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2704 Sun 5 Aug 2018 LESSON (45) Sat 5 Aug 2007 Life of the Lord Buddha in pictures (chronological order)
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2704 Sun 5 Aug 2018 LESSON (45) Sat 5 Aug 2007

Life of the Lord Buddha in pictures (chronological order)

Life of the Lord Buddha in pictures (chronological order)

Published on Apr 2, 2013

check out my channel Sadaham Arana (සදහම් අරණ) by clicking on my
username. It has a lot of Dhamma sermons in Sinhala, recorded from SLBC
(Sri Lanka Broadcasting Coporation), The Buddhist TV Sri Lanka, Neth FM
and other sources as well as some English Dhamma sermons from such
theros as Ven Ajahn Brahm etc……
Life of the Lord Buddha in pictures (chronological order)

Sadaham Arana
Published on Apr 2, 2013
Please check out my channel Sadaham Arana (සදහම් අරණ) by clicking on my
username. It has a lot of Dhamma sermons in Sinhala, recorded from SLBC
(Sri Lanka Broadcasting Coporation), The Buddhist TV Sri Lanka, Neth FM
and other sources as well as some English Dhamma sermons from such
theros as Ven Ajahn Brahm etc……
Please check out my channel Sadaham Arana (සදහම් අරණ) by clicking on my username. It has a lot of…
buddha’s teachings

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On the Life of Buddha, Buddhist Thought & Practice

On the Life of Buddha, Buddhist Thought & Practice

Buddha - Buddhism Religion Buddhism is a moral philosophy / religion
based upon the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (566 - 486 B.C.).

Siddhartha Gautama became known as the Buddha. ‘Buddha’ (from the
ancient Indian languages of Pali and Sanskrit) means “one who has
awakened”. It is derived from the verbal root “budh”, meaning “to
awaken” or “to be enlightened”, and “to comprehend”.

The Buddha
offered metaphysical knowledge into the nature of reality as well as a
moral way of life. The Middle Way is an important idea in Buddhist
thought and practice. To seek moderation and avoid the extremes of
self-indulgence and self-mortification.

At the age of 35,
meditating under a Bodhi tree, Siddhartha reached Enlightenment,
awakening to the true nature of reality, which is Nirvana (Absolute

The dustless and stainless Eye of Truth (Dhamma-cakkhu) has arisen.
He has seen Truth, has attained Truth, has known Truth, has penetrated into Truth, has crossed over doubt, is without wavering.
Thus with right wisdom he sees it as it is (yatha bhutam) … The
Absolute Truth is Nibbana, which is Reality. (Buddha, from the
Dhatuvibhanga-sutta (No. 140) of the Majjhima-nikaya)

The Buddha
taught that the nature of reality was impermanent and interconnected. We
suffer in life because of our desire to transient things. Liberation
from suffering may come by training the mind and acting according to the
laws of karma (cause and effect) i.e. with right action, good things
will come to you. This teaching is known as the Four Noble Truths:

The Buddha taught that the nature of reality was impermanent and
interconnected. We suffer in life because of our desire to transient
things. Liberation from suffering may come by training the mind and
acting according to the laws of karma (cause and effect) i.e. with right
action, good things will come to you. This teaching is known as the
Four Noble TruthsDukkha: Suffering is everywhere
Samudaya: There is a cause of suffering, which is attachment or misplaced desire (tanha) rooted in ignorance.
Nirodha: There is an end of suffering, which is Nirvana (the possibility of liberation exists for everyone).
Maggo: There is a path that leads out of suffering, known as the Noble
Eightfold Path (right view, right thought, right speech, right conduct,
right vocation, right effort, right attention and right concentration).

The following quotes (from Buddha and others) express some of the main ideas of Buddhism;

I will teach you the Truth and the Path leading to the Truth. (Buddha)I
will teach you the Truth and the Path leading to the Truth. (Buddha)

It is proper for you to doubt .. do not go upon report .. do not go
upon not go upon hearsay..’ (Buddha, Kalama Sutra)

Brahmana, it is just like a mountain river, flowing far and swift,
taking everything along with it; there is no moment, no instant, no
second when it stops flowing, but it goes on flowing and continuing. So
Brahmana, is human life, like a mountain river. (Buddha)

‘Wherefore, brethren, thus must ye train yourselves : Liberation of the
will through love will develop, we will often practice it, we will make
it vehicle and base, take our stand upon it, store it up, thoroughly set
it going.’ (Buddha)
From The Dhammapada;

By endeavour,
diligence, discipline and self-mastery, let the wise person make (of
himself) an island that no flood can overwhelm. (Buddha)Not to do any
evil, to cultivate the good, to purify one’s mind, this is the Teaching
of the Buddhas.

To speak no ill will, to do no harm, to practice
self-restraint according to the fundamental precepts, to be moderate in
eating, to live in seclusion, to devote oneself to higher consciousness,
this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.

By endeavour, diligence,
discipline and self-mastery, let the wise person make (of himself) an
island that no flood can overwhelm.

All (mental) states have mind
as their forerunner, mind is their chief, and they are mind-made. If
one speaks or acts with a defiled mind, then suffering follows ..

Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world; it is appeased by love. This is an eternal Law.

Hard to restrain, unstable is this mind; it flits wherever it lists.
Good is it to control the mind. A controlled mind brings happiness.

‘All conditioned things are impermanent’, when one sees this in wisdom,
then one becomes dispassionate towards the painful. This is the Path to

For the first time in the history of the world, Buddhism
proclaimed a salvation which each individual could gain from him or
herself, in this world, during this life, without any least reference to
God, or to gods either great or small. (Aldous Huxley on
Buddhism)Buddhism recognizes that humans have a measure of freedom of
moral choice, and Buddhist practice has essentially to do with acquiring
the freedom to choose as one ought to choose with truth: that is of
acquiring a freedom from the passions and desires that impel us to
distraction and poor decisions. (Walpola Rahula, What the Buddha Taught)

Buddhism stands unique in the history of human thought in denying the
existence of such a Soul, Self, or Atman. According to the teaching of
the Buddha, the idea of self is imaginary, false belief which has no
corresponding reality, and it produces harmful thoughts of ‘me’ and
‘mine’, selfish desire, craving, attachment, hatred, ill-will, conceit,
pride, egoism, and other defilements, impurities and problems. It is the
source of all the troubles in the world from personal conflicts to wars
between nations. (Rahula)

The theory of karma is the theory of
cause and effect, of action and reaction; it is a natural law, which has
nothing to do with the idea of justice or reward and punishment. Every
volitional action produces its effects or results. If a good action
produces good effects, it is not justice, or reward, meted out by
anybody or any power sitting in judgement of your action, but this is in
virtue of its own nature, its own law. (Rahula)

For the first
time in the history of the world, Buddhism proclaimed a salvation which
each individual could gain from him or herself, in this world, during
this life, without any least reference to God, or to gods either great
or small. (Aldous Huxley)

