Millions of people in the world worship Buddha and try to live their lives according to what he thought. Even those who are not Buddhists think of him as one of the greatest men the world has known.

Buddha was born at Lumbini more than 2500 years ago. Lumbini is small place near the border between India Nepal.

A small pillar stands there. It was put up 250 years after Buddha death by Ashoka, a great king of India, to mark this spot where he was born, Buddha’s first name Siddhartha. He developed a gradual dislike for all the comforts and luxuries of life.

He started thinking about the serious philosophy of life, it is pleasure and pains. When he grew up he was married to beautiful princes called Yashodhra. They had a lovely son whom they called Rahul.

Despite this comfortable life, Gautam was not happy. He went thinking about the world outside the place gates, about the common people and their lives.

He set out in search for truth. He sat down under a tree to think out for himself by deep meditation and concentration. He did not eat or drink for many days. His penance continued until his body became all bones but still he did not know the answer.

He wandered about for six years with out any results and then one day when he was sitting under a tree, the answer came suddenly to him. He received enlighten. He felt as if he knew all the secrets of the world. Buddha discovered that there was sorrow and unhappiness in the world because people were greedy and selfish and wanted worldly things of life.

He discovered that the only way to end unhappiness was stop wanting things and to follow enlightened path. He laid down eight principals for good life. These included doing no evil, speaking no evil and listening to no evil. Buddha had discovered that too much of pleasure and comforts did not lead to happiness nor did living in forests with out food or shelter and torturing one’s body bring happiness. Buddha said `` if you have done something sinful, do not do it again; for evil things will only give pain. If you have some thing well, does it again and again, for good deeds bring joy and delight. The greatest of all conquerors is not he who conquers a thousand men a thousand times in battle, but he who conquers his own self. ’’Buddha taught that men should learn to control themselves- their anger and evil. If some one did a bad thing, one should try to do good in return. One should not kill or hurt anybody, not even animals. One should tell the truth, keep one’s thought pure and show loving kindness to all.

After enlightenment, Buddha traveled for and wide teaching people the truth he had found.

Buddha‘s life and teachings brought about great changes in the country for the better. The kings and citizens started behaving more rationally avoiding the use of force in their dealings and caste system withered away. Where a person was good or bad depends on his behavior rather than his heredity. When Ashoka came under his influence after the kaling war, he spared Buddhism not only through put the length and breadth of India but the whole of south East Asia and china. Buddha has been respected all over the world in all times and climes for its message of truth and non-violence.

The last message of Buddha

Nagarjuna konda

Amaravati is quiet a familiar name for the Buddhists in India. It is situated on the banks of Krishna River in the present-day Guntur district. It was the capital of the Satavahanas, the first great dynasty of the Andhra kings who ruled between 2nd century B.C. and the 3rd century A.D. It was then known as Dhanyakataka.

It was a valley in the Nallamalla range of the Eastern Ghats with civilizations dating back to thousands of years. Recorded history, however, assigns the first signs to the later Satavahanas and subsequently the Ikshvakus in the third century. The Sriparvata and Vijayapuri of yore were really temples where the famous savant and Buddhist disciple Acharya Nagarjuna preached the message of Tathagata.

Therefore, o Ananda is ye lamps unto yourselves. Rely on yourselves and do not rely on external help. Hold fast to the truth as a lamp. Seek salvation alone in the truth. Look not for assistance to any one besides yourselves. ``those who either now or after I am dead, shall be a lamp unto themselves and not relying on external help, but holding fast to the truth as their lamp, and seeking their salvation in the truth alone, shall not look for assistance to anyone besides. It is they, shall have real gain. He who subdues himself shall be free of passions. The righteous man casts of sin and by rooting out lust, bitterness and illusion, do we reach nirvana. I exhort you saying, `decay is inherent in all component things, but the truth will remain forever! Work out your own salvation with diligence!’’

Buddha’s compassionate heart, selfless work and practical approach to religion made a lasting impression on the minds of people. Even after 2500 years, his teachings are being practiced in several countries.

 

 


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