Happy Buddha Purnima!

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Posted: 2011-05-17T20:29:49Z
(I know I am a bit late Embarrassed in creating this thread, but I guess it is never late to discuss about Spirituality Smile, so here is a thread dedicated to Gautama Buddha)

Budhham Sharanam Gachchhaami
Dharmam Sharanam Gachchhaami
Sangham Sharanam Gachchhaami.
It is said that one of the greatest spiritual teachers of mankind the world has ever seen is Gautam Buddha. Buddha was born around 543 BC as Siddhartha, the only son of Shuddhodana, the King of Kapilavastu. He is believed to have lived a very sheltered and protected life till the age of 29. He was completely ignorant of what miseries and sorrows were all about. He did not know the tragedies of everyday life. One day the prince desired to see the city. The King ordered that the city should be all gay and grand, so that everywhere his son would meet with only pleasing sights. In spite of the preparation, Siddhaartha witnessed some startling glimpses of life-  he was shocked to see the harsh realities of life when he viewed an old man, a sick and disabled person and a dead body for the first time in his life. The fourth vision was of an ascetic who looked at peace with himself, which led Siddharth to search for the true meaning of life, renounce the luxury and worldly pleasures and look for enlightenment. He wandered to many places and ultimately attained enlightenment in Bodhgaya under a 'pipal' tree. Since then he was known as Gautam Buddha or the 'Enlightened One', who is completely free from all faults and mental obstructions. Lord Buddha is considered the ninth avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu ('Preserver' in the Hindu Holy Trinity of Creator-Preserver-Destroyer).
Buddha Jayanti (also known as Buddha Purnima ) is the most sacred festivals of Buddhists,which is celebrated in remembrance Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. This day is the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha. It falls on the full moon of the fourth lunar month (month of Vaisakh) i.e. April or May. This day commemorates three important events of Buddha's life
- His birth in 623 BC.
- His enlightment i.e. attainment of supreme wisdom, in 588 BC.
- His attainment of Nirvana, i.e. the complete extinction of his self at the age of 80.
Thus, it is a thrice blessed day. On this day, Buddhists all over the world commemorate these three great events. They reaffirm their faith in the Buddha Dharma, to lead a noble religious life. It is a day for meditation and for radiating Loving-Kindness.
The teachings of the Buddha are solely to liberate human beings from the misery and sufferings of life. According to the Buddhism, sorrow and desire are the main cause of all the evil and suffering of this world. Lord Buddha advocated the Eightfold Path consisting of precepts like right conduct, right motive, right speech, right effort, right resolve, right livelihood, right attention and right meditation to gain mastery over suffering. It is only after following this path one can reach the ultimate aim of 'Nirvana', which is the 'transcendental state of complete liberation'. 
Buddha travelled many places teaching hundreds of followers. Even after death his disciples continued to spread his teachings. Rich and poor alike were attracted by the simplicity of Buddha's teaching and his emphasis on complete equality of all, a notion antithetical to the 'existing' Hindu caste system. The Mauryan Emperor Ashoka supported the Buddhist religion in the 3rd century B.C. and helped in spreading it far and wide. Sarnath and Bodhgaya are two of the most important pilgrimage centres for the Buddhists. Buddhism originated in India and later, it has gained tremendous popularity throughout the Far East in Asia.
(Source:- http://festivals.igiftstoindia.com/buddha-jayanti/index.html,
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha )
I have always Loved the philosophies of Gautama Buddha, from the time I read about them in History books during my school days. Somehow, all these Four 'Aarya Satyas' (Four Noble Truths:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Noble_Truths) and the 'Ashangika Maarg' (Noble Eightfold Path :- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_Eightfold_Path ) always attracted me. I used to get surprised to think about Siddhartha, who, in spite of being a Prince, felt disgusted with the riches of a royal life, went for the search of Truth, his determined attempts of finding the Truth, the Enlightnment, the Lessons, the Peace, Calmness in his face, the 'Pragyna' in him-  all these have attracted me towards Gautama Buddha from the childhood. Great are his teachings, make us feel so elevated and fills us with Peace when we try to follow them in our daily life!
Lots and Lots of Best Wishes to all of you on this Pious Occasion! Hug  Hug  Hug
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Posted: 2011-05-18T02:04:20Z
Found this article regarding the 'Astangika Maarg' (The Noble Eightfold Path) by Gautama Buddha:

The Fundamental Principles
By : Shri Shri Anandamurti
In each sphere of life we should follow a code of discipline. Knowing or adhering to the code of discipline would ensure 60 per cent success. For proper movement, an aspirant should follow certain rules and know certain important factors. In this connection, Gautama Buddha said that there are eight codes.

The first is Samyak or proper Darshana. Darshana means 'to see', and in philosophical language, it means 'seeing with the spirit of a scholar', an aspirant. Darshana means guiding philosophy. So, every one of us ought to have a philosophy of life that will help us to progress.

The second important factor is Samyak Samkalpa. Samyak means 'proper'. Samkalpa means 'determination'- "I will do it or  I must do it".

The third is Samyak Vak. In ordinary terms vak is 'expression of vocal chords', but in philosophical language, vak means 'all the expressions of different nerves'. Whatever we see, touch and speak, all these expressions are found within the scope of vak. Therefore, a man while expressing himself in any stratum of life, must have proper control over himself; he must have proper control over his sensory and motor nerves.This is samyak vak.

The fourth instruction is Samyak Ajiva. One can earn money by many unfair means such as stealing, selling intoxicants and money-lending. There are so many bad things one can do. A good man should have a clean occupation; he must not be engaged in unclean means of livelihood. Not only his physical occupation, but also his mental occupation should be neat, clean and pure. His objects of thought should be in good taste, and he should not try to do anything bad to another good man.

The fifth is Samyak Vyayama. Many of us perform regular physical exercises to keep the body strong and supple. A human entity, however, is not only physical but also mental and spiritual.
The sixth one is Samyak Karmanta. When you start a task, you should finish the work properly, and in a nice way. Don't leave the work in a half-finished condition. The finish should always be good.
The seventh advice is Samyak Smrti. In Sanskrit, Smrti means 'memory'. What is memory? Whenever you see, or you hear, or you smell something with the help of your efferent or afferent organs, what happens? Your mind gets compartmentalised. One portion of the mind takes the subjective form, and another portion takes the objective form. You are seeing a tiger. One portion of your mind becomes the seer and another portion of your mind takes the form of the tiger; then you think that you are seeing a tiger. This recreation of a tiger in your mind is called smrti or memory.
The last is Samyak Samadhi – 'proper suspension of mind'. When you are hearing an excellent expression of music, your mental object is that music, and while hearing, your subjective mind gets suspended in that objective portion. It is suspension of mind in hearing. Similarly, while meditating on the Supreme Entity, the Parama Purusha, your mind gets suspended in Him. It is proper samadhi; it is proper suspension of mind.
These are the eightfold codes of discipline, an indispensable part of an aspirant's life. You should always remember that for proper success, to attain the Supreme Bliss, adherence to these eightfold codes of discipline is a must.

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Posted: 2011-05-18T12:25:22Z
Happy Buddha Purnima everyone! Hug Hug
@ DD, thank you for this lovely thread and the enlightening articles! Hug
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Posted: 2011-05-19T22:30:02Z
Thank you for this thread di, really great information you compiled, and the paintings are beautiful! Will check out those links you provided as well, I'm sure they're really enlightening!
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Posted: 2011-05-20T03:53:36Z
Happy Budh Purnima
Thanks for this thread
sorry replying late
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