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Aperçu du corrigé : Buddha

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Buddha, the A title meaning "awakened" or "enlightened." It is most commonly applied to Siddharta Gautama (c. 560–c. 480 B.C.E.), the person who founded the religion of BUDDHISM. Buddhist mythology actually identifi es many different Buddhas. Siddhartha Gautama is the historical Buddha, that is, the Buddha who has appeared in our world's history. In some traditions he is known as Sakyamuni, "sage of the Sakyas," because he was born in northeast India among a people known as the Sakyas. LIFE Buddhists believe that when people die, they are reborn (see SAMSARA). In keeping with this belief, they believe that Siddhartha Gautama had many births prior to the birth in which he became the Buddha. Texts known as jatakas, "birth stories," recount events from some of these prior births. Siddhartha's birth into our world was to be his last. It is said that he carefully chose the time and location of that birth, to a princely family in northeast India in the sixth century B.C.E. According to legend, his mother, Queen Maya, dreamed that four deities were carrying her bed to the Himalaya Mountains. They were followed by a white elephant. The white elephant circled the bed, then plunged his tusk into Maya's side. When she awoke, she discovered she was pregnant. During the sixth month of her pregnancy, Maya went to visit her cousin. Along the way, she stopped in a grove at Lumbini (today in Nepal). There she gave birth to Siddhartha prematurely. Astrologers who read the body marks predicted a double destiny for the baby: He would either conquer the world or renounce it. Siddhartha's father wanted to ensure that his son chose to conquer the world, so they protected him from the EVILS of the world and saw that his every wish was fulfi lled. As a result, Siddhartha lived the life of pleasure that many people only dream about, but in living that life, he found that it was insuffi cient. Siddhartha married and had a son. Then, at the age of 29, he made the fateful decision to explore the world outside his palaces. On successive trips he encountered four new "sights": an older person, a sick person, a decaying corpse, and a wandering ascetic. Siddhartha had fi nally confronted the realities of duhkha or suffering: old age, sickness, and death. He resolved to renounce his life of pleasure and search for the solution to these problems. First he tried various techniques of MEDITATION. He mastered the skills quickly but found that they did not provide the answers he was seeking. Then, f...

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