Thursday, December 15, 2016

Who is "The Buddha"? (video)

Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly; PBS; G.P. Malalasekera (Pali Proper Names)

First of all, what is a buddha? It is the title of a fully enlightened teacher, either one who remains silent or one fully suited to teach and make known the Dharma (the liberating wisdom that leads to enlightenment and nirvana) in the world.

Second, who is the Buddha? The title refers to Siddhartha Gautama (Pali, "Siddhattha Gotama") the historical teacher of our age.
He was a Sākiyan [Scythian] (the Sākiyans were evidently subjects of the Kosala king; the Buddha calls himself a Kosalan, M.ii.124).

He was the son of King Suddhodana. All Pāli language commentaries and Sanskrit works represent the Buddha as the son of a king, descendant of a long line of famous ancestors.

The king was the chief ruler of Kapilavastu. [In fact, the royal family had three seasonal capitals resorted to according to the weather at Kabul, Bamiyan, and Mes Aynak in Buddhist Afghanistan].

His birth mother was Queen Mahā Māyā, Suddhodana's chief consort [first wife among wives], and he belonged to the Gautama-clan (gotta). [Maya passed away when Prince Siddhartha was seven days old, and he was raised by her sister, who was also married to the king, Queen Maha Prajapati Gautami, who later became the first Buddhist nun in history.]
  • Scythians kept moving east into "India"
    Of course, he is spoken of as belonging to the Shakya or Saka Clan, for he is a Scythian (Sakan), which is a word ascribed by the Ancient Greeks to describe the nomadic family clans who claimed and settled stretches of Central Asia, janapadas ("footholds of the clan") particularly along the Silk Route. They were warriors, so they came to be described as kshatriyas as if it were there caste status. But they did not ascribe to Vedic Brahmanism's caste system.
Before his conception in the womb, he was in a space world known as Tusita, waiting for the due time for his birth in his last rebirth.

Then, having made the "five investigations" (pañcavilolcanāni) as to the suitability of parents and historical period to be reborn (see buddha), he took leave of his deva companions and came to earth.

(According to the Lalitavistara Sutra he appointed the Bodhisattva Maitreya ["Friend," the Future Buddha] as king of Tusita in his place).

Many wondrous and marvelous events attended his conception and birth. (These are given in the Acchariyabbhutadhamma Sutra, M.iii.118f; also D.ii.12f. A more detailed account is found in J.i.47ff; both the Lai. and the Mtu.ii.14ff differ as to the details given here of the conception and the birth). More

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