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The Buddhist path


Text is written by MYRTLE LANGLEY

SIDDHARTHA GAUTAMA, THE FOUNDER of Buddhism, lived in the sixth century BCE in northern India. He was brought up to become a king, and married to a beautiful princess who gave him a son. As a young prince his father protected him from all the sadness of the world outside his palaces. However, while his son was still young, Gautama managed to slip out, and encountered the "Four Sights". First was an old man, second a man sick with disease, and third a corpse being carried to the cremation ground.

Finally, he saw a shaven-headed religious beggar, wearing a simple yellow robe, but radiating peace and joy. It was them that Gautama made his "Great Renunciation", leaving his family and life of great comfort to find the answers to this suffering he had seen. For six years he tried and failed, until he went to meditate under a Bodhi tree, where he received his "Great Enlightenment", and became Buddha, which means "the enlightened one".