10 Facts about Buddha you should know

Lord Buddha is one of the most important spiritual teachers in history. Today we see enormous Buddha statues in many countries, which are significant not only for their size but also for their historical and spiritual significance. Revered worldwide for his teachings and learnings, here are 5 facts about Buddha statutes which you should know:

  • Buddha is considered a great master of meditation and of victory over self. Through his great spiritual strength he attained enlightenment and his teaching dispersed into the world.
  • Born a prince, Buddha was shielded from the poverty and suffering outside of the grand palace. Named Siddhartha, his parents and family doted on him and never let him step outside his palace and let him play with any other children except a chosen few.
  • He accidentally stepped outside once when he was a young adult and saw all the suffering and pain other humans lived in. As a strong testament to his character, once he realized that death, illness and suffering that occurred just outside his gilded cage, he rejected his wealth and dedicated his life to spiritual practice, trying to understand and cope with suffering and made a vow to help others learn to cope as well.
  • Buddha’s vowed to live his life in quest for enlightenment. He became a monk and lived his life on a street, sustaining on alms that town folks donate for monks. His attire was a simple robe, he wore wooden slippers and in his hands was a bowl for food donations.
  • There were many religious practices that called for either intense indulgence of the senses, or strict deprivation such as weeks of fasting. Realizing that neither were truly beneficial, he devised what would later be known as “The Middle Path” to enlightenment…a balanced approach that emphasized inward rather than outward renunciation.
  • To achieve enlightenment, Young Siddhartha sat under a Bodhi tree for years and meditated until he understood and transcended suffering. At the end of an extremely long meditation and mental battle with Mara (the god of illusion), he finally became awakened and was then known as “The Buddha” or the enlightened one.
  • Bodhi tree has special significance in Asia because of its link with Buddha’s enlightenment. The exact spot where Buddha was enlightened is still preserved to present day. It is in a place called Bodh Gaya in Bihar district of India.
  • Ashoka a latter day king of Buddhist empire, created a place of pilgrimage at the spot where the Enlightenment took place. He established a monastery, erected a diamond throne shrine at that spot with a canopy supported by four pillars over a stone representation of the “Vajrasana” the Seat of Enlightenment. Many Buddhists make a pilgrimage to this spot every year.
  • Buddha is usually depicted in meditation with a peaceful smile and serene expression. The large bump on the Buddha’s head is called the “Ushnisha”  and symbolizes  the knowledge and wisdom the Buddha attained after being enlightened. The ushnisha is sometimes depicted as a flame, which indicates illumination.  The “Urna” a small bump between Buddha’s eyes represents the the Buddha’s all-seeing perception of past, present and future.
  • Buddha travelled the world and taught his sermons for the rest of his entire life. His last sermon is depicted in a lying  down position called “Nirvana” or freedom from the pains of life. His final request of his followers was that : “Don’t get attached to physical things in this life. They are always changing and do not last. Work hard to gain your own Salvation”

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