Have you ever wondered what may the secret behind living a pleasant and peaceful life?
You’re not alone. (to think about it)
There are thousands of people constantly trying to find the answer to this enticing yet mysterious question.
Well, Buddha Stories (Jataka Stories) can be a great way to explore the question and help you find your own peaceful life.
- Who Was Buddha?
- The Life Of The Buddha
- Why Only Buddha Stories?
- 9+ Gautama Buddha Stories To enrich your mind.
- BONUS Facts
Who Was Buddha?
The word ‘Buddha’ is an emotion for many people (especially Buddhists), which means ‘one who is awake’ — in the sense of having ‘woken up to reality’.
The Buddha is the individual whose teachings form the basis of the Buddhist tradition.
While the ultimate aim of the Buddha’s teachings is to help individuals attain a healthy life, his analysis of the root of suffering centrally involves claims concerning the nature of persons, as well as how we acquire awareness about the world and our place in it.
The Life Of The Buddha
The life tale of the Gautam Buddha begins in Lumbini, near the border of Nepal and India, about 2,600 years ago, where the legend Siddharta Gautama was born.
Although born a prince, he understood that conditioned experiences could not provide lasting happiness or strength from suffering. After a long spiritual hunt, he went into extensive meditation, where he realized the nature of mind.
He reached the state of unconditional and lasting happiness: the state of enlightenment, of Buddhahood.
This state of mind is free from troubling emotions and expresses itself through fearlessness, joy, and purposeful compassion.
For the rest of his life, the Buddha directed anyone who asked how they could reach the same state
“I teach because you and all beings want to have happiness and want to avoid suffering. I teach the way things are.” – The Buddha
Buddha’s Early Life
India at the time of the Buddha was very spiritually open. Every significant philosophical view was present in the community, and people expected spirituality to guide their daily lives in positive ways.
At this time of great potential, Siddhartha Gautama, the forthcoming Buddha, was born into a princely family in what is now Nepal, close to the border with India.
Growing up, the Buddha was exceptionally intelligent and humane. Tall, strong, and handsome, the Buddha belonged to the Warrior rank.
It was predicted that he would become either a great king or a spiritual leader. Since his parents wanted a powerful ruler for their kingdom, they tried to limit Siddharta from seeing the unsatisfactory nature of the world.
They surrounded him with every kind of pleasure. He was given five hundred attractive ladies and every opportunity for sports and enthusiasm.
He completely mastered the major combat training, even winning his wife, Yasodhara, in an archery contest.
Suddenly, at age 29, he was confronted with impermanence and misery. On a rare outing from his luxurious palace, he saw someone severely sick.
The next day, he saw a weak old man, and finally a dead person. He was very upset to realize that old age, sickness, and death would come to everyone he loved. Siddharta had no shelter to offer them.
The next morning the prince walked past a meditator who sat in deep engrossment. When their eyes met and their minds linked, Siddhartha stopped, mesmerized.
In a flash, he realized that the perfection he had been endeavoring outside must be within the mind itself.
Meeting that man gave the future Buddha a first and enticing taste of mind, a true and lasting refuge, which he knew he had to encounter himself for the good of all.
The Buddha decided he had to leave his great responsibilities and his family in order to realize full enlightenment.
He left the palace secretly and set off alone into the forest. Over the next six years, he met many talented meditation teachers and understood their techniques.
Always he found that they showed him the mind’s potential but not the mind itself. Finally, at a place called Bodhgaya, the future Buddha decided to remain in meditation until he knew the mind’s pure nature and could benefit all beings.
After spending six days and nights cutting through mind’s most subtle obstacles, he reached enlightenment on the full moon morning of May, a week before he turned thirty-five.
At the moment of full realization, all curtains of mixed feelings and stiff ideas dissolved and Buddha experienced the all-encompassing here and now.
All separation in time and space disappeared. Past, present, and future, near and far, melted into one radiant state of spontaneous bliss. He became timeless, all-pervading consciousness.
Through every cell in his body, he understood and was everything. He became Buddha, the Awakened One.
After his enlightenment, Buddha explored on foot throughout northern India. He taught constantly for forty-five years.
People of all castes and occupations, from kings to courtesans, were drawn to him. He answered their questions, always pointing towards that which is ultimately true.
Throughout his life, Buddha encouraged his students to question his teachings and confirm them through their own experiences. This non-dogmatic attitude still characterizes Buddhism today.
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – The Buddha
Why Only Buddha Stories?
Well, Buddha stories are inspired from his teachings.
In his 45-year teaching profession, the Buddha gave teachings to a wide class of people.
