The History of Buddhism
Over 2500 years ago, in the sixth century BC, in modern Nepal, was born at the Sakya clan of a crown prince, his name was Siddhartha Gautama and the family name. His father was King Suddhodana, the ruler of that state, Maya and her mother died shortly after the birth of his son, Siddhartha, and his aunt Mahaprajapati aa care for the child under the watchful eye of the sovereign.
The young prince is predicted a bright future, because the astrologer Asita inform the king that he will grow up to become a great teacher or a holy mighty monarch, but the king is determined to make him his successor and has as a premonition that this might not happen. He knows that the sensitive nature of the young prince has can make a philosopher, and induce him to give up what belongs to him by birth. The king thus takes extreme measures to prevent the child from coming into contact with the harsh realities of the outside world. Siddhartha grew up in splendid isolation within the walls of the palace, carefully protected from what is outside, and attained age, marries the beautiful princess Yashodhara.
The plan fails when carefully prepared by the king, at the age of 29 years, Siddhatha discovers the reality of life in the city that extends beyond the palace gates. He knows for the first time in quick succession, the manifestations of the pain and transience of life, aspects that had been kept hidden, understanding that all earthly pleasures, his strong body and even life itself can not protect him from these forces unavoidable, and that one day even the glories of his life will end. From this awareness arise in him a serious and somber thoughts and feelings of hopelessness, but also a deep compassion.
One day he meets a Sddhartha homeless bum who wears the clothes of monaco, but whose demeanor belies appearances: the man behaves like a noble. Inspired by the quest for the true nature of life that this man pursues, Siddhartha wants to discover the truth, then decided to leave the palace to find the answers that will enable them to overcome the painful nature of existence.
The birth of his son Rahula only strengthens his determination; again Siddhartha feels a strong compassion to realize that one day his son will face the inevitability of sickness, old age and death. On a moonlit night, leaves the palace in secret and away to horse, thanks to the gods that absorb the noise of hooves. Leave the family and the princely life, hoping to return one day with the answers he seeks.
The prince studied at two well-known spiritual teachers, Alara Kalama and Udraka Ramaputra. From these he learned the techniques of deep meditation that allow him to reach higher states of consciousness which arise from feelings of great happiness. These were not providing the answers that Siddhartha tries, Death is still the final reality of life.
Siddhartha then try the path of asceticism, whereas the body can be the cause of the pain of existence, he thinks he can find the answer to overcoming physical needs. Denying food and sustenance to the body is perhaps the way to reach the condition required to avoid the pain of sickness and old age. Siddhartha undergoes extreme fasting and practice controlled breathing to exhaustion. Determined to discover a realm beyond old age and death shall submit his body more extreme austerity. The discipline allows him to reach an iron will.
Together with 5 other ascetics, Siddhartha lived in this condition of self-denial for 6 years and yet the answers and the wisdom is looking continue to elude him, began to realize that perhaps the solution lies not in denial of the body. Ailing health, he now also weakens the mind is confused and does not make any more progress. He decides to try a third way, the intermediate, and takes a little food from Sujata, wife of a farmer. But the gesture disgusts his companions who, convinced that his food had weakened his mind, abandon it and head to Deer Park in Sarnath.
Left alone Siddhartha contemplates the newfound strength of his body, is preparing a cushion of grass and sits in the shadow of what will be said later the tree lighting. Here it is decided to meditate until he can find the path that leads to the answers he seeks, and that puts an end to the pain.
In his mind, then appears a clarity that illuminates large tracts of memories and makes them re-emerge from the depths, remembering his past lives and finds the recurrence cycle of birth, death, birth and death that is repeated endlessly, and sees all beings things are subjected to the same cycle. Everything is clear, the birth and death revolve around feelings of craving, attachment and desire.
It 'a night of full moon that occurs when Siddhartha. While sitting in meditation, the "attack" incessantly mara, the destructive forces of illusion, who seek in any way to disturb his concentration. But Prince sits still and undisturbed, then without losing concentration, reaches out and touches the ground with the right middle finger. In that same time appears the goddess of the earth to witness that, in the past, he has practiced the 6 perfections: generosity, morality, patience, perseverance, concentration and wisdom. The forces are defeated Mara and Siddhartha reaches the cessation of all sorrow, ignorance and selfishness. Time and space disappear, dissolve all the ties. In their place there is only clarity, compassion and wise total consciousness, a state without shape, without beginning or end, the state dell'onniscenza.
Human personality Siddhartha dissolves and emerges in its place Sakyamuni, the historical Buddha, the supreme emanation of the enlightened. He sits and let all this pervade: 35 when he attains enlightenment and for 7 years after his rest is absorbed in a meditative state to enjoy the incomparable bliss.