efforts of Nagarjuna.  Zen Buddhism had its
roots in China and later spread to Japan.

Arunachala Siva.