For seven long years, Siddhartha roamed in the jungles, underwent severe austerities
and finally, on the VAISHAAKHA POORNIMA DAY, the supreme
light of Realization dawned on him and he attained NIRVANA. He thereafter became
Buddha, the ENLIGHTENED ONE. When he was an itinerant monk, he was called GAUTAMA and now he became popular
as Gautama Buddha. Buddha's overflowing love for the downtrodden and destitute
acted as one of the greatest factors for social harmony and justice to the weaker
sections in the society.
|SIDDHARTHA IN THE FORESTS
|THE SUPREME LIGHT OF REALIZATION
Buddha's life abounds in such instances when he honored
and upheld the purity and devotion of the lowliest in the society. Once Buddha had camped in the kingdom
of Bindusara. The king - a disciple of Buddha - honored his Guru with chariots-loads
of royal presents and offerings. The other disciples, many of them rich, made
offerings to the best of their ability. At the end, an old and poor woman trekked
slowly to the presence of Buddha, offered a small pomegranate and collapsed at
his feet, Buddha ordered the bell of honor to be rung in her name for that day,
to the utter surprise of the king and his subjects.
The spiritual and moral forces generated by Buddha have strengthened and enriched
Hinduism and helped to wean it from perversions, which had set in at that time.
The present-day sublime thoughts and convictions of a common Hindu owe a little
to the life and preaching's of Buddha. And Hindus have revered Buddha himself
as an Avatar of God. Bodh Gaya where he attained his supreme
enlightenment has to this day remained one of the most sanctified places of pilgrimage
for the entire Hindu World.
Buddha's philosophical analysis of the basic problem of
human suffering and misery helped to hold before the common man a purified and
simplified Eight Fold Path of Salvation, (i.e.) the
right type of life-view, of intention, of speech, action, livelihood, effort,
frame of mind and of concentration.