Buddhism is one of the most prominent lifestyles and belief systems in the Eastern regions of the world, and has become an international phenomenon over the last few decades. It’s a system consisting of both peace of mind, peace with nature, and maintaining a healthy but simple lifestyle. Its appeal lies in that it’s not meant to fully consume an individual’s life, but rather improve it in a number of ways, helping them become better people while allowing them to pursue their own interests.
As of today, there are around 300 million Buddhists around the world, with most of them concentrated in South East Asia. Buddhism itself is hundreds of years old, and has remained popular throughout the ages thanks to its calls for peace and humility. Buddhism has become part of many parts of modern life, from something like simple martial arts training, to even using Buddhism symbolism as a means of good luck for personal health, getting great NRL premiership odds, and so much more.
This is a brief look at how Buddhism was started.
Buddhism was founded by Buddha Shakyamuni, who was born as a royal prince in the year 624 BC. He was born in Lumbini, which was once a part of north India, but has since become a part of Nepal. The name of the family that he was born in to was Shakya, and the second part of his name, “Muni” means ‘Able One.’ During his early years, there were many predictions about how he would change the future, as such predictions were common among those born into royalty.
Although he lived in the palace and enjoyed his royalty for the first part of his life, by the time he turned 29 he had decided to move to the forests to focus on meditation and a more spiritual existence. His enlightenment came after six years under the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, India, and he then went on to start teaching Buddhism to all those that would listen.
His status as a prince made his transition into the public eye much easier, and he was able to quickly build a large following, especially for those that had become disillusioned with the religious beliefs and systems of the time.
Buddhism Throughout The Ages
Over the years, Buddha Shakyamuni gave an estimated 84000 teachings to those that followed him. He believed that through his teachings, he was able to give the oppressed the chance to break away from their suffering, and offered liberation from much of the suffering that the common people were subjected to at the time.
At some point, he realised that although being free from suffering was a step forward, it wasn’t enough for a long and fulfilling existence, which is why he focused his efforts on teaching love, compassion, empathy and understanding with the hopes that people would one day reach nirvana and lasting peace once they had passed away. His teachings have remained relevant through countless eras and civilisations.