The story

Buddha



Eastern philosopher (563-483 BC). He left his palace family and wealth to meditate and create one of the most important Eastern religions.

Among the world's major religions with the largest number of followers, two (Judaism and Hinduism) have roots in antiquity and therefore have no specific founder. But the other three (Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam) have more recent origins and there are records of those who established them. The founder of Buddhism is called Siddhartha Gautama, who was born in Lumbini, northern India (now Nepal). He was the son of a wealthy Rajah and married at a young age at sixteen with a cousin of the same age. Siddhartha was raised in a luxurious palace setting and surrounded by material comfort. But that was not enough, and he was dissatisfied. Around him, most people were poor and always in need. Even among the rich, there were unhappy people. And death was certain for everyone. Siddhartha then decided to come up with a new religious philosophy that would rid the spirit if not the body of worldly afflictions. At the age of 29, he had several visions and became convinced that he should leave the palace, his wife, and their newly born son. born, renounce all worldly properties, and set out with a wanderer in search of the "truth." He visited many religious and spent years fasting and meditating in order to overcome all desires of the body, including hunger, and to gain total control of his mind. Then he realized that it was no good, and he resumed eating normally.

The truth that Siddhartha was so persecuting appeared to him one May night, around 528 BC, when, sitting under a tree, he received what Buddhists call the name of Enlightenment. Siddhartha understood that the sufferings could be overcome. One of the basic doctrines of Hinduism is the reincarnation cycle. The souls of all living things that die would be reborn into other living things. This cycle goes on forever, with the soul evolving from an insect, through an animal, to the human form. If a man is bad during his life, he would be reborn as an inferior form of life. If not, he is reborn as someone else. This cycle of reincarnation is infinite, but Siddhartha concluded that by following the right path (dharma) of meditation and devotion, the soul could reach nirvana, a final state no different from the Judeo-Christian concept of Paradise.

Siddhartha adopted the name of Buddha, meaning "the enlightened one," and went out into the world to teach his philosophy. After his death, his followers spread Buddhist philosophy throughout Asia, finding in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia a much larger membership than in India itself. Today there are nearly 300 million Buddhists in the world, 99.5% of them in Asia.