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Just Sit Under the Tree Man || Reading Notes: The Life of Buddha Part B

And boom! You're the Buddha! Or a Buddha? Were there more before?

  • Siddhartha has a son and wife when he leaves.
    • While he is destined to become the Buddha from birth, it still seems strange (in relevance to other religions) that he does not begin his true search for truth until he is a full-grown adult.
    • The fact that he marries and has a kid is also a deviation from most other messianic figures from other religions.
  • Siddhartha tells the horse Kanthaka that he is a magnificent animal and that his reward is one day coming. But the Kanthaka just dies?
  • I find it interesting that Chandaka was not really punished in any way for failing to keep the prince in the palace.
  • "...mortifications in this world are followed by gratifications in the next, and thus the reward of piety is impiety."
    • I think that this is a very powerful line. What is the point of piety in this life if your goal is to be impious in the next?
  • "If, to be sanctified, it is enough simply to be abstemious, then the deer would be saints..."
    • Another very powerful line.
  • Other great quotes:
    • Suffering is born of desire, for no man has ever gratified all his desires.
    • (In relation to casting off desires.) Who drinks salt water increases his thirst; who flees from desire finds his thirst appeased.
  • Is there something particular about bowing three times? Does it have to do with the traditional Hindu religion?
  • Siddhartha is an interesting character when compared to some more familiar religious icons.
    • He seems to be very wise from birth yet his journey in search of the true law shows that he is not all-knowing from the beginning.
    • Likewise, while he is compared repeatedly to a god and said to be more than human, he still has human needs like sustenance and sleep.
    • His first disciples believe him to be a madman and a fool and leave him. So not everyone who knows Siddhartha inherently believes in his words and actions.
  • No qualms about stealing from the dead.
    • Maybe because the dead person was a slave? 
      • Though, you'd think the Buddha would be better than that.
        • Different time I suppose.
  • Dream interpretation seems to be a common theme among some religions.
  • One of the more confusing things for me about Buddhism is the difference between the Buddha and becoming a Buddha. I feel that I do not have a good enough grasp on the difference (if there is any) between the two. Or really even what a Buddha is.
  • Also, Siddhartha mentions the "Buddhas of old". Does this mean there were more Buddhas before him? How exactly does this all work?
  • The Buddha has past lives before he was the Buddha. 
The Enlightenment of the Buddha

Unit: The Life of Buddha
From: The Life of Buddha
By: Andre Ferdinand Herold

Photo Credits:
The Enlightenment of the Buddha


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