Siddhartha Guatama was born into the house of a wealthy king or feudal baron of the Sakya clan
in what is now Nepal. Siddhartha's father sheltered him from the harsh realities of the world by
surrounding him with only pleasant things.

Siddhartha did not know of human suffering, sickness, advanced age or death until he chanced upon a
man suffering from old age. He soon learned of human disease and of death.
These things stayed in his mind and he began to think of them as being inescapable. He gave up on
his normal life of distractions and went on a personal search for the life where age and death would not
matter. Siddhartha Guatama searched the greatest Hindu masters for wisdom in his search for

He learned from them all he could but did not find the answer he was searching for.
His next step was to join a group of ascetics, to open his mind by sacrificing his body, but that did not
work either. He suffered more than his ascetic brothers and almost died as the result of it. This caused
him to try another route to his goal of enlightenment, by way of strict thought and concentration.
He sat down under a peepul tree (later known as the Bo tree) and with intense concentration and will
power he was able to reach total enlightenment and become the Buddha. The teachings of the Buddha
reached thousands in his native India.

Siddhartha Guatama was born as a ruler and became the Buddha which made him a priest, he also
lived impoverished and begged for food. As an acquaintance of all three castes and able to be
comfortable among them all he was able to give his message to a wide variety of people.

The Buddha's Four noble truths
  1. Life is suffering,
  2. Life's dislocation is desire,
  3. The cure to desire is the overcoming of that desire,
  4. Describes how to cure desire by the Eightfold Path.

The Eightfold path shows the way to enlightenment by overcoming desire.
  1. Right views-Define the problem.
  2. Right intent- Are you sure you want enlightenment?
  3. Right Speech-Take care in what you say.
  4. Right Conduct-(5 precepts)
              Do not kill,
              Do not steal,
              Do not lie,
              Do not be unchaste,
              Do not drink intoxicants
  5. Right Livelihood-Engage in occupations that promote life and spiritual progress.
  6.Right Effort- Will yourself to continue and you will reach you goal.
  7.Right Mindfulness- Become aware of why and how you do everyday things.
  8.Right concentration- Your mind should be fine tuned to not stray from what you are thinking.

The Eightfold path of the Buddha is taught by all of the sects existing today.

Emphasis is placed on different aspects of the path but the ultimate goal is the same, enlightenment.
The two main branches of Buddhism are the Mahayana (Big raft) which is for the layman and the
Theravada (the way of the Elders) or sometimes known as the Hinayana because of it's appeal only to
a few in search of personal enlightenment.
Theravada Buddhism seems to adhere closer to the Buddha1s original teaching and uses meditation
to find wisdom.
Mahayana Buddhism is more liberal with the teachings of the Buddha. The teachings of the Buddha
are still prominent but in order to be more palatable to a wider range of people, local customs and
beliefs such as deities and mysticism have become enmeshed with the teachings of Buddha.

Information compiled from individual study.

© 1997-2009 shun@Blessedbelief.com