Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

January 26, 2013

GLOBAL FAITHS: Buddhism, a religion of enlightenment

There may not be many Buddhists in Michiana, though I’m told there is a temple in Bristol. But it is still the majority religion in South-East Asian countries, including Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.

Buddhism actually began in India just over 500 years before the time of Jesus. Its founder was Siddhartha Gautama, a young prince of a small north India kingdom.

According to Buddhist legend, this prince’s father hoped his son would become a successful ruler, and so Siddhartha was pampered with the luxury of dancing girls and pleasure rides.

On one of these luxury rides in a royal chariot the prince saw an old decrepit man, on a successive ride a sick man, and on still another ride a corpse. On each of these rides the young Prince, otherwise shielded from the harsh realities of the world, asked his chariot driver about the scenes that shocked his sensibilities, asking, “And do we too grow old, get sick, and die?” to which his chariot driver answered, “Yes.”

These exposures to the realities of life set the prince brooding. And so one night after the dancing girls that were entertaining him got tired out and dropped to the floor to fall asleep right in front of him, he arose, got his stable boy to bring him his horse, rode into the forest, dismissed the stable boy and horse, and began his quest for peace of mind.

He first tried asceticism, a common Hindu practice at the time, but it did not bring him peace of mind any more than his previous indulgence had. So he sat himself down under a Bodhi tree, says Buddhist literature, determined not to move from there until he achieved enlightenment.

Enlightenment did come to

him, claims the story, the realization that it is desire, attachment, and craving that make life unsatisfactory, whether it is

Text Only
Local News
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp