Guiding Light: Gautama Buddha

Guiding Light: Gautama Buddha

Dada J. P. VaswaniUpdated: Monday, May 20, 2024, 07:18 PM IST
article-image
Pixabay

Gautama, the Buddha, was one of India’s great gifts to the world and its civilisation. Millions all over the world call themselves Buddhists and draw inspiration from His life. Through precept and practice he taught that one of the highest values in life is maitreyi, love for all. Buddha recognised no caste.

The Buddha was born over two thousand five hundred years ago, as the son of a king — Raja Suddhodhana — on the sacred day of Vaisakh Purnima at Lumbini, situated near the city of Kapilavastu. The royal astrologer prophesied that the infant, whom they named Siddhartha, would grow to be either a great Chakravarti (an Emperor) or a renunciate who would bring inner enlightenment to thousands of lost souls.

The father surrounded the Prince with luxuries and comforts. To keep him bound, he got him married to one of the most beautiful girls — Princess Yashodhara. Soon, a son, Rahula was born to them. At the age of twenty-nine, Siddartha went out to see the city of his father. He beheld what the Buddhist books call the “four signs,” — witnesses to the impermanence of the world. He saw an old man, a diseased man, a dead man, and a monk. And there entered into his heart a vision of dukkha, the world-sorrow.

He renounces the palace. On reaching the forest of meditation, he gives away his fine clothes to his charioteer, becomes a fakir and enters the forest. Gautama’s quest ends in illumination and attainment of nirvana.

Buddha received illumination, under a tree. To this day, we venerate this tree as the Bodhi Tree. The Buddha’s first impulse, on attaining illumination, was to withdraw from the world. But, the Compassionate One that he was, he saw that the world needed his ministration and his message. Filled with compassion, he went out among them to give his message.

The task was by no means easy! In the early days of his mission, he met every form of abuse, opposition, and persecution. But he chose the way of love! He conquered by love. He abjured all violence.

How I wish the nations today would heed the Wisdom of the Buddha! Let us bow our heads in reverence to the Lord of Peace, Compassion and Maitri.

Buddham sharanam gachhami

Sangam sharanam gachhami

Dhammam sharanam gachhami!

*May 23 is sacred as Buddha Purnima.


Dada J P Vaswani is a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader

RECENT STORIES

Guiding Light: Breaking The Vicious Cycle

Guiding Light: Breaking The Vicious Cycle

Guiding Light: Chaturmasa Deeksha

Guiding Light: Chaturmasa Deeksha

Guiding Light: Prejudice, Intolerance And Hatred

Guiding Light: Prejudice, Intolerance And Hatred

Guiding Light By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What Is Māyā?

Guiding Light By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What Is Māyā?

Guiding Light: Constrained By Mediocrity

Guiding Light: Constrained By Mediocrity