In Hinduism, Buddha is often mentioned as the 9th avatar of Vishnu. We celebrate Buddha’s birthday (Buddha Jayanti) on Vaisakhi Purnima, We all know that there is deep relation if Buddhism with Hinduism and his reform movements and his refining of Hindu beliefs.
Gautama Buddha was the founder of Buddhism. His original name was Siddharth Gautam. he was born in the year 563 B.C. in the village of Lumbini near Kapilavastu, Nepal. According to legend, an astrologer foretold his father, the king, that young Gautama would give up the throne and luxury and renounce the world the day he would see four things (i) an old man, (ii) a sick man, (iii) a diseased man and (iv) a dead man. Hence, the king confined Gautama in a special palace which was provided with all worldly pleasures. He was married at the age of sixteen to Yasoddhra.
At the age of 29 after the birth of his first son, Gautama on the same day saw an old man, a sick man, a diseased man and a dead man. The impact of the dark side of life made him renounce the world that same night and he left his wife and son and became a penniless wanderer.
He studied and practised Hindu discipline initially, and later, Jainism. For several years he observed rigorous fasting along with extreme self-mortification. On realising that tormenting his body did not bring him closer to true wisdom, he resumed eating normally and abandoned asceticism.
At the age of 35, one evening as he sat beneath a giant fig tree (Bodh tree), he felt that he had found the solution to his problem and felt that he had attained enlightenment. Thus, he came to be known as ?Gautama?, ?The Buddha?, or ‘The Enlightened One’.
Later, he spent 45 years in preaching the truth that he felt he had discovered. He travelled from city to city bare-footed, clean-headed, with nothing more on his self than his saffron robe, walking stick and begging bowl. He died at the age of 80 in the year 483 BC.
Buddha, as i know, began his meditation as a Hindu. He was awakened with a new enlightenment only to denounce Hinduism and emerge as the founder of a new religion called Buddhism. Therefore, to understand Buddhism fully, one should not separate it from Hinduism; while at the same time view it separately from Hinduism. Buddha’s way of life was “the golden mean” and a relief from the pagan stigmas and caste system prevalent in Hinduism.
Jesus had the same relationship to Judaism as Buddha to Hinduism. Both Hinduism and Judaism are ethnic and non-missionary traditions, and are characterized by an element of segregation between the castes and races, unlike Buddhism and Christianity. Swami Kriyananda compares Buddha’s position relative to Hinduism with Martin Luther’s to the Roman Catholic Church.
TEACHINGS OF BUDDHA:
The principal teachings of Gautama Buddha can be summarised in what the Buddhists call the “Four Noble Truths”:
First – There is suffering and misery in life .
Second – The cause of this suffering and misery is desire.
Third – Suffering and misery can be removed by removing desire.
Fourth – Desire can be removed by following the Eight Fold Path.
The Noble Eight Fold Path:
(i) Right Views
(ii) Right Thoughts
(iii) Right Speech
(iv) Right Actions
(v) Right Livelihood
(vi) Right Efforts
(vii) Right Mindfulness
(viii) Right Meditation