Life and Teachings of Gautama Buddha And Spread of Buddhism


Life of

Gautama Buddha (567- 487 B.C.)

Gautama or Siddhartha, the creator of Buddhism, was born in 567 B.C. in Lumbini Garden near Kapilavastu. His daddy was Suddodhana of the Sakya clan and mother Mayadevi. As his mother died at kid birth, he was brought up by his aunt Prajapati Gautami. At the age of sixteen he wed Yasodhara and gave birth to a boy, Rahula. The sight of an old man, an infected guy, a remains and an ascetic turned him away from worldly life. He left house at the age of twenty 9 looking for Fact. He wandered for seven years and met several instructors however might not get enlightenment. At last, he sat under a bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya and did extreme penance, after which he got Knowledge (Nirvana) at the age of thirty five. Ever since he ended up being called the Buddha or ‘the Enlightened One’. He delivered his very first sermon at Sarnath near Benares and for the next forty five years he led the life of a preacher. He died at the age of eighty at Kusinagara.

The most essential disciples of Buddha were Sariputta, Moggallanna, Ananda, Kassapa and Upali. Kings like Prasenajit of Kosala and Bimbisara and Ajatasatru of Magadha accepted his teachings and became his disciples. Buddha in his lifetime spread his message far and wide in north India and visited locations like Benares, Rajagriha, Sravasti, Vaisali, Nalanda and Pataligrama. It must be noted that he did not include himself in fruitless controversies concerning esoteric questions like god, soul, karma, renewal, etc., and concerned himself with the practical issues facing male.

Teachings of Buddha The Four Noble Truths


Buddha are: The world is full of suffering


The cause of suffering is desire


If desires are get rid off, suffering can be removed. This can

be done by following the Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path consists


best view, right resolve, best speech, right conduct, best income, ideal effort, best mindfulness and right concentration. Buddha neither accepts god nor turns down the presence of god. He laid excellent focus on the law of karma. He argued that the condition of male in this life depends upon his own deeds. He taught that the soul does not exist. Nevertheless, he highlighted Ahimsa. By his love for people and all living animals, he endeared himself to all. Even under the gravest provocation he did not show the least anger or hatred and rather conquered everybody by his love and compassion. His faith was identical with morality and it stressed purity of thought, word and deed. He was a rationalist who tried to explain things in the light of reason and not on the basis of blind faith. Though he did not make a direct attack on the caste system, he was against any social differences and tossed open his order to all. For that reason, Buddhism was more a social than religious revolution. It taught the code of practical ethics and put down the principle of social equality. Spread of Buddhism Buddha had 2 sort of disciples- monks(bhikshus)and lay worshippers (upasikas ). The monks were arranged into the Sangha for the purpose of spreading his mentors. The membership was open to all persons, male or


and without any caste restrictions. There was an unique code for nuns restricting their house and motion. Sariputta, Moggallana and Ananda were a few of the well-known monks. The Sangha was governed on democratic lines and was empowered to enforce discipline among its members. Owing to the organised efforts made by the Sangha, Buddhism made rapid progress in North India even during Buddha’s life time. Magadha, Kosala, Kausambi and several republican states of North India embraced this religious beliefs. About two hundred years after the death of Buddha, the popular Mauryan Emperor Asoka embraced Buddhism. Through his missionary effort Asoka spread Buddhism into West Asia and Ceylon. Therefore a local religious sect was transformed into a world religion.Buddhist Councils The first Buddhist Council was held at Rajagraha under the chairmanship of Mahakasapa right away after the death of Buddha. Its purpose was to preserve the purity of the mentors of the Buddha. The second Buddhist Council was assembled at Vaisali around 383 B.C.

The 3rd Buddhist

Council was

held at Pataliputra under the patronage of Asoka. Moggaliputta Tissa presided over it. The final version of Tripitakas was finished in this council. The fourth Buddhist Council was convened in Kashmir by Kanishka under the chairmanship of Vasumitra. Asvagosha participated in this council. The new school of Buddhism called Mahayana Buddhism originated during this council. The Buddhism preached by the Buddha and propagated by Asoka was referred to as Hinayana. The Buddhist texts were gathered and compiled some five hundred years after the death of the Buddha. They are known as the Tripitakas, particularly the Sutta, the Vinaya and the Abhidhamma Pitakas. They are composed in the Pali language. Causes for the Decline of Buddhism in India The revival of Brahmanism and the increase of Bhagavatism resulted in the fall of popularity


Buddhism. Making use of Pali, the language of the masses as the language of Buddhism was quit from the first century A.D. The Buddhists began to adopt Sanskrit, the language of the elite. After the birth of Mahayana Buddhism,

the practice of idol worship and making

offerings caused the wear and tear of moral standards. Moreover, the attack of the Huns in 5th and 6th centuries and the Turkish intruders in 12th century ruined the abbeys. All these aspects contributed to the decrease of Buddhism in India. Contribution of Buddhism to Indian Culture Buddhism has actually made an impressive contribution to the development of Indian culture. The principle of ahimsa was its chief contribution. Later on, it became one of the treasured worths of our country. Its contribution to the art and architecture of India was significant. The stupas at Sanchi, Bharhut and Gaya are fantastic pieces of architecture. Buddhism takes the credit for the

chaityas and viharas in different parts of India


It promoted education through domestic universities like those at Taxila, Nalanda and Vikramasila. The language of Pali and other local languages established through the mentors of Buddhism. It had actually also promoted the spread


Indian culture to other parts of Asia. Source

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