Buddha was not enlightened from the beginning. However, by understanding
the root of suffering, and practicing compassion over a long time, he
realized all the stages of the spiritual path to enlightenment'.
Holiness the Dalai Lama
story of the Buddha begins over 2,500 years ago, when a man who had been
searching for the truth over many lifetimes was born a prince in a royal
family in the place now known as Lumbini in Nepal.
29, when he saw for the first time the suffering of birth, old age,
sickness and death inherent in the world and he resolved to search
for freedom from this endless cycle.
destined to be King of the Sakyas, he realized that no king could
eliminate suffering. He decided to renounce his kingdom to practice
six years, he practiced with one-pointed determination. At 35, seated
under a Bodhi tree in a quiet place in northern India, he overcame all
delusion. At dawn, he was rewarded for his long patience, discipline and
flawless concentration, and realized the ultimate goal of human
first, the Buddha had no intention to teach. Only after many requests
did he give the first teaching, which is now known as the Four Noble
Truths. These are: that life is filled with suffering; that this
suffering has a cause; that it is possible to bring an end to
suffering; and that there is a path, a way to do it. The teachings can be
your own mind.
is the Buddha's teaching.
the next 45 years, tirelessly traveling on foot and living on alms of
one meal a day, the Buddha taught according to the temperaments and
capabilities of his students. A community of ordained and lay people,
known as the Sangha, gathered around him. He served and taught them with
love and wisdom.
Buddha died at the age of 80, illustrating his teaching that everything is
impermanent, that death is an inescapable fact of life.
'I have shown you the path of liberation. However, you should know that your liberation depends on you'.