Loading...

Buddhism

Eastern religion. The founder, Siddhartha Gautama (c.566-486 b.c.), grew up as the son of a petty ruler in NE India. Tradition relates that, surrounded by luxury, he saw four sights-a diseased man, an old man, a dead man, and a wandering ascetic. These convinced him of the inevitability of suffering and death, and he set out, abandoning his wife and son, to seek enlightenment and release from inevitable rebirth. After several fruitless attempts to find enlightenment by means of accepted ascetic techniques, he finally reached full enlightenment under a tree at what is now Bodh Gaya. He became “the Buddha” (the Enlightened One). Conscious that he was living out his last existence on earth, he determined not to enter into Nirvana directly, but to proclaim the dhamma (law) he had rediscovered, and he did so for some forty years. He founded monasteries for both men and women, and the later spread of Buddhism was linked closely with the fortunes of these institutions. After a couple of