In Thailand, Buddha’s statues can be seen in the streets, in temples, in shops and pretty much everywhere.
But there are many things that we, as travelers, don’t know about Buddha’ s life.
Who was him, what was so special about him, how did he built this kind of spirituality, which is Buddhism?
Yesterday we visited a temple in Chiang Mai and there we found out who Buddha was and what was his life.
The word Buddha means enlightened one, but when we talk about “the Buddha”, we mean Siddhartha Gautama. He was a prince who lived approximately 2640 years ago in a region now known as Nepal.
When he was born a fortune teller told his father that he would either become a great king or if he becomes a monk he would be an enlightened person, so his father did all he could to shelter him from finding out what was outside the temple. Siddhartha Gautama was married and had all the material items he wanted. He was content, but not happy. He wanted to know what was outside the temple and so went out after he was 27 years old. He saw 4 things that he had never seen before and these things made him ask questions that he did not know the answer to. He saw a sick person, a dead person, an old person, and a monk. It made him wonder why we are here on earth, and why we suffer in our lives. So he left his home and the privileged life he had been living. He went out and joined a group of people who said they could tell him what he wanted to know but after a while, he realized that the life they were leading would make him ill. They ate the minimum needed to keep themselves alive and had no material goods at all. After a while he left that group and carried on his search on his own. He now knew that to have everything was not the answer, neither was having nothing. He concluded that what he was searching for must lay in the middle way. After much meditation and learning, he became enlightened at age of 35 and spent the rest of his life teaching all who listened to the truths that he had discovered.
He died at age of 80 years.
This is the story of Buddha that we found in a book received at the temple Wat Chedi Luang.
Hope you enjoyed reading it.
Soon we will write an interesting article about a discussion/interview we had with a monk.
Stay tuned. 🙂