Those who came to him fell into three principal groups — as people also do today. Buddha gave them diverse teachings, which can be classified into different types of Buddhism.
Theravada (The School of the Elders)
The Theravada provides teachings about cause and effect (karma), as well as appeasing meditations to create distance from difficult thoughts and feelings.
Following these teachings – also described as the Small Way (Sanskrit: Hinayana) – the understanding arises that ideas and feelings are not personal.
This gives us the opportunity to act in a beneficial way and accumulates positive karma.
The teachings flow mainly through countries in South-East Asia, including Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, and Burma. Today, the School of the Elders (Sanskrit: Theravada), is the closest example of this type of Buddhism. Their goal is liberation from all disturbances.
Mahayana (Great Way)
Mahayana teachings attract people whose primary motivation in life is to be helpful to others, also known as the Bodhisattva Attitude.
The teachings and meditations of a Great Way aim to gradually increase compassion and wisdom. Supporting development in this way is the wisdom that the world is like a mirage.
Therefore, it can be changed through our thoughts, words, and behaviors. These Buddhist teachings spread mainly through northern Asia – into Japan, Vietnam, China, Tibet, and Korea.
For this reason, the Great Way (Sanskrit: Mahayana) schools are also known as Northern Buddhist schools.
Their goal is to become not just liberated but fully enlightened for the benefit of all. The Mahayana includes the Theravada teachings
Vajrayana (Diamond Way)
Buddha’s teachings described as the Diamond Way (Sanskrit: Vajrayana) are about the mind itself.
These direct teachings that Buddha gave are for those who have a unique kind of confidence.
They understand that they can only perceive perfection outside because they have the same hereditary perfection inside. In Vajrayana, the Buddha is not considered a person; rather he is a mirror to our own mind.
The teachings point out the mind’s perfect qualities directly. They are often known as Buddhist Tantra.
When Buddhism was stopped in its native land, these teachings persisted mainly in Tibet. The Vajrayana also covers the Theravada and Mahayana teachings.
9+ Gautama Buddha Stories To enrich your mind.
Buddha Stories #1
Less Is More
“Releasing By Buddha“
One day Buddha was sitting in the woods with 30 or 40 monks. They had an excellent lunch and they were enjoying the company of each other.
Suddenly there was a farmer passing by and the farmer was very unhappy. He asked the Buddha and the monks whether they had seen his cows passing by.
Buddha told him that they had not seen any cows passing by.
The farmer said – “Monks, I’m so unhappy. I have 12 cows and I don’t know why they all ran away. I have also a few acres of a sesame seed plantation and the insects have eaten up everything. I suffer so much I think I am going to kill myself.”
and Buddha said… Read More
You see in life…
You can apply the releasing of cows to the releasing of all the material things that you have.
I am not claiming that you should live without any material things but it is true that the more you have the more you worry about them and the more that you possess you will fear to lose those possessions.
That’s why the only real possessions, that you can never lose are the ones that you keep in your heart.
Buddha Stories #2
The Time When Buddha Almost Got Killed
“We Are Not The Same“
Nobody has developed benevolence and compassion like Buddha did in his time.
Among his cousin’s there was the evil Devadatta who was always jealous and determined to make him look bad.
Devadatta was even willing to kill Buddha.
One day as Buddha was calmly on his way, his cousin Devadatta threw a heavy rock at him from atop a hill. The rock fell beside Buddha and Devadatta failed to end his life.
Buddha, even after realizing what had happened, remained impassive, never letting the smile slip from his face.
Days later Buddha ran into his cousin and greeted him warmly, “I welcome you Devadatta! How are you today?”
Very surprised, Devadatta asked him… Read More
You see in life..
“To he who knows how to see, everything is in transition, to he who knows how to love, everything is forgivable.” – Krishnamurti
We might have trouble or bad feelings towards another person but if we meet this person again, this person has changed, and so have we.
If we hang on to grudges, and bad feelings then we cannot evolve, then we cannot be in eternal life.
Instead, we should immediately let go of grudges and bad feelings and so we constantly evolve and are never the same…
Buddha Stories #3
The Time When A Bandit Tried To Rob Buddha
“Best Version Of Yourself”
After he had seen that Buddha did not have any possessions, he wanted to kill him.
And so Buddha said: “Then be good enough to fulfill my dying wish,”
“Cut off the branch of that tree.”
One slash of the sword and it was done!
“What now?” asked the bandit.
“Put it back again,” said Buddha.
The bandit laughed… Continue reading
You see in life…
It is easy to hurt, to destroy, to wound, to hurt each other whether it is physical or emotional.
It takes courage and heart to build, to heal and to protect.
The real warrior inside you must have these virtues because even a child can destroy and hurt.
