Life of Siddhartha Gautama

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In this reflective essay, I will examine the life of Buddha, explaining what kind of world that he came from, some of the sacrifices that he made on his path and how this contributed to the path of Buddhism. I will also examine the experiences of his monks, wanderers and pilgrims showing how they looked for the Enlightenment. With examples, I will show what the role of personal experience is within the religion and explain the role of ‘Dharma’ and ‘Nirvana’.

Lastly, I will analyze the role of reflective learning in religion today.

Buddhism is the worlds fourth largest religion. It has spread throughout Asia and has influenced many cultures, but the religion started in India and arose from one persons retelling. Siddhartha Gautama, also known as “Buddha” was that person. He was born around 563 B.C to a royal family. At his naming ceremony, priests foretold that his life could go in one of two directions: either he would inherit his position and becoming a great king or, if he were exposed to the sight of suffering, he would become a great spiritual leader, a “world teacher.

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” Siddhartha’s father, wanting his son to succeed him, took measures to keep the boy from exposure to suffering. Siddhartha grew up wealthy; married, at an early age and had a son. He was educated and trained as a warrior to prepare for eventually taking over his father’s role. All was going according to his father’s plan until Siddhartha left the royal grounds.

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Visiting a nearby town, he witnessed the suffering of everyday life. He saw what are called the Four Passing Sights. He came across an old man, cripples and toothless; a sick man; and a corpse being taken for cremation. Then he saw a sannyasin (a wandering holy man), who had no possessions but seemed to be at peace. The suffering he had just encountered prompted him to question the meaning of human experience. This is when he decided to leave his luxurious life and live as a homeless holy man.

Siddhartha spent about six years seeking answers to his questions—particularly about the troubling facts of suffering and death. Seeking answers to his questions, Siddhartha discovered that his teachers agreed on some issues but not on others. So, in the company of five other nomadic “seekers,” he set out to find the answers he needed. To rid himself of distractions and to purify himself spiritually, Siddhartha also practiced great austerity. Living on as little food, drink, and sleep as possible, he hoped that he would find new insight and even gain spiritual powers. Eventually, Siddhartha collapsed from weakness. He was found resting under a sacred tree. Food was offered to him, which he accepted gratefully and ate under the shade of the tree, out of the hot sun. Once revived, Siddhartha realized that his austerities had not strengthened him or brought him any closer to the answers he sought. His five companions, having discovered Siddhartha’s rejection of asceticism, abandoned him.

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Life of Siddhartha Gautama. (2021, Aug 10). Retrieved from

Life of Siddhartha Gautama

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