See our webpage Buddha Nirvana /
Buddhism Religion for more pictures, information and quotes on Karma,
Truth, the Dynamic Unity of Reality, Buddha’s conception of Mind and
Matter, The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, Anatta (No Soul)
and Conditioned Genesis (Paticca-samuppada).
Exploring the ancient wisdom of Eastern Philosophy / Metaphysics. Brief summaries, pictures and quotes on Buddhism, Hinduism,…
by Cristian Violatti
published on 09 December 2013
Siddhartha Gautama, the Historical Buddha (by )

Siddhartha Gautama (also known as the Buddha “the awakened one”) was
the leader and founder of a sect of wanderer ascetics (Sramanas), one of
many sects which existed at that time all over India. This sect came to
be known as Sangha, to distinguish it from other similar communities.
The teachings of Siddhartha Gautama are considered the core of Buddhism:
after his death, the community he founded slowly evolved into a
religious-like movement which was finally established as a state
religion in India by the time of Emperor Ashoka, during the 3rd century

Siddhartha is a Sanskrit personal name which means “He Who
Achieves His Goal”. The name is best known in English as the title of
the novel by Hermann Hesse, in which the main character (who actually is
not the Buddha) is named Siddhartha. The Sanskrit family name Gautama
means “descendants of Gotama”. Gotama is the name of several figures in
ancient India, including a poet of the Rig Veda and also Aksapada
Gautama (or Gotama), a famous Indian logician. Pali literature normally
refers to Siddhartha Gautama as Gotama Buddha.

Traditionally, the
meaning of the term Buddha is understood as a person who has awakened
from the deep sleep of ignorance. In Indian tradition, the expression
was already used before, during, and after the life of Siddhartha by
many religious communities, but it became most strongly linked to the
Buddhist tradition.
Historical Context

At the time when
Siddhartha Gautama lived, Northern India was composed of numerous and
small independent states competing for resources. This was a time when
the traditional religious order in India was being challenged by a
number of new philosophical and religious schools that were not in line
with the orthodox Indian religious views. The Vedic philosophy, theology
and metaphysics, along with its ever growing complexity of rituals and
sacrificial fees, was being questioned. Materialistic schools were
running wild in India, undermining the reputation and authority of the
priestly class, leading to a temporary religious anarchy which
contributed to the development of new religions. By the time Siddhartha
Gautama was born, the intellectual decay of the old Brahmanic orthodoxy
had begotten a strong skepticism and moral vacuum which was filled by
new religious and philosophical views.
The realization that he, like
anyone else, could be subject to different forms of human suffering
drove Siddhartha into a personal crisis. By the time he was 29, he
abandoned his home and began to live as a homeless ascetic.

Siddhartha’s ideas have some similarities with the work of Kapila, an
Indian sage who lived probably about two centuries earlier. Both were
concerned with providing humanity with a relief from suffering. They
discarded the remedies proposed by the Vedic rites, especially the
sacrifices; they considered these rites to be cruel because of their
strong connection with the slaughter of living beings. Both of them
believed that knowledge and meditation were the true means of salvation.
Also, they both strived to attain a state of human perfection and their
approach was purely agnostic. However, the parallels go no further.
Kapila organized his views in a system of philosophy that has not a hint
of sympathy for mankind in general. The Buddha, on the other hand,
delivered his message with a living, all-embracing sympathy and a deep
concern for the poor and the oppressed. He preached in favour of the
equality of men (which was largely forgotten in the Indian society
during his time) and opposed inequalities and abuses of the caste
The Historical Buddha

Reliable factual data on the
life of Siddhartha Gautama is very scarce. His historical biography can
be, to some extent, pieced together by comparing early Buddhist texts
from different traditions. These accounts are filled with myth and
legendary stories that slowly but surely changed the initial attributes
of the biography of the Buddha. The final form of these texts were
written down many centuries after the death of the Buddha. The true
words and accounts of the Buddha were merged with legendary additions
from oral traditions. Moreover, it seems obvious that the editors of the
final versions of the many biographies of the Buddha made their own
additions and shaped the contents of the texts according to their own
interests in order to support their own philosophical and religious

Siddhartha’s life can be divided into two different
stages: the time before his enlightenment and the time after that
moment. Buddhist literature uses the term Bodhisattva (someone who is on
the way to obtaining enlightenment) to refer to Siddhartha before he
attained enlightenment, and the word Buddha is used to refer to
Siddhartha from the time of his enlightenment.

A rock cut image of the Buddha
A rock cut image of the Buddha

There is no agreement on when Siddhartha was born. This is still a
question mark both in scholarship and Buddhist tradition. Several dates
have been proposed, but the many contradictions and inaccuracies in the
different chronologies and dating systems make it impossible to come up
with a satisfactory answer free of controversy. The dates of
Siddhartha’s life, according to the different sources available, are as

Long chronology (Ceylonese): 624-544 BCE
Corrected long chronology: 566-486 BCE
Short chronology (Indian chronology): 448-368 BCE
Modern Scholar consensus: 490/450-410/370 BCE

Modern scholarship agrees that the Buddha passed away at some point
between 410 and 370 BCE, about 140-100 years before the time of Indian
Emperor Ashoka’s reign (268-232 BCE). Both scholars and Buddhist
tradition agree that the Buddha lived for 80 years. More exactness on
this matter seems impossible.

Siddhartha’s caste was the
Kshatriya caste (the warrior rulers caste). He belonged to the Sahkya
clan and was born in the Gautama family. Because of this, he became to
be known as Shakyamuni “sage of the Shakya clan”, which is the most
common name used in the Mahayana literature to refer to the Buddha. His
father was named Suddhodana and his mother, Maya. There is some
controversy surrounding the background of the Shakyas. All we know about
the Shakyas is through Buddhist sources, and the historical facts in it
have been clouded by many additions and editions over the centuries.
Some accounts say that the Shakya princes were exiled from a previous
state (identified as the kingdom of Ayodhya according to some accounts)
and they moved on and found the state of Shakya. Despite the fact that
Suddhodana Gautama is often described as a king, it is believed that his
status was actually that of a regional leader, similar to a tribe’s
chief. The Shakyas’ government was organized as a republican system, not
a monarchy: they held regular meetings where the members of the most
influential families took part. Almost certainly, the family of
Siddharhta was one of the leading families within this political system.

The Shakya state was located at at the foot of the Himalayas and
Siddharta’s family was based in a city called Kapilavastu. Suddhodana
was married to Maya and he also had (at least) a second wife,
Mahaprajapati, who was Maya’s younger sister. It is probable that
Suddhodana also had some concubines. It is believed that Siddhartha was
born in Lumbini, present day Nepal, not far from Kapilavastu. Lumbini
has been identified thanks to the Indian Emperor Ashoka, who visited the
area in 248 BCE and erected a pillar with an inscription commemorating
the birth of Siddhartha. He also built a wall around the village and
ordered the building of four stupas to mark the spot. It is not
absolutely certain that Siddhartha was actually born in Lumbini, but at
least we know for certain that this was widely believed by the Buddhist
community at the time of Ashoka and even earlier.

