"Learning is changing. The path of enlightenment lies in the middle way, it is the line that lies between all the extreme opposites."
The term Buddha indicates, in the Indian religious and cultural context, "the one who has awakened" or "the one who has achieved enlightenment".
The Buddha was an extraordinary figure; he founded a new, great religion and, rebelling against the hedonistic, ascetic and spiritualistic extremes of contemporary religious discipline and the caste system, profoundly influenced Hinduism itself.
THE STORY OF SIDDHARTA GAUTAMA (THE BUDDHA)
Buddha, descendant of the caste of warriors and kings, took the name of Siddhartha;
Before her birth the mother had a premonitory dream, she dreamed that a white elephant entered her body without any pain and received in the womb, "without any impurity", Siddhartha who was born in the Lumbini woods
Siddhartha was born fully conscious and with a perfect and luminous body and after seven steps he spoke the following words:
«To attain enlightenment I was born, for the good of sentient beings; this is my last existence in the world "
The astrologers predicted that Siddhârtha would not reign but would leave the kingdom and become a renunciate. The prediction rang in Father Shuddhodana's ears and caused him anxiety as he watched his son grow up. The king took every precaution to prevent the boy from leaving the palace and joining other people with the risk of being influenced by him, so that he would see nothing of the suffering of the world (thus avoiding taking the path of renunciation). Nine days after His birth, Buddha's mother died. His stepmother, Gautami, took care of him; she cared for Him with great Love and this is why Buddha is called Gautama. Since it was Gautami who raised and nourished Him, the Buddha was given the Name of Siddhartha Gautama.
At about the age of 29, Siddhartha's mind sank into disquiet when he came out of those walls, and he saw one person sick from old age, another suffering from a disease and another dead.
So his mind underwent a sudden transformation: One night while his wife was deeply asleep, He got up, stroked his son and left for the forest where he faced numerous sufferings and difficulties with patience and firmness. He spent almost six years in the most rigid asceticism, feeding exclusively on only one grain of rice a day and experiencing various extreme forms of asceticism until he almost died, together with five disciples of the Brahmanic family: the venerable Añña Kondañña, Bhaddiya, Vappa, Mahànàma and Assaji.
Here he finally understood the futility of extreme ascetic practices and self-maceration and returned to a normal diet as he understood that saving knowledge could be found only in the middle ground between the two opposites, in deep vision meditation and that this it could only be sustained if the body had been in good condition and not exhausted by hunger, thirst and self-inflicted suffering. This cost him the alienation and loss of admiration of his disciples, who saw in his gesture a sign of weakness and consequently abandoned him. So he decided to sit under a fig tree and meditate incessantly, until he came to REALIZATION.
Buddha achieved, through meditation, ever higher levels of awareness: he grasped the knowledge of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path and then lived the Great Illumination, which freed him forever from the cycle of reincarnation.
In this world, everything is a manifestation of Divinity: there is no second entity besides It. It is the Divine Principle that governs the whole world. Having realized this truth, Buddha went with his disciples from village to village to spread it and never felt the need to rest. He thought it was His duty to share this Supreme Knowledge with His fellowmen. Even his father Shuddodhana went to him, recognized this truth and underwent a transformation. What did Buddha teach? He taught that everyone is endowed with the same Divine Principle.
According to tradition, Siddhartha Gautama died in Kusinâgara, India, about eighty years old, surrounded by his disciples, among whom the affectionate beloved attendant Ânanda, to whom he left his last dispositions. Traditionally his last words are reported:
"Handa dâni, bhikkave, âmantayâmi vo:" vayadhammâ sañkhârâ appamâdena sampâdethâ "ti. »
«Remember, O monks, these words of mine: all things composed are destined to disintegrate! Diligently dedicate yourselves to your own salvation! ».
The Four Noble Truths:
1. The first truth stated by Buddha says that everything in life is suffering.
2. The second explains that, this arises from unsatisfied desires.
3. The third, however, asserts that its end comes only with the elimination of the same.
4.The fourth, finally, exposes the way of liberation, which is the middle way, that is, the noble eightfold path:
The "Middle Way"
The elimination of pain coincides with the interruption of the continuous flow of changes: physical death, however, cancels the individuality but not the eternity of the acts performed and their effects; therefore, it is necessary to go beyond the latter too, through the noble eightfold path, also called the "middle way" because it does not want a rigid asceticism, typical instead of classic yoga, but more gentle, "mitigated".
The Noble Eightfold Path
1.Right Vision (SAMMADHITI)
- We must first of all see things clearly, we must pierce the "veil" of ILLUSION and understand that everything is transitory, having a principle they must also have an end.
2.Right will (SAMMASANKAPPA)
- Man must firmly decide to control to control his desires and to cut the knot of his attachments to things. Without a strong will he will achieve nothing.
3.Rect language (SAMMAVACA)
- Words must be winged messengers of Truth and Love, not powerful means of deception.
4. Right action (SAMAKAMMANTA)
- All actions must be consistent with a high ethical-moral code, must not harm others and as far as possible must not offend any form of life.
Therefore it is necessary to eliminate from the mind any negative motive: hatred, envy, greed, anger, etc ...
5.Right life (SAMMAJIVA)
- Righteous life on the spiritual path means that daily work must do some good to humanity, at least it must not harm others. He must dedicate his life, his actions to the Most High, like a sacrament.
6. Right effort (SAMMAVAYAMA)
- By reducing our internal conflicts with understanding and concentration on the goal, we will have more energy and we will be able to strive more to keep us on the "middle way".
7. Right Awareness (SAMASATI)
- You must be fully aware of what you do, say and think.
8. Right Contemplation (SAMMASAMADHI)
- It is the goal of all spiritual paths. It is the final liberation, the fusion with the WHOLE, the Realization of the Being.