Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Buddha - The Born and The History of Buddhism

Illustration about Sidharta Gautama (Shakyamuni) spread his Buddhism philosophy.

Majushri, Buddha of Wisdom.

Namgyalma, Victorious Buddha.

Namgyal monks performing a ritual puja at Dharamsala, India.

Namgyal monks and Western students debate at Namgyal Ithaca.

Written by: SS-Hauptsturmf├╝hrer Ajisaka Lingga Bagaskara 

The teachings of the historic Buddha form the basis of the Buddhist world-view and practice. The Buddha (Shakyamuni or Siddhartha Gautama) was born about 2565 years ago in what is now part of Nepal.

The History of Buddhism

Buddhisme is came from northern India, brought by a noblemen Sidharta Gautama. He was born on the year 563 BC that came from Knight’s caste in his society. When he was a child, Sidharta Gautama has already showed his great proclivity towards the philosophy of Wedha, which as a Hindhuism holy book. However, he became disliking with Hindhu and the suffering of his people. Then, he decided to improving a religion philosophy that expect a life’s divert from all of the worldly interest.

Academic historians find the basic narrative of the Buddha's biography as related in Buddhist teachings to be consistent with archaeological and other historical evidence. Teachers in the Buddhist tradition -- whether in village meeting places, in monasteries, or in modern universities -- retell this life history of the Buddha to convey basic principals of Buddhist philosophy. Paintings depicting the key events in the historic Buddha's life adorn monasteries and temples throughout the Buddhist world.

When he was in 29 years old, Sidharta Gautama had a divine revelation that made him felt optimism to left his own castle and his family, and removed all of his belonging that had a worldly charateristic and went out to found a truth. He visited many holy person. I then fasting and had a meditation. He did that with his visions to solve all of physics desire and had a full control of his mind. One night, when he was sat under a banyan tree, he experiencing that was called by a Buddhism priest, as an “Enlightment”. With that event Sidharta realized that all of the human suffer can be subjected. Buddha, then became a subversif religion for Hindhu.

One of the Hindhuism base was a life reincarnation. The spirit of every kind of living creature that was dead would be ressurected in the other form. This circle continued forever, and the reincarnated spirits were little by little had rise his class from an insect into an animal, and then as a human.

If he did a bad habit when he was life, then he would be ressurected again in the other form, lower class; if not, he would be ressurected as the different man. The reincarnation circle would be continued forever. However, in Sidharta’s revelation, from meditation until his service, a spirit would be reach a “Nirwana” condition, a last condition which perfect. That things were different from the heaven’s concept that was told by Jews-Christian.

The Buddha himself, his teachings or dharma, and the community of disciples or sangha constitute the "three jewels" of Buddhism. Those who joined the Buddha as mendicant renouncers formed the earliest Buddhist community or sangha out of which later monastic communities emerged. After the Buddha's death, this community of disciples compiled and continued the teachings. The heart of the Buddha's teachings relate to human suffering and release from misery. The most fundamental teachings of the Buddha are encapsulated in the "four noble truths":

1. the normal condition of this world is misery or suffering;
2. suffering stems from desire or attachment to this world that is in its essence impermanent;
3. the end of suffering can be attained by quelling attachment to this world;
4. quelling attachment can be achieved through following the eightfold path of right views, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

Along with this basic analysis of the human predicament as one of suffering, the Buddha gained acute understanding of human psychology and physiology which formed the basis for later philosophical developments of Buddhism as well as the foundation for many advanced meditative practices. Essential to this teaching was the principle of "no-soul" or no essence to what we consider the "self." In Buddhist world view the self is momentary and the production of a personality itself is conditional and impermanent. These basic teachings are framed in a fundamental distinction between samsara or "this world," a world of suffering and impermanence, and nirvana, a state defined by one scholar as "transcendence beyond all conceptualization."

Over the twelve centuries immediately succeeding the historic Buddha's death, the early mendicant communities transformed into permanent monastic institutions in India with the generous support of lay patrons. Buddhism also began to spread throughout Asia. From this period of intellectual ferment and philosophical development emerged three major traditions of Buddhism now commonly recognized by Buddhist scholars. Theravada Buddhism or the "the way of the elders" claims a close adherence to the original teachings as passed down by the immediate disciples of the Buddha. Theravada Buddhism thrives in contemporary Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia and parts of Southwest China and bases its practice on texts written in the ancient Indian language of Pali.

Mahayana Buddhism or "the greater vehicle" took recognizable form within 600 years after the Buddha's death. In the textual traditions of Mahayana Buddhists are sutras or discourses of the Buddha not found in Theravada tradition. Mahayana particularly elaborated the idea of Boddhisattvas or enlightened ones who put off their own attainment of nirvana until it is possible for all sentient beings to do so. Mahayana Buddhism had particular impact in Tibet, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Nepal and parts of Inner Asia. Consistent with and elaborating on Mahayana teachings is the third major Buddhist tradition generally referred to as Vajrayana or "powerbolt vehicle." The powerbolt (vajra in Sanskrit; rDo-rje in Tibetan) stands for the absolute truth of Buddhism. Vajrayana practitioners concentrated on developing "skill in means" or distinctive practices in pursuing enlightenment. Vajrayana as an extension of Mahayana developed principally in Tibet, Nepal, northern India, Mongolia, and parts of China.

