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Buddhism, A Path to FreedomBuddhism is the term used to describe the teachings and spiritual practises of the Hindu Prince known as Siddhārtha Gotama. Disillusioned by the suffering around him, he sought a solution the finding of which earned him the title of Buddha.
There is much uncertainty as to the date of his birth.
Some say he was born about 600 BC or as early as 1258 BC (India Facts) But most agree his birth place was at Lumbini in what is now southern Nepal. His mother's name was Queen Mayadevi and his father's name was King Shuddhodana. 'Shakya' is the name of the royal family into which he was born, and 'Muni' means 'Able One'.
Siddhartha became concerned for the suffering of ordinary people, and determined to do something about it, he followed a path of yoga and meditation until he found a solution which is referred to as 'enlightenment'.
A clarification of terms:
Some of the fundamentals of the teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha are:
2. The Noble Eightfold Path:
3. Dependent origination: The mind creates suffering as a natural product of complex processes;
4. Rejection of the infallibility of accepted scripture: Teachings should not be accepted unless they are borne out by our experience and are praised by the wise. See the Kalama Sutta for details;
5. Anicca (Sanskrit: anitya): That all things that come to be have an end;
6. Dukkha (Sanskrit: duḥkha): That nothing which comes to be is ultimately satisfying;
7. Anattā (Sanskrit: anātman): That nothing in the realm of experience can really be said to be "I" or "mine";
8. Nibbāna (Sanskrit: Nirvāna): It is possible for sentient beings to realize a dimension of awareness which is totally unconstructed and peaceful, an end all suffering due to the mind's interaction with the conditioned world.
Archaeology at Lumbini
Page image: An 8th century relief at Borobudur showing Prince Siddhartha shaving his hair to become an ascetic. Wiki