So always try to be the best version of yourself and let go of unnecessary anger.
Buddha Stories #4
Be Honest, Be Blessed
At the time of Buddha, there lived an old beggar woman called “relying on joy“.
She used to watch the kings, princes, and people making offerings to Buddha and his disciples and there was nothing she would have liked more than to be able to do the same.
She went out begging, but at the end of a whole day, all she had was one small coin.
She took it to the oil-merchant to try to buy some oil.
He told her that she could not possibly buy anything with so little. But when he heard that she wanted it to make an offering to Buddha, he took pity on her and gave her the oil she wanted.
She took it to the monastery, where she lit a lamp.
She placed it before Buddha and made this wish:
“I have nothing to offer but this tiny lamp. But through this offering, in the future may I be blessed with the lamp of wisdom.
“May I free all beings from their darkness. May I purify all their obstructions, and lead them to enlightenment”.
That night the oil in all the other lamps went out. But… What’s next
You see in life…
Our motivation: good or bad, is what determines the fruit of our actions. It is easier for a rich man to give than for a poor man to give.
It is hard to give something which means so much to you and which is almost everything you have just to help someone who is more in need.
You can help someone, but maybe in the back of the mind you’re thinking:
“If I help him I will profit from this myself!” or you can help someone knowing that if you help him you will lose out and that it won’t have any positive outcome for you.
This is our motivation, that is important.
So it is not only the actions that we do the good, that we do but the thinking behind that, don’t forget that.
Buddha Stories #5
Be Truthful – Achieve Harmony
“The Time When Buddha Told About The Blind Men”
Once upon a time…
A number of disciples went to Buddha and said:
“Sir, there are living here in Savatthi many wandering Hermits and scholars who indulge in constant dispute, some saying that the world is infinite and eternal and others that it is limited and not eternal, some saying that the soul dies with the body and others that it lives on forever, and so forth.”
“What, Sir, would you say concerning them?”
And the Buddha answered:
“Once upon a time…
There was a certain Raja who called to his servant and said:
‘Come, good fellow, go and gather together in one place all the men of Savatthi who were born blind… and show them an elephant.”
[Also Read: Bedtime Stories To remember Your Sweet Childhood]
‘Very good, sire,’ replied the servant, and he did as he was told.
He said to the blind men assembled there,
‘Here is an elephant,’ and to one man he presented the head of the elephant, and to another its ears, and to another the tusks, and to another, the trunk, the foot, the back, the tail and tuft of the tail, saying to each one that was the elephant.
“When the blind men had felt the elephant, the raja went to each of them and said to each,
‘Well, blind man, have you seen the elephant?
Tell me, what sort of thing is an elephant?’
“There upon the men who were presented with the head answered… Know More
You see in life…
Everyone sees the world through his own eyes, hears the world through his own ears, smells the world through his own nose, and feels the world through his own skin. Each to his own.
We mustn’t quarrel about definitions and what not because the sake of an argument, is not the argument but the enlightenment…
So say no to those who just came for a quarrel, say no to those who don’t want to understand that each has his own different view and respect that.
Buddha Stories #6
The Story Of Ananda And Pakati
“The Story Of Ananda And Pakati”
Ananda, the favorite disciple of Buddha, having been sent by the Lord on a mission, passed by a well near a village, and seen Pakati, a girl of the Matanga caste, he asked her for water to drink.
And Pakati said: “Brahman, I am too humble and mean to give you water to drink, do not ask any service of me, lest your holiness be contaminated, for I am of low caste.”
And Ananda replied: “I ask not for caste but for water.”
And the Matanga girl’s heart leaped joyfully and she gave Ananda to drink.
Ananda thanked her and went away; but she followed him at a distance. Know what happens..
You see in life…
Sometimes we fall in love with a person, but actually we fall in love with the acts, that that person displays or with the idea that we have of that person and so it should be easy to find those ideas and acts in other persons too, in every other person.
If we like an idea about someone maybe, we can make it our own as well, and grow as a human being as well it is easier for a king to give a dime to a poor man but it is a million times harder, for a poor man to give a dime, to another poor man.
Buddha Stories #7
Dreaming Without Sleeping
Once upon a time, there was a young shepherd girl watching her family’s sheep graze on a mountainside.
The Himalayan Sun high overhead was bright and warm so she fell asleep and dreamt many dreams.
In one of her dreams, she overheard Buddha telling some yellow clothed monks in distant India: “When I am gone, whenever you invoke me, I shall be there too, on the threshold of your devotion.”
The girl woke up and took the instructions to heart,
Imagining Buddha, concentrating on his radiant face, she repeated his words, and there he was.
She was amazed and asked him: “Am I dreaming?”
“Yes, You are.” Buddha replied… Know more
You see in life…
Just because you sleep, it doesn’t mean that you’re dreaming, and just because you dream it doesn’t mean that you are sleeping.
A long time ago, that girl met Buddha in her dreams, and Buddha showed in her dreams that the dream doesn’t mean that you sleep, but instead he woke her up from the sleep that she had had in her whole life.
[Also Read: Bedtime Stories To remember Your Sweet Childhood!]
Our subconscious is like the universe: endless and bigger than we could ever imagine.
When we dream within a dream we are so deeply embedded into our subconscious that we will feel different and act differently once we wake up.
Buddha woke that girl’s life up on that day.
So next time, try to dream without sleeping and maybe you will understand how to wake up.
Buddha Stories #8
How To Let Go
Once upon a time, two Buddhist monks were on a journey, one of them was a senior monk and the other was a junior monk.
During their journey they approached a raging river and on the river bank stood a young lady.
She was clearly concerned about how she would get to the other side of the river without drowning.
The junior monk walked straight past her without giving it a thought and he crossed the river.
The senior monk, however, picked up the woman and carried her across the river. He placed her down, they parted ways, and on they went with the journey.
As the journey went on, the senior monk could see some concern on the junior monk’s mind, he asked what was wrong.
The junior monk replied… Read more
You see in life…
We have little use for past experiences, except for learning whether it is good or bad and just like in this Buddhist monk story, we need to let go of any burden the past has placed on us, it’s happened, it’s over, it cannot be changed we can only move forward and create a more compelling future for ourselves.
If you hang on to something which happened in the past which gives you suffering, every time you re-live it, you think about it, you will get the same suffering, over and over again which will create a cycle of suffering for yourself.
So stop worrying and let the past go and in that way you can concentrate fully on the future!
Buddha Stories #9
Does God Exists?
“The Story Of Buddha And God”
One day in the early morning Gautama Buddha was sitting in a garden quietly with his disciples.
A man arrived silently and stood in the shadows that man was a great devotee of Lord Rama. He had built many temples across the country. He had devoted many years to the service of Lord Rama.
He would always chant Rama’s name and contemplate on Rama’s greatness. He was old and close to his last years and even after many years of dedicated spiritual effort he was not enlightened.
He wanted to know for sure if there is a god or not?
When he heard about the enlightened one he came to get his doubt cleared. When he felt that nobody would notice him talking to Buddha.
He asked Gautama… Know what he asked
You see in life…
THE BELIEF THAT THERE IS GOD OR THE BELIEF THAT THERE IS NO GOD ARE BOTH EQUALLY USELESS.
One has to realize the truth in himself if there is a God; Is it a reason to behave better?
If there is no God; Is it a reason to behave worse in your life?
NO; So to realize oneself is to look inside of you and not looking for a truth that is somewhere out there in the universe because life is short and you can spend your whole life thinking about if there is God or no God?
But here on earth, if you are good, you are good. If you are bad, you are bad.
Buddha Stories #10
The Story Of The Lost Son
“Oh wise one!”, the disciples asked Buddha
“Why aren’t we enlightened, why don’t we understand?”
and Buddha told them, he said:
“I will tell you a story. So you all gather around me.”
So disciples gathered around Buddha and waited eagerly for him to tell the story and he told them the story of the lost son… and he said:
“A long time ago, there was a householder’s son who went away into a distant country. And while the father accumulated immeasurable riches, the son became miserably poor.
And the son while searching for food and clothing, happened to come to the country in which his father now lived.
The father saw him in his wretchedness, for he was ragged and brutalized by poverty, and ordered some of his servants to call him.
When the son saw the place to which he was conducted, he thought… Read more
You see in life…
In your life just as the father cautiously promoted his son, higher and higher, so will life promote you, higher, and higher and bit by bit, time after time all of life’s secrets will reveal themselves to you.
So stop running away and face the challenges from day-to-day life and you will grow, spiritually, and mentally.
Your fears will guide you into the right direction.
A QUICK RECAP OF ALL BUDDHA STORIES…
- Less Is More
- The Time When Buddha Almost Got Killed
- The Time When A Bandit Tried To Rob Buddha
- Our Motivation
- The Time When Buddha Told About The Blind Men
- The Story Of Ananda And Pakati
- Dreaming Without Sleeping
- How To Let Go
- The Story Of Buddha And God
- The Story Of The Lost Son
This week, strike up a conversation with five people you don’t know to know their vision towards life.
What’s the biggest thing you’re struggling with right now that I can help you with? Let me know in the comment section…
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