Although Buddhist scholars distinguish these three main philosophical schools, Buddhism also developed in unique ways according to the cultural environments in which it thrived. Thus in addition to these three main philosophical strands we can identify distinctive cultural developments of Buddhist thought and practice in Tibetan Buddhism, Thai Buddhism, Sinhalese Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism, Japanese Buddhism and so forth as Buddhism was integrated with local traditions.

Tibet became especially important in the preservation and transformation of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhist philosophy and practice. The seventh century King of Tibet Srong-brtsan-sgam-po is usually credited with the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet and most critically he sponsored the introduction of a new script which was used to translate Indian Buddhist works written in Sanskrit into Tibetan language. Many of these texts were lost in India and contemporary scholars study the Tibetan texts to reconstruct the history of Buddhist philosophy and practice in India.

In the century following this initial introduction, Buddhism made significant advances in Tibet with a profusion of translations of texts. The first Tibetan monastery was established at Samye where a great debate took place in 792 which set the course of Tibetan Buddhism along the lines of particular Mahayana discipline. The next major impetus to Buddhist development as recorded in Tibetan history was the arrival of the Indian Mahayana scholar Atisha in the 11th century that fully consolidated the centrality of a disciplined Mahayana practice in Tibet. What has been described as a "restoration" of Buddhism during this period set the stage for the further institutionalization and development of the major monastic orders in Tibet. The earliest of the major orders -- the bKa'-gdams-pa, the Sa-skya-pa, and the bKa'-gyud-pa (and offshoot Karma-pa) -- trace their origins to the 10th and 11th centuries. The rNying-ma-pa or the old order continued practices associated with the very early introduction to Buddhism in the 8th century.

During the early part of the 15th century a Buddhist scholar, Tsong-ka-pa (1357-1419), founded a monastery out which a new order known as the dGe-lugs-pa or "model of virtue" order emerged. The dGe-lugs-pa path stressed monastic discipline and a gradual path to enlightenment along with esoteric meditative and ritual practice. During the 16th and 17th centuries the dGe-lugs-pa order came to a prominent position politically and spiritually in Tibet. Of particular note, the position of Dalai Lama which passed through a process of reincarnation came to be associated with the dGe-lugs-pa order. The Dalai Lamas based at the Potala in Lhasa along the Panchen Lamas based at the Tashilhunpo Monastery located in Shigatse became the temporal and spiritual leaders of Tibet and remained so until 1959.

The situation changed radically for Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism in 1959 when the Chinese invaded Tibet and took over direct administration of political Tibet which then became incorporated into China as the Tibetan Autonomous Region. The Chinese forced His Holiness the fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, to flee Tibet along with thousands of other monks and Tibetan laity. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has overseen the Tibetan Government in exile since 1960 in Dharamsala, India, the center for Tibetan refugees and the Tibetan diaspora. Chinese communist rulers considered Buddhism and Buddhist traditions "backward" and feudal. They undertook a campaign in Tibet proper to destroy Buddhist institutions. This process came to a head during the Cultural Revolution which lasted from the mid 1960s until the mid 1970s when particular havoc was wrecked on cultural and religious traditions within political Tibet. Thousands of people in Tibet as well as elsewhere in China starved, were imprisoned, or were executed and thousands of people fled Tibet for refugee communities in the neighboring states of India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Thousands of monastic institutions and much of the cultural heritage of Tibet was destroyed or looted at this time. More recent Chinese regimes have allowed a modicum of reconstruction of monastic buildings and monastic traditions but in a carefully limited way. The Chinese have actively encouraged the colonization of Tibet by Han Chinese and the major Tibetan cities now have Chinese populations that rival in number the indigenous Tibetan community.

Tibetan refugee communities in India and elsewhere -- often with the substantial support of followers in the West as well as other parts of Asia -- have been able to keep traditions of teaching and learning alive. Of particular note has been the expansion of Tibetan Buddhist institutions in Europe and America, continuing a process of intercommunication between Buddhist Asia and the West which began in the latter part of the 19th century. Buddhism has always been transnational but this process has accelerated in the contemporary world with new media for communication. Buddhists throughout the world find themselves in dialogue among themselves, with other religious and philosophical traditions, and with modern science. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has assumed a prominent position in this global era of philosophical and spiritual communication. He has not only sustained his place as the religious leader of the Tibetan people both inside and outside Tibet but he is recognized as a spiritual leader at a global scale. His steadfast adherence to the Buddhist principles of non-violence led to his acceptance of the Nobel Prize for peace in 1989 and has helped to make the message of Buddhism resonate throughout the world.

What is the word “Buddha” came from?

Sidharta took a name of “Buddha”, that means “the Person that Received an Enlightment” or “the Awakened one”, and went on a journey around the world to spread his philosophy. After his dead in 483 BC, his follower established an order that consist of Buddhism priest. Buddhism is spreaded in all of Asian corner, and having a great influence on China, Japan and Southeastern Asia instead of in India itself, and 99,5% are stood in Asia. The Temple of Borobudur and the Temple of Prambanan and the temple in the Bali island became the last site of Buddhism existence in Indonesia.

Sources :
*An Indonesian Book --> Buku “The Golden History”, Keajaiban Sejarah Bangsa-Bangsa yang Menggemparkan Dunia, oleh Nurul Awaluddin, terbitan elmatera-publishing
*Goldstein, Melvyn C. 1989 A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State. Berkeley: University of California Press.

*Lama, Dalai. 1990 Freedom in Exile. New York: Harper Collins.


  1. Very informative, keep posting such good articles, it really helps to know about things.


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