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Who Was the Buddha? (part 4)

At that time, Siddhartha was near the town called Bodh Gaya, in what is today the province of Bihar. He was now 35 years old. Upon finding a fig tree that offered shade and serenity, he seated himself there and entered into a deep state of meditation. He was determined to break through the boundaries of his limited consciousness and attain the goal of nirvana (enlightenment, liberation, self-realization, infinite consciousness), so he vowed to remain in meditation until that goal was achieved. Local villagers, in awe of the miracle that was occurring, brought him food and water, which he was able to take without breaking his meditation, and so he sat beneath his tree for 49 days and nights.

Who Was the Buddha? (part 3)

Having left the comfort of both palace and family, Siddhartha Gautama gave up his princely name and became one of the wandering holy men, a sadhu, whose only possessions were a ragged robe and a begging bowl. At that time, around 500 BCE, there were many who took up this ascetic lifestyle, disappearing into the forests and the mountains to devote their lives to meditation and the promise of enlightenment. On his travels, Siddhartha studied under advanced gurus on two occasions, who pronounced him to be a gifted yogi who would do great things for the world.

Who Was the Buddha? (part 2)

Living in his father's palace, surrounded by material luxury and a loving family, Siddhartha Gautama was still unsatisfied, there was something inside of him that remained unfulfilled. Now in his late twenties, he had never set foot outside the carefully controlled environment that his father had created for him, and a burning curiousity to explore, to mingle with the people he would one day rule, became his constant companion. Unable to resist this calling, he hatched a plot with his faithful servant, Candaka, who drove his chariot, to sneak out of the palace in the dead of night.

Who Was the Buddha? (part 1)

Any serious investigation of the Dharma must begin at the beginning, with the Buddha himself. The teacher we know of as the Buddha lived about 2500 years ago, according to the most reliable accounts, and the circumstances of his birth are very significant when considering the context of his eventual enlightenment.

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