Buddha and his life – speech
I would like to tell interesting story about Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, and his life. He was born in the Lumbini park near Kapilavastu. The name Gautama Buddha by which the historical Buddha is known is a combination of his family name Gautama (his first name was Sidharta) and the epithet Buddha, meaning "Enlightened One". The various Buddhist sources agree that Buddha lived for 80 years, but they disagree on the precise dates. Modern Theravada countries place his birth in 623 bc, and his death in 543 bc.
Sidharta was the son of the head of Kapilavastu's Sakya warrior class. The legend tells that his mother, Mahamaya, dreamed shortly before her son's birth of a beautiful white elephant which entered her womb. She died soon after the Buddha was born, and he was brought up by his father and stepmother in the greatest luxury; they wanted him to be the successor of his father. Buddha apparently showed an early inclination to meditation and reflection, displeasing his father, who wanted him to be a warrior and ruler rather than a religious philosopher.
He married at an early age and participated in the worldly life of the court. He had a son called Rahula.
According to tradition, the Buddha began his search for enlightenment at the age of 29, when he encountered an aged, sick man (for the first time in his life!), and a corpse, and suddenly realized that suffering is the common lot of humankind. He then came upon a mendicant monk, calm and serene, whereupon he determined to adopt his way of life and forsake family, wealth, and power in the quest for truth. This decision, known in Buddhism as the Great Renunciation, is celebrated by Buddhists as a turning point in history.
Buddha immediately left palace, wife and child, and went out into world. Wandering as a mendicant over northern India, he took instruction from some famous Brahman teachers, but soon exhausted their capacity to teach him. He continued his search with five followers. For almost six years he strove to achieve enlightenment through the severest asceticism, becoming a virtual living skeleton.
At the age of 35, Buddha achieved breakthrough to complete enlightenment while sitting under a bo tree in Buddh Gaya. He reportedly sat down one evening and determined not to rise until he had reached nirvana. First he was assailed by the demonic armies of Mara, lord of illusion, who sought to distract him. Mara retried vanquished, unable to break his concentration, and Buddha went on meditating. During the night he passed through successively higher levels of awareness, gaining knowledge of his former lives and the "divine eye" which can follow the reincarnation of all beings. Finally he grasped the Four Noble Truths. At this point Buddha experienced the Great Enlightenment. He spent the following weeks contemplating various aspects of his realization.
Accompanied by his former disciples, Buddha traveled through the valley of the River Ganges, teaching his doctrines. He returned briefly to his native city and converted his father, his wife, and other members of his family. A wealthy admirer subsidized the building of a monastery at Savatthi, which became Buddha's main residence and the center of his teaching efforts.
After a lifetime of missionary activity, the Buddha died in Kusinagra in Nepal, as a result of eating contaminated food. He was 80 years old. He apparently anticipated his death and warned his disciples of it, but declined to give any specific instructions regarding the future organization and propagation of his creed, insisting that he had already taught them what was necessary for salvation. His body was cremated.