Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Siddhartha Gautama as an Indian ascetic practicing self-mortification in the interest of attaining self-mastery, superknowledge, and liberation (moksha) from Samsara. He proved that this extreme was not the way to the goal. Instead, he discovered the Middle Way between indulgence in worldly pursuit, which is ignoble and unedifying, and mortification, which is not effective. The way is called the Noble Eightfold Path which avoids these extremes (wiki).