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Would You Leave Your Family To Start a Religion?(Buddhism)

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posted on Jul, 12 2004 @ 01:54 PM
I am becoming more and more intrigued with Buddhism. From what I have read, this is one of the most peaceful philosophies in the world. Though I do not see myself ever becoming a Buddhist, I now have a total respect for their mantra.

Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world, being exceeded in numbers only by Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. It was founded in Northern India by the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. He was born circa 563 BCE in Lumbini which is in modern-day Nepal. At the age of 29, he left his wife, children and political involvements in order to seek truth. It was an accepted practice at the time for some men to leave their family and lead the life of an ascetic. He studied Brahmanism, but ultimately rejected it. In 535 BCE, he attained enlightenment and assumed the title Buddha (one who has awakened).

Now, either Gautama got sick of his family, and made an excuse to leave( which I doubt), or he really was in search for enlightenment.

I believe his leaving of his family, in a cosmic view, was very unselfish and humble. He set out to find truth, and in doing so, led millions of others after him to the same path. What he did was for the higher good, though nowadays he would be considered a deadbeat dad.

If an artist left his family to be able to create paintings to help beautify the world, would he be considered a deadbeat?

How about a scientist on the verge of a cure for cancer, whose family life is so strained by his hours in the lab, that he ends up divorced?

Are these men doing what the believe is for the higher good? Or are they selfish in their motives?


posted on Jul, 12 2004 @ 02:09 PM
All motives are selfish. We are dominated by our egos and thus do their biddings wether we disquise the reasoning as a 'just' cause or not. There is no selfless act as every act is orginated through the Ego-self.

posted on Jul, 12 2004 @ 02:14 PM
I believe that Gautama really did leave to seek enlightenment and incidentally he loved his son and was actually a pushover. Needless to say, those who have been spiritually called to some similar pursuit of enlightenment, seem to KNOW as to have some inner connection to things that many others may not have. You believe whatever you believe, so, if you agree that they were called by God or some powerful force you do, if you do not, you do not. Period. Now any who read this thread know how we feel. They may agree or disagree, Peace!

posted on Jul, 12 2004 @ 02:18 PM
Buddha didn't leave his family to look for enlightenment in the way that you think.
He actually left home to go and study Hinduism. He came from a rich background and it was the done thing back then.

posted on Jul, 12 2004 @ 02:54 PM
Buddha, was of predestinated birth, and was born to be a reformer,
Buddha's father was Suddhodana, king of the Sakhyas. Buddha's mother was named Maya. Buddha was born in B.C. 560 and died at the age of eighty in B.C. 480.

On the birth of the child, Siddhartha, the astrologers predicted to its father Suddhodana: "The child, on attaining manhood, would become either a universal monarch (Chakravarti), or abandoning house and home, would assume the robe of a monk and become a Buddha, a perfectly enlightened soul, for the salvation of mankind".

He surrounded him with all kinds of luxury and indulgence, in order to retain his attachment for pleasures of the senses and prevent him front undertaking a vow of solitariness and poverty. He got him married and put him in a walled place with gardens, fountains, palaces, music, dances, etc. Countless charming young ladies attended on Siddhartha to make him cheerful and happy

Gautama was Siddhartha's family name. Siddhartha was known all over the world as Buddha, the Enlightened. He was also known by the name of Sakhya Muni, which meant an ascetic of the Sakhya tribe.

The sight of a decrepit old man, a sick man, a corpse and a monk finally induced Siddhartha to renounce the world. He felt that he also would become a prey to old age, disease and death. Also, he noticed the serenity and the dynamic personality of the monk. Let me go beyond the miseries of this Samsara (worldly life) by renouncing this world of miseries and sorrows. This mundane life, with all its luxuries and comforts, is absolutely worthless. I also am subject to decay and am not free from the effect of old age. Worldly happiness is transitory".

Gautama left for ever his home, wealth, dominion, power, father, wife and the only child. He shaved his head and put on yellow robes.

He determined to attain the supreme peace by practicing self-mortification. He abstained almost entirely from taking food. He did not find much progress by adopting this method. He was reduced to a skeleton. He became exceedingly weak.

posted on Jul, 12 2004 @ 03:06 PM

Originally posted by marg6043
On the birth of the child, Siddhartha, the astrologers predicted to its father Suddhodana: "The child, on attaining manhood, would become either a universal monarch (Chakravarti), or abandoning house and home, would assume the robe of a monk and become a Buddha, a perfectly enlightened soul, for the salvation of mankind".

