Buddhism is one of the biggest religions founded in India in the 6th
and 5th century B.C. by Siddhartha Gautama, also known as “the
Buddha.” As one of the greatest Asian religion, it teaches the
practice and the observance of moral perceptions.
“Buddhism begins with a man. In his later years, when India was afire
with his message, people came to him asking what he was. Not ‘Who are
you?’ but ‘What are you?’ ‘Are you god?’ they asked. ‘No.’ ‘An angel?’
‘No.’ ‘A saint?’ ‘No.’ ‘Then, what are you?’ Buddha answered, ‘I am
awake.’ His answer became his title, for this is what Buddha means.
The Sanskrit root budh means to awake and to know. While the rest of
humanity was dreaming the dream we call the waking human state, one of
their number roused himself. Buddhism begins with a man who woke up.
Buddha was born a prince named Siddhartha Gautama in a small kingdom
in what is now Nepal. Siddharta’s birth is described as a miraculous
event, his birth being the result of his mother's impregnation by a
sacred white elephant that touched her left side with a lotus flower.
The scriptures claim that when Gautama was born “immeasurable light
spread through ten thousand worlds; the blind recovering their sight,
as if from desire to see his glory" (Evans 141) Shortly after his
birth, his father consulted with a number of astrologers, all of whom
declared that the newborn prince would become a great king and that he
would rule the world in truth and righteousness. Among these
astrologers, there was one who declared that if the prince were to see
a sick person, an old person, a corpse, and a world-renouncing
ascetic, he would become dissatisfied with life and become a wandering
monk in order to seek final peace. King Shuddhodana decided he wanted
his son to have the former destiny and went to no ends to keep his son
on this course, surrounding him with pleasant diversions during his
early years, such as palaces and dancing girls. Finally the prince
convinced his father into letting him visit a part of the city that
was beyond the palace gates. Before allowing the prince to ride in his
chariot, Shuddhodana ordered the streets to be cleared of the sick or
the infirm, that the prince not be allowed to see any of the corpses
or the world renounces. Despite the kings efforts, at one point the
path of the royal chariot was blocked by a sick man. He found that the
man had only grown old and that such afflictions were the result of
age. Siddhartha was amazed to find that most people see such sights
every day but persist in shortsighted pursuit and mundane affairs,
apparently unconcerned that they will become sick, grow old, and die.
In two other journeys outside the palace, Siddhartha saw a man
stricken with disease and a corpse, and when he learned that
eventually his young...