Maya died soon
after Siddhartha was born, perhaps within days; the child was raised by
Mahaprajapati. All accounts stress the extreme luxuries that surrounded
Siddhartha while living in Kapilavastu. Yasodhara, possibly a cousin,
was Siddhartha’s wife and they had only one son, Rahula.

realization that he, like anyone else, could be subject to different
forms of human suffering (disease, old age, and death) drove Siddhartha
into a personal crisis. By the time he was 29, he abandoned his home and
began to live as a homeless ascetic. Even though it is normally held
that Siddhartha left home in secret, this legend is a later addition;
early scriptures explicitly agree that he abandoned his home, “though
his parents did not conscent and wept full of affliction”.

Buddha with Hercules Protector
Buddha with Hercules Protector

After leaving Kapilavastu, Siddhartha practised the yoga discipline
under the direction of two of the leading masters of that time: Arada
Kalama and Udraka Ramaputra. Siddhartha did not get the results he
expected, so he left the masters, engaged in extreme asceticism, and he
was joined by five followers. For a period of six years Siddhartha tried
to attain his goal but was unsuccessful. After realizing that
asceticism was not the way to attain the results he was looking for, he
gave up this way of life. After eating a meal and taking a bath,
Siddhartha sat down under a tree of the species ficus religiosa, where
he finally attained Nirvana (perfect enlightenment) and became known as
the Buddha.

Soon after this, the Buddha delivered his first
sermon in a place named Sarnath, also known as the deer park, near the
city of Varanasi. This was a key moment in the Buddhist tradition,
traditionally known as the moment when the Buddha “set in motion the
wheel of the law”. The Buddha explained the middle way between
asceticism and a life of luxury, the four noble truths (suffering, its
origin, how to end it, and the eightfold path or the path leading to the
extinction of suffering), and the impersonality of all beings.

The Buddha’s first disciples joined him around this time, and the
Buddhist monastic community, known as Sangha, was established. Sariputra
and Mahamaudgalyayana were the two chief disciples of the Buddha.
Mahakasyapa was also an important disciple who became the convener of
the First Buddhist Council. From Kapilavastu and Sravasti in the north,
to Varanasi, Nalanda and many other areas in the Ganges basin, the
Buddha preached his vision for about 45 years. During his career he
visited his hometown, met his father, his foster mother and even his
son, who joined the Sangha along with other members of the Shakya clan.
Upali, another disciple of the Buddha, joined the Sangha around this
time: he was a Shakya and regarded as the most competent monk in matters
of monastic discipline. Ananda, a cousin of the Buddha, also became a
monk; he accompanied the Buddha during the last stage of his life and
persuaded him to admit women into the Sangha, thus establishing the
Bhikkhuni Sangha, the female Buddhist monastic community.

his career, some kings and other rulers are described as followers of
the Buddha. The Buddha’s adversary is reported to be Davadatta, his own
cousin, who became a follower of the Buddha and turned out to be
responsible for a schism of the Sangha, and he even tried to kill the

The last days of the Buddha are described in detail in an
ancient text named Mahaparinirvana Sutra. We are told that the Buddha
visited Vaishali, where he fell ill and nearly died. Some accounts say
that here the Buddha delivered his last sermon. After recovering, the
Buddha travelled to Kushinagar. On his way, he accepted a meal from a
smith named Cunda, which made him sick and led to his death. Once he
reached Kushinagar, he encouraged his disciples to continue their
activity one last time and he finally passed away.
Myths & Legendary Accounts on the life of the buddha

The original biography of the Buddha has been merged with many
legendary accounts and myths. Siddhartha’s conception and birth are
associated with several miracles. The legend says, for example, that
Maya did not have sexual intercourse with Suddhodana; the Buddha entered
into the womb of Maya through her right side in the shape of a white
elephant. The fate of the child was anticipated: a group of priests
predicted that Siddhartha would become either a powerful monarch or a
Buddha. Suddhodana knew this prophecy, so he did his best to prevent
Siddhartha from witnessing any form of human suffering, keeping his son
inside the palace all the time.

As Siddhartha was approaching his
enlightenment while meditating, a devil named Mara tried to stop him,
but in the end Mara was defeated. This particular moment is often
represented in art: the Buddha seated in meditation, one hand on his
lap, the other pendant in a gesture known as earth-witness, which
represents unshakability or steadfastness when being subject to the
demons’ temptations.

Miracles stories were also introduced into
the biography of the Buddha. The following example aims to highlight the
courtesy of the Buddha:

The Buddha must cross the desert at
midday. The gods, from their thirty-three circles, each throws down a
parasol to him. The Buddha, not wishing to offend any of the gods,
multiplies himself into thirty-three Buddhas, so that each of the gods
sees, from above, a Buddha protected by the parasol which he threw him.

(Borges, Chapter 4)

The early Buddhist community attempted to demonstrate that what the
Buddha taught was nothing new, but rather that he rediscovered a
timeless truth. Therefore, a number of claims entered the Buddhist
literature to support this view, including the doctrine of the existence
of past Buddhas. This allowed the Buddhists to claim an authority
similar to that of some rival schools such as the Vedic and Jain
traditions, both of which supported their authority by claiming to be
originated a long time ago. The stories about past Buddhas follow the
same general plot and structure: they all sit cross-legged in their
mother’s womb; they all take seven steps to the north immediately after
they are born; they all renounce the world after witnessing an old man, a
sick man, a dead man, and a mendicant; they all attain nirvana seated
on the grass; they never die before their teaching is complete; they all
die after eating meat.

Buddhist literature also presents stories
about the previous reincarnations of Siddhartha Gautama. One of the
most famous accounts of this kind is a text named “Sutra of the Wise and
the Foolish”, where many past lives of Siddhartha Gautama are
described. A well known example is the popular story where prince
Mahasattva (who is actually the Buddha during one of his previous lives)
inspired by compassion, selflessness, and generosity, offers his body
as food to a starving tigress to prevent the tigress from eating her new
born cubs, and he dies devoured by the cat.

The Spread of Buddhism
The Spread of Buddhism

the legacy of the buddha

The turning point in Siddhartha’s life was attaining nirvana. The image
of the Buddha meditating under a tree is as important in Buddhism as
the image of Jesus Christ on the cross is to most Christians. What is
the meaning of nirvana? What does it mean that Siddhartha Gautama
achieved enlightenment thus becoming the Buddha (awakened)? The precise
nature of the buddhahood is debated by various schools. Despite the fact
that “nirvana” is a very popular expression in Buddhism, Buddhists have
never reached full agreement on its meaning.

Nirvana is a
Sanskrit noun often translated as “extinction” which signifies the act
and effect of blowing at something, to put it out: to blow out or to
extinguish. The process itself along with its outcome are also part of
the meaning of nirvana: becoming extinguished, blowing out, calming
down. The religious use of the word nirvana seems to be earlier than
Buddhism itself and may have been introduced into Buddhism along with
many other religious elements associated with the sramanas movements.
The concept of nirvana is also present in Jainism and in different Hindu
sects; its precise meaning varies, but it revolves around the idea of a
state of bliss and liberation from individuality and the suffering of
the cycle of birth and death.

