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BUDDHISM

1- MANDALA: Symbolic diagram if the Universe.
2- WHEEL OF LAW, Symbol depicting the Eigthfold path to Nirvana.
3- MANTRA, meditation chant.
4- CHORTEN, or bell of wisdom.
5- HAND PRAYER WHEEL (tibetan).
6- PRAYER BIDS (27 bids)

FOUNDER:

Buddhism was founded in India, 528 BC, by Siddhartha Gautama known as "Buddha" (the enlightened one). His devotees also call him "Bhagara" (Lord), and "Tathagata" (True-Winner)... and "god".

-Gautama (563-483), was a Prince born in Lumbini near Nepal, where the legend says he had 40,000 dancing girls at his disposal... but he wander around the palace and he met successfully with "an old man begging for alms, a diseased man, a dead man, and a monk"... he was so impressed that on his 29th birthday he left palace, his wife and child and started to search for the cause of suffering and to find pease and happiness, following two yoga masters, then as a begging monk with severe ascetism... finally, at age 35, he went near Benares and for 7 weeks he meditated under a fig tree, or a pipal tree, until he found "in a flash" his way, and became Buddha, the enlightened one, under the "Bodhi tree", or "Bo tree" (wisdom tree)... and life's problems were no longer an enigma to him!.

- He died of dysentery at age 80, upon eating some poisoned mush- rooms at the home of Cunda the smith... he did not blame Cunda for the mush-rooms, but rather his last command was that his companions tell Cumda that all of the meals he had eaten in his life two stood out as exceptional blessings. One was the meal under the Bo tree; the other the mush-rooms which were opening to him the final gates to Nirvana.

- Most people says his body was cremated, but archaeologists have recovered a huge sandstone casket near Kapilvastu, India, and the inscription shows they are the mortal remains of Gautama Buddha (his skeleton).

- Much of Buddha's life is legend, but one gets the impression to meet a great one in the history of humanity. He is a combination of a cool head and a warm heart: One of the greatest rationalists, a master in dialogue, like Socrates... and on the other hand, with a Franciscan tenderness so strong as to have caused his message to be subtitled "a religion of infinite compassion". Like St. Francis of Assisi he claimed as his friends the sun, the moon, the birds and trees...

- His social teachings were much like those of Jesus Christ; all Buddhists love the Sermon on the Mountain in Matt.5-8... the central social thesis of Buddhism is love and compassion to all of nature's creation because they are sacred and deserving of life and respect.


- Buddha was a "rebel" like Jesus: Jesus sought to soften the Judaic emphasis on strict obedience to the Law and regulations; Buddha sought to remove much of the supernatural of Hinduism, the gods, the complicated rituals, magic prayers, superstitious beliefs and practices...

- As Jesus, fastening in the wilderness, was approached by Satan, so Gautama was tempted by Mara, the spirit of evil and enemy of liberation, with his 3 sons, Confusion, Gaiety, and Pride, and his 3 daughters, Lust, Delight, and Thirst.

-Gautama says that "life" is to be lived on Earth, not in Heaven... and Nirvana is not a place, but a state of mind in witch one is released from fear and desire... for Jesus, to live this life on Earth is the glorious adventure of a "new life" full of love, joy and peace, as the children of a very personal and compassionate God, with fear to nobody and to nothing, because God is in your heart... and with a real Heaven after death... a Heaven or a Hell for everybody, Christian or Buddhist, like it or not, believe it or not!.

- Gautama denied, by indirection, the existence of the intangible all- pervading Brahman, but he did not denied the existence of many gods... but they were not God, they were rather creatures with very human attributes, subject to human burdens, and needing to be saved as well as men.

 

"Gautama Buddha" died, and his body was cremated... like any other Hindu or Buddhist.
"Jesus Christ" resurrected, He is God!... and He is at your side right now... if you believe in Him, now, all your bad deeds are erased, you have a "new life", with Jesus in your heart... and eternal Heaven after death... without any reincarnation!.



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Last update: Wednesday, June 14, 2000

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