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365. Gautama Buddha, Lumbini, and Buddhism: A Single Glance

Bishnu Adhikari 기자2017.03.03 09:48:44

I hail from Nepal, a South Asian country, well renowned for Mt. Everest and the birthplace of Lord Gautama Buddha. Though Korean people have hectic life schedules, they are still attached to the spiritual world. The spiritual world of Koreans is a bit similar to that of Nepalese people as Korean people have a huge devotion for Shakyamuni, another name for Lord Gautama Buddha. The only sad thing is that people in Korea and even the rest of the world believe that Buddha was born in India or other countries. To all these claims the one and only legitimate answer is that Lumbini, a UNESCO world heritage site, 260 km west of Kathmandu (the capital city of Nepal), is renowned as the birthplace of Buddha.


Buddhism embraces a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on teachings ascribed to the Buddha. The four noble truths and eightfold paths of early Buddhism, which are universal to the whole world as basic doctrines, provide a common way of living for Nepalese Buddhists and Monks. They characterize life in terms of process and relation instead of material substances. Young kids who go to Buddhist schools learn the four noble truths: existence is suffering; suffering has a cause; cessation of suffering; and the path to the cessation of suffering. They always perceive the fundamental way of living as the eightfold path: right for views, resolve, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness and concentration. Though types of Buddhism vary from one country to another due to customs and culture, the constant, unchanging factor is the essence of the teaching as truth and happiness.


In Buddhism, experiences in life are described on the basis of materialistic existence and physiological process. The physiological process includes sensations, perceptions, psychic constructs, and consciousness. The different phenomena of life have interrelations with each other just like living beings are surrounded in a continual cycle of birth and death with the impetus to rebirth provided by one's previous physical and mental deeds. Refuges in three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha) are the major components of Buddhism, which protect a person from the unstable world as he progresses on the path to become a Buddhist. Taking the refuges will not summon supernatural spirits to come and save anyone from problems, but the power of the vow comes from ones own sincerity and commitment. Adherence to moral edicts and meditation are another basis of Buddhism practice. The five precepts lay down the moral conduct for making human world a better place. The moral code within Buddhism is contained in the precepts, which tell us not to take the life of any living beings, not to take anything that is not freely given, to refrain from sexual misconduct and sensual hedonism, to abstain from untrue speech, and to avoid intoxication that is losing mindfulness. Besides the major five precepts, other important precepts are to abstain from taking food at improper times, from viewing secular entertainments, from using ornaments, perfumes, and other items to beautify the person, from luxurious beds, and from receiving money. These precepts prevent Buddhists from indulging in deeds that restrict spiritual growth and cause harm to others.

 

Buddhism has answers to many of the problems in modern materialistic societies. It also includes a deep understanding of the human mind which prominent psychologists around the world are now discovering to be both very advanced and effective. It gives a purpose to life, explains apparent injustice and inequality around the world, and provides a code of practice that leads to true happiness. Buddhist teachings can be understood and tested by anyone. They tell us that the solutions to our problems are within us, not outside of us. They inspire people to decide for themselves and take responsibility for their own actions. Finally, Buddhism goes beyond religion; it is a way of living for every creature that resides on the planet.

 

Bishnu Adhikari

M.S. School of Applied Biosciences

College of Agriculture and Life Science

Kyungpook National University

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