Life of Buddha
Buddha was born with the name Siddhartha and was known for being the son of the prince. Before Buddha was born his mother had a dream that Siddhartha would be Buddha, Shortly after the birth of Siddhartha was born his mother died. Siddhartha’s father wanted his son to succeed so he took measures in which his son would not experience suffering. Siddhartha was raised in a luxury and married young later having a son. Buddha’s father did everything to prepare Siddhartha to eventually take the throne. One day Buddha disobeyed his father by leaving the royal grounds. Siddhartha decided to leave the life of luxury and experience life for himself after giving up his jewels and cutting his long black hair. Buddha was seeking for answers to all his questions by seeking a teacher common for his culture. Collapsing from weakness Buddha was in desperate need of food received some from the tree spirit. Siddhartha then went on to discover his true beliefs which impacted his teachings. (Molloy, 2013)
Teachings of Buddha
From the very beginning Buddha’s teachings were never written down but after several hundred years after his death. The core of Buddhism starts with the Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma and the Sangha. Buddha was thought of a great deal and was thought of as the most ideal human. His teachings were practical primarily of the afterlife, the nature of the divine as well as any other questions. Buddha’s primary focus was to figure out how to minimize suffering and how one can attain inner peace.
The Theravada school takes after Buddha’s teachings unchanged this means “The way of the elders”. Theravada monks spoke of the teachings and eventually wrote them down. Although they claim that the teachings were unchanged several years had passed before Buddha teachings were ever wrote down. The Theravada was deliberately conservative and in the teachings the school stressed how ideal it was to reach nirvana which was achieved by meditation. In the Theravada monastic community the monks had distinct origins they followed. They often begged for food which meant they were like early Buddha followers as laypeople.
The monasteries were in the middle of towns and were run by schools, medication centers, and medical centers. “In addition to the ordination performed for men who are planning to become monks for life, Theravada Buddhism commonly performs “temporary ordination.” Frequently, temporary ordination lasts for an entire rainy season, but it may also be done for shorter periods. Temporary ordination is considered an effective way to “make merit” for oneself and one’s family. It is thought to positively influence the formation of young men’s characters, and it is sometimes undertaken by whole groups, such as policemen, for whom it is viewed as a sign of sincerity and goodwill”(Molloy, 2013).
Theravada is Unique Because
The focus of Theravada is the personal attainment and the requirements that one must obtain in order to achieve salvation and are often known as the “Lesser Vehicles”. It is also known that a layperson to achieve liberation. he qualities of which you may know, “These qualities lead to passion, not to dispassion; to being fettered, not to being unfettered; to accumulating, not to shedding; to self-aggrandizement, not to modesty; to discontent, not to contentment; to entanglement, not to seclusion; to laziness, not to aroused persistence; to being burdensome, not to being unburden some’: You may definitely hold, ‘This is not the Dhamma, this is not the Vinaya, this is not the Teacher’s instruction.” (Access-to-Insight, November 1999)
Molloy, M. (2013). Experiencing the world’s religions: Tradition, challenge, and change (6th
ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Access-to-Insight, November 1999, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/theravada.html