“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment”.
Bauddha Dharma’ (Buddhism) can be translated as ‘Religion of the Buddha’ or ‘Way of Buddha’. Thus it means following the teachings of the enlightened one. Buddhism was founded in the north-eastern part of India (Between India and Nepal). Buddhism is a nontheistic religion (Independent from the belief or non-belief of God); Mahayana tradition is considered polytheistic.
1. (3) Simple tenets
The 3 major tenets Buddha taught his followers were not to be ignorant, hate other, or get angry
2. He left behind a fortune
Originally born a wealthy prince, he left it all behind to pursue the path of truth when he saw the poverty and sickness beyond his palace walls. This also led him to drop his birth name, Siddartha Gautama.
3. He was not cubby
Buddha was not as chubby as many depictions of him would make it appear- he was mainly portrayed this way because it was symbolic of happiness in the east. He practiced moderation in all things, fasted regularly, and spent most of his time walking hundreds of miles spreading the philosophy of enlightenment.
4. Prophesied to change the world
A few days after his birth, it was predicted by a wise old man that he would later become a great king or a saint that would change the world.
5. Buddha led a balanced lifestyle
At the time of Buddha’s quest for enlightenment, there were many religious practices that called for either intense overindulgence in the senses, or strict deprivation such as weeks of fasting. Realizing that neither were truly beneficial, he devised what would later be known as “The Middle Way” to enlightenment… a balanced approach that emphasized inward rather than outward renunciation.
6. He meditated 3 days to become enlightened
To achieve enlightenment, Young Siddhartha vowed to sit under a fig tree and meditate until he transcended suffering. At the end of an extremely long meditation and mental battle with Mara (the god of desire), he became awakened and was then known as the Buddha.
7. Buddha’s teachings were spread peacefully
Unlike most religious or spiritual beliefs, Buddha’s teachings were spread by nonviolent methods such as word of mouth or carvings on prominent stone buildings.
8. He was a simple teacher
Practicing Buddhists view Buddha as a teacher and not a god or avatar.
9. His place of enlightenment still exists
Buddha’s spot of enlightenment underneath the bodhi tree is still preserved to this day.
10. (the most important) His final words
Buddha taught and traveled his entire life until the age of 80 when he passed away. His final request of his followers was this:
“All component things in the world are changeable. They are not lasting. Work hard to gain your own salvation”.