While this may have actually happened, I think it has very little validity to it. I mean if your King just had a child, you are sure as hell not going to 'predict' that the child is going to be a nobody if you want to keep your head.

posted on Jul, 12 2004 @ 03:13 PM
Jonna, if you see in history most of the enlightened people's birth has been foreseen and predicted be before birth or after the birth even jesus is one of them.

This gives more validity to stories and myths.

posted on Jul, 12 2004 @ 04:43 PM
Yup. Even poor old Buddha has some major question marks hanging over his life.
For example - he was meant to be over 9 feet tall. I even visited one Buddhist temple where they claimed that he was actually 12 feet tall.

The best place I've been to was a the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, Sri Lanka. There, they have what they claim to be one of the Buddah's teeth and they bring it out every evening in a litter and carry it around in a procession. It was supposed to have been transported to Sri Lanka by a princess who hid it in her hair.

I've visited a lot of sacred Buddhist sites and spoken to a few scholars over there but from what I can honestly make out, I'd put Buddha in the same category as Jesus in regards as to wether or not the historical figure matched the spiritual one.

posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 12:51 PM
After Siddartha became the Buddha, he returned to his family and allowed his son and wife to enter into the monk order with him. So you can't say he deserted his family.

The Buddha taught his message to anyone who was willing to hear it for forty years, until he was eighty years old. He had no possessions, and lived off a bowl of rice a day that he received from offerings. He renounced all forms of luxury and jewelry, and his former life as a prince. He was even called a god but said no such thing of himself. Does that really sound like the actions of a selfish man?

posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 01:19 PM
If you are becoming interested in buddhism may I suggest Chan Buddhism (Zen Buddhism) and the branches founding father Pu Ti Da Mo. Interesting. All Zen comes out of this branch of Buddhism and they have simple methods for attaining inner peace and enlightenment.

posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 04:54 PM
I think more focus should be put on the Dharma (the actual teachings) of Buddhism than on the person of Guatama Buddha himself as a historical personage. I think the man was a human and like all humans, imperfect. The fact that Guatama left his family has long caused discomfort among Buddhists, and they have sought various ways to reconcile this. One way was to claim that Buddha, being a prince, in no way left his family unprovided for. Secondly, it has been claimed that later he led his children and wife into Enlightenment.

Also, in most cases Buddhism is not a "fundamentalist"-type religion. That is to say, most branches of Buddhism embrace not only the life and thought of Guatama Buddha, but also the many, many layers of philosophy and different styles adopted by later towering figures in the movement, from Chi-i in China to Haukin in Japan, to pick 2 random examples. This is fully in concert with the philosophy of Guatama Buddha himself, who stressed the importance of "expedient means" -- i.e., not sticking to a single strict and reductionist system, but rather allowing change and flexibility, with different paths and methods suited to different individuals and cultures. In this way, Buddhism is very much an open-ended, reflexive system that incorporates the ability to change itself, rather than obsessively focusing on the supposed intentions of the original founders, the way the Abrahamic religions tend to do. This is vividly demonstrated in the dozens (if not hundreds) of different paths, methods, and practices adopoted over the past 1500 years as Buddhism has moved from country to country and era to era.

[edit on 8/22/09 by silent thunder]

posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 06:01 PM
He let his child and wife join his order, whether they achieved enlightenment is a different story. There are different levels of enlightenment, but the highest is complete unattachment to the world, also known as paranirvana, which the Buddha entered when he finally passed away, which can be read about in the Mahayana Paranirvana Sutra. The story of the historical Gotama is complimentary to how the dharma should be understood, kind of like understanding the political climate of the American revolutionaries at the time of the Declaration of Independence. According to the story, Gotama taught people for forty years until he died at the age of 80, so it doesn't make sense that he would teach many people but not his wife and child. He also held to the philosophy that he should view all beings as like his only son, so the moral of the message is not to completely leave your family, which was the basis of this thread. "Would you leave your family to start a religion?" According to Buddhism, it is not necessary to leave your family since the Buddha did not even do such a thing, he only left them to find enlightenment, but that does not even require leaving a family. The Buddha took many years to perfect his teachings, but now we have the liberty of studying his thoughts that have been with us for over 2500 years.

posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 06:11 PM
Staying or Leaving the Family is unrelated to the practice of awareness, mediation and contemplation. However, its rather easy to be at peace in some remote monastery. The enlightened can also be at peace in "normal life" and create no artificial duality between "normal" life and remote life.

Buddha, btw, did not abandon his family. His family encouraged him to go out and see some of the world.

posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 06:54 PM
reply to post by nathraq

That was a different time. Up until recent times, people were encouraged to explore, vacation, and experience different things. It was'nt uncommon to send a kid for several years to another country.

Or for people to spend three years touring the world.

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