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This man was very poor. Siddhartha thought that the man was happy even though he was poor. Siddhartha also knew that he was not happy even though he was rich. He decided to leave the palace and never go back. Siddhartha walked through the forest. In the forest, he found a group of ascetics. He watched them and thought this was the way to be enlightened. For six years he lived with the ascetics. He ate one grain of rice and drank from the river every day.

The Meaning of Buddhism - The Atlantic

One day a boat was on the river with a musician and his students on it. Siddhartha heard the musician say, "If the string is too tight, it will snap. If it is too loose, it will not play. He took a bowl of rice from a village girl.


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He had broken his promise to be an ascetic. Siddhartha sat at the bottom of the Bodhi tree.

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He made a promise to keep meditating until he was enlightened. For forty days Devaputra Mara , the leader of demons , tried to stop Siddhartha. He made Siddhartha think of scary things. He made demons try to hurt Siddhartha with spears , arrows , fire , and rocks. Siddhartha thought very hard and made the hurtful things look like flowers and many colored lights.

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His hard thinking made him enlightened. After he was enlightened, he taught people about what he had learned. He died when he was 80 years old. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Shippensburg University. Retrieved 13 February Category : Buddhist terminology. Namespaces Page Talk. Views Read Change Change source View history.

After six years of study and meditation he finally found 'the middle path' and was enlightened. He was not, nor did he claim to be. He was a man who taught a path to enlightenment from his own experience. Buddhists sometimes pay respect to images of the Buddha, not in worship, nor to ask for favours.


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A statue of the Buddha with hands rested gently in its lap and a compassionate smile reminds us to strive to develop peace and love within ourselves. Bowing to the statue is an expression of gratitude for the teaching. One of the Buddhist teachings is that wealth does not guarantee happiness and also wealth is impermanent.

Why Enlightenment Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All

The people of every country suffer whether rich or poor, but those who understand Buddhist teachings can find true happiness. There are many different types of Buddhism, because the emphasis changes from country to country due to customs and culture. Buddhism is also a belief system which is tolerant of all other beliefs or religions. Buddhism agrees with the moral teachings of other religions but Buddhism goes further by providing a long term purpose within our existence, through wisdom and true understanding. Real Buddhism is very tolerant and not concerned with labels like 'Christian', 'Moslem', 'Hindu' or 'Buddhist'; that is why there have never been any wars fought in the name of Buddhism.

That is why Buddhists do not preach and try to convert, only explain if an explanation is sought. Science is knowledge which can be made into a system, which depends upon seeing and testing facts and stating general natural laws. The core of Buddhism fit into this definition, because the Four Noble truths see below can be tested and proven by anyone in fact the Buddha himself asked his followers to test the teaching rather than accept his word as true. Buddhism depends more on understanding than faith. The first truth is that life is suffering i.

We also endure psychological suffering like loneliness frustration, fear, embarrassment, disappointment and anger. This is an irrefutable fact that cannot be denied. It is realistic rather than pessimistic because pessimism is expecting things to be bad. The second truth is that suffering is caused by craving and aversion. We will suffer if we expect other people to conform to our expectation, if we want others to like us, if we do not get something we want,etc.

In other words, getting what you want does not guarantee happiness. Rather than constantly struggling to get what you want, try to modify your wanting. Wanting deprives us of contentment and happiness. A lifetime of wanting and craving and especially the craving to continue to exist, creates a powerful energy which causes the individual to be born.

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So craving leads to physical suffering because it causes us to be reborn. The third truth is that suffering can be overcome and happiness can be attained; that true happiness and contentment are possible.

We then have more time and energy to help others. This is Nirvana. The fourth truth is that the Noble 8-fold Path is the path which leads to the end of suffering.