Siddhārtha Gautama, most commonly known as Buddha, was born around 563 BC. (Chopra 3) He was born to a wealthy family and was never in need of anything. However, Buddha felt his life was incomplete and lacked happiness despite having a wife and son. I am going to report on Buddha’s life and his journey to enlightenment. I chose to report on this subject because I find the life and teachings of Buddha to be very interesting. Although he was much older before receiving the title, Buddha, I will refer to him as such throughout my report. As a child, Buddha knew only luxury and knew nothing of how the world really was. He felt something was missing in his life and decided to set out to find what it was. He reached enlightenment 6 years after
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He went several days in a row and saw things he never imagined. One day he saw man barely able to walk, the next he another man in pain. On yet another day, he saw people mourning the death of a loved on. On the last day of “exploring”, Buddha saw a truth-seeker, who seemed so peaceful. This struck something inside him and he now knew there was much to life beyond his palace.
Although leaving the palace wasn’t something he was used to, Buddha got tired of feeling like he wanted more out of life, and he decided to do something about it. It was his goal to find the meaning of life and death, and to learn the meaning of suffering and how to end it. To accomplish his goal, Buddha would have to leave his family and his home and become a truth-seeker, and that’s just what he did. That night, he left his palace, went to the forest and cut off his hair. He also exchanged his fancy clothing for rags. This event would later be referenced as, “the great Going Forth.” (Marchant 7) After arriving at the “Kingdom of Magadha…the heart of the new civilization,” (Armstrong 36) Buddha would walk around begging and seeking holy men to learn from. But he was not satisfied with the teachings so he “decided to live as an ascetic…” (Marchant 8) Ascetics practice severe self-denial such as eating as little as a grain of rice a day, beating themselves, and burning their bodies. Buddha lived this life for several years before deciding this was