In Buddhism, the concept of nirvana
was taken in different directions according to the different schools.
The main reason for these differences has to do with the fact that early
Buddhist texts do not provide a clear systematic scholarly definition
of nirvana but rather, they express its meaning using metaphors and
other ambiguous means. A famous example can be found in the Pali Canon
where nirvana is interpreted “as when a flame is blown out by the wind”.
Here, the metaphor refers to the extinction of the “three poisons” (or
primary afflictions): greed/sensuality, hatred/aversion, and
delusion/ignorance. After this, one is no longer subject to the cycle of
death and rebirth.

A more naturalistic view suggests that
nirvana is the culmination of a long process of personal discipline and
self-cultivation. Living an “enlightened” life, in touch with the way
things truly are, free of delusion, greed and hatred, ultimately gives
rise to nirvana, a state of human excellence.

The meaning of the
teachings and message of the Buddha is also a controversial topic. Some
Buddhist schools say that its core is non-violence, others say
compassion, some others say it is freedom from rebirth. There are also
scholars who claim that the Buddha was looking to restore the pre-Vedic
Indian religion, which was buried under centuries of distortion and dead
ceremonials. Some of these ideas, whether the true core of the message
of the Buddha or not, are not original to Buddhism. Non-violence and
compassion was one of the pillars of Jainism long after the times of the
Buddha, while freedom from rebirth is presented in the Upanishads also
before the time of the Buddha. The one aspect of the message of the
Buddha which seems original is humanism: the insight that human beings
are ultimately responsible for their fate and that no supernatural
forces, no magic rituals, and no gods can be held accountable for our

The idea that there are no gods and that the material
world is all there is, was already held by some materialistic schools in
India, particularly by the Charvaka school, so in this sense it might
not seem an original insight. But the approach of these schools was
largely atheist, since they all denied the existence of supernatural
entities. Both the theistic approach of the Vedic religion and the
atheistic approach of the materialistic schools rest ultimately on the
same conviction: both hold that we can know whether or not the gods
actually exist; one is certain of their existence, the other is certain
they do not exist. The Buddha claimed the impossibility of human
knowledge of arriving to definite answers regarding this matter, so his
view was an agnostic one, suspending judgement and saying that no
sufficient grounds exist either for affirmation or for denial. This idea
is so strong in Buddhism that even today in some of the Buddhist
branches who have incorporated supernatural entities into their
traditions, the role of human choice and responsibility remains supreme,
far above the deeds of the supernatural.

It would be
historically incorrect to say that Siddhartha Gautama saw himself as a
religious leader or that he consciously set out to start a new religious
movement. He considered himself a teacher who rejected the ways of
traditional Hindu religious orthodoxy and offered his followers a
different path. He considered the many Vedic rites and ceremonies to be
pointless and abusive and he was also against the caste system,
stressing the equality among all people.

It seems ironic that a
man whose career was largely based on believing and teaching the oneness
of mankind and the equality among people, ended up being worshipped and
elevated to the status of a god by some of his followers. As strange as
this may sound, this is what happened in some Buddhist circles,
particularly in India. The Buddha, originally considered a human being
(wise and extraordinary, but only a man), gradually entered into the
pantheon of the Hindu gods and came to be regarded as one of the many
manifestations of the god Vishnu. A man of tolerance, intelligence,
compassion, peace, what harm could it do to worship him as a deity? His
followers perhaps thought that by making him a god the Buddha would
become more special, his image more powerful and unique. However, in a
tradition like in India, filled with endless gods and goddesses
everywhere, to make him a god was also to make him ordinary, just one
more god among thousands. Moreover, his image became to coexist with
myth, ritual and superstition that corrupted his original message.
Eventually, the Buddha was swallowed up by the realm of Hindu gods, his
importance diminished and Buddhism finally died out in the land where it
was born.

So complete was the destruction of Buddhism in India
during ancient times, that when western scholars rediscovered Buddhism,
the records they relied on came from countries near and around India: no
valuable records were kept in the home of Buddhism. The message of the
Buddha vanished from its homeland, just as Jesus Christ failed to
perform his miracles in his own home town, but it remained alive in
almost every other part of Asia and from Asia it spread to the rest of
the world.
Siddhartha Gautama (also known as the Buddha “the awakened one”)……/comparison-chart-of-jesus-mohammed-…

Comparison Chart of Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha and Sigmund

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Comparison Chart of JESUS (Christians), Muhammad (Islam), Buddha (Buddhism), Sigmund (Atheism)
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Can a non-Atheist have good morals?

How we know Jesus is the only way?

Muslim became a follower of Jesus?


BUDDHA (Siddhartha)



Classification of position

Atheist (no after life)

Astika (impersonal life after death)

Monotheist (One God)

Monotheist (One God)






Was he prophesied before arriving?



He wrote concerning

himself that he would come ~610AD

Prophets wrote that he would come (1400-400 BC)


Where were they before they were conceived?


Something of significance in a previous life (not necessarily someone)


He is the Word of God.

Prov. 8:22-23

“The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of
old. I have been established from everlasting, from the beginning,
before there was ever an earth.”

Prov. 30:4 “Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists?

Who has bound the waters in a garment?

Who has established all the ends of the earth?

What is His name, and what is His Son’s name,

If you know?”

Father and Mother

Affluent Jewish parents

Royalty – Queen Mayadevi and his father King


Amina and Abdullah. His father died before

Muhammad was born. And at a young age was raised by his uncle.

God the Father and Mary. Virgin birth. His stepfather was Joseph.

Where and how were they born?

Czech Rep. 1856.

Normal conception.

Northern India, Lumbini, now part of Nepal 624-483BC. Normal conception. 560 BC most commonly communicated.

Born in Mecca, 570 AD, Normal conception.

Born in Bethlehem, 3BC; prophesied many years before arriving. He is God’s Word, placed into a virgin.

Consecrating the child

Followed Jewish order, circumcision etc.

Brahmin seer to make predictions about him.

Tradition says he was born circumcised, and still as a young child 2
angels cut open his chest, washed his heart with water from the well of
Zamzam. Later in his life the night journey to

paradise, his chest was once again washed with water from Zamzam by

Gabriel (Sahih Bukhai


Followed Jewish order, circumcision etc. He was acknowledged by the
priest who Jesus is and spoke about the prediction of His life.

What training/ education did he have from the world sense?

Viennese medical doctor, trained in neurology. During this he studied Theory of Evolution which he believed to be fact.

Private tutoring as per Royal protocol, tutoring.

Merchant taught by his uncle. He could read and write; however the
level of his education was not enough as to be considered educated or

Taught carpentry by His stepfather. And taught by Holy Spirit, Jesus was an accepted Rabbi who could read and write.

