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The Buddha’s Last Life.docx

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Religious Studies
Joe Larose

February 27, 2013 The Buddha’s Last Life  Buddha can teleport, according to one story (probably bs according to modern people)  Buddha is a historical person, but we will never know anything about the actual person  By the 2/3 century before the common era, this is when the Buddha had been living, 5 century BCE  Artistic representations of the life of Buddha: Asita visits the Buddha-to-be  Asita comes to King and tells him that the son, the prince, will become the Buddha  King did not like this prophecy and did not want him to become a great religious leader, wants him to become a King instead  To prevent him from becoming a religious leader, he kept the prince occupied by drowning him in luxurious things, have a bunch of women to keep him occupied so he does not have time to think about becoming a religious leader  Artistic Representation: The Prince is Disenchanted – King bringing women to the Prince  Prince leaves the palace on chariot rides every once in a while, King makes sure City is clean when Prince is out (nothing unsightly such as beggars)  On one trip, he sees a sick person and does not understand what that is, as he has never seen sickness before and asks the chariot person what it is and he explains what sickness is  Prince becomes depressed that he does not know what sickness is  Next day sees an old person and is told that he is old as he has never seen oldness before  Third day, sees dead person and does not know what death is and needs to have it explained by chariot person  These are the 3 sights that make the Prince realize that the life that he has been living is a sham of some kind, he eventually is going to get sick, old and die and he cannot escape these things Prince loses appetite for sensual purposes and pleasure is fleeting despite your best efforts  When you get sick, old and die you are reborn according to Hinduism and in that life, you still become sick, old and die, and becomes a continuous process unless you did something about it  It doesn’t matter if you live a good life, you will get sick, old and die  Four noble truths  Because of the fleeting nature of pleasure you will experience the above factors  Fourth sight – he sees someone who is a monk, an aesthetic, someone who is out of the cycle of rebirth, and wants to gain higher knowledge  Artistic Representation – The Prince Renounces the World  Classical gods of India are the same gods who help renounce the World February 27, 2013  Buddha at this point had a wife at 16 and had a son with her, leaves them behind  Artistic Representation: The Prince Cuts His Hair – cuts his hair of his sword, gives away his royal clothing, and wears robes and begins his quest of gaining knowledge to escape the cycle of birth, death and rebirth  Once he has renounced the world, he is at age 29: has left the household, family, possessions  Takes 6 years studying with other teachers who are trying to do the same thing he is doing, practicing different types of meditation, fasting, yoga, activities designed to facilitate higher forms of knowledge – masters all these things in the end, teachers want him to teach these systems at the end  Realizes even after all this, he still has not escaped samsara and wants to achieve enlightenment/supreme knowledge  Lived off one grain of rice a die to achieve his enlightenment  Artistic Representation: The Buddha-to-be practices extreme aus
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