- Sangha 2016
The historic Buddha, Siddharta Gautama, was born 500 bc. at Lumbini near the city Kapilavastu. He belonged to the warrior caste. Three wise men approached his parents after his birth and told them that their son would become a warrior and hero and he would conquer all the neighboring kingdoms. But if he would get in contact with the suffering in the world and if he would realize that this world is impermanent and brings no constant happiness, he would leave his family and would develop a new enlightened view and bring it to the world
His parents where more interested in having a warrior and conqueror as their son, so they seperated him from the real world, so in his youth he enjoyed all pleasures of the life of a prince. He got trained in the art of warfare and he had 500 girls for his pleasure
But these circumstances didn't create a true inner happiness within him and he soon got into an inner conflict
At his fathers request, he married his cousin Yasodhare at the age of 16. After 13 years she gave life to a son. Siddharta was at the age of 29 at the time
The legend says that Siddharta met three persons on three following days: One old man, a suffering ill man and a corpse. The sudden comprehension that suffering is a part of human life didn't gave him time to rest. He discovered that there is nothing in this world to rely on. Property, health, fame and friends, everything will diminish, nothing is permanent.
On the next morning the Buddha met a man who was sitting in deep meditation. At the moment their eyes met, he knew where the answers to his questions where to find.
So he decided one night to leave his present life behind and he left the palace to find a way to overcome suffering.
After 6 years of learning asceticism, meditation and meeting a lot of teachers and obstacles he finally wished to see the true nature of the mind, for the benefit of all sentient beings
In Bodhgaya in the north of india he sat down under a Bodhi tree and decided to stay as long until he reached the goal to be able to serve all sentient beings. He reached enlightenment on the morning of the seventh day, his 35th birthday. 45 years later was also the year of his decease.
Buddha was teaching for 45 years and gave 84000 teachings
He died at the age of 80.
Short before his decease he said that he can leave this world as a happy man because he hasn't hold back one single teaching in his bare hand. He also said that no one should believe his teachings just because the Buddha spread them. Everyone should be critical and make their own experiences.