Married & Children

Wife and 6 children

Wife and a boy child he abandoned to go on this search.

Had 11 wives (even though the Koran says a limit of 4). He married his
Son’s former wife, Zaynab. Also wanted to divorce Sauda when she became

No wife. No children.

Turning point in their life.

Understanding Evolution as an alternative to God and suffering that existed in the world turned Sigmund onto humanism.

Outside his palace one day he first came across a decrepit old man,
then a diseased man, a corpse and a hermit — these encounters, known as
The Four Sights, were the Prince’s first awakening to deeper truths
about life.

Discontented with life in Mecca, he retreated to a cave in the surrounding mountains for meditation and reflection. It was here

at age 40, in the month of Ramadan, where he

received his first revelation from God. Muhammad had an encounter with
the angel Gabriel who revealed special revelations. Three years

after this event,

Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly.

After the revelations he tried to kill himself because he didn’t want
his tribe to say he was possessed by a demon and he wanted rest. Then
later on again he tried to kill himself because the revelations stopped.

At one point he blamed the devil for a revelation.

No turning point as He knew what He would do from birth, he didn’t have
a turning point but he did have a time when he was ready to step out.

Age when they started teaching?





Time period they taught on earth

50-60 years

40-50 years

23 years

3 years


Summary of Teaching

Introduced the world to Psychology.

Taught that we mustn’t rely on God but on self, and to avoid suffering it is in self, linked to a craving.

Taught that there is one God as at that time many served many gods. He
also taught that he was the last prophet. He also dictated much of the
Qur’an which people needed to follow.

Reconciled people back to God only through Him.

Moses said of him (Deut. 18:18) “I will raise up for them a Prophet
like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth,
and He shall speak

to them all that I command Him.”

Who elevated him?

Was there supernatural evidence?

How do we know?

Science community and Evolutionists. None.

Miracles contradict everything we have learned through empirical observation; they do not really occur.

Royalty and the people he taught?

No miracles performed by him.

Unlike most of the prophets, there were no miracles by him but miracles
to him. Like the writing of the Quran and seeing Gabriel. When he was
asked why no miracles backed him up, he answered: “Allah has not sent me
to work wonders; He has sent me to preach to you.”

God did.

Yes many supernatural signs and all these supernatural signs were for
the good of people – no curses only blessings, healings, raised 2 from
the dead, blind could see, deaf and mute spoke, etc.

Apart from the Bible, both the historian, Josephus, and Jewish writings wrote about Him.


Anything he did

that was surprising?

Cocaine, which he believed would

become a common treatment for depression — and perhaps even for other
ailments, including indigestion. He himself became an enthusiastic user
of cocaine, handing it out to colleagues and relations (including his
sisters) and praising its merits in various scholarly papers.

Buddha criticized only those portions of the Vedas which prescribe
animal sacrifice and that he did out of compassion for the animals. Yet
how can he criticize when he said worship a deity in the way you obtain
results. Saying there is no wrong and then criticizing someone for
something based on what he believed is wrong, is a contradiction.

After each major battle with the Medinans, Muhammad accused one of the
Jewish tribes of treachery (see Surah 2:100) and attacked it. After
Badr, Muhammad besieged the Banu Qaynuga and forced their surrender. He
wanted to put all the men to death, but was convinced not to do so by
Abdullah who was an old ally of the Qaynuqa. Instead, he expelled them
from Medina with their families and possessions. After Uhud, the battle
of the Trench in 627, the Muslims accused the Jews of conspiring with
the Meccans, then beheaded the adult male members of the Banu Qurayza.
The females and children were sold as slaves.

He died on the lap
of his youngest wife Aysha. He married her when she was six years old,
and he was 53. He had intercourse with her when she was 9, and he was
56, before her first period (From Bukhari vol. 7 #65; Hadith of Sahih

Muslim vol. 2 #3309; Abu Dawud vol. 2 #2116; Tabari vol. 9 page 131).

Whipped those in the temple who made the temple of God a market place and prevented people from worshipping and praying.

What is truth? What do we use to govern right from wrong?

Truth is relative to the situation and it changes accordingly.

Quest to find the truth and believed he would discover it as he lived it.

Truth is the word of God including the Torah, Psalms, Gospel as long as
it doesn’t contradict Muhammad’s text of the Quran. If it does then the
Quran is the authority e.g. Jesus was not put on the cross in the

Jesus the Christ claimed to be the Truth.

Did they believe they were sinless? Were they sinless?

No such thing as sinless.

Yes, he believed that he was perfect, yet he needed to be rebirthed to be more perfect.

He was a sinner and asked for forgiveness (Surah 47:8,19). However
Islam does teach that all the prophets are infallible but the Quran says
that all prophets (except for Jesus) asked for forgiveness of sin/fault
in the Quran; Moses (Surah 28:16);

Abraham (Surah 26:82);

Muhammed (Surah


Yes He knew He was perfect and thus went to the cross as a lamb sacrifice for other’s sins (Is. 53, Ps. 22).

Other passages: Ps. 16:10, 22:16-17, 68:20; Is. 53:4-6; 50:6; 52:14


How old when he died?

How did he die?

83, in 1939 London. After suffering from cancer of the jaw and throat.
Although he had battled the disease for sixteen years he never gave up
the huge cigars with which he became so identified. He was 83 years old
when he asked his doctor to end his life – he committed suicide.


Buddha ate his last meal, which, according to different translations,
was either a mushroom delicacy or soft pork, which he had received as an
offering from a blacksmith named Cunda. Falling violently ill, he died.

When a person who has realized Nirvāna dies, his death is referred to
as his parinirvana, his fully passing away, as his life was his last
link to the cycle of death and rebirth (samsara), and he will not be
reborn again. (Buddha didn’t believe this but there are sects that do -

reincarnation is offered as the process for a person with all the qualities needed to get to the state of Nirvana).

Nirvana is a state which all six bases (Eye, Ear, Nose, Tongue, Body and Mind) no longer feel.

632 AD, 63 years old.

He died of a fever. The fever was a result of being poisoned. A Jewish
woman gave Muhammad a gift of grilled lamb, which she poisoned. She did
this to validate if he was truly a prophet. Saying if he was a prophet
he would know that the lamb was poisoned and not eat it or if he ate it
he would not die. Muhammad did die as a result within 2 weeks of eating
it. (Al-Bukhari (# 2474), Muslim (# 2190),

Al-Mustadrak (# 4967 and

7090), Abu Dawud (#

4508, 4509, and 4512),

Bayhaqi (# 15784, 15786,

15789, 15791, and 19500),

Darami (# 67), Darqutni (# 130), and Imam Ahmad’s collection (# 2785 and 3547)).

33 years old.

He was condemned by the Jewish people primarily because he was leading
people to Him. They handed Him over to the Romans who executed him
based on being “King” and there is only one King i.e. Caesar. He was
crucified on a Cross thus fulfilling the prophecy concerning Him.

Did he conquer the biggest obstacle - physical death?

i.e. is he still in a physical body?


No, his bones are in India.

Body buried at Medina (Medinah) in Saudi Arabia.

Yes, raised Himself from death after 3 days and then spoke and appeared
to people over 40 days – he also spoke with over 500 people.

His Destination after Physical Death?

Unknown, Body was cremated, the remains are in London. He believed there was nothing that we just cease.

Believed he went to Parinirvana, a place that cannot be explained, as it is outside of all conceivable experience.

Parinirvana is a state of impersonal nothingness.

His soul is believed to be in Barzakh, some have said Heaven. Barzakh
is not Heaven but a kind of “cold sleep” where the soul will rest until
the Qiyamah (Judgement Day). In the

Bible this place is called

“Death” (used to be called

Paradise) Sûrah al-

Mu’minûn: 100

Heaven, in a physical body. He will return to earth to reign after the 1,000 years of Christ.

How do we know his after life?

Based on their Words are they around today?

He said so – there is nothing.

He said he would go to this place, also said destination is unknown.

People have also seen him in Barzakh in their dreams. But no one knows nor is it referenced in the Qu’ran.

Besides the 500+ eyewitnesses, his disciples and followers witnessed
his resurrection. These are the same people who turned to run from
Jesus when He was persecuted, but when they saw Jesus was resurrected
and ascended into heaven, they willingly gave their lives to teach about
Jesus as Messiah the only way to God – even to the point of death.

Anything he left them when he died?

His Thesis and notes

His teachings.

The Quran and his Sunnah and Mecca

His Person and Teachings. Theologically His Blood (to bring them into a
position to be able to call on God as Father) and his Body (to sustain
them, give them a sense of meaning as they tell others about Him) and
Holy Spirit (to teach them, comfort them and help them).


Who created man?


Unknown – no need to answer such questions. “We do not believe that
this world is created and ruled by a God.” It just is – don’t waste time
thinking about it.

Allah. The Creator (the One who needs none and whom all are in need of).

Yahweh - Elohim (Father, His Word and His Spirit).

Who is God?

Self as a god. Actually crusaded against God whom he considered an obstacle to human intelligence and maturity.

There is no God or personal God, but a system of fitting in which we
are all part of. We are God collectively. Once we think there is no God
then we can be free of God. God is a craving to be extinguished.

Allah - One God.

(Some have said the greatest difference between Allah and Elohim is
that Allah promised hell fire and torture for his followers while Elohim

promised heaven and eternal life for his followers. But not completely true. Allah is said to be merciful and compassionate).

There is One God whose name is Yahweh. Christ wasn’t created like Adam,
He always was, always existed because the Word of God always was. God
the Father is the head, Jesus Christ is

His only begotten Son (His

Word) and Holy Spirit is His Spirit. They are all unified as One.

Is the God of Israel the only way that the true God revealed Himself?

No scientific evidence (as he saw it). And especially if the hardship
was suffering – how can an all powerful God, a loving God, cause
suffering? Surely He would cause it to stop? So therefore there is no

He didn’t know the God of Israel. But the Dali Lama
and the leaders say, “If God created the world, where did God come
from?” the answer would be, “of course God was created as well”.

(Why do we think create? Is it because all we see is created? God
wasn’t created but always was and He created all things in which all
things operate. Does a starfish on the bottom of an ocean know there is
dry land? Is it possible that the starfish will never know dry land
because all it sees is wetland? Doesn’t Buddha teach that there are
things that we don’t fully know? God is definitely one that we will

eternity getting to know).

No, God has sent prophets to all of mankind from the first prophet Adam to prophet Muhammad.

Israel is not the chosen people and God didn’t reveal salvation through Israel.

The Jewish people were the biggest obstacle to

Muhammad’s teachings (they were sceptical of a non Jewish prophet -
Muhammad). Once it was clear the Jews would not accept him, Muhammad
began to minimize and eliminate the Jewish influence on his beliefs. For
example, he shifted the direction of prayers from Jerusalem to Mecca,
made Friday his special day of prayer, and renounced the Jewish dietary
laws (except for the prohibition of eating pork). Originally, he said
the Arabs were descendants of Abraham through his son Ishmael, but in
the Qu’ran Abraham’s connection to the Jews is denied, with

Muhammad asserting that Abraham is only the patriarch of Islam, not Judaism as well, because he “surrendered himself to


God revealed Himself through

Nature, through Israel, through His law and prophets. All pointing to the need to surrender to the Messiah, Jesus.

Ps. 2:11-12 “Serve Yahweh with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss
the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, When His wrath is
kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”

Deut. 18:18-19 “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among
their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak
to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not
hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.”


Desire for all humans.

Getting what they want and being positive results in happiness on earth for self.

Avoiding suffering on earth results in nothingness which is similar to Happiness. Absence of suffering

is similar to happiness.

Happiness itself is also a craving that needs to be extinguished.
Better position for next rebirth to get to state of eternal nothingness.

Obeying God (not loving God) results in happiness for eternity. Happiness is not necessary on earth.

Reconciled to God, to have an intimate relationship with Him. This
results in true happiness for eternity, including earth. The good news.


Work to get it from efforts of positive thinking. Think about something that makes you feel good. Get what you want.

Work to extinguish self desires, get rid of suffering. This provides
enlightenment (or is that a craving). We get it by having a mind free
from craving, anger and other afflictive states.

Surrender to Allah and the teachings of Muhammad.

Surrender to Jesus Christ, which allows His peace to enter the person. A
peace of being reconciled back to God. He dwells inside and the blood
of Jesus washes away their sin as they walk with Him. As they walk with
Him they tell others of this good news.


What is truth? What do we use to govern right from wrong?

Truth is relative. It

comes from human experience, like our traffic laws. We make them up
because they benefit us. If they didn’t benefit us then don’t make
them. They vary based on culture.

Truth is relative – There
is no right or wrong. Relative truth, relative to the suffering. One
persons suffering varies from another. And one person’s happiness varies
so there isn’t absolute truth. Absolutely no wrong or right.

Truth is absolute that was ONLY revealed to Muhammad, or who Muhammad
has indicated to be true. And today the people are to follow the Islamic
Law (Shariah).

Truth is absolute. Absolute truth is based on God’s Word which is centered on Love. The Word of God can be summed up – 1)

Know that God loves you. 2) You Love the God of Israel with all your
heart, soul, mind and strength and 3) love others like you love
yourself. Not possible to do the 3rd without the 1st two.

Where does

Suffering and

Pain come from?

Evolution, genes and our mind.

Cravings and previous life actions.

From their sins or a test from God.

Sin in the world from Adam (in genes), Our Sin, Sin from others.

What is sin or Craving?

No such thing as sin because we are in fact our own god, it is a choice to be happy or not.

No such thing as sin because we are in fact our own god, part of
everything. A craving is something imposed by self that causes

Sin is opposing Allah’s Will especially in the

Qu’ran (above all other books). Allah is higher than us – He created moral laws. His authority is to be honoured and obeyed.

Sin is opposing God’s law found in the Bible. Root is rebelling against God of Israel.

Getting rid of sin? Or getting rid of craving?

n/a – the choice to be happy and find something to be happy about, and take something to remove the suffering.

We need to abstain from them by our own efforts through the 4 nobles.
1) Identify the suffering 2) Abandon the cause of suffering – cause of
the craving 3) Stop the craving 4) Develop the path leading to stopping
the suffering called the noble 8-fold path. (right view; right resolve -
“panna”); (right speech; right action; right livelihood; the beginning
of the training “sila” virtue); (right effort; right mindfulness; right
concentration). At every step of the way a person practices generosity
“dana” as it fosters a development of a compassionate heart and counters
the hearts habitual tendency for craving.

repentance which includes remorse, giving up the wrong action and
determination not to return to the sin. Maybe Allah forgives you. It is
up to Him to decide.

We can’t get rid of it as we are
sinners. However only when we repent (turn away from our self) and
accept His Sacrifice for sin – His Son and grateful for what He Son
(Jesus) did for us then we will be forgiven. It is Jesus’ blood that
washes away our sins.

God no longer keeps a record.


What is a good place after Death? What is a bad place?

Good place – None

Bad Place – None

Unknown exactly

but a Good place in the reincarnation chain is unknown. Bad place -
Come back to be punished somehow, blind or worms – but unknown.

Good place – Heaven

Bad Place – Hell

Good place – Heaven

Bad Place – Hell


General thoughts on what he believes about how we are to live life?

Self capability/ the mind / positive thinking, upbringing plays a key role.

(How to distinguish between what is positive or negative? Determined by
individual and may vary by person. The objective is to avoid suffering
or pain.)

When things go wrong in our life and we
encounter difficult situations we tend to regard the situation itself as
the problem, but in reality whatever problems we experience come from
the side of the mind. If we were to respond to difficult situations with
a positive or peaceful mind they would not be problems for us; indeed
we may even come to regard them as challenges or opportunities for
growth and development. Problems arise only if we respond to
difficulties with a negative state of mind. Therefore, if we want to be
free from problems we must learn to control our mind.

(How to
distinguish between what is positive or negative? As per the individual
and may vary by person. The objective is to avoid suffering or pain.)

Proclaiming that “God in

One”, that complete “surrender” to Him is the only acceptable religion.
And he was in the prophet of God same as Adam, Abraham and Jesus.

The Torah, the Prophets and the Writings are God’s Word to mankind.
Those that want to be governed by self, like Adam, God will not want
them. The only way to be governed by Him is surrendered their life to
His Son Jesus Christ and follow His teaching. He is the true King of the
earth (Is. 9:5-8).

Jesus warned people Matt. 24:11 “Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many”


What are the people who follow their teachings called?

Follow his teaching, not all – Psychologists or Humanists


Muslims are members of

Islam. Muslim means “one who submits to God.”

Jesus’ teachings pointed to Himself as the door to an intimate
relationship with God. Those who follow His teachings are called

What will happen to those who follow them?

On earth they will be free to exercise human intelligence.

On earth they will receive Nirvana if they avoid suffering. Then afterlife of nothingness/Pirvana or come back – reincarnated.

They will die and be resurrected for Judgment based on their works.
Some say based on teachings that all will burn to clean themselves for
judgment (i.e. Bible calls this place Hades).

They will have
intimacy with God as Father and live a peaceful life, that isn’t based
on a situation but based on who He is in them. They will not go into the
final judgment but pass from judgment to life and will be judged before
Christ’s throne.

Are their teachings inclusive or exclusive to all?

Exclusive, It is inclusive as long as you are not part of a Religion.

Exclusive. It is inclusive as long as you don’t say there is one way,
absolute truth. Inclusive except with religions who say it is the only

Exclusive “If anyone desires a religion other than
Islam (Submission to Allah), Never will it be accepted of him; and in
the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their
selves in the hell fire).”(Qur’an 3:85). That is, if anyone who hears of
Islam and rejects it they will abide in Hell forever. As for those who
believe they will abide in Paradise for eternity. Those who live and
don’t hear of Islam and children that passed away regardless of their
parents belief will go to Paradise.

Exclusive, John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Jesus said (Luke 6:46), “Why call me Lord, Lord and not do the things which I say”

How does a person follow him?

Believe evolution and that everything is physical only.

He who has gone for

refuge in the

Buddha, his

Teaching and his Order, penetrates with transcendental wisdom the Four
Noble Truths - suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of
suffering, and the Noble Eightfold Path

leading to the cessation
of suffering. This indeed is the safe refuge, this is the refuge
supreme. Having gone to such a refuge, one is released from all

To become a Muslim one must simply pronounce the
Shahaadatayn (Declaration of Faith) with sincerity and conviction. “I
bear witness that there is no deity worthy to be worshipped but Allah,
and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.” Believe
in five articles of faith, 1) Belief in one God Who has absolutely no
associate with Him in His divinity; 2) Belief in God’s Angels; 3) Belief
in God’s Books, and in the Holy Qur’an as His Last Book; 4) Belief in

God’s Prophets, and in Muhammad as His Last and Final Messenger; and

5) Belief in life after death.

Accept Jesus Christ as their Lord

“Owner”. Which means if He is their Owner they will do what He said to do.

1) Know that God loves them. 2) Accept the Sacrifice God made for them
– His Son. So that their sins can be washed away. 3) Be Baptised 4)
Know that you are now a child of God 5) Spend time with God as Father
(Abba) – Prayer, Fasting 6) Keep the commandments and

Be Holy 7)
Share the good news that God has sent His Son to reconcile man to
Himself. All they need to do is take Him at His Word.


© 2018 | Who we are | I dedicate this website to my Lord and Saviour - Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Christ

Jesus said, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14)








The Awakened One

Pañcalacanda Sutta

Pañcalacanda the Deva’s Son

Translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu


Buddha Enlightenment Image

Characteristics of the Buddha

After a stupendous struggle of six
strenuous years, in His 35th year the ascetic Gotama, unaided and
unguided by any supernatural agency, and solely relying on His own
efforts and wisdom, eradicated all defilements, ended the process of
grasping, and, realizing things as they truly are by His own intuitive
knowledge, became a Buddha — an Enlightened or Awakened One.

Thereafter he was known as Buddha
Gotama, one of a long series of Buddhas that appeared in the past and
will appear in the future.

He was not born a Buddha, but became a Buddha by His own efforts.

The Pali term Buddha is derived from “budh”,
to understand, or to be awakened. As He fully comprehended the four
Noble Truths and as He arose from the slumbers of ignorance He is called
a Buddha. Since He not only comprehends but also expounds the doctrine
and enlightens others, He is called a Samma-Sambuddha –a Fully
Enlightened One — to distinguish Him from Pacceka (Individual) Buddhas who only comprehend the doctrine but are incapable of enlightening others.

Before His Enlightenment He was called Bodhisatta which means one who is aspiring to attain Buddhahood.

Every aspirant to Buddhahood passes
through the Bodhisatta Period — a period of intensive exercise and
development of the qualities of generosity, discipline, renunciation,
wisdom, energy, endurance, truthfulness, determination, benevolence and
perfect equanimity.

In a particular era there arises only
one Samma-Sambuddha. Just as certain plants and trees can bear only one
flower even so one world-system (lokadhatu) can bear only one Samma-Sambuddha.

The Buddha was a unique being. Such a
being arises but rarely in this world, and is born out of compassion for
the world, for the good, benefit, and happiness of gods and men. The
Buddha is called “acchariya manussa” as He was a wonderful man. He is called “amatassa data” as He is the giver of Deathlessness. He is called “varado” as He is the Giver of the purest love, the profoundest wisdom, and the Highest Truth. He is also called Dhammassami as He is the Lord of the Dhamma (Doctrine).

As the Buddha Himself says, “He is the Accomplished One (Tathagata), the Worthy One (Araham), the Fully Enlightened One (Samma-Sambuddha),
the creator of the unarisen way, the producer of the unproduced way,
the proclaimer of the unproclaimed way, the knower of the way, the
beholder of the way, the cognizer of the way.”

The Buddha had no teacher for His Enlightenment. “Na me acariyo atthi”
— A teacher have I not — are His own words. He did receive His
mundane knowledge (from His lay teachers, but teachers He had none for
His a supramundane knowledge which He himself realized by His own
intuitive wisdom.

If He had received His knowledge from
another teacher or from another religious system such as Hinduism in
which He was nurtured, He could not have said of Himself as being the
incomparable teacher (aham sattha anuttaro). In His first discourse He declared that light arose in things not heard before.

During the early period of His
renunciation He sought the advice of the distinguished religious
teachers of the day, but He could not find what He sought in their
teachings. Circumstances compelled Him to think for Himself and seek the
Truth. He sought the Truth within Himself. He plunged into the deepest
profundities of thought, and He realized the ultimate Truth which He had
not heard or known before. Illumination came from within and shed light
on things which He had never seen before.

As He knew everything that ought to be known and as He obtained the key to all knowledge, He is called Sabbannu
— the Omniscient One. This supernormal knowledge He acquired by His
own efforts continued through a countless series of births.

Who is the Buddha?

Once a certain Brahmin named Dona,
noticing the characteristic marks of the footprint of the Buddha,
approached Him and questioned Him.

“Your Reverence will be a Deva ?”
“No, indeed, brahmin, a Deva am I not,” replied the Buddha.
“Then Your Reverence will be a Gandhabba?”
“No indeed, branmin, a Gandhabba am I not.”
“A Yakkha then?”
“No, indeed, brahmin, not a Yakkha.”
“Then Your Reverence will be a human being?”
“No indeed, brahmin, a human being am I not.”
“Who, then, pray, will Your Reverence be?”
Buddha replied that He had destroyed Defilements which condition
rebirth as a Deva, Gandhabba, Yakkha, or a human being and added:

“As a lotus, fair and lovely,
By the water is not soiled,
By the world am I not soiled;
Therefore, brahmin, am I Buddha.”

The Buddha does not claim to be an incarnation (Avatara)
of Hindu God Vishnu, who, as the Bhagavadgita charmingly sings, is born
again and again in different periods to protect the righteous, to
destroy the wicked, and to establish the Dharma (right).

According to the Buddha countless are
the gods (Devas) who are also a class of beings subject to birth and
death; but there is no one Supreme God, who controls the destinies of
human beings and who possesses a divine power to appear on earth at
different intervals, employing a human form as a vehicle.

Nor does the Buddha call Himself a “Saviour”
who freely saves others by his personal salvation. The Buddha exhorts
His followers to depend on themselves for their deliverance, since both
defilement and purity depend on oneself. One cannot directly purify or
defile another. Clarifying His relationship with His followers and
emphasizing the importance of self- reliance and individual striving,
the Buddha plainly states:

“You yourselves should make an exertion. The Tathagatas are only teachers.

The Buddha only indicates the path and
method whereby He delivered Himself from suffering and death and
achieved His ultimate goal. It is left for His faithful adherents who
wish their release from the ills of life to follow the path.

“To depend on others for salvation is
negative, but to depend on oneself is positive.” Dependence on others
means a surrender of one’s effort.”

“Be an island unto yourselves; be a refuge unto yourselves; seek no refuge in others.”

These significant words uttered by the
Buddha in His last days are very striking and inspiring. They reveal
how vital is self-exertion to accomplish one’s ends, and how superficial
and futile it is to seek redemption through benignant saviours, and
crave for illusory happiness in an afterlife through the propitiation of
imaginary gods by fruitless prayers and meaningless sacrifices.

The Buddha was a human being. As a man
He was born, as a Buddha He lived, and as a Buddha His life came to an
end. Though human, He became an extraordinary man owing to His unique
characteristics. The Buddha laid stress on this important point, and
left no room for any one to fall into the error of thinking that He was
an immortal being. It has been said of Him that there was no religious
teacher who was “ever so godless as the Buddha, yet none was so
god-like.” In His own time the Buddha was no doubt highly venerated by
His followers, but He never arrogated to Himself any divinity.

Translator’s note

The first verse in this discourse
focuses on jhana as a crucial element in the path to release. The
Buddha’s “awakening to jhana” apparently refers to two points in his
career as a bodhisatta: (1) the point when, realizing the futility of
self-torture, he surmised that jhana might form the path to awakening;
and (2) his realization of the extent to which jhana actually could lead
to the knowledge that yielded in full awakening. (For details on both
of these points, see MN 35.) In the second verse, the Buddha expands on
Pañcalacanda’s understanding of the practice of jhana by pointing out
that it has to be endowed with mindfulness to be genuinely right
concentration. This point is related to the fact that the various lists
of activities constituting the path — such as the five faculties, the
seven factors for awakening, and the noble eightfold path — always place
right mindfulness before right concentration. It’s also related to the
statement in MN 44
that the four satipatthanas — establishings of mindfulness or frames of
reference — form the nimitta, or theme, of right concentration.

AN 9.42
contains an explanation of the first verse here, in which Ven. Ananda
identifies the first jhana as the opening offering escape from the
confining place of sensual pleasures, and each successive level of jhana
as the opening offering escape from the confining place of the
preceeding jhana. Finally, he says, the cessation of perception &
feeling acts as the ultimate opening offering escape from all forms of

At Savatthi. As he was standing to one side, Pañcalacanda the deva’s son recited this verse in the Blessed One’s presence:

Truly in a confining place, he found an opening —
the one of extensive wisdom,
the awakened one who awakened to jhana,1
the chief bull, withdrawn,
the sage.

[The Buddha:]

Even in a confining place they find it,
[Pañcalacanda, said the Blessed One,]
the Dhamma for the attainment of Unbinding.
Those who have gained mindfulness
are rightly well-centered.2
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