Home » Prince Siddhartha Gautama

Prince Siddhartha Gautama

Hatred does not cease in the world by hating, but by not hating; this is an eternal truth. This philosophy quoted from Buddha is only one of his many great teachings that inspire people all over the world to live their lives in a loving and respectful manner. The Buddha influences so much because he was such a great man. He sacrificed a kingdom, wife, and child in order to pursue Nirvana and find enlightenment. HE invoked the Dhamma, and spread his pro-life principals to all who would listen.

In the sixth century before the Christian era, shortly preceding the Buddhas birth, religion had been forgotten in India. Priests of the time were irreligious, performing meaningless rituals of sacrifice and amassing great wealth for themselves. At this needed time, when there was cruelty, degeneration and unrighteousness everywhere, reformer Buddha was born to put down priestcraft and animal sacrifices, to save the people and disseminate the message of equality, unity and cosmic love everywhere (Sivananda 17).

Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born in B. C. 560 to Suddhodana, king of the Sakhyas. His place of birth was a grove known as Lumbini, located at the foot of Mount Palpa in the Himalayan Mountains within Nepal. As Buddhas birth drew near, the gods prepared a path for him with celestial portents and signs, such as flowers blooming, soft rains falling, heavenly music playing, and the air was filled with delicious scents. The birth of the child was followed by a prediction by the astrologers to the Buddhas father.

The prediction was that, The child on attaining manhood, would become either a universal monarch, or abandoning house and home, would assume the robe of a monk and become a Buddha, a perfectly enlightened soul for the salvation of mankind(Shepard 4). It was prophisized that unless the prince saw four signs, he would not retire from the world to become a Buddha. The four signs were an old man, a diseased man, a dead man, and a monk. Suddhodana, to prevent his son from leaving the castle, surrounded him with every luxury and indulgence possible.

Siddhartha was married and moved into a walled palace, never allowing him to see the four signs. One day, the prince managed to get out of the palace walls and venture through the town. The prince at twenty-nine saw all of the four signs and gave up his worldly life (Duane 6). Siddhartha left his home and walked to the hills where many hermits lived, eventually gaining enlightenment. He attained Nirvana and his face shown with ecstasy. His heart was filled with profound mercy and compassion. He wanted to share what he had with humanity. He traveled all over India and preached his doctrine and gospel.

He became a savior, deliverer and redeemer (Armstrong 66). The number of Buddhas followers increased, as he became known for his earthly philosophies and loving acts. Buddha requires every Buddhist monk to take a vow, to abstain from killing any living being. In order to honor this vow Monks must stay in one place the entire rainy season of four months to prevent from killing the countless small insects (Sivananda 21). This to me shows great appreciation for life, regardless of how small. I feel more compelled to look lovingly on all things, even a spider on my wall.

Perhaps I will capture it and let it outside now, instead of killing it. His sacrifice of movement for four months is so great, that I think it isnt so large an effort to be more cautious of life around me. All life is beautiful, no matter the color, size, or breed. It is irrational to think that just because I am larger or smarter or more religious that my life is more important than that of a bug. Who gave me the right to take another life? One day Buddha saw a herdsman taking his sheep and goats through a narrow valley. Buddha noticed a small hurt lamb trying to keep up with the bunch.

Buddha held it and said, It is better to relieve the suffering of an innocent being than to sit on the rocks of Olympus or sit in solitary caves and watch unconcerned the sorrows and sufferings of humanity. Buddha followed the herdsman to a sacrifice for the gods. When he got there Buddha interrupted the sacrifice just before the first beast was to be killed and said, Every creature loves to live, even as every human being loves to preserve his or her own life. The priest then threw the knife away and the king passed a law that there shall be no more sacrifices (Sivananda 23).

Buddha showed his character by standing up for what he believed in. Buddha was a strong person and influences me to voice my opinion on what is right and wrong in society. He had the courage to say no to an accepted practice in his world. Looking at his example gives me courage to stand up against issues such as capital punishment and abortion, which are accepted practices in my world. When Siddhartha went to visit his father on his deathbed; everyone came to pay Buddha his or her respects except his wife. She felt he would come to see her if he cared.

His wife, when she lost her husband, gave up all her luxuries. She took simple food once a day and slept on a mat. She led a life of severe austerities. When Buddha heard of his wifes actions he was very moved and went to visit her. When he arrived she wept at his feet. The Buddha at once started a order of female ascetics; his wife was the first of the Buddhistic nuns. This act of compassion was also one of equality and justice. I feel that people should not be judged on their sex, color, age, sexuality, or any other characteristic